The Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society (NNECOS) is a tristate regional affiliate of ASCO serving oncology practices within Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. A long-time supporter of Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, and its Young Investigator Award (YIA) program, NNECOS expanded its generous support this year to include a 2019 International Development and Education Award (IDEA) and three Merit Awards for fellows located in northern New England. NNECOS also recently joined the Conquer Cancer Corporate Conquerors Circle, a membership group of foundations, nonprofits, and corporate stakeholders working together to improve the quality of cancer care.
“Inspired by the generous support of current and past NNECOS leaders, the Board of Directors is delighted to expand the society’s support of these initiatives and help raise awareness within our region of the importance of supporting the work of the Foundation both in Northern New England and internationally,” said Paul S. Unger, MD, FACP, NNECOS President.
The IDEA provides support for early-career oncologists in low- and middle-income countries and facilitates the sharing of knowledge between these oncologists and ASCO members. The program pairs IDEA recipients with a leading ASCO member mentor; enables recipients to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting; participate in a post-Meeting visit to their Mentor’s institution; and develop long-term relationships to improve cancer care in their countries. Merit Awards honor fellows and oncology trainees whose research is addressed in high-quality abstracts submitted to an ASCO meeting and recognized for scientific merit.
The 2019 IDEA recipient supported by NNECOS is Marcella Marinelli Salvadori, MD, of Clinica AMO-Assistencia Multidisciplinar em Oncologica, Brazil. Her mentor is NNECOS member Tom Openshaw, MD, of Northern Light Cancer Institute in Brewer, Maine.
More About NNECOS
NNECOS has more than 600 members including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, physical therapists, students, and emeritus members who are dedicated to assuring the availability of and access to high-quality oncology care in the tristate region. Key programs include two annual educational meetings and funding for research grants, student-led project grants, and educational program grants.
Much of northern New England is rural, with some populations facing issues like access to care, poverty, and underinsurance. Some states struggle with ensuring access to appropriate pain medications for patients with cancer. Additionally, more remote clinics have less access to current oncologic educational content in their own venue.
NNECOS addresses these challenges by focusing on shared solutions that its members or national programs have implemented to improve financial advocacy, palliative care services, and local education. The NNECOS Annual Meeting and Palliative Care Symposium—to be held on October 18–19 at Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine—is an opportunity for the membership to share insights and best practices. As its membership grows, NNECOS seeks to further integrate fellows into the organization by involving them in leadership opportunities such as the Board of Directors, adding them to planning groups for its Annual Meeting, and inviting them to give research presentations to other fellows and meeting attendees.
NNECOS chose to expand its generous support—above and beyond the organization’s annual contribution to the State Affiliate Council/Clinical Practice Committee jointly-funded YIA—to increase its impact regionally and internationally. Several NNECOS members and leaders have sought to make an impact personally through global mission trips to countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, and Rwanda.
“Conquer Cancer is honored that NNECOS has chosen to support a 2019 IDEA for an early-career oncologist from a low- or middle-income country and three Merit Awards for oncology trainees in northern New England,” said Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, Conquer Cancer Chief Philanthropic Officer. “We appreciate this generous support that has the potential to improve cancer care regionally and internationally.” ■
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