Association of Cancer Online Resources is Grand Prize Winner in LISTSERV® Choice Awards
Bethesda, MD (May 12, 2005) – The Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) – a volunteer-led umbrella organization linking cancer patients and their families and caregivers with information, support and community – received the LISTSERV® Choice Awards Grand Prize, L-Soft Founder and CEO and LISTSERV® developer Eric Thomas announced today.
"I awarded the Grand Prize to ACOR because their lists are a poignant reminder that the ultimate goal of technology is to increase people's life quality. ACOR employs LISTSERV® technology in an exemplary way to enable cancer patients to help one another. Free from the limitations of time, money and location, people across the cancer community provide support and share information via these email lists. ACOR's lists help patients and their families cope with cancer and provide information about treatment options, research and cures, with the net effect of prolonging or saving lives. This is a testament to how simple yet powerful email list technology can be," Thomas said. He added that L-Soft launched the LISTSERV Choice Awards to celebrate the company's 10-year anniversary as a premier provider of email list management software.
"We are very proud of the award – knowing it could have been given to one of the hundreds of thousands of LISTSERV® lists – and the honor is shared in equal parts between all of the ACOR volunteers, without whom none of this would have happened. I can only thank Eric Thomas for having the foresight to use email list technology to help us build an organized system of informed patient communities at a time when almost every professional in the field frowned upon the idea. And our thanks also go to all the L-Soft staff for supporting us for many years," said Gilles Frydman, President of ACOR. "Email is the only universal technology in use today, and the simplest computer can send and receive email."
Headquartered in New York City, ACOR began using L-Soft email list technology in 1998, and has registered nearly 200,000 subscribers since that time. ACOR's current operation includes 135 specialized email lists that deliver 1.5 million messages each week to more than 50,000 subscribers worldwide. The lists – which foster dialogue between cancer patients, family members, researchers and physicians – provide a no-cost forum for members to share experiences, keep informed about new research and clinical trials, learn about current treatment and state-of-the-art alternatives, all while sharing or receiving guidance during the immense struggle cancer represents.
"It is well known that electronic mailing lists are the most economical and effective means of global communication and information exchange between large numbers of people," Frydman said. "Many people are benefiting from these lists, especially subscribers with a focus on rare forms of cancer, as well as those living in communities where resources are scarce. Often, the lists are the best place to obtain accurate and current information about the disease. One example is the more than 600 leiomyosarcoma list members who, for the first time, are able to communicate daily with a large group of informed patients and caregivers that share a unique understanding of this rare disease. Just recently, within a couple of hours, there were two messages about an investigational drug that will start in clinical trials in the future. That information is not available to patients during visits with the vast majority of oncologists, with the probable exception of the very few sarcoma oncologists who specialize in that rare disorder. When you multiply this effect by a large number of lists for rare disorders, it is easy to understand how the lists have a dramatic impact on a large population of cancer patients."
ACOR's email lists break down the physical barriers that cancer patients with mobility impairments often face, providing access to information and support on the most sensitive of topics. For example, a group of women with Stage IV breast cancer – many of whom were unable to attend support group meetings due to the cancer's effects on their bones – worked with ACOR to begin an email list specifically for women with this advanced form of the disease. "The women can be in front of their computers. They want to talk about death and dying, and the conversations are absolutely incredible: by talking about it, they lose their fear," Frydman said.
"In many cases, these lists are the only available support system and source of information. For this reason, timely and dependable delivery of messages is crucial," Frydman said. "Thanks to LISTSERV® technology, with a relatively small budget and a great focus on what we do best, we've been able to transform the quality of care that many patients receive. I wish the healthcare system was that efficient."
Prior to ACOR's Grand Prize win today, L-Soft presented seven organizations with LISTSERV Choice Awards in specific categories, gleaned from nominations made by organizations worldwide. "The LISTSERV Choice Awards program demonstrates the incredible scope and reach of email list communication, as well as the enthusiasm of its users. The LISTSERV® users on the nominated lists encompass chemistry teachers, lactation professionals, librarians, bird watchers, museum visitors, astronauts, opera lovers, CorvetteTM fans, politicians, marketers, women facing menopause, patients, health professionals, retired greyhound caretakers, German expatriates – basically any group of individuals with a common interest. It is rewarding to see LISTSERV® at work in the lives of so many different groups of people," Thomas said.
ACOR is an Internet-based public charity dedicated to improve the quality of care provided to cancer patients and the quality of life of patients, survivors and their caregivers.
ACOR leverages its wide technological and biomedical resource expertise to be a reliable source of knowledge, support and community in a relentless worldwide campaign to empower those suffering from the disease. To learn more about ACOR, go to: http://www.acor.org
L-Soft, which was incorporated in 1994, offers email list and opt-in email marketing software and outsourcing services for managing email newsletters, discussion groups and marketing campaigns. Recognized in 2004 as one of Maryland's top 50 fastest growing technology companies by Deloitte & Touche, L-Soft's products deliver about 30 million messages a day to more than 110 million list subscriptions.
Susan Brown Faghani
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