2021 Annual Meeting

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November 5-6, 2021
Virtual Meeting

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Dear Colleagues,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year the SAAAPM annual meeting converted from an in-person meeting to a virtual meeting. This year we were hoping for the normal in-person meeting in Chicago, with opportunities for networking, collaboration, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. However, due to the current COVID surge in many parts of the United States, we received comments from many members that their institutions are prohibiting travel or that they do not feel comfortable attending an in-person meeting. Therefore, last week SAAAPM Council surveyed our membership. We received 420 responses. Although half the respondents would attend an in-person meeting, half would not. In contrast, 90% would attend a virtual meeting this year and the majority of respondents who expressed a preference preferred a virtual meeting. In addition, we received over 100 comments. Although many comments noted the enhanced value of an in-person meeting, the majority strongly favored a virtual meeting this year, citing institutional travel restrictions, concerns about the risk of travel, especially for members with children under 12 years of age who cannot currently be vaccinated, and the optics of having an in-person meeting during the current COVID surge. SAAAPM Council has extensively discussed the results of the survey and the potential financial impact. Although an in-person meeting does provide important opportunities for networking and collaboration, Council felt that a meeting that all our members could attend was a higher priority. Therefore, we have decided to again have a virtual meeting this year. Fortunately, our virtual meeting last year was highly successful, and we anticipate another successful meeting this year. Each of the associations is actively revising their agenda for a virtual meeting, and you will soon receive the final agenda. We are working through the finances to minimize the cost of cancellation, and will provide additional information soon. I hope everyone is safe and I look forward to seeing everyone (virtually this year) at the annual meeting.

Ronald G. Pearl, MD, PhD
SAAAPM President