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.
Director’s Report: Communications
Evolution. It happens in every aspect of life and business, including AOSW. Evolution is a reflection of change and movement. Healthy systems are dynamic systems that evolve and adjust to the influences around them. Evolution can be wonderful, if not always comfortable. As I work toward the conclusion of my three-year term as an AOSW Board Member, I can’t help but marvel at AOSW’s evolution in response to the complex world in which we live and the promise this organizational change heralds.
As both an AOSW member and Communications Director, I’ve watched and participated as SWON has evolved into a robust clinical communication platform that is accessed by more than 1,300 members. Like so many others, I’ve come to rely upon SWON as a source of almost instant consultation, resources sharing and advice. I’ve also witnessed the struggles of SWON’s co-moderators, presently Jennifer Blosser and Lisa Caparella, along with Kellen’s Communication Team, as they work with and modify our aging technology while we search for newer options. There is much promise ahead as this issue evolves.
I’ve born witness to the evolution of AOSW’s The Navigator into a premier newsletter filled with articles that address members’ clinical needs, celebrate their accomplishments and contributions, and strive to keep us abreast of news and issues important to all oncology social workers. It has been wonderful to see how the entire team of skilled editors and writers, led by KrisAnn Talarico, has been able to quickly adjust the content of most any issue to accommodate “breaking news” and Board suggestions. Particularly around the time of our annual conference, it is not uncommon for the Board to identify unique opportunities of some type we think deserves to be highlighted in The Navigator. KrisAnn and her team consistently make it happen.
Our social media platforms embody the concept of rapid evolution. Lisa McLaughlin and her team of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn volunteers have to navigate the management of these real-time communication streams on a daily basis, scanning, screening and sharing news and events that are happening now. It is not uncommon for Lisa and her team to receive requests from me or other Board members that require an almost instant action. This team in particular works closely with our Advocacy Team to ensure AOSW’s voice is heard both internally and externally. And what I found to be truly amazing was my introduction into a world of support software that anyone can access to make utilization of platforms like Twitter even more effective. (Never knew that a person could schedule a Tweet for a delayed posting!). Lisa is also constantly keeping a pulse on the emergence of new social media streams and helping to determine if they are a platform on which AOSW should have a presence. AOSW’s Social Media Team is synonymous with the word “evolution.”
Finally, as a Board Member, I have had the privilege of participating in organizational evolution over these last few years. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing professionals who have taught me so much about how to plan and grow even through times of stress. As previously shared with all of our membership by our Executive Team, AOSW encountered some fiscal strain over the last few years that challenged every member of the Board to bring their A-game to the table. As a result, AOSW has turned an important corner and has evolved into an even stronger organization with a solid strategy as to how to avoid similar problems in the future.
Evolution and change are inevitable. Our choices have always been "do we manage this change or let the change manage us?" AOSW has chosen to manage change. AOSW is evolving into a stronger organization for its members and oncology social work. Thanks, AOSW, for allowing me to be a part of this evolution.
About the Author
Andrea Karoff, MSW, LCSW, OSW-CCoordinator, Psychosocial Oncology
Creticos Cancer Center, Advocate Illinois Medical Center