Happy Holidays to everyone, and Happy New Year from everyone at AONN+! We hope that the New Year is a happy and healthy one for you and your loved ones.
A few weeks later, I am still smiling and feeling very energized from our recent AONN+ Fourth Annual Conference in Memphis, TN, where we had 650 attendees this year—a new record! Such a record that we will have to switch to a larger hotel in Orlando, FL,—the Dolphin, a Disney World facility—to hold the AONN+ Fifth Annual Conference, which will be held in September 2014. With well over 4000 members before the conference and several hundred attendees who, before departing for home, joined the association as new members, we are anticipating even more growth in 2014. Amazing!
Now to tell you a little bit about this December issue of JONS. Sharon Gentry, RN, MSN, AOCN, CBCN, is our featured Leadership Council member this month. She has served as cochair of our conferences with me since we began AONN+, and we are so fortunate to have her expertise and leadership on the council.
As you may know from an e-mail you received a few weeks ago, we have undergone a much-needed name change. We expanded our organization’s name so that it more accurately reflects what we have been about since we became an organization 4 years ago—a professional organization for everyone involved in the navigation of patients with cancer, as well as those striving to get the underserved into cancer screening routines. Thus, a “plus sign” (+) now resides behind our original AONN acronym. With that in mind, please read Development of a Framework for Patient Navigation: Delineating Roles Across Navigator Types, which provides great insight into the thoughtful work being done to delineate navigation roles across the various professions that are involved with this process.
You will read more about our conference highlights, including the poster awardees’ work and a synopsis of our keynote speaker’s presentation. There is also an article written by a patient with cancer to keep us grounded and focused on why we chose the professional navigation role in which we serve, as well as a nurse’s commentary on this patient’s story. There is also an article on cancer survivorship and the issues that surround meeting the magic 5-year mark as a survivor. We need to do away with the alleged magic of 5 years because, depending on the type of cancer and its stage, prognostic factors, and the treatments received, 5 quite frankly may be the wrong number of years to be assuming that everything will be fine going forward. Read about one patient’s anxiety in celebrating at all, fearing it will be a jinx for recurrence.
Speaking of magic, as I mentioned at the beginning of this letter, we will be at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort for our 5th anniversary celebration of AONN+ in September 2014. Please give serious thought to bringing your entire family, and arrive early or stay later to enjoy the magic that happens in Disney World! You can count on seeing some of the Disney characters at our conference. I can hardly wait!
With kind regards,
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS