To the ISOQOL membership:
The Annual Conference is nearly here, and this year “here” means something quite different.
The convenience of accessing the rich work of ISOQOL members during the
conference mitigates some of the disappointment of not being able to gather in person for the conference, from 19 to 23 October 2020. Lotte Haverman and Tom Willgoss have created a particularly excellent conference program for this year, with the theme of 2020 THE FUTURE IS NOW: A Vision for the Future of Outcomes Measurement and Quality of Life Research. As Lotte and Tom note “the ISOQOL 2020 annual conference provides an ideal opportunity for the ISOQOL community to look forward.”
With looking forward very much in mind, I want to share the deliberation that went into setting this year’s conference registration fee. We recognize this is an extraordinary year. While we no longer need to set aside time to travel to Prague for the conference, many of us have increased demands on our time due to the pandemic, particularly those of us who are caregivers.
ISOQOL has always had a goal of supporting career development at all levels. Presenting and attending continue to be important to members, especially those in early to mid-career. With a goal of ensuring that the professional benefits of ISOQOL Annual Conference participation remain widely accessible, the Board voted to reduce the fees substantially this year. The reduced fees also recognize that some institutions have cut professional development budgets. Some members will be paying for their participation in the conference from their own funds. This decision comes at a cost to the Society. I’d like to express my gratitude to the former Board members, since their leadership and work has enabled us to bear the cost this year.
Here’s the part where I make a request: Please share information about the conference widely with your professional networks.
We are working to expand outreach for the conference this year. The combination of the remote format and the decision to drastically reduce the registration fee opens up a unique window of opportunity to bring many more members to ISOQOL. Expanding membership is, in fact, one of our major strategic goals. Due in large part to the work of ISOQOL members, patient-report in health research and clinical care touches many fields. The content of the meeting and the benefits of membership will be of value to clinician researchers, policy researchers, patient researchers, and regulatory experts. There are still many who do not know about ISOQOL.
The ISOQOL mission is to advance the science of quality of life and related patient-centered outcomes in health research, care and policy. The ISOQOL vision is to improve quality of life for people everywhere by creating a future in which their perspective is integral in health research, care and policy. The pandemic has heightened the public health imperative of ISOQOL. To continue to be leaders in patient-report, health related quality of life research, and in translating research into clinical care we need to invite others to join.
Many of us share a goal of expanding the benefits of ISOQOL to other researchers – many could benefit from what ISOQOL has to offer. This is the year to make this happen. We have a new opportunity to be successful in this goal and with our related strategic goal to expand ISOQOL’s connection to countries and regions under-represented among membership. I extend my gratitude to past Boards and to the EDI staff and to the ISOQOL members whose work has enabled us to offer the substantially reduced registration fee this year.
I encourage all of us to register now for the Annual Conference and to register for Measuring What Matters as well. Please also share this link to conference registration with your network. Also share the video that’s attached – it’s brief but it powerfully demonstrates the unique aspects of ISOQOL membership, including connections with cutting-edge researchers and a community centered around collaboration to benefit public health.
Note that meeting content will be available from the start of the meeting in October through the end of November. This schedule flexibility addresses a need that this very different year demands.
Lotte and Tom and all those involved in creating this year’s conference planned for “an emphasis on what the future might look like for current and future generations of outcomes and quality of life researchers.” Let’s use this year’s theme of vision that is “2020,” clear-eyed and resolute, and make this year a true springboard to a stronger Society.
I always welcome your input and suggestions and questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with ideas you have as well for using the unique circumstances around this year’s conference to make ISOQOL a stronger Society.
With best wishes,
Lori Frank, PhD
The International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) is a global community of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, industry professionals, consultants, and patient research partners advancing health related quality of life research (HRQL).
Together, we are creating a future in which patient perspective is integral to health research, care and policy.