Dear Colleagues,
The IGCS Council recently met in New Orleans and I wanted to share with you the following items of discussion that may be of interest to IGCS members.
  • Committee Reports
The Council received updates from the Education, Publications, Industry Relations, and GO Global Network Committees. The Education Committee is now chaired by Dr. Ritu Salani, with Dr. Ane Gerda Eriksson as Vice Chair. There are seven steering committee members and four work-groups with five leaders covering the topics of gynaecologic oncology (Drs. Don Dizon and Jessica McAlpine), pathology (Dr. Anna Plotkin), palliative care (Dr. Raimundo Correa) and advocacy (Dr. Linda Duska)
The Education Portal has been reorganised by topic: ovarian, cervical, vulvar/vagina, uterine cancers plus global health and management so members can more easily navigate resources.
In the coming months, a “needs assessment” will be developed and sent to all IGCS members so the Education Committee can identify your educational needs.
Progress continues in our Global Curriculum with the initiation of an Examination Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Al Covens with up to 14 members who are putting together the first exam format for our Global Curriculum trainees. Progress!
The GO Global Network went live in early February and over 1,300 members have been included in the network with over 425 members logged in and active. In addition to our original moderators, Drs. Kimmig, Guntapalli, Poon, Manchanda and Arora, we welcome Drs. Bill Hoskins, Paola Gehrig and Shannon Westin who have volunteered to act as additional moderators. Log in today and start networking!
  • Financial Report
Dr. Walter Gotlieb, our Secretary-Treasurer, presented an update of our financial status. We budgeted to have a loss for fiscal year 2017 as we anticipated expansion of our membership with the resultant provision of more services, the addition of staff and an increase in programs, including more Collaborative Meetings, the Young Doctors Summit, the Corporate Roundtable, enhanced web-based education, an Annual Meeting and our Global Teaching and Training Program.
The good news is that we will be budget neutral for 2018, our operating cash remains strong and we have not needed to dip into our reserves despite our increased outreach. We heard from the IGCS investment company during the Council meeting and our reserves continue to outperform the market index.
  • The Strategic Alliance Partnership
This programme has been an outstanding success. Our membership grew from 980 members last May to 2,124 members in March. A great outcome following a lot of hard work! We continue to seek new partners and as I write, and we are in discussion with at least 10 more regions/organizations. The ability of IGCS to expand to new areas of the world positions us as the voice of gynecologic oncology for global issues in regions where their voice has not always been heard. This is surely our mission!
We are also seeking to partner with a number of different societies already established in the world of gynaecological cancer. Watch this space for impending good news!
  • Advocacy
Public awareness has been a part of our original mission since 1987. We realise this is an area than has been neglected and we are glad to announce our current involvement in two initiatives. The first, a fantastic survivors forum in Kyoto and the second, a partnership with Globe-athon which is a movement dedicated to building connections with leaders on every continent to help empower women to talk about gynaecological cancer. Whilst in New Orleans, Mary Eiken and I met with Dr. Larry Maxwell who is the driver behind Globe-athon, an amazing visionary with boundless energy and a huge commitment to public awareness. This will be a great partnership for IGCS!
  • Gender Equality
Of all the issues that are clearly important to a global organisation that aims to improve outcomes for women, we need to ensure that we reflect this sentiment by ensuring that the council and committees are truly international and gender balanced. Our committees now reflect this completely and the council was unanimous of the opinion that we ensure the same for our leadership. It was agreed that by 2022, the IGCS council have equal representation and that our election processes ensure this outcome. I am personally delighted that this is now an IGCS policy.
As I reflect on these past few months, it is ever so clear to me that your council, CEO, committee members, and staff members are working tirelessly to meet the mission of IGCS. On your behalf, I thank them for such an amazing effort to ensure we improve outcomes for our international community of women with gynaecological malignancies.

As ever, please contact me any time at quinnmichaelam@gmail.com.

See you all in Kyoto in September!

Michael Quinn, AM, MGO