An Update from the AYACC President & Executive Director, Lauren Lux.
First of all, an important announcement about the name of our organization! We have changed our name from AYACA to AYACC – the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Coalition. One definition of a collation is: a group that works together for combined action. The word “coalition" and its definition feels like an excellent fit for the work that we will all be doing together.
Second, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m a clinical social worker and the director of the AYA Program at UNC Chapel Hill. I’ll be serving as the President of the AYACC for the next 2 years and am also thrilled to be the part time Executive Director. I’ve had the privilege of working with so many of you around the country on research projects, program development and other initiatives. Through that work, I’ve seen that the progress we make is a direct result of people’s unique and valuable perspectives and different disciplines, backgrounds, and skillsets. The power of these collaborations is transformative for the field. I am humbled and inspired by every one of my interactions with AYA professionals and I am deeply committed to and energized by our community.
Third, and most importantly, I want to tell you about our first AYACC Annual Meeting!
The conference drew over 140 AYA professionals from all corners of the cancer community. It was an excellent platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and inspiration, igniting a momentum that we’re really excited to maintain and build upon with tangible actions.
The final session of the day was a discussion with our members who were in attendance. We asked the questions:
- What are the barriers that professionals in AYA cancer care are facing?
- What barriers hinder you in your ability to provide care for AYAs?
- How can a collective organization help you overcome these barriers?
There were a lot of very cool ideas that came from that last session. Things like:
- Building a central repository of best practices in AYA care
- Connecting non-profits with researchers to study and evaluate efficacy of AYA programming
- Development of a formal mentorship program for AYA professionals
The program was simply amazing! Take a look at the full lineup HERE.
We were really fortunate to have a graphic recorder, Anne Mccoll from Liquid Sketch Studio, join us for the day. Be sure to check out a summary of the topics we covered and take a look at Anne’s graphic representation of the day below.
So, what’s next? We’re excited to get to work, and we need your help! Please read on to learn about our open board positions and committees that you can join. Don’t be shy about nominating yourself – I know it can feel weird to self-nominate. I encourage you to think of this as a volunteer sign up, instead. These leadership positions will play a huge part in the finalizing and execution of our AYACC strategic plan and work for years to come. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions you have about these roles.
Looking forward to connecting with more of you and coming together to figure out how AYACC can work for YOU,