SIGs to ONS Communities

2016 is a year of big change for ONS. One of those big changes is refocusing our special interest groups (SIGs) to better meet the needs of our members. Since 1989, ONS SIGs have embodied sharing ideas and information related to oncology nursing, health care, research, and more in an effort to bring like-minded members together in a community. The heart and soul of SIGs are their many members who actively engage on myriad topics. Without their participation and hard work, these communities wouldn’t be what they are today.  

With a focus on involvement and engagement, SIGs have always evolved and changed to keep up with their members’ needs. To fit the needs of their current and future members, efforts have been taken to streamline communication, making it easier and more efficient to engage with like-minded colleagues in a shared space. As such, ONS will be transitioning SIGs to ONS Communities in 2016. This serves to actively provide each and every member an easier, more engaging way to share information, ideas, and thoughts through online interaction while lessening certain organizational requirements.

Many details will be worked out over the coming weeks and months. “As far as a timetable goes, this will be an evolving process throughout the year,” said Brian Theil, ONS director of membership. “There is no start or stop date planned.” This change will facilitate member-to-member engagement while fostering interactive communities developed around a number of topics, creating solutions to existing problems, and working together.

A few points to remember:

  • ONS Communities will still have coordinators, much like the current SIGs. However, by loosening the structural requirements, this coordinator will no longer be an elected position. He or she will be the point of contact for subteams and will work to ensure that the community’s efforts are being maintained. 
  • SIG topics are likely to change, but that’s simply a form of evolution at this point. Many of the SIG topics were decided when they were first formed over 25 years ago. The oncology profession has come a long way since then, and it only makes sense that ONS Communities will refocus their attentions on current topics, member needs, and emerging trends. 
  • The timeline for implementing this change will continue to evolve over the coming weeks and months. This transition isn’t a rushed decision, and new infrastructure will be implemented before the change takes place to ensure that the transition is seamless and successful. 

“In April at Congress, we plan to conduct platform demos for the new ONS Communities,” Theil said. “That way we can get feedback from our members.” ONS is excited about this transition, and we hope you are too. If you have any lingering questions about the change from SIGs to ONS Communities, feel free to reach out to customer service or, if you’re in a SIG, your current SIG leader.