FWATA Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposium Update
Aloha FWATA members!
I hope everyone is staying safe as we continue to adjust to the new normal of social distancing with the COVID-19 pandemic. As announced a few weeks ago, the FWATA Managing Board and AMCS Committee have been monitoring the rapidly changing situation and we were hopeful that our Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium scheduled for July 14-18, 2020 in Kona, Hawaii would continue as planned. After long discussions and deliberation among the Managing Board and the Annual Meeting Convention Committee, and in consultation with the resort property management, we have decided to cancel this year’s FWATA meeting. It is truly a difficult decision that broke our hearts, but we feel we are making the best decision with the safety and welfare of our members at the forefront.
Why did we make this decision now?
- Initially we set a deadline of May 31. This date was based on the original terms of our contract being in the final phase of the cancellation clause and our financial obligation would have remained the same until that time. However because of the pandemic and a transfer of ownership of the hotel, we were given the opportunity to cancel the event without a penalty. This decision saved over $100,000 of association money. As a Board we felt it was our fiduciary responsibility to make the decision sooner rather than later.
- We are also well aware that many of our members are facing financial hardship at this time.
- Many employers have restricted all travel for their employees, as well as instilled budget cuts and freezes.
- All of our states are currently under stay at home quarantines. The State of Hawaii has a 14 day quarantine on any visitors which requires them to stay in their place of lodging for 14 days. Public health experts indicate those restrictions will be relaxed slowly.
- Additionally, the current status of the resort and meeting spaces, due to state wide restriction, further suggests that holding a meeting of our size in July seems less probable as all other large meetings on property have tentatively been rescheduled for September 1, 2020 or later.
What if I have already made hotel reservations and/or registered for the meeting?
- If you made a room reservation within the FWATA room block, it will be cancelled automatically, you will not have to do anything. There will be no charge.
- If you registered for the meeting, you will receive a full refund. The refund will be issued directly to your online method of payment. Please allow up to 10 business days for processing. If you paid by check, please contact Ginger Ehrke.
- If individuals wish to visit during that time; please contact Sara Lebrun-Scott and she will re-book you manually at the rate for 2020.
Although nothing can replace the comradery and excitement we all experience of an in person meeting, we are starting discussions regarding alternative options to provide CEUs to our members at both the state and district levels. Please stay tuned for further information regarding this.
We will still be awarding research grants and student scholarships. We will create an opportunity to share and honor the accomplishments of our members.
The Managing Board would like to thank the FWATA AMCS Committee for their tireless work throughout the year. They had put together an outstanding educational program as well as an amazing experience for both our members and guests from around the country who planned to attend. We would also like to thank you, the FWATA members, for your patience and support through these difficult times. We will get through this together! We look forward to the future when we have the opportunity to gather and celebrate with our FWATA ῾ohana once again.
Courtesy of the Managing Board