IGCS 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Co-Founder of the Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG), Ms. Bacon is a recipient of the IGCS 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong dedication to women’s health and serving the gynecologic cancer community though nursing, clinical trial coordination and international team building, advocacy, and volunteerism.
About Monica Bacon
As a resident Canadian citizen, born in England (of Austrian parentage) and having lived for several years in the USA, and travelled much of the world, Ms. Bacon comes naturally by her sensitivity for multi-cultural acceptance and partnerships.
Graduating from the Royal Victoria Hospital’s school of nursing in Montreal in 1969, Ms. Bacon recalls that it was not surprising that in that era of bra-burning, her focus turned to women’s health; initially working in breast cancer screening (mentored by Dr Edward Tabah), followed by years as a gynecologic oncology nurse coordinator (mentored by Dr David Popkin).
For five years she worked in Vermont, USA, as Oncology Care Coordinator, developing cancer care services in new oncology outpatient and inpatient units.
She then spent twenty years (1991-2011) working as a research Study Coordinator at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group in Kingston, Ontario (mentored by Dr Elizabeth Eisenhauer). In that position she coordinated all aspects of national and international clinical trials for gynecological cancers and facilitated strong connections amongst teams of clinical trialists.
In 1993 she was a co-founder of the Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG) which has become a successful coalition of 30+ national gynecological cancer research groups. She continued to be both the Administrator of this group as the Operations Manager and an Executive Officer until 2019.
Ms. Bacon retired last year, and she says that stepping away from that passion was one of the most difficult moves of her life.
Advocacy and volunteerism have always been her primary sidelines. In Montreal, she co-initiated bilingual women’s’ support groups and organizations. In Vermont she co-founded the Vermont Cancer Pain Relief Initiative (APS) as well as a regional support network (CanSupport, ACS) for cancer patients and their families. She has worked both locally and nationally as a volunteer with Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC) since its inception through the Corinne Boyer Fund in the 1990’s. These efforts have included co-Chair of the Kingston chapter for the annual Walk of Hope, and Knowledge is Power sessions regionally; as well, staffing both professional and public OCC presentations and display tables at every possible opportunity.
According to Ms. Bacon, “The highlight of my advocacy efforts with GCIG was the rewarding enlistment of industry and other partners in addressing the needs and support of women battling and surviving gynecologic cancers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the extremely successful joint symposia (GCIG & IGCS collaboration) for survivors and their caregivers over the past decade. I continue to believe unwaveringly that cancer can only be beaten if we all battle it together, as a dedicated family team.”