Meet Your ONS Leader: Michele E. Gaguski
Get to know Michele E. Gaguski, MSN, RN, AOCN®, NE-BC, APN-C, ONS Leadership Development Committee member from 2019–2022. Michele is the clinical director of medical oncology at Atlanticare Cancer Care Institute in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
Kansas ONS Chapters Advocate for Health Policy With Federal and State Leaders
Over the summer, I coordinated a now all-too-familiar exercise: a Zoom call with multiple ONS Kansas-area chapter members, nurse experts, patient advocates, and elected officials. Spearheaded by the ONS National Office, we hosted an incredibly personal and informative conversation to discuss the COVID-19 coronavirus, how it affects patients with cancer, and the legislative and regulatory environment throughout our state. Our bipartisan, multitiered event brought together oncology nurses from across the state, and, although some political views were different, we united in our commitment to nurses and public health.
ONS Board Closely Monitors Financials to Support Member Programs
At the ONS Board of Directors meeting on September 24–25, 2020, Board members reviewed both the organization’s year-to-date financial and investment performance as part of their stewardship responsibility. They also made plans for a data dashboard to drive decisions and discussed training options for expanding oncology nurses’ voices in the media. Highlights from those discussions follow, and the full minutes from the meeting are available at ons.org/board-minutes.
Nursing Is Science First; It Just Appears Heroic
Science, our reliance on the foundations of epidemiology, and management of a public health crisis have been unprecedented discussion topics this year. We have never had a greater need to rely on data, science, and the evolving understanding of experts about the COVID-19 coronavirus and how to contend with it.
Position Statements and Response Team Support Therapies and Research During Pandemic
Supporting oncology nurses in administering cancer treatments and nurse scientists in conducting research during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic were priority topics for the ONS Board of Directors’ August 25, 2020, meeting by conference call. After approving its board goals for 2020–2021, the ONS Board made the following decisions that you should be aware of as an ONS member and practicing oncology nurse.
Nurses Have the Purpose, Power, and Passion to Make a Difference
As we enter the final few months of 2020, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, I find myself thinking about the theme that we had for our 45th Annual ONS CongressTM: Purpose, Power, Passion. WHO’s intent in designating the year was to elevate nursing globally and showcase the many roles that nurses have in health care. In the United States, Gallop surveys consistently rank nurses as the most trusted profession, but our colleagues in other countries do not have a similar means of recognition.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Marlon Garzo Saria, PhD, RN, FAAN
Get to know Marlon Garzo Saria, PhD, RN, FAAN, ONS Leadership Development Committee member from 2020–2023. Marlon is an oncology clinical nurse specialist at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
ONS Awards Celebrate Excellence in Cancer Care
Exemplary oncology nurses stand behind all of cancer’s treatments, supporting patients through side effects, shouldering their burdens and concerns, and advocating for quality care. Each year with its series of awards, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recognizes just a few of the outstanding oncology professionals who have dedicated their lives to patient care.
How Can ONS Support Members in Today’s Practice Changes?
In response to public health concerns from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government, healthcare institutions, and payors rapidly developed new policies and procedures to address the changing landscape.
We Can’t Touch Each Other, But We Can Still Touch Lives
Since the COVID-19 coronavirus stay-at-home orders were issued in March 2020, the future has been difficult to imagine. National professional meetings, including ONS Congress, graduations, weddings, funerals, and other events that mark the transition from present to future were canceled. Creative, alternative ways to mark a transition to the future are highlighted on social media and the nightly news. Virtual, Zoom, and the new normal are standard verbiage in our conversations.
ONS Director Named Finalist for Pittsburgh’s CIO of the Year
Ryan Conover, the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS’s) director of information services, was a finalistfor the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Year. He and 17 other professionals, across five industry categories, were recognized at a virtual awards gala on July 15. Conover was also a finalist in 2016.
ONS Offers Companies the Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval™ to promote Oncology Nurse and Patient Support Materials
Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has updated its Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval™ program, which provides additional benefits to companies interested in promoting nurse and patient support materials. Companies that submit materials and are approved can prominently display the Oncology Nursing Society Seal of Approval logo on marketing collateral for distribution to nurses and patients.
ONS Board Addresses Members About Racism and Disparities in Cancer Care
At our June 4–5, 2020, meeting, the ONS Board discussed our personal heartbreak and anger over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans by aggressive police activity driven by racism. We also discussed ONS’s role and responsibilities as a member organization.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Kristin Ferguson, DNP, RN, OCN®
Get to know Kristin Ferguson, DNP, RN, OCN®, treasurer on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2021 and director-at-large from 2019–2022. Kristin is the clinical operations manager/nurse manager III at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC.
For 2021, ONS Election Recruitment Goes Virtual, Congress Fees Remain Level
During its April 28, 2020, conference call, the ONS Board of Directors collaborated with the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) to create a virtual recruitment process for candidates in the 2021 election.
Oncology Nursing Society Announces Awardees of Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology
In honor of Oncology Nursing Month, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) announced today the two awardees selected in the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology. The Challenge was designed with the goal of accelerating innovation in improving oncology care, including prevention, early detection, treatment, and care for cancer survivors.
ONS Congress, Chapter Leadership, and Business Meetings Go Virtual
To address travel restrictions from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic while delivering important learning and resources ONS members rely on, during its March conference call the ONS Board of Directors made several decisions to host its meetings and content virtually throughout 2020.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Marty Polovich, PhD, RN
Get to know Martha (Marty) Polovich, PhD, RN, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2022. Marty is a part-time instructor in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Nursing Innovation, Leadership, and Dedication Shine During Pandemic
It now seems providential that the World Health Organization named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife to honor Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. Who could have predicted how the world would rely on nurses to change the course of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic by upholding Nightingale’s leadership and principles of infection control from the 19th century?
Meet Your ONS Leader: Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN®
Get to know Heather Thompson Mackey, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, secretary on the ONS Board of Directors from 2019–2021 and director-at-large from 2018–2021. Heather is the clinical editor in oncology for Elsevier and a nurse practitioner for Novant Health Cancer Prevention and Wellness in Winston-Salem, NC.
Leaders Shape You, and as a Leader, You Influence Others, Too
Because of print production schedules, I prepared this article before the COVID-19 coronavirus arrived in the United States. The message would be different today: As you support your patients during the pandemic, know that ONS cares for you and has resources for you on our website and communities. We appreciate your leadership in providing quality cancer care every day. Thank you for all you do.
ONS Sets Health Policy Agenda for 116th U.S. Congress
During its February 19–22, 2020, quarterly in-person meeting, the ONS Board of Directors established its 2020 health policy agenda, evaluated the Society’s member satisfaction, and collaborated with the Leadership Development Committee for a joint education session, among many other discussions and work.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Anne M. Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP
Get to know Anne M. Ireland, MSN, RN, AOCN®, CENP, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2018–2021. Anne is the executive director for community nursing practice at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA.
ONS Advocates for Patients and Oncology Nursing at White House Briefing on COVID-19
Oncology nurses were represented at a March 18, 2020, White House briefing with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and other members of the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force. Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) chief executive officer, was invited to attend the meeting along with other nursing association leaders to discuss the health and safety of oncology nurses and the patients they care for during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.
Strategic Plan Outlines the What, Why, and How for ONS in 2020–2022
A key responsibility of any board of directors is to set the strategic direction for the organization. Volunteer board leaders determine the what and why of initiatives that will move the organization forward. Staff leaders develop the how statements: goal descriptors, implementation tactics, and measurable outcomes.
Oncology Nursing Specialty Position Defines the Role of the Cancer Nurse
As ONS enters 2020 celebrating both its 45th anniversary and the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse, the ONS Board of Directors is positioning the Society for a tremendous year. For its first meeting on January 28, 2020, the Board discussed a number of items critical to its mission and the future of oncology nursing.
Celebrate Oncology Nurse Leaders During Black History Month
Each year, February marks Black History Month: a time of celebration, recognition, and awareness of the countless accomplishments and achievements of black leaders and trailblazers throughout history. In the oncology nursing community, it’s no different. ONS’s African American leaders have made a lasting difference to patients with cancer and the professional community, paving the way for future generations and championing excellence in oncology nursing.
How We’re Growing Nursing’s Voice in the Health News Media
The Woodhull Study on Nurses and the Media: Health Care’s Invisible Partner showed that nurses were quoted in only 4% of health stories in the news media. In 2018, Mason and team published the Woodhull Study Revisited: Nurses’ Representation in Health News Media 20 Years Later. They found that after two decades, only 2% of health stories in the news media quoted nurses; although not statistically significant, the decrease is still a concern. The 1998 study identified that nurses were just starting to move into positions of authority in healthcare systems, a status that might make them more available for journalists. Yet in 2018, nurses occupied more healthcare leadership positions in diverse sectors but were still not being used as expert sources by journalists. Why?
Meet Your ONS Leader: Julie Painter, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, OCN®
Get to know Julie Painter, MSN, RN, AOCNS®, OCN®, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2017–2020. Julie is a clinical nurse specialist/nurse practitioner at the Community Hospital of Indianapolis in Indiana.
Meet Your ONS Leader: Maggie A. Smith, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN, OCN®
Get to know Maggie A. Smith, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN, OCN®, director-at-large on the ONS Board of Directors from 2017–2020. Maggie is an oncology nurse navigator at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois.
Every Year Is the Year of the Nurse
Celebrations are planned around the globe for 2020 to recognize the impact that nurses make on the health and well-being of our communities. What’s the occasion? The World Health Organization has designated it the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. This exciting year will culminate with the end of the three-year, international Nursing Now! campaign designed to raise the profile and status of nurses worldwide. And we’ll look forward to the release of the new Future of Nursing 2020–2030 consensus study from the National Academy of Medicine that will describe how nurses can help people to get and stay healthy.
Oncology Nursing Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director
For more than 35 years, the Oncology Nursing Foundation has been devoted to supporting cancer nursing excellence. To steward those efforts in the years to come, the Foundation welcomes Anizia Karmazyn as its new executive director. Karmazyn will work with Foundation Board of Trustees, Linda Worrall, RN, MSN, the Foundation’s director of grants and program, and other Foundation staff to Increase support for oncology nursing education, research, and leadership development.
Adaptive Organizations Like ONS Thrive With Innovation and Change
Connection, creativity, and change were just some of the components of the ONS Board of Directors’ third-quarter face-to-face meeting held October 31–November 3, 2019. In addition to their regular agenda, the ONS Board conducted enterprise-wide joint and individual meetings with the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and Oncology Nursing Foundation boards.
Nancy Houlihan Selected as ONS President-Elect
To continue to guide the future path of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and its commitment to innovation, advocacy, and excellence in the nursing profession, the ONS Board of Directors has elected Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Director of Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice, Nancy Houlihan, MA, RN, AOCN®, as the Society’s next president. Houlihan will succeed Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, professor of acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, who concludes her two-year tenure as president on April 29, 2020, at ONS’s 45th Annual Congress in San Antonio, TX.
Nurses Lead From Every Bedside or Chairside
A few weeks ago, a former student who was returning to the Pittsburgh area six years after graduation invited me to lunch. She had completed a master’s degree in the interim and had worked successfully as a nurse practitioner.
ONS Trailblazes in Cancer Care With New Position Statements and Guidelines
Just before ONS kicked off its Fourth Annual Capitol Hill Days, the ONS Board of Directors met face-to-face in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2019. On the agenda were several discussion topics that support and advance ONS as a leader and trailblazer in cancer care, including position statements that convey the Society’s viewpoint on key issues and guidelines that will set the standard of care for symptom management.
To Truly Innovate, We Must Move Beyond the Past
While looking for an image for a presentation, I came across this quote on a picture of a woman whose hands were more than full. It captured the message I was going to be giving. The world of health care, specifically cancer care, continues to evolve rapidly from an array of forces outside of our control. However, in that swirl of change, we have the opportunity to evaluate any resulting barriers or challenges to patient care and to design and implement solutions. To do this, to be creative, to innovate, to problem solve, we may have to let go of things with which we are comfortable but are not of benefit in today’s world.
Membership Dues Will Not Increase for 2020
Using a predetermined formula, the ONS Board of Directors annually evaluates membership dues to ensure the levels will enable the Society to continue to provide ONS members with the high-quality products, services, and resources they need to transform care for patients with cancer. Based on the formula, the Board decided to maintain dues at the 2019 level for 2020.
Leaders Need to Walk the Talk When It Comes to Self-Care, Too
How are you taking care of yourself? It’s a question I’ve asked many team members, including leaders I have had the privilege of serving, over the course of my career. I’ve even added this question into certain candidate interviews to assess resiliency in individuals. And of course I ask it of myself often. That’s because it is my professional responsibility to ensure I am caring for myself. Provision 5 of the Code of Ethics for Nurses says, “The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety.”
Your Words Matter, So Use Them to Advocate for Change
When my son was in nursery school, his teachers encouraged him to express his frustration with others by “using his words” rather than lashing out in some other nonproductive way. I was reminded of the power of words delivered by a compelling speaker when watching a video of the comedian and advocate, Jon Stewart, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee about the needs of 9/11 first responders. His passion was evident in his voice, in his emotionally laden pauses, and in the words that he used to describe the ongoing healthcare concerns of those heroes. His strong testimony moved the committee and House to support the legislation, pass it on to the Senate, and send it to President Trump’s desk, where he signed it into law in July 2019. Stewart told a convincing story to bring others to action.
Summer’s Dog Days Are Energizing, Not Lazy, for ONS and Its Volunteers
A few weeks in July and August are known as the dog days of summer—the days where the heat makes us feel particularly laid back and lazy. I have always thought that these hottest days of the year, when even dogs languished from the heat, gave us a chance to slow down and offered a break from the intensity of work or school. It was a time for families to enjoy relaxing vacations and children to make memories of new friendships and adventures. I decided to Google the meaning of dog days and lazy days. I found that the term lazy days was similar to my thinking, but dog days has a different meaning.
Exhilarating Chapter Leadership Weekend Was the Perfect Combination of Learning and Fun
One word comes to mind to describe the 2019 ONS Chapter Leadership Weekend (CLW): exhilarating. As a chapter Board member attending for the first time, I learned new information, networked and met with dedicated chapter leaders, and of course got to eat some delicious food while in Pittsburgh.
The Future of Oncology Care Depends on You
Have you had “aha” moments in your life? Times when you finally understood something so completely that you could now fully explain it to someone else? Perhaps you had an aha moment after a session at the recent ONS Congress or after reading an article in the Oncology Nursing Forum or Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Or maybe you finally understood the benefits of dual inhibition of ER+ metastatic breast cancer with antihormonal therapy and CDK4/6 inhibitors after reviewing the recent infographic included with your ONS journal mailing in May.
Educational Integrity Is an ONS and ONCC Priority, Evident in Revised Policy
Leadership, integrity, inclusion, and diversity were common threads in several discussions during the ONS Board of Directors’ conference call on May 21, 2019. In addition to finalizing plans for their participation in the Leadership Think Tank, which will be held on July 22–23, 2019, the Board made the following decisions and approvals.
Bidens Step Down From Foundation as Presidential Campaign Is Formalized
As the 2020 presidential campaign kicks into high gear, the much-anticipated candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden was announced. Biden, along with his wife Jill, had to make the necessary legal adjustments to cut ties with their formal involvement in the Biden Foundation, including a number of cancer-related projects. The Bidens made the move to eliminate any potential conflicts of interest with a presidential run.