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: Membership
In just about a month it will be one year since I stepped into this role—and what a year it has been! Here are the highlights:
- The first project the Membership Committee tackled was one of AOSW’s strategic plan objectives—to recruit, retain and recognize a diverse and engaged membership. Thus, the committee divided into three teams: the Recruitment Team (Holly Adams and Sandy Blackburn), the Retention Team (Jennifer Dunn and Elizabeth Bornstein) and the Recognition Team (Susan Hedlund and Jane Dabney, AOSW’s newly elected Director-at-Large!). I am excited and honored to be working with such a motivated and enthusiastic team!
- Drafting and disseminating the AOSW State Rep Toolkit to all AOSW State Reps in September. The Toolkit was created with the assistance of the AOSW Directors-at-Large to provide guidance to State Reps on how to recruit and retain members at the state level.
- To boost member re-engagement, the Membership Committee created an “AOSW Wants You Back” promo for all members who lapsed from January 2014 – December 2015.
- Beginning in 2017, “veteran” AOSW leaders will be highlighted in the AOSW Navigator to recognize them for their accomplishments.
- Finally, by the time you are reading this, you should have already completed your 2016 Membership Survey that we disseminated last month.
Now that you know what happened in 2016, what else in on the horizon for 2017? We are in the process of analyzing the data from the survey to ensure that our members—YOU! —are getting the most out of your AOSW membership. The results of the survey will help us to determine some of the valued member benefits so they can be prioritized as we determine the next steps toward implementation. And—there will be a major recruitment campaign focusing on MSW students, since the process to select field placements for Fall 2017 begins in early spring.
My vision is one in which AOSW’s presence is highlighted at the schools of social work across the country. Why? For many reasons! First, this gives the organization an opportunity to grow a more diverse membership, leading to more diverse oncology social workers in the field. Additionally, students will gain exposure to a growing field, since the psychosocial needs of patients with cancer get more and more recognition with each passing year. Most importantly, this would elevate AOSW’s position as the organization for psychosocial oncology—another strategic plan initiative that is important to the Board!
I’d like to personally thank our members who are currently mentoring students or who have done so in the past. We’ll be encouraging the rest of you to strongly consider it; none of us would be where we are without field instruction—correct? Why not help a student understand why we care so much about the work we do? While I have been a field instructor to many students over the years, I now have my second student as an OSW and it brings much more depth to my own work. I have to (once again) think about things like the interventions we use, research that informs our work and how one integrates theory into practice. Remember those concepts? I’ve been able to show her what advocacy looks like in real life situations, the power of “one,” how to have crucial conversations and multiple reasons why choosing oncology social work was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career.
Beginning in January 2017, members will be able to clearly identify whether or not they are interested in being Field Instructors, in the demographics tab of your profile. This will be a quick and easy way for us to know who is ready to take that next step toward training the future generation of students who may one day become our colleagues.
So now that you know what the Membership Committee has been up to, the committee also wants to hear from you! Besides the AOSW Member Needs Survey, if you have any feedback or ways you want to engage, volunteer and get involved with AOSW, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us at email@example.com! We have a great new Volunteer Center on our website that provides updates on different opportunities currently available.
Even more importantly, if you have ideas on how we can engage you better and recruit additional oncology social workers to AOSW, we want to hear from you! This association was created specifically to promote the field of oncology social work and provide professional and personal development opportunities for its members. We can’t continue our amazing work without your feedback. I look forward to hearing from you!
Happy holidays, AOSW Members!
About the Author
Eucharia Borden, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Eucharia Borden, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
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