End of Year 2021
David and Goliath.
Western States Cancer Research
Western States Cancer Research NCORP (WSCR-NCORP) (formerly Colorado Cancer Research Program) is a nonprofit, National Cancer Institute (NCI) affiliated Cancer Clinical Trial Research Organization, whose primary aim is to make cancer clinical trials available to patients, physicians, and communities in our region.
David and Goliath.
This is an ironic time of year.
It’s so amazing how quickly summer seemed to fly by.
“The dog days of summer”
How did it get to be June so quickly?
May 7th we are excited to host our Ribbons and Roses fundraiser at the Lamar Street Center.
“There is no luck except where there is discipline.”
The Dalai Lama once said “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
We couldn’t do this important work without you – thank you very much!
Striving to open studies during these challenging times in order to meet the needs of our patients.
WSCR-NCORP continues to monitor COVID-19 in order to ensure the safety of our staff and study participants.
On behalf of all our team, I hope this message finds you and yours healthy and safe. I wanted to give you an update on how our team at Western States (WSCR-NCORP) is faring as we continue to navigate through the pandemic and also address the current state of affairs in our country. Let’s start with the latter.
At WSCR-NCORP we have been very intentional in creating a culture of compassion for our staff. We are an open and affirming, inclusive team and therefore cannot remain silent on the matter of violence against African Americans or any other group of people. Xenophobia, in all its manifestations, has to be identified and eliminated if we are to be able to stand side by side with each other to eradicate inequity and racism.
To that end. at WSCR-NCORP we have created an “Implicit Bias in Healthcare” steering committee, initiated by two of our team members coming forward after a staff meeting in which we had a conversation about the death of George Floyd and the resulting protests. That committee is creating a syllabus to guide us in discussion (and action) throughout the coming year. As we work our way through the materials, we will be inviting you to join us in our reading, viewing, and listening. Finally, we plan to bring in an outside agency to work with our staff on diversity awareness.
We are not perfect, and some of our efforts may not be as effective as others, but we are committed to having a workplace that is safe from difficult dialogue and that allows our staff to speak their truth.
Racism is a public health crisis, and we know it deeply impacts cancer patients. Racial and ethnic minorities face poorer outcomes and are less frequently enrolled in clinical trials. I recently testified at both the State House and Senate in favor of HB 1232, a bill that mandates Medicaid to cover clinical trials. Happily, the bill equity passed in both the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. We need to apply a health equity lens to all our research if we want to make systemic change and eliminate all barriers to access to clinical trials. Research will have integrity and be robust only if it reflects our society writ large.
These times have been traumatic, frightening, and frustrating for all of us. Our team members, like many others, have expressed fatigue, anger, and despair. They have also expressed hope and optimism that we can make systemic change in this time. I continue to be extremely proud of our staff and our Board as we communicate and work remotely. We are following the Safer at Home and CDC guidelines, only going into the office for essential tasks and while there following all necessary precautions. The safety of our team and our patients remains a priority and since we can work from home, we are honoring Governor Polis’ request to do so. While working remotely isn’t ideal, we all feel very fortunate that we have been able to continue to provide excellent services for our patients, physicians and consortium members.
We meet as a full team once a week via Zoom so we can see each other and check in. Although much of our meeting time has to do with work we do, some of is playful, and some of it is motivational. Self-care makes care for other easier. As I said to the team in our last meeting, we must be kind to each other during the upcoming conversations and in the coming days. Courage and compassion are the watchwords for us moving forward. And we hope they are for you too.
Let’s raise our voices together.