Overnight the world has changed.
What we took for granted just a few months ago now seems like an unattainable luxury. During these unprecedented times, as we watch COVID 19 – first detected in Wuhan, China, in the fall of 2019 – spread throughout each state, our country and the world, it has become more important than ever for healthcare workers, educators, clinicians and researchers to stay connected to one another.
Living in New York City, the epicenter of this pandemic in the US, I have seen firsthand not only the devastating consequences of this silent killer but also the strength, passion, empathy and perseverance of my colleagues and first-line workers throughout the city. We have had to adapt to a new and safer normal. We now work remotely to treat our patients, our children have distance virtual learning, and research has taken on new forms.
As we adopt social distancing as our way of life, however, we lose some of the essential physical patient interactions and in-person collaborative research opportunities. This public health crisis has prevented us from congregating at meetings and conferences, which are an essential part of networking and brainstorming new research ideas.
Unfortunately, the Network is no exception. For the safety of all members, the Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer made the difficult decision to postpone its annual meeting. I encourage you to read on in our newsletter to learn about the updates on our conference, as planning for the conference on its new dates is underway.
Despite these challenges, we are committed to making strides toward our vision of providing all women and girls affected by cancer with timely access to evidence-based education and care to promote sexual well-being and optimize sexual outcomes. As Network members, we will continue to accelerate rigorous science, promote evidence-based education and practice, and advocate for informed policy in order to move the field forward.
One such initiative is to host virtual interactions for our members and educational webinars in order to disseminate up to date information about cancer and women’s sexual health. Read on in our newsletter to learn about what we are planning.
Against this unusual backdrop, I hope that you are finding a way to mark this time in big and small ways and enjoy the extra unexpected family time. For any member that has personally fallen ill to COVID or has lost family members or friends, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I wish everyone a speedy recovery and excellent health. I hope that one day we can all reflect on this pandemic – not just as an incredibly painful time, but also as a productive period of self growth.
I look forward to a future that includes networking and in-person interactions with all of you! Stay safe and healthy.