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The Cancer Society of Finland celebrated its 80th anniversary nationally and in different parts of Finland. Many of our member associations also marked their own anniversaries. Other key points in 2016 included our implementation of a new strategy and input on national health policy.

The Cancer Society of Finland was founded at the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 21 November 1936. On the anniversary of its founding, the organization held a celebratory morning prayer in the crypt of Helsinki Cathedral. Speakers at the main celebration included the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Päivi Sillanaukee, Counselor of State Riitta Uosukainen, the chairperson of the CSF council Päivi Kärkkäinen, CSF board chairperson professor Teuvo Tammela, professor Heikki Joensuu, and CSF secretary general Sakari Karjalainen.

The theme of the 2016 anniversary was volunteerism. All regional member associations and patient organisations held their own events to mark the anniversary. At these events, volunteers (an individual or group) were awarded prizes, which were the artwork series Voimapuu (tree of strength) by the artist Virpi Talvitie. Together with the member associations, the CSF prepared a development plan for volunteering. A positive trend in the year was that the decline in the number of members ceased, with many member associations even managing to increase their membership or keep it about the same.

The CSF implemented its strategy with the help of its key projects and the organization’s development plan. There are seven key projects, which are linked to four strategic objectives. The key projects are proceeding according to schedule. The organisation’s development plan contains twenty recommendations for strengthening organisational democracy and activity. Many of the recommendations were carried in 2016 out as planned. The aim of the development plan is to build a robust and proficient organisation in accordance with the CSF’s strategy.

The CSF participated in the regular activity of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s and the National Institute for Health and Welfare’s Non-Communicable Disease Alliance, which promotes the implementation in Finland of the WHO’s programme on non-communicable diseases. This collaboration has supported health promotion a key project of the government programme of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.

The CSF supported the preparation of the new Tobacco Act, which came into force in August, and together with other public health organisations participated in preparing the comprehensive reform of the Alcohol Act.

The quality and effectiveness of our own activities were strengthened in different ways. The scope for our member associations to arrange advice and patient support was supported for the third year running from grants awarded by the Finnish Cancer Foundation.

Throughout the year, we continued with efforts to improve the effectiveness of CSF work, reduce expenses and ensure the appropriate allocation of resources. The financial outcome for 2015 was good, and we were able to improve our self-sufficiency ratio.

The objectives set for the year were realised and the organisation’s internal teamwork and cohesion were further strengthened due to the implementation of the CSF strategy. The good operational and financial outcome provides a strong basis for our continued work.