May 28, 2021

O’Neal Cancer Service Line names Krontiras, Kennedy directors of clinical affairs, cancer network

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Krontiras Helen UABNews SteveWood 013119 crop 500x750pxHelen Krontiras, M.D.O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center senior scientists Helen Krontiras, M.D., and Gregory Kennedy, M.D., Ph.D., will begin new leadership roles within the O’Neal Cancer Service Line, effective June 1. These two new positions will direct the service line’s clinical operations and cancer network affiliations, respectively, and will replace the role of senior medical officer, which has been held by Warner Huh, M.D., since the launch of the service line in 2018.

As the new director of clinical affairs for the O’Neal Cancer Service Line, Krontiras will lead its internal, operational, quality and clinical initiatives and will oversee its cancer management teams. While in this new role, Krontiras will also continue to lead the Division of Breast & Endocrine Surgery in the UAB Department of Surgery as the division’s director, as well as serve as the associate chief quality officer for Ambulatory Patient Safety & Quality at UAB Medicine.

“The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB has a long history of delivering high-quality cancer care,” Krontiras said. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to build upon this foundation to enhance the experience of all patients diagnosed with cancer along every step of their journey.”

Kennedy will serve as the O’Neal Cancer Service Line’s new cancer network director and will focus on its external-facing initiatives, including its partnerships with the St. Vincent’s Alliance, with Infirmary Health and with existing Cancer Network organizations, as well as on building relationships with the service line’s referring physicians across the state. Kennedy also currently serves as a division director in the UAB Department of Surgery, where he leads the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

Kennedy Greg HeadshotGregory Kennedy, M.D., Ph.D.“I am truly honored to be granted this opportunity to serve the members of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center,” Kennedy said. “Our team will provide education and research opportunities for cancer providers across the region and will strive to ensure that all patients diagnosed with cancer in Alabama are able to find treatment for their disease in our state.”

O’Neal Cancer Center Director Barry Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D., also oversees the O’Neal Cancer Service Line and says that, as the service line developed, it became clear that two distinct physician leadership roles were needed to support the internal and external initiatives for service line expansion. The senior medical officer position search offered the opportunity to recruit candidates for both of these positions simultaneously and to quickly move forward with establishing these roles.

“We knew we needed a person dedicated to each of these distinct and important activities,” Sleckman said. “The positions of clinical affairs director and cancer network director and their associated responsibilities are key to the service line’s growth and its delivery of outstanding care.”

Jordan DeMoss, MSHA, vice president of the O’Neal Cancer Service Line, says the position of senior medical officer was originally created to help bridge the gaps between the more academic, research-oriented O’Neal Cancer Center and the clinical, patient-facing service line.

“We are sincerely grateful to Dr. Warner Huh’s leadership as senior medical officer over the past several years,” DeMoss said. “His contribution to launching the O’Neal Cancer Service Line in this role has allowed the service line to evolve into what it is today.”

Warner HuhWarner Huh, M.D.Huh is also a senior scientist at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center and the chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the UAB School of Medicine.

“To serve as senior medical officer and build the O’Neal Cancer Service Line from the ground up was a transformative and once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Huh said. “We were able to identify the true strengths and necessary investments to further elevate our clinical cancer program. It became readily clear to us that we needed to expand physician leadership in the areas of clinical operations and our cancer network.”

Read more about the O’Neal Cancer Service Line and its role within the UAB Health System, the University and O’Neal Cancer Center.