I'm looking for

All News

Presidential Matters: S. Diane Yamada, MD

Presidential Matters
Sep 4, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that all of you had the opportunity to take some time for yourselves and your families during the summer months. Since I last wrote, we have vaccinated our children and taken the necessary steps to keep our patients, families and colleagues safe. However, many of us, myself included, have experienced a roller coaster of emotions as the COVID-19 pandemic abated, resurged and evolved into a more prolonged period of uncertainty. Our important work continues regardless of these difficult circumstances, as new and current patients and our colleagues depend upon our expertise to optimally prevent and treat gynecologic cancers.

So instead of focusing on what we can’t do, we must choose to concentrate on what we can do—and it is quite a lot.

In September, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC)—the official foundation of the SGO—have a number of important outreach activities that will bring attention to gynecologic cancers. September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM) and the FWC website has a number of downloadable graphics to share on your social media platforms. GCAM is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the cancers we treat, in the hope that our patients will come to us at the earliest possible stage.

The culmination of the GCAM campaign will be Move4Her, a one-hour virtual exercise event on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 12:00 p.m. CT. If you have yet to sign up for this event—do it now! Form or join a team at your institution and tune in to watch fellow SGO member Ebony Hoskins, MD, emcee this exciting event. GCAM will conclude with the kickoff of the national #MoveTheMessage dissemination campaign, a community-based program designed to encourage high-risk women, especially in marginalized communities, to take preventive action and provide them with access to newly updated, patient-friendly education materials.

Later this month, our SGO Congressional Ambassadors will be meeting with members of Congress and their staff as part of the SGO Virtual Fly-in Day. They will be focused on continuing to increase funding for the Ovarian Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense by $10 million, to a total of $45 million for FY 2022. Past efforts by SGO have been successful in increasing funding for this program. Our ambassadors and advocates will also be asking for increased funding for gynecologic cancer research at the National Cancer Institute and inclusion of Endometrial cancer in the Congressionally-Directed Peer Reviewed Cancer Program at the Department of Defense. Gaining more co-sponsors for legislation that seeks to address resources needed to accelerate prevention, screening, and early detection of gynecologic cancers will be on their agenda. Finally, they will discuss stopping reductions of as much as 10% to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for CY 2022.

Continued pressure to ensure adequate research funding is crucial because critical advances in gynecologic cancer outcomes arise based on clinical trials. Support of the science that is the foundation for this research must continue despite this pandemic.

Our members will always need a forum to present their research, network, and share best practices, so I can assure you that SGO will continue to provide the same top-tier education you have come to expect from our Society, whether it involves an in-person or virtual format. On-demand content from SGO meetings, webinars and other downloadable resources is available through our SGO ConnectEd e-learning platform, which was updated and relaunched over the summer.

SGO also plans to move forward with the Allied Health Professionals Meeting on Oct. 8-10, 2021, as a hybrid meeting with a live component in Chicago, IL. The SGO Winter Meeting is expected to return Jan. 27-29, 2022, in Olympic Valley, CA after a one-year hiatus. Furthermore, the SGO 2022 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is planned for March 19-22, 2022, in Phoenix, AZ as a hybrid meeting with a robust virtual component.

No matter how you choose to participate in the SGO 2022 Annual Meeting, you will receive high-quality, accredited education. Our Annual Meeting Program Committee led by Amanda Nickles Fader, MD, and Sarah Adams, MD, have been working diligently to craft an education program based around the theme, “Building bridges and breaking down barriers,” that will be valuable to researchers, practitioners, and, ultimately, the patients we serve.

As we look forward to the future and an SGO that is inclusive and representative of our members around the globe, I want to encourage you to look around and look internally to consider nominating yourself or someone else for Treasurer-Elect, President Elect II or a position on the Board of Directors. We are looking for committed members who can bring different perspectives and energy to our newly designated positions for a community-based practice, early career, and associate member. Please think about joining our webinar, sponsored by the FWC Leadership Institute, on Sept. 30, 2021, to learn more about these positions and pathways to leadership.

We will not retreat from our commitment to all persons who have been impacted by gynecologic cancers. In the face of uncertainty, I am confident that together we will prevail and find a meaningful path forward as a diverse and inclusive team dedicated to the equitable prevention and treatment of gynecologic cancers. SGO member Joan Cheng, MD, embodies this determination as she has found ways to continue care for her patients receiving chemotherapy in the midst of a power outage at her hospital in New Orleans due to Hurricane Ida. I want to sincerely thank Ginger Gardner, MD, FWC Chair, the SGO and FWC Board of Directors, the volunteer committee chairs and members and the professional staff who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes, often with limited recognition, for all their work. As we move forward together, Pierre Désy, MPH, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of SGO and FWC, and I welcome your comments and suggestions. You may reach me at diane.yamada@sgo.org.

Stay well and have a safe and wonderful Labor Day holiday.


S. Diane Yamada, MD
SGO President