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SGO Unveils Leadership Institute

Member Update
Apr 14, 2021

During the Member Forum session at the SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer last month, SGO President Diane Yamada, MD, introduced the SGO Leadership Institute. This is a curriculum presented by the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC) and developed for members to connect and inspire past, current and future SGO leaders. The goals of the Leadership Institute are to create a sustained, integrated and seamless curriculum for leadership training for SGO members; create a pipeline for future leaders who are representative of the Society’s diverse membership; and generate a stronger case for existing and future donors to invest in the membership.

“We have so many members who have leadership knowledge to impart or have the potential to become great leaders within our organization and beyond,” said Dr. Yamada. “In creating the Leadership Institute, we wanted to generate sustained and integrated programming that would enhance leadership skills for our members and create a pipeline for future leaders to make significant contributions to our field and the care of our patients.

Dr. Yamada serves as chair of the Leadership Institute task force, which includes SGO Past Presidents Warner Huh, MD and Laurel Rice, MD; SGO President Elect II Angeles Alvarez Secord, FWC Chair Ginger Gardner, MD; FWC Board Member Monica Jones, MD; Anuja Jhingran, MD; Amanika Kumar, MD; Kristin Zorn, MD; Christina Washington, MD; Bethany Kenny, APRN, CNP and Deborah Armstrong, MD.

“The impetus for creating the Leadership Institute is to allow members who are interested in leadership roles, but don’t know how to start, to have access to the inner workings of various committees,” explained Dr. Washington. “Other goals are to educate members on different leadership roles that can be pursued both within SGO as well as in their institutions.”

Upcoming Leadership Institute initiatives will include a series of webinars, leadership chats, and newsletter articles. SGO Members who are fewer than seven years out from their terminal training are invited to apply to become an SGO Committee Observer by the May 1 deadline. Nine applicants will be chosen by lottery and placed in groups of three to observe operations of three SGO committees throughout the 2021 volunteer year.

“We encourage members from all avenues of the health care team and, in particular, from diverse backgrounds, to apply for these positions,” said Dr. Yamada. “Some of the programs focused on leadership partnership and team building will be incorporated into existing committee involvement.”

Kenny explained how the SGO Leadership Institute serves an interdisciplinary platform fostering collaborative leadership that transcends professional roles.

“The SGO Leadership Institute involves opportunities for advanced practice providers (APP) interested in developing their individual leadership abilities and operationalizing leadership role(s) within their local practice setting,” she said. “More specifically, it includes content focused on successfully integrating an APP into gynecologic oncology practice while optimizing their scope of practice, navigating difficult conversations, and identifying pathways to leadership as an APP.”

Dr. Gardner explained the importance of having the Foundation collaborate on this initiative.

“The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is dedicated to advancing the field of gynecologic oncology for both patients and providers,” said Dr. Gardner. “The FWC is proud to collaborate and sponsor the Leadership Institute for the benefit of SGO members. Without doubt, the opportunities for professional growth continue well past fellowship, and the numerous offerings will be valuable for many.”

“Leadership is a choice and takes many forms,” said Dr. Yamada. “When you make a choice to create a better future, you are choosing to lead and anyone can do this at any time. In establishing the Leadership Institute with its focus on developing a pipeline of diverse leaders, we are making a case for investment in our future.”