COVID-19 update

We want to reassure you that we are taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously. The health and safety of our supporters, members, staff and the wider community is of utmost importance to us.

As such, we have taken decisive actions to support social distancing measures including cancelling face-to-face meetings and events, directing staff to work from home, and postponing Gutsy Challenge fundraising events.

 

Member Events:

  • The Joint Working Party Meeting scheduled for 15 May has been cancelled.
  • The Annual General Meeting scheduled for 15 May will go ahead with virtual participation encouraged via Zoom video conference.
  • The Idea Generation Workshop scheduled for 26 June has been postponed and, if possible, will be held later in 2020.
  • The 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting scheduled for 25-28 August will no longer be held as a face-to-face meeting. We are currently exploring options to hold this as a virtual meeting and will provide further updates in the coming weeks.

 

Gusty Challenge:

  • The Kakadu Gutsy Challenge scheduled for 16-22 August 2020 has been postponed to 8-14 August 2021.
  • The Treasure Road Gutsy Challenge scheduled for 28 September-2 October 2020 has been postponed to 20-24 September 2021.
  • The Mount Himlung Gutsy Challenge trek will now be held in 2021.

 

Innovation Fund update:

The AGITG Innovation Fund grant will still be awarded in 2020 however the opportunity will be limited to one grant of up to $200,000. The closing date for applications has been delayed to late 2020, date to be announced. The decision to limit grants this year has been made based on the considerable pressures many clinicians are under, and the need to focus on patient care first and foremost at this time. In the interest of public health, there is also the need to cancel key fundraising events and a likely impact on future fundraising appeals.

 

Clinical trials:

While we acknowledge the current situation may affect the conduct of our clinical trials in the coming months, where possible, trials are continuing to run as planned. We are working closely with Study Chairs, coordinating centres, and drug suppliers to minimise any potential impacts, and to ensure patient safety remains the top priority.

 

Resources:

In these uncertain times, we understand that many people in the GI cancer community may be feeling heightened concern about COVID-19. If you are worried about what COVID-19 means for you or your loved ones, please speak with your clinician or hospital, or access the following helpful resources:

  • Cancer Australia has a dedicated web section providing relevant, evidence-based COVID-19 information for people with cancer and health professionals.
  • Coronavirus Health Information Line – 1800 020 080. Call this number if you are seeking information on COVID-19.
  • Our resources section includes a support group directory, recommended reading and other helpful links.
  • A helpful patient video regarding treatment and support during this time.

 

We appreciate your understanding and patience at this challenging time.

Russell Conley

Chief Executive Officer

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