By Tammy McCausland
A year ago, we anticipated a new decade and all its promise. At the end of 2019, there were hints that 2020 would be extraordinary, though not in the way we expected. The news of novel coronavirus cases in Wuhan, China, foreshadowed the pandemic that swept across the globe this year, but it wasn’t until early March that we had full awareness of the havoc COVID-19 would wreak.
This year has been remarkable in many ways. We’ve changed the way we live, work, shop and deliver health care. Telehealth and remote work—advocated by early adopters years before the pandemic—became commonplace. Zoom meetings replaced in-person meetings and telehealth visits became the norm unless in-person visits were necessary. Yes, it’s been stressful—and we need to remember all the COVID-19 casualties—but it’s been remarkable how well we’ve adapted. We’ve all exhibited grace under pressure.
SROA also adapted remarkably well this year. In April, the society shifted from its planned on-site meeting to a virtual event. It was a major undertaking. “I would credit SROA’s biggest achievement with our 2020 first-ever virtual annual meeting. So much work went into planning our annual meeting events, first Miami then the virtual meeting, but we pulled it off successfully!” said Brenda Marie Palo, who served as society president until October. “I am incredibly grateful to our Program Committee members and to PAI Management for all their diligence.”
Palo shared that she experienced growth and learning throughout her tenure as president. “This past year has been so difficult on multiple fronts, yet I feel such an accomplishment in knowing that through it all, our members were there for each other,” she said. “We managed to network and connect in ways that helped us all to share, grow and learn from each other. From navigating new workflows with telehealth services to providing our members with expanded diversity resources, SROA Connect has proven to be a successful platform for continual networking.” Members also had access to other important content, including COVID-19 resources, webinars, SROA Soundboard podcast and the SROA Sidebar blog.
At the time of writing, the Food and Drug Administration has approved two COVID-19 vaccines, and healthcare workers are being vaccinated. There’s renewed hope that the tide can be turned against the pandemic. We don’t know yet know what 2021 will look like, but SROA will continue to serve its members with a wealth of offerings. “Our primary commitment is to continue to develop our new managers and administrators through our successful Mentorship program. We will continue to build our professional network through the SROA Connect,” said Debra Corbin, SROA’s current president. ”We will also provide webinars, podcasts and blog posts about trending issues that inform and educate the challenges our radiation oncology community will face in 2021.”
Next year will be different than this year, but there will be several challenges. Corbin identified four: anticipation of the RO-APM; the re-alignment of strategic proposition, staffing models; procurement of technology; and resources for self-care programs for staff.
SROA’s offices will be closed from December 25 through January 3. SROA will resume regular operations on January 4, 2021. SROA wishes you and yours a safe, healthy and joyous holiday and an inspired, hope-filled and happy new year.
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What about you? What successes can you share from 2020? Let us know in a comment below!