Presidential Matters

March 2019

Dear Colleague,

It has been my privilege to serve as the 50th President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. Due to outstanding efforts of your Board of Directors, Committee and Task Force Chairs, member volunteers and SGO staff during the past year, we made great progress in our battle to eradicate gynecologic cancers through research, education, and advocacy.

I am particularly grateful for the work done this year by the Professional Ethics, Governance, and Membership committees that will launch SGO into the future with an organizational structure marked by enhanced professionalism, egalitarianism, diversity and inclusion:

  • Professional Ethics: For the first time in its history, SGO has a set of ethical principles for professional conduct and practice that our diverse membership can agree to support-the paramount being to uphold the welfare of the patient.
  • Governance: In addition to a more egalitarian membership structure, changes to bylaws and policies streamline and standardize key procedures and identify respective roles for volunteer leaders, members, and staff in the decision-making process for our organization.
  • Membership: In November you approved a sweeping set of bylaws changes expanding Full Membership to all licensed physicians (no board certification required) and PhD scientists from any country who are dedicated to eradicating gynecologic cancers. Fellows, residents and medical students are combined into the new Trainee category, and advanced practice providers, non-MD allied health professionals, and patient advocates from around the world are welcomed in the new Associate category. As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, SGO offers discounts on membership and education to our colleagues from low- to upper middle-income countries based on World Bank classification.

Thanks to the efforts of both the Program and International Committees, the 2019 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer March 16-19 in Honolulu will celebrate SGO’s 50 years of eradicating gyn cancer and “take it global” by hosting over 400 (and counting!) non-US-based attendees. The meeting will feature educational sessions focused on international clinical trials, clinical research and global challenges in gyn cancer care delivery. It is my distinct honor to welcome our Presidential Invited Guest Lecturer, Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PhD, Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in Kigali, Rwanda, who will discuss “The role of social capital in the response to cervical cancer.” Her address on March 16 will be immediately followed by the ABOG Lecturer, Groesbeck Parham, MD, Director of the African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control in Lusaka, Zambia, discussing “The creative disruption of the cervical cancer prevention status quo in an African nation: Lessons in international leadership.” In addition to an outstanding educational program, the Annual Meeting will feature many opportunities for networking and family-friendly celebration.

Thank you for the honor to serve this year. Please contact me at carol.brown@sgo.org with comments, questions and your suggestions for how SGO can better serve its members and women affected by cancer. I look forward to seeing many of you in Honolulu for our 50th anniversary celebration and to continuing to work with you in our collective effort to eradicate gyn cancer.

Best,

Carol L. Brown, MD
SGO President
carol.brown@sgo.org