By Christopher Pirschel, ONS Staff Writer

Likely you’re familiar with the work that ONS does in the United States. From working on Capitol Hill to empowering nurses at the bedside, ONS advocates for nurses throughout the country. Yet, you might not be aware of all the international work ONS does, and the relationships we cultivate around the globe. There’s much to learn from other nations, and many ways that ONS can help address cancer treatment and research internationally. Cancer isn’t contained by borders, it’s a global issue that impacts millions the world over.

This year, there are nearly 100 international attendees from 26 different countries visiting San Antonio for the ONS 41st Annual Congress. These international oncology nurses and healthcare professionals will be celebrated during Congress’s kids inflatable water park opening ceremonies, where flags from each of their countries will be represented. On Friday morning, 20 selected international attendees will venture to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio for a site visit. These nurses will tour three inpatient units and an active cancer clinic to observe the inner workings of a United States cancer center in action.

Also at Congress, leadership members from ONS will meet with participating international organizations to assess global needs and identify international opportunities for collaboration. In 2016, ONS has already participated in conferences in Kenya, Oman, Japan, and Singapore with more to follow in the coming months. The closed meeting with leadership and international partners will focus on global efforts to improve cancer care in low and middle-income countries.

At Thursday’s session, “Health Disparities and Cancer Navigations: Impact, Utility, and Implications Globally,” ONS president, Margaret Barton-Burke, PhD, RN, FAAN, will be accompanied by international partners to discuss the rapid changes in cancer care, approaches to health disparities, navigation, and person-centered care from a global viewpoint. These experts from around the globe include presidents and board members from partner organizations like the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC), the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia (CNSA), the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), and the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO-ACIO). Be sure to join them to learn more about ONS’s global efforts.