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The Front Line


The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair

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New SWOG.org Makes November Debut

November 3, 2017 - On November 28, our new website goes live. I predict it transforms our work, our public image, and our connection with members. Thatís because everything is brand new, from tools to text, site map to stories.

You will be able to find most of what you need without ever logging into SWOG.org as a member. Transparency is a project touchstone, so our trials and publications search tool will be public, along with membership and meetings information, policies, news, and more. When members do log in, they land on a handy resource page that puts critical information and tools all in one place.

We kept members in mind by adding new features like a section on budgets and contracts, which should make it easier to get trials developed and approved. Weíve also kept the public in mind. For the first time, we provide patient resources that explain our NCI trials and how to find a trial that may be right for them. Our patient advocates, for the first time, will be featured and, also a first, trial participants will be pictured along with reasons why they enrolled.

The site look is clean, strong, friendly, and accessible. We list our partners, detail our impact, and describe our unique value in clinical cancer research. We draw a clear and frequent connection to The Hope Foundation, the source of so much innovation and energy for SWOG. We proudly post our news, and our member stories. And we use lots of staff and member photos; As an international organization with work done in four offices, itís important for people to see the faces of faraway colleagues and see the patients that we all serve.

This project took a year to complete, and that timeline is even longer when the user needs assessment is factored in. Thatís because we have a diverse membership we needed to survey and design for, and because we had such a complex site to overhaul. The old site had not received a major update in 12 years. It had no content management system, which required our project team to comb through hundreds of URLs to simply determine what we had. SWOG.org search tools involve a 12,000 plus member directory, a 4,000 plus publications cache, and protocols for over 1,400 trials. The site is home to major workbench tools and at least a dozen administrative functions that allow our staff to do things like run reports and log data. And nearly every word on the site needed to be rewritten.

I want to thank the project team spearheading this work Ė Chris Cook from the statistics and data management center, Morgan Cox from The Hope Foundation, Wendy Lawton from the group chairís office, and Courtney Wille from operations. Theyíve each spent hundreds of hours on this project, and have delivered it well Ė and on time.

I end with a very important note. If you donít have CTEP credentials, you wonít be able to log into the members-only portion of the site. Because it can take CTEP two to three weeks to deliver credentials to your email box, I strongly urge you to request those now so you can see and use all of SWOG.org as soon as it launches. Get more information here.

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