Message from Chair of ANZSA - December 2020
On behalf of the ANZSA Board of Directors, I would like to express heartfelt and most sincere recognition and acknowledgement to the sarcoma community and ANZSA members for the amazing, tireless and effective contribution during the past most challenging 12 months.
It has been a year like no other in recent memory and has required us to operate outside our comfort zones. The community has been agile, caring, innovative and highly responsive. Many thanks for all that you do in caring and looking after sarcoma patients.
It was a year in which a true legend in the sarcoma community Professor Martin Tattersall AO died - yet his truly inspirational and world-leading contribution has left a legacy that will serve the sarcoma community well for many years to come. We truly acknowledge this giant in this field and pay our deepest respects to this wonderful leader, mentor, colleague and friend. Read our tribute to Prof Tattersall here.
The year has been extremely productive, notwithstanding the disruptive effects of the pandemic. The 2016-2021 strategic plan is substantially complete with 33 of 34 milestones addressed. Planning for the new strategic plan to commence from mid-2021 is underway and will progress early 2021. It is pleasing to note the increased involvement of members at so many levels.
Two directors, Peter Steadman and Geoff McKinnon, were re-elected to the Board, and we welcome Richard Carey Smith as the chair of the orthopaedic committee and observer to the Board. Congratulations to all and many thanks to the tireless contribution of your hard-working directors.
The Consumer Advisory panel has grown and has eight members and staff involved; the sarcoma guidelines working group has almost 20 members involved, and the Scientific Advisory Committee continues to be highly engaged and active. The ASM Committee was truly effective in delivering a highly successful virtual meeting. The Orthopaedic Committee is contributing to the ISOLS planning already underway for the meeting in 2023.
With over 460 patients recruited to ANZSA studies, quality research remains a key engine for ANZSA with 17 research projects – 10 domestic and seven international driving the research agenda. The research portfolio is enriched further with eight database linkages creating a complete ecosystem of data and science to guide decisions.
Awareness and recognition are growing with effective utilisation of all communication and social medial channels. Sarcoma Awareness Month, sarcoma stories, and sarcoma webinars were held during the year to contribute to raising the profile of sarcoma care in the community. Many thanks to all involved.
Funding continues to be a challenge, though efforts over the past year have nevertheless been admirable in a difficult environment.
In addition to developing a new strategy, 2021 will see the Board involved in investigating a more purposeful investment strategy, developing long term financial plans and seeking to consolidate collaborations across the sector.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to our Chief Executive Officer, Denise Caruso, and the ANZSA staff, all of whom have performed with distinction during the pandemic, working remotely and keeping the work of ANZSA progressing.
Many thanks to fellow directors for the effective, productive and high-quality engagement throughout the year.
I wish all a safe and peaceful festive season, and we all look forward to a brighter 2021.
Read all about our updates in our December 2020 Newsletter.
Adrian Cosenza | Chair of ANZSA