As you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are not able to hold our traditional face-to-face annual meeting this June. Since this decision was made and announced on March 30, I formed a special workgroup which is now well into the process of planning a VIRTUAL meeting instead. Session chairs have been contacted regarding either modifying their sessions for inclusion in the 2020 virtual annual meeting or moving their sessions to the 2021 program, and they are currently in the process of contacting their speakers. Awardees, special lecturers, course organizers and individuals assigned to present posters and platforms have also been contacted regarding involvement in the virtual meeting.
We truly appreciate the exceptional collegiality and flexibility that everyone has shown and are confident our virtual meeting will be an informative and engaging event for all those involved. We are also happy to report that most of our meeting sponsors have already confirmed their continued sponsorship of the meeting in its new virtual format, and we are so grateful for their unwavering support of the Society.
While we cannot share the complete virtual meeting agenda now, since details are still being finalized, we can report that the bulk of the virtual meeting will take place June 29 to July 2, which was our original meeting week, with the addition of one meeting day the week prior (exact date TBD). The daily virtual meeting will begin at 11 am Eastern and end no later than 4:30 pm Eastern. A special virtual meeting preview session, focusing on COVID-19 and pregnancy and lactation, will take place in advance of the main virtual meeting dates. The Education Courses, organized by the Education Committee, will be offered virtually during different weeks in June and July.
We expect to have the virtual meeting program and agenda set and announced around the beginning of May, and we will re-open registration at that time. Those who are already registered for the annual meeting and/or courses will automatically be registered for the corresponding virtual event(s) and will be issued a partial credit for the difference between the face-to-face meeting registration fee and the virtual meeting fee. We will be in touch regarding how you would like us to handle that credit (refund, apply toward course add-on or dues, or donation). Of course, anyone wishing to opt out of the virtual meeting and receive a full refund, or otherwise adjust a registration will have the opportunity to do so at that time. Rest assured; we will be in touch!
Thank you for your patience. I look forward to joining you online in June for our Society’s 60th Annual Meeting, “Honoring Teratology’s Roots, Growing a Healthier Future”!
Elise Madison Lewis
2020 Program Chair