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.
Welcome to the Peach State
The earth is warming, fresh leaves are budding on the trees and the birds are returning to their northern summer homes…that can only mean that the 2018 AOSW 34th Annual Conference is just around the corner!
Hopefully, you are planning to join us for the conference, which is being held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia, May 30 – June 1. You have until May 14 to get discounted registration rates (May 4 for the conference hotel rate). However, you can also register on site when you arrive.
If this will be your first time, welcome! We would love to meet you at the First Time Attendees Breakfast on Wednesday, May 30, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. There, you will have the opportunity to talk to conference veterans, including members of our 2018 Conference Committee. Current AOSW Board members will be there offering suggestions about how to make the most of the conference, how to practice self-care during the conference and what not to miss.
Feel free to ask questions anytime you see someone who appears to be in the know. We’re a friendly and welcoming bunch. My first conference was amazing, yet overwhelming. I attended many sessions, but also enjoyed time on the beaches of Coronado and San Diego—so make sure to take some “me-time” while you’re in Atlanta! Here is a helpful Frequently Asked Questions document for first timers (or conference veterans!), and our Conference on a Budget information includes great suggestions on how to stay within your travel budget.
Wednesday: We will be treated to a wonderful and dynamic opening keynote by the CAO (Chief Angry Officer) of the young adult cancer support organization, Stupid Cancer. Matthew Zachary will speak at 9:30 a.m. Matthew is a trained concert pianist who plans to intersperse world-class music into his dynamic opening keynote. It will be a perfect way to get us fired up on that first day!
After attending a session of your own choosing, come back to the main ballroom for lunch to enjoy a Veteran’s Lunch Panel presentation, followed by SIG presentations and networking. Then—stay for our evening program of Silent Auction and Poster Sessions. If you want to donate an item to the silent auction—perhaps something that represents your talents or something great about your home geography—please contact Jordan Burghardt at AOSW Headquarters (firstname.lastname@example.org). All auction proceeds support scholarships to allow other oncology social workers to attend future conferences. Your donations and bidding wars are more than appreciated by scholarship recipients!
Thursday: You will have the opportunity to enjoy one of five Clinical Practice Intensives presented by AOSW members with expertise in the field:
Each one consists of two 90-minute, back-to-back sessions with a break in the middle. You and others in the session will take a “deep dive” together on one particular topic related to oncology social work. It will be difficult to choose one topic! Please plan to attend all of ONE speaker’s sessions.
And, be sure to join us for the Natural Disaster’s Lunch Panel. Oncology social workers experienced with helping people in the wake of natural disasters will talk about disaster preparedness and response in the oncology setting.
Friday: This will be exciting day because Lisa Simms Booth of the Biden Cancer Initiative will be the speaker. Former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. has been selected as the American Cancer Society Quality of Life Award winner for his work to help eradicate cancer, and Ms. Booth will accept this award on his behalf.
Lunch is on your own this day, followed by one of AOSW’s very own, talented and engaging speakers, Sage Bolte, who will give the conference closing keynote.
A good conference always leaves me feeling exhausted yet exhilarated and inspired about my role as an oncology social worker. I always go home with great ideas about how to connect with those I serve and affect positive change. Hopefully you will find this happens for you too. Most people also find they’re going home having made new friends they can’t wait to see again at next year’s conference!
And—when you have a moment, don’t forget to take advantage of some of what Atlanta offers. Here’s a list of 50 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta! (Psst! I noticed that Hamilton is touring there before, during and after our conference!)
About the Author
Kristin Scheeler, MSSW, APSW, OSW-CLeukemia & Lymphoma Society