The past year saw the word “unprecedented” thrown around a lot, and rightly so. In the transition to virtual programming, associations like AMHCA had to be extra clever and resourceful when it came to meetings and events – the aspects of membership that had traditionally been contingent on the face-to-face.
The AMHCA Board of Directors decided in February that we should hold our conference in June 2021 virtually rather than in-person -- or through a hybrid model. At that time, based on all the surveys we conducted, members were still not comfortable attending in person, and public health officials were providing guidance that it was not going to be safe to conduct medium- to large- events through the summer months . Based on member concerns and information from the scientific community and the CDC, we thought it best to hold a virtual conference in mid-June. Safety and health were uppermost on the minds of the AMHCA Board.
Although, many more Americans are getting vaccinated over the last few weeks, who is to say for certain what things could look like in June when we made our decision in February? What if there is a spike in infections? As of this writing, we are seeing increases in some states and many nations. And unfortunately, many American are reporting that they will not get the shots. Better safe than sorry – and safety is the most consideration at this time. So virtual we go with no second guessing.
Even with vaccines being rolled out, there is still uncertainty about when everyone will have access to them. That is why AGA events from will be held virtually, including board meetings. AMHCA will continue to plan for digital events, with an emphasis on more efficiency and effectiveness for attendees.
We know now that virtual is a band-aid, a temporary thing right now, but with several benefits.
Many of our members were telling us in February that they do appreciate the realm of possibilities offered by online conferences, recognizing they really miss the opportunity to meet people and to interact with friends and colleagues.
Many members say that in the past year they have been able to attend more meetings than ever before because of online portals, and allowed members to attend meetings without compromising their practice, teaching responsibilities, or responsibilities as the parent of small and school-age children.
And many more folks have been excited to attend our conferences that were previously impossible to join in person because of travel costs and logistics, and others have also been invited to present their research at more meetings than before.
The AMHCA Board cares deeply about your needs and your health, and creating opportunities for fulfillment as an AMHCA member. We have every expectation that we hold our June 2022 Conference in person in Las Vegas. We know it will be like no other conference we have held.
But let’s be thankful we have an opportunity and are healthy to attend this year’s conference virtually, and that we have the means to conduct a rewarding event for all.
Don’t miss it and register now at https://www.amhca.org/conference/registration.
Joel E. Miller
AMHCA Executive Director and CEO#AnnualConference#Conference#Coronavirus#AMHCA2021