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IGCS Members and Friends,

We are incredibly proud of these newly trained gynecologic oncology professionals and grateful to the international mentors and local faculty who worked so hard to implement the curriculum. This program is directly aligned with the IGCS Global Health Equity Statement by supporting the training of gynecologic cancer specialists in disparate areas of the world. The Global Curriculum is meant to serve as a capacity-building initiative, investing in the effectiveness and future sustainability of each individual training program.

The Global Curriculum was established in 2017 under the leadership of then-President, Michael Quinn. It is a comprehensive two-year education and training program designed for regions around the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology. Click here to learn more about the program. Dr. Quinn had this to say, “An outstanding achievement during these difficult times. Many congratulations to the graduates and to all those involved in their teaching and assessment programs.’

The IGCS fellows are the future leaders and champions of women’s health in their regions. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death for women in low-resource settings and women in these regions are often diagnosed in advanced stages when it is difficult to treat. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 released a global call for action towards the elimination of cervical cancer as a global public health problem. The goals of the call to action include HPV vaccination, screening and treatment of pre-cancer, early detection and prompt treatment of early invasive cancers and palliative care, when a cure is not possible.

With the support and weight of the IGCS behind them, these IGCS Fellows have the training and ambition to make a huge impact to reduce the burden of cervical cancer at the local level. Their training not only provides the skills to manage comprehensive patient care, but to encourage changes in health policies and collect data for their local governments to advocate for screening and vaccination programs. IGCS is committed to engage these graduates, support their professional development, and see them become the future leaders of our society.

Want to get involved or learn more?
We are always looking for volunteer leaders of all disciplines to support our mentorship and training programs. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or contributing to our virtual tumor boards, please contact Susan Ralph at susan.ralph@igcs.org. Learn more about IGCS’s mentorship and training initiatives on the next episode of Conversations with Coleman, a Presidential Web Series. The date will be announced soon.

Please join us in congratulating them on their achievement!

Sincerely,

Kathleen Schmeler, MD
IGCS Mentorship & Training Committee Chair

Joseph Ng, MD
IGCS Mentorship & Training Committee Vice Chair

Dr. Bethel Dereje
St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Ethiopia
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“I would like to pass my gratitude to all the IGCS team who supported the global program from inception to this date. Your determination has brought a change in the care of gynecologic cancer in the developing world. My heart felt gratitude goes to my mentors Carolyn Johnston and Rahel Ghebre for their unwavering support and commitment to strengthen our program.”

Dr. Dawit Worku
Black Lion Hospital, Ethiopia
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“It is an honor and privilege to be part of the IGCS fellowship program. I would like to thank my mentors and the IGCS team who have been instrumental for this program. I am looking forward to continued collaboration in fight against gynecologic cancer. Thank you!”

Dr. Eric Estrada
Hospital General San Juan de Dios, Guatemala
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“I have no words to describe the feeling at this moment. Thrilled, excited and happy but definitely committed more than ever to continue toward improving Women’s Health in my country. Thank you to each one of you who took the time to teach me and open the doors to improve my life and the ones who will benefit from this gained knowledge that I have. I want to thank Julio Lau and Rene Pareja for all the effort and time they spend with me during my training and also my family who joined me in this journey.”

Dr. Quynh Tran
Da Nang Oncology Hospital, Vietnam
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“Thank you for always believing and supporting me, mentors. Thank you the IGCS staff. I am so honored and thankful to be a fellow of IGCS. You raise me up to more than I can be.”

Saujanya Karmacharya
Civil Service Hospital Nepal
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“Joining IGCS Fellowship program was a great turning point in my life. It has made me realize that a dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work. I am honored to be first trained fellow of IGCS in whole South East Asia. This fellowship has enriched my knowledge and skills in gynecologic oncology. It has changed my thoughts and approach while managing gynecologic cancer patients. It has taught me to work in a team, respect each other’s opinion for a common cause and how team effort helps to benefit in patient management.

I extend my sincere gratitude to my local mentor Dr Jitendra Pariyar, International mentors Dr. Asima Mukhopadhaya (U.K) and Dr. Linus Chuang (U.S) who have put so much effort and time to impart us with knowledge and skills during fellowship training. I am grateful to Prof. Kathleen Schmeler, Dr. Thomas Randall, Dr. Joseph Ng, Mary Eiken, and Susan Ralph – IGCS leadership team for extensive support required during program. I am beholden by the hospitality and experiences shared by Consultants, fellow colleagues and staffs of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, U.K and TATA Medical Center, Kolkata, India during my international site posting. I will always cherish the moment shared with our Multidisciplinary team of Civil Service Hospital, Nepal, national and International faculties during discussions/ tumor boards regarding management of cancer patients. The bond we share will always remain for welfare of gynecologic cancer patients. I would like to thank all departments of Civil Service Hospital, Clinical Oncology department of (National Academy of Medical Science) Bir Hospital, Kathmandu Cancer Center and National Cancer hospital for their support and encouragement for the fellowship program. In every step of my life, I praise my family for being my backbone. In addition, I am grateful to all patients for their trust and faith in us and also teaching us to never lose hope in life, just keep on believing.

I am excited to set up gynecologic oncology services at large for welfare of women’s health with your guidance and support. I am planning to implement cancer prevention strategies, improve the capacity to make accurate cancer diagnosis, enhance provision of treatment (including palliative care) and research.”

 

Sentiments of Congratulations from the Mentors and Supervisors

ETHIOPIA
Dr. Rahel Ghebre – International Mentor for Drs. Bethel Dereje and Dawit Worku
“I am honored to officially welcome Drs. Bethel Dereje and Dawit Kassa into this great profession of gynecologic oncology. I have witnessed their dedication and fortitude in the daily struggle to care for the many women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers in Ethiopia; providing cancer care in a limited resource setting requires knowledge, skill, and courage. The IGCS global fellowship program provided them the opportunity for training and the credit goes to both graduating fellows and their local mentors for successfully completing the program. I thank them and our colleagues in Ethiopia for the honor to be part of their training.”

Dr. Carolyn Johnston- International Mentor for Drs. Bethel Dereje and Dawit Worku
“I am humbled and pleased to have been a part of Bethel’s and Dawit’s IGCS gynecologic oncology fellowship training. Their energy and enthusiasm for knowledge and skill acquisition is fun. The women of Ethiopia are fortunate to have their help. Congratulations to them and their local mentors for their successes.”

GUATEMALA
Dr. Rene Pareja – International Mentor for Dr. Erick Estrada
“Congrats Erick! Thank you so much to those that made this possible. IGCS administrative staff, Susan, Tom, Al, Kathleen, Linus, Mary, Julio, end the rest of the team that everyday work so hard in order to improve the quality of care we give to underserved women. I am really proud on being part of Global Curriculum. Happy to belong to IGCS Family!!”

Dr. Julio Lau de la Vega – Local Mentor for Dr. Erick Estrada
“Since I met Erick as a medical student, he has been an example of dedication and perseverance. He is a model for the next generation of gynecologist. I so proud that he completed the IGCS gynecologic oncology program, he will be a leader in my country against women’s cancer.”

VIETNAM

Dr. Tri Dinh (USA) – International Mentor for Dr. Quynh Tran
“Quynh is now the first graduate of the only gyn oncology fellowship in SE Asia. This is the culmination of 3 years of hard work on Quynh’s part and dedication on the part of her mentors (both inside and outside of Vietnam), the IGCS staff, and all the participants on the Da Nang tumor board. My thanks to all of you and I am grateful to Quynh to take on this great journey with us. This coming weekend is the Lunar New Year or “Tet” in Vietnam. This is a great present for us all.”

Dr. Tu Quy Tran – local Mentor for Dr. Quynh Tran
“On behalf of our hospital, I would like to say Thank you to all members of IGCS that gives us the opportunities to enhance our practical’s on gynecologic oncology. Also, we are thankful to Drs. Linda, Tri and Joe who always support and teach Quynh how to do the right things in her journey. Hopefully, we can continue this training program in the future with Ngoc and other fellows in Danang as strong as we expected.”

Dr. Joseph Ng -International Mentor for Dr. Quynh Tran
“Dr Quynh TRAN was the very first fellow in the IGCS Global Curriculum in Gyn Oncology Training program. The program itself was part of a pilot of 5 global sites and the only one in Asia when we started Dr TRAN’s training journey. Personally, reflecting on this momentous occasion of the successful graduation of the IGCS Global Curriculum at Danang’s first fellow and now newly minted global Gynecologic oncologist, I am struck by how interconnected all of us are. We are connected by our humanity, by our need to salve hurt in sickness, by our hope in effort, by our need to strive to do better. I am also reminded of just how Quynh embodies all these humane qualities and how the program has helped her develop these qualities in the service of the women living with cancer in Central Vietnam.”

NEPAL
Dr. Linus Chuang – International Mentor for Dr. Saujanya Karmacharya
“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Pariya and Mukhopadhyay mentoring Dr. Karmacharya throughout her two years of training. It is great to witness her blossoming into a trained gynecologic oncologist.”

Dr. Jitendra Pariyar -Local Mentor for Dr. Saujanya Karmacharya
Huge congratulations to Dr. Saujanya on her achievement: successful completion of the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship as the first fellow from Nepal. It is indeed a happy and a moment of pride for all of us. On behalf of Nepal Site, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Asima and Prof. Linus for their mentorship and guardianship to us all. Their kind guidance, support and dedicated teachings to our fellows are reflected in our fellows’ performance and Dr. Saujanya’s present result. Thank you Prof. Kathleen, Dr. Thomas, Dr. Joseph – IGCS leadership team for offering the much needed gynecologic oncology fellowship program to Nepal. The program aimed to to provide training opportunities in gynecologic oncology has also helped in upgrading our oncology services. With your continuous support we wish to carry on program for better service of the needy women suffering from gynecologic cancers as envisioned by IGCS. Thank you Susan and Mary for your support and assistance. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all the national and international faculties for their support and valuable contribution to our program and training of our fellows!

Dr. Asima Mukhopadhyay – International Mentor for Dr. Saujanya Karmacharya
“I am very proud to be associated with this great education program initiative. Congratulations to Saujanya and local mentor Jitendra and the entire Nepal team for excelling in their effort to make this a success. I sincerely hope that IGCS training curriculum can be followed in many other regional cancer centres where formal training program for Gyn Oncology is not established.”