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ADVOCACY

The assessment covers personnel, access to medications, countries. The emphasis of the IDEA programme is on person-

facilities and equipment, policies and systems, registries, and to-person exchange of ideas and support, through the creation

epidemiological data. Beyond these data elements, the of ASCO member mentor-mentee pairs.

emphasis of the site assessment is to listen to the local Once selected through a highly competitive application

partners and learn about their needs and priorities. On the process, each recipient of the IDEA award is carefully matched

basis of this assessment, and working hand-in-hand with these with a senior ASCO member mentor on the basis of shared

partners, the International Cancer Corps establishes a set of clinical and research interests. Recipients of the IDEA award

programme objectives. Care is taken to set objectives that fall attend ASCO’s Annual Meeting and participate in a post-

within the scope of clinical training, are achievable within meeting visit to their mentor’s institution in the USA or

several years, and lead to sustainable change. Canada. They also receive three years of complimentary

The objectives also serve a central role in the screening of ASCO membership, including a subscription to the Journal of

volunteers (so far more than 70 ASCO members have served) Clinical Oncology. The true emphasis, however, is on the

to ensure that they have the right expertise. ASCO and HVO ongoing mentoring relationship after the mentee returns to

aim to place at least five volunteers at each site each year, with their country.

on-site visits lasting between one and four weeks. Upon their There are currently 205 IDEA alumni from over 40

return, each volunteer is expected to report on trip outcomes countries. IDEA alumni have assumed leadership positions on

and to continue to support the programme by sharing ASCO committees, have received fellowships and other

resources and collaborating on projects related to, or resulting research opportunities, and have pursued longer-term

from, their visit. collaborations with their mentors. Past IDEA recipients are

Development objectives for Honduras were defined in the also serving as communication channels and catalysts in their

areas of pathology, palliative care, gynecological cancers, communities of practice. On average, each IDEA alumnus

pediatric hematology-oncology, and oncology training shares the information and new skills they learned with 50

curricula. Working closely with senior Honduran oncologists, colleagues in his/her country. IDEA alumni have helped

volunteers have advanced these objectives through lectures, organize ASCO trainings and other activities in their

surgical demonstrations, rounds, and ad hoc clinical countries, have assumed leadership positions in their local

consultation. Other volunteers are helping with the societies, and have in some instances created oncology

development of a training curriculum, among other projects societies where none existed before.

and activities. Similarly, in Vietnam, volunteers are working The success of the IDEA programme led ASCO and

with host clinicians to address surgical training needs, improve Conquer Cancer Foundation to create the International

palliative care services, and provide training in Development and Education Award in Palliative Care (IDEA-

multidisciplinary management of common tumor types. A PC), which is designed to provide support to oncologists who

particular emphasis in Ethiopia is on the development of a are interested in palliative medicine, and the Long-term

residency programme in clinical oncology, which volunteers International Fellowship (LIFe), which provides early-career

have assisted Ethiopian colleagues in developing. oncologists in LMIC the support and resources needed to

advance their training by deepening their relationship with a

Supporting the next generation of oncology leaders mentor in the USA or Canada. LIFe provides funding to

in LMIC support a one-year Fellowship, where recipients receive

Leadership has been cited as a critical success factor for valuable training and experience, which they will use to effect

5

improving access to cancer care in LMIC . Effective clinical change in cancer care in their home country.

leaders in LMIC can be transformative by supporting the

development of cancer treatments to meet the needs of Conclusion

patients in LMIC, by advocating for national and international From the society’s founding, membership in ASCO has been

anti-cancer policies, and by developing and leading national available to cancer clinicians around the world, with the same

and regional organizations that can advance cancer control in status, privileges, and benefits as American members. In fact,

a localized, sustainable way. ASCO’s first members included physicians from Canada, Spain

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO International and Japan6. Today, a third of ASCO’s members practice outside

Development and Education Award (IDEA) aims to support the USA, as do a majority of the attendees to the ASCO Annual

the development of oncology practice in LMIC by promoting Meeting. With a pace that grows by day, ASCO is working to

the professional development of young oncologists from these use what makes it unique – its members, and the knowledge

CANCER CONTROL 2013 149

Index

  1. CANCER CONTROL 2013
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