When I was nominated for President Elect in 2019, I had no idea that last year would provide so many challenges that none of us could imagine. Slightly over a year ago the world shutdown and time seemed to stand still. The challenges we faced with the COVID-19 pandemic were numerous. It made it difficult to have enough food, water and supplies and it impacted our work with layoffs, facilities cutting back hours, furloughing staff without pay, and even to go as far as doing away with Cancer Registry Departments and outsourcing the work. Here at Seton, we have been lucky in that all local Cancer Registry staff that worked some days on-site and remotely, now work full-time remotely from their homes, in addition to out-of-state staff continuing to work remotely.
We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of cancer care and research by disrupting the delivering of cancer treatment and the continuity of cancer research. However, on the positive side, it has also spurred creative solutions to challenges in clinical care as well as in our Cancer Registries.
Through all of this we have learned to adjust. We have accepted our new norm of mask wearing, temperature taking, COVID-19 related questions we must answer, hand washing and sanitizing when we work at the office.
What have I learned from all of this? That we all need human contact, human touch, communication, and a connection to each other. A hug now and again is also super helpful. I have always been a “people” person and energized by being in social settings. This has been very difficult for me and I know for others I have spoken with as well. We need to be available to each other to lean on, support each other, and share encouragement and strength. We all play a vital role in creating positive change.
Last year I really missed having our 2020 TxTRA Educational Conference, as we had to cancel at the last minute.
This year we are hoping to follow NCRA’s lead in holding a virtual State meeting. We are in the planning stages and we will be providing more information in August.
Stay Safe & Stay Well,