Highlights of November Board of Directors Meeting: Evidence, Care, Impact

Highlights of November Board of Directors Meeting: Evidence, Care, Impact

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FASCO, FACP

Dec 06, 2017

ASCO is committed to helping all of our members keep up to date on the work your Board of Directors does on your behalf. For your consideration (and response), here is an update from the most recent Board meeting that took place November 16-18, 2017, in Charleston, SC.

This meeting was a bit different from others in that it was “joint.” This means we convened the directors of ASCO as well as the Conquer Cancer Foundation for a shared discussion of ASCO’s strategic plans and both organizations' short-term goals.

For context, here is some background. Historically, ASCO’s Board has approached its strategic planning responsibilities as an annual process. Each year the Board would convene for a retreat where high-priority projects would be discussed and, if approved, launched soon after. Beginning in 2017, the Board adopted a new approach: developing a 5-year strategic plan that will be continuously updated in cycle with the budget, staff goals, and ASCO’s committee work. New initiatives and existing programs will be regularly evaluated based on the Society’s strategic priorities.

ASCO President Dr. Bruce E. Johnson chairs a Strategic Planning Task Force made up of Board members and other active volunteers.The task force has been working for the past year with our external consultants on developing a new framework for a 5-year strategic plan. Their first task was to articulate ASCO’s Core Values, approved by the full ASCO Board at their August 17-18 meeting:

Evidence  Care  Impact

Over the past year, ASCO volunteers and staff have identified these Core Values as they best capture ASCO’s commitment to helping oncologists deliver high-quality, evidence-based care—and to making a positive impact on the professional lives of our members and the patients they care for. These Core Values will guide ASCO’s strategic decisions and actions, keeping us member-focused and patient-centered.

With the Core Values in place, the Strategic Planning Task Force developed a 5-year outcome statement, goals, and metrics, which were presented to the Board in November. Through thoughtful discussion, the Board upgraded the offer and adopted a new 5-year outcome statement:

ASCO leads the delivery of information and diverse expertise needed by the global oncology community to reduce the burden of cancer.

Here are the specific goals the Board adopted to move us toward the outcome:

  • Increase ASCO’s Value
  • Drive High-Quality Care
  • Align Resources with Organizational Goals
  • Increase ASCO’s Global Engagement

With the high-level strategic plan in place, the next phase of work is to develop an action plan for each of the 5-year goals. ASCO staff will lead this effort, laying out specific strategies and annual tactics to achieve the goals, as well as specifics of how to measure progress within the Board's approved metrics. This work has already begun and will extend through March 2018, when action plans will be presented to the Board at their next meeting.

Also at the November meeting, the Board decided to move forward with plans for an innovative ASCO educational symposium in Asia in 2019.  The Board also decided to form a task force for an in-depth study of possible organizational changes to allow more direct political advocacy on behalf of ASCO members.

Finally, the Board discussed a new framework for member surveys. Current ASCO policy does not permit research surveys of ASCO members. However, ASCO’s Center for Research and Analytics (CENTRA), led by chief medical officer Dr. Richard L. Schilsky, has created a mechanism for investigator-initiated oncology survey research for non-commercial purposes. Under this process, ASCO will invite members to opt in to the Research Survey Pool. By opting in, a member agrees to be contacted about participation in an ASCO-approved external research survey. All external survey proposals received by ASCO will be reviewed by ASCO’s Information Sharing Committee to ensure compliance with ASCO policies that protect member privacy and preserve data for ongoing use. ASCO members who opt in and participate in such surveys will be recognized for their engagement.

The next ASCO Board meeting is in March 2018, and we plan to bring you another update following that meeting.


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