Our annual scientific meeting is the premier CARO event that brings the Canadian radiation oncology community together every year. However, CARO is involved in much more than just organizing the successful annual meeting and the role of this report is to summarize our year as an organization.
This year, we have continued our work on several important projects and initiatives, that you will be hearing about at the AGM from the individuals who are most closely involved with them, namely leadership and involvement in the Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy (CPQR), the CARO Manpower survey, the Wait Time alliance, and the ongoing CARO-ESTRO collaborations, amongst others.
In addition, as you all know, we have spent considerable time and energy on creating a new Strategic Plan, through membership survey that was conducted early in the year, followed by a Strategic Planning workshop in April, followed by the drafting of the plan which has been unveiled at this meeting. Our new Vision is CARO: Care, Quality, Cure. Our new Mission is to promote timely access to high quality radiation therapy by Professional training and development, public education, advocacy to governments and other funding organizations and interdisciplinary collaboration. Our four strategic goals are Education, Advocacy and Promotion, Access and Quality and Scholarly Activities. CARO committees and working groups have been asked to align their activities behind one or more of these goals and work towards them. I hope you can all become involved in helping CARO fulfill its mission, and the goals.
CARO is one of the participating organizations of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and as such, we participated in the World Cancer Congress, which was held a few weeks ago in Montreal. We were among several Canadian cancer organizations who had a booth, to promote the role of radiation oncology and of CARO. I am particularly grateful to Dr David Roberge who organized volunteers to staff the booth and I am proud that we represented our profession well.
Another important activity has been strengthening our membership. Dr Naseer Ahmed is the chair of our membership committee and is looking at how to ensure that all radiation oncologists are involved and represented by CARO. In the survey of CARO members, you strongly endorsed the valuable role of CARO and its ASM and the academic, practical and social aspects of our meeting – something that goes beyond what ASTRO, ESTRO or the myriad other meetings can provide. Yet we know that a number of CARO members don’t attend, and that some Canadian radiation oncologists are not CARO members. We will be liaising with heads of departments to further promote both membership in CARO and attendance at CARO meeting. We would love to hear from non-members what are the reasons they didn’t join our Association and how can we engage them better.
We are very fortunate to have an active and very engaged cadre of residents and fellows, who have been ably represented by their past two Board members, Alex Louie, and this year Jeff Cao, who will be continuing for another year. The trainees and our early career colleagues are our future, and their concerns, including job availability, are of utmost concern to us as an association. We must work together to assure that the current economical climate doesn’t disadvantage our junior members.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work and effort of all of the ASM committee, ably led by Dr Christina Parsons, all of the CARO board members, and particularly our outgoing Secretary/Treasurer Dr John Kim who has devoted countless hours to CARO over the past three years, our dedicated staff at RCAM, namely Shelley Murdock and Jessica Seguin, both of which have recently moved to new responsibilities at RCAM but are being replaced by a new team, Susan Dallin O’Grady who is our Association Manager and Patricia Bullis, Administrative Assistant.
Please enjoy CARO 2012 and Ottawa, and get involved in CARO.