Amy Colver, LCSW
Melody Griffith, MSW, LMSW, OSW-C
AOSW Communications Director
Jeanice Hansen, LCSW, OSW-C
To submit a story or information for inclusion in a future issue of AOSW Newsletter, contact Amy Colver or Melody Griffith on the list above.
Around AOSW—After Tucson
I’m writing this article after attending our 35th annual conference in Tucson, Arizona. I have many reflections.
As someone who hasn’t spent much time in the Southwest, I am still in awe of the sheer beauty of a desert landscape! My vocabulary has expanded to include words like saguaro cactus and javelina. I now know that Tucson is considered an astronomy capital of the world. At night it seemed like I could reach up and touch the stars. It was absolutely amazing! I also discovered that road runners are real creatures that don’t just exist in old cartoons!
Even more amazing was the electric camaraderie that took place inside the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa when more than 400 AOSW members came together. Whether it was by the pool, in a conference room, on the outdoor terrace or in the exhibit hall, networking was happening everywhere. For many of you, it was your first time attending an AOSW conference. I’m so happy you were able to join us! And it was so comforting to see familiar faces and friends from across the country.
There are so many things I could write about; however, I have chosen to focus on some things that occurred behind the scenes. Have you ever wondered what your Board does at a conference? In addition to all the things you do, we also meet in person as an entire Board just before the conference begins. Although we meet monthly throughout the year, the meeting at conference is one of two times we meet in person during the calendar year for a daylong meeting.
The AOSW mission is to advance excellence in the psychosocial care of persons with cancer, their families and caregivers though networking, education, advocacy, research and resource development. This year, the Board passed several motions and I want to highlight three we are excited about, which also address two strategic plan goals:
Motion #1. The Board approved a motion for an AOSW website redesign. Our website is the public face of AOSW. Based on April 2019 data (April 1-30, 2019), our website had:
- 5,769 visits
- 4,133 unique visitors
- 15,784 page views
- 72% new visitors
- 3 average number pages viewed
- 2 minutes, 24 seconds average duration of visit
Clearly, people are interested in our content; something we are very proud of. We’ve done updates over time; however, in order to provide the best user experience, a website redesign is necessary. We want our website to be as user-friendly as possible for members and other visitors while enhancing our functionality. Stay tuned for more details!
Motion # 2. The Board created an Abstract Review Committee. Beginning with the 2021 conference, made up of diverse professionals from research, clinical, administration and advocacy backgrounds to review abstracts.
Motion # 3. Integrate tracks into the 2020 AOSW Conference including clinical, leadership, research and advocacy.
Our members have a wide array of professional expertise and the changes resulting from these motions will allow content experts to help elevate oncology social work as they provide scientific review of abstracts. We hope the ability to tailor your conference session attendance to your particular areas of interest will be an enhanced feature to help you achieve the most enriching experience possible.
These three motions also address two strategic plan goals:
- Connectivity. AOSW connects people, organizations and information for the promotion of psychosocial care in oncology.
- Professional Development. AOSW will be the catalyst for the advancement of oncology social work.
Our members have a wide array of professional expertise and the changes resulting from these two motions will allow content experts to help elevate oncology social work as they provide scientific review of abstracts. We hope the ability to tailor your conference session attendance to your particular areas of interest will be an enhanced feature to help you achieve the most enriching experience possible.
I hope you are as enthusiastic about these announcements as we are. This is a mere snapshot of some of the changes coming to AOSW this year. These changes will support our overall vision to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of all people affected by cancer. Our current strategic plan runs from 2017-2019; in October 2019, we will work on a new strategic plan that will set the organizational priorities for the next three years.
Your feedback is invaluable as we move forward. To those who attended the conference and provided feedback about your experiences, I want you to know we have reviewed your comments and discussed opportunities for enhancement, growth and improvement for next year.
It was a wonderful conference! The setting, the program, the attendees, the exchanges, the stars were magic. We are soaring along to Raleigh and hope to meet you there.
About the Author
Eucharia Borden, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Eucharia Borden, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
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Around AOSW—My Goals for This Year
Around AOSW—Stress or Sanity? Your Choice
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From the President-Elect: Challenging Social Injustice
From the President-Elect: Defining Our Role in Crucial Moments
From the President-Elect: Reflections On Leadership