Presidential Matters: David Cohn, MD, MBA
In his first Presidential Matters address to the membership of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), 2020 – 2021 SGO President David E. Cohn, MD, MBA, addresses current challenges, recent achievements and future opportunities for the Society, as well as the importance of patient resources from the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.
Hello, and thank you for your time today. As the 52nd president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, I am honored to represent all of you and our subspecialty during the months to come. These are challenging times for health care practitioners and our nation as a whole.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and confirmed glaring healthcare disparities in our most vulnerable populations, with these systemic health inequities impacting our gynecologic oncology patients, caregivers and providers. I am personally horrified by the continued police violence against our black community and the individual and systemic racism that exists in our country. In our commitment to the health and well-being of our patients, our members and our staff, we must face head on the disparities and inequities based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socio-economic status. I want to reiterate SGO’s commitment against racism and to the value of diversity and inclusion. There is much work to be done, and we can all play a role in bringing about positive change.
By being the trusted source for education and information related to gynecologic cancers, SGO’s leadership is acutely aware of the responsibility we have to our members and our patients. Gynecologic cancer patients rely on the Foundation for Women’s Cancer to provide the most up-to-date, accurate information about their diagnosis. This includes educational resources like brochures, webinars—and in the not too distant future—a return to our gynecologic cancer education courses for survivors and caregivers.
For our SGO members, we realize that scientific meetings are a critical benefit for delivering education and networking opportunities. Clearly, it was an unprecedented but necessary move to cancel the SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer earlier this year. Together with SGO Immediate Past President Dr. Warner Huh, our scientific program co-chairs Dr. Katy Moore and Dr. Kenny Kim worked with SGO’s staff to transform the Toronto meeting into a fabulous series of live webinars that are currently available on demand.
The success of our virtual Annual Meeting gives us the opportunity to explore even more e-learning possibilities going forward. While the remainder of our SGO 2020 live events are all being transitioned to a virtual platform, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it applies to the SGO 2021 meetings, including the February Winter Meeting and March Annual Meeting. We must prepare for the likelihood that these planned live events will require an e-learning component, and we must be prepared for the reality that we may need to again conduct these meetings fully virtually. Either way, we are prepared to provide the excellent education that you have come to expect from the SGO that provides value to your patients and your practices.
Another thing that longtime members have come to rely on for their departments and institutions is the SGO practice survey. Every five years we make an assessment of the gynecologic cancer subspecialty. The data collected gives us a baseline for many issues that members care about, so our SGO committees can make improvements that will enhance our practice environments and ultimately benefit our patients.
I hope you will join us for the upcoming Member Forum webinar. Called “The Big Reveal: 2020 State of the Society Survey”, this webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 25, at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. Details about the webinar and a registration link have been sent via email and included in SGO Issues and Women’s Cancer News. I look forward to hearing members Dr. Barbara Goff and Dr. David Kushner discuss how the top findings from the survey translate into valuable practice implications.
In addition to the practice survey, SGO leadership understands that having easy access to gynecologic cancer resources is an important membership benefit. Last week we launched the new SGO.org website with a sleek and modern design. The new website is much easier to navigate and loaded with resources you can search through by type and topic.
As an SGO member, you can use the same credentials to access tools such as the member directory, SGO ConnectEd, Career Center, and the Gynecologic Oncology journal.
It is safe to say that all of us will remember the events of 2020 for years to come. While our eyes have been opened to a new reality, we can also identify new possibilities. That is why I am optimistic about the future of our profession and the future of the SGO. I am honored to serve you and look forward to the journey during this year. Thank you, everyone, and be well.