As the largest organization dedicated to the global interests of the gynecologic oncology community, IGCS advocates for our members and the specialty in many ways. We advocate for the improvement and standardization of training through our Global Curriculum Program and opportunities in our mentorship programs. We are advocating for our members’ education with increased learning opportunities. The decision to move to an annual meeting allows us to bring the meeting to new regions of the globe and provides IGCS members the opportunity come together on a more regular basis to network and learn with their international colleagues.
We believe parallel and equally important to these advocacy activities is the opportunity to work with patient survivors, caregivers and others interested in making a difference for women diagnosed with gynecologic malignancies. There is a wealth of excellent gynecologic oncology patient education from a variety of resources and organizations. Over time, we hope to enhance our website with information and links to many of these outstanding resources.
The Council has decided that IGCS will begin conducting regional advocacy initiatives centering around the theme of “empowerment.” We can best begin to achieve our goals through our annual Global Meeting efforts as we move from region to region each year.
We are pleased to announce an incredible addition to the IGCS team, Ms. Mary (Dicey) Jackson Scroggins who will lead IGCS’s patient advocacy and community outreach efforts as the Society’s first Director of Global Outreach and Engagement. Dicey is a 22-year ovarian cancer survivor and women’s health activist with extensive relationships throughout cancer advocacy and research communities.
The recipient of the 2016 AACR Distinguished Public Service Award, Dicey is a member of the AACR Minorities in Cancer Research Council; the Leadership Committee for MD Anderson Cancer Center’s “Women’s Cancer Moon Shots Program”; NCI’s Investigational Drug Steering Committee and its Patient Advocate Steering Committee; and NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute, Partnership for Community Outreach and Engagement in Genomics. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the GOG Foundation and the NRG Oncology Foundation and a chair of the NRG Patient Advocate Committee and of the Advocate Advisory Board of a DoD-funded Consortium for Long-Term Ovarian Cancer Survival.
Dicey is also a founding partner in Pinkie Hugs, LLC (a mother-daughter writing and film production firm specializing in social justice–focused documentaries) and a co-founder of In My Sister’s Care, an organization focused on improving gynecologic cancer awareness and care for medically underserved women and on eliminating health disparities. Her activism is driven by a commitment to global health equity.
Recently, she served on the Planning Group for advocacy activities for the 2018 IGCS Biennial Meeting in Kyoto, developing a comprehensive agenda for the Eriko Aotani Patient-Caregiver Symposium, and participated in the Sunrise Run/Walk in conjunction with the Globe-athon to End Women’s Cancers.
IGCS’s Plans for Global Outreach & Empowering Women
Dicey will work on behalf of the IGCS to establish and maintain relationships with international gynecologic cancer advocacy communities primarily through our Annual Global Meetings as we move from region to region.
As IGCS continues to grow and increase its global reach it is essential we begin to develop relationships with women and help them to advocate for women’s health in the regions. Our goal is to empower women, caregivers, and others interested in making a difference with tools and resources to increase their health care autonomy and enable them to act on the specific needs within their region. These needs might include screening and vaccination, access to better care and actual care delivery, funding and support for clinical trials, and research.
As we plan each Global Meeting, we will network with local grassroots advocates; advocacy, community, and physician thought leaders; regional strategic alliance partners; and other similar organizations to become familiar with the region and its current advocacy and community efforts and needs. We welcome the opportunity to cultivate and build relationships with women and families from these regions and to learn about the obstacles in their health care environments while sharing our patient advocacy mission, resources, and expertise to empower them to make needed changes in the region.
Before each Global Meetings, we will have established a strong network of survivors, caregivers, and others who will attend our “Empowering Women” course themed around key challenges and concepts learned during the cultivating phase and tailored to help participants become more effective advocates.
In Dicey’s own words, “The health of women forecasts the health, strength, and resilience of communities, and I look forward to the opportunity to assist IGCS in its mission of improving gynecologic cancer care and women’s overall health—thus the health of their communities—through synergistic global outreach and engagement. It will be a privilege to work with women, families, and organizations to assist in empowering All toward informed, effective, meaningful advocacy and in forming and sustaining international networks—alliances for gynecologic health and cancer care. The opportunities are boundless, as is my enthusiasm for this service.”
IGCS has partnered with the Globe-athon to End Women’s Cancers and is working to establish relationships with local Brazilian groups for events to be held during IGCS 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, September 19-21, 2019.
This page will be updated with specific details about our outreach and advocacy efforts when more information is available.