ASCO Launches Volunteer Corps

New Initiative Will Open Doors for Increased Opportunities for Member Participation

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ASCO is very fortunate to have an active member base eager to volunteer, share expertise, and give back to the oncology community.

Currently, more than 2,000 volunteers are engaged on ASCO committees, subcommittees, working groups, panels, task forces, editorial boards, and in various training capacities. More than 1,000 additional members have applied to volunteer this year.

It’s a great privilege to see the number of people who want to devote their time to help the Society improve patient care, and the Volunteer Corps is an effort to make those opportunities even greater.
— Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO

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“It’s heartwarming to see the number of people who want to volunteer for this organization. It’s actually one reason I wanted to be President, because it makes me proud,” said ASCO Immediate Past President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO. Dr. Hayes officially announced the formation of the Volunteer Corps as part of his Presidential Address at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.

An abundance of volunteers is a good problem to have, and Dr. Hayes, along with ASCO leadership, sought to find more ways to harness the energy and talent of those who want to serve the Society’s mission.They found the answer in the newly formed ASCO Volunteer Corps.

More Opportunities to Serve

Similar to the framework of ASCO’s existing formal volunteer program, the Volunteer Corps will comprise several groups, each with a distinct purpose and focus. 

Some of these groups will support formal committees—giving new volunteers an opportunity to gain experience for future volunteer opportunities, and allowing committee members whose terms are ending to continue to share their institutional knowledge and mentor a new generation of leaders.

To ensure maximum volunteer support and engagement, Dr. Hayes and ASCO leadership will continue to reach out to committee leaders for input and guidance on how the Volunteer Corps can best serve these committees.

In addition to lending committee assistance, the Volunteer Corps will offer other meaningful and rewarding opportunities, including short-term and virtual assignments that allow for more flexible volunteer time commitments. Although needs and opportunities within the Volunteer Corps will evolve, current programs ripe for participation include: 

  • Writing for ASCO Daily News and ASCO Connection;
  • Recording podcasts for ASCO Daily News;
  • Reviewing manuscripts for ASCO’s journals;
  • Blogging for Cancer.Net and;
  • Developing Expert Perspectives for ASCO’s media outreach;
  • Acting as ASCO social media ambassadors; and
  • Participating in groups such as the Technology Research Group and the Patient Advocate Programs Advisory Group.

“My overall vision for the Volunteer Corps is that it will give everyone who wants to participate a chance to participate,” Dr. Hayes said, a philosophy that dovetails perfectly with his presidential theme, “Making a Difference in Cancer Care WITH YOU.”

“It’s a great privilege to see the number of people who want to devote their time to help the Society improve patient care, and the Volunteer Corps is an effort to make those opportunities even greater,” he said. 

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Originally printed in the 2017 ASCO Daily News; republished with permission. All rights reserved.




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