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AsMA 91st Annual Scientific Meeting CANCELLED

Atlanta October Meeting Cancelled


For the first time since 1945, near the end of World War II, the Aerospace Medical Association has cancelled its annual scientific meeting.


Concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic led the Council to discuss this difficult decision out of an abundance of caution and the need to keep our members safe. Atlanta, GA, started its five-phase reopening plan on April 24, 2020. Phase 1 metrics were met and the city entered Phase 2 on June 1, 2020. However, Atlanta was not able to maintain the Phase 2 metrics and the Atlanta Mayor returned the city to Phase 1 (Stay at Home) on July 10, 2020. According to the Atlanta Reopening Plan, small public gatherings with appropriate physical distancing is allowed in Phase 3, medium public gatherings with appropriate physical distancing is allowed in Phase 4, and large public gatherings with appropriate physical distancing is allowed in Phase 5.

A few weeks ago, Pam Day sent out a survey on behalf of the AsMA Scientific Program Committee to all with accepted scientific abstracts for the May 2020 meeting. Authors were asked if they would: (1) present their paper at the October meeting in Atlanta; (2) record their presentation prior to the October meeting and upload for presentation during the meeting in Atlanta; (3) resubmit their abstract for the 2021 AsMA meeting in Reno, NV; or (4) withdraw their scientific abstract. As of July 28, 2020, approximately 40% of the abstract authors had responded. Here are the results:

  • Posters: 48 responses from 68 possible
    • 10 willing to present in Atlanta
    • 23 resubmit for 2021
    • 5 withdrawn
  • Slides: 72 responses from 147 possible
    • 32 willing to present in Atlanta
    • 10 willing to record their presentations
    • 27 resubmit for 2021
    • 3 withdrawn
  • Panels: 87 responses from 251 possible
    • 46 willing to present in Atlanta
    • 21 willing to record their presentations
    • 23 resubmit for 2021
    • 7 withdrawn

Based upon this information, the AsMA Council met via Zoom on July 28, 2020, to discuss how to proceed in these unprecedented times. The Council’s top priority was to ensure the health and safety of anyone who participates in the October Annual Scientific Meeting. The fact that on July 28, 2020, the city of Atlanta was still in Phase 1 of the reopening plan did not provide Council members with solid evidence the city would be in Phase 3, 4, or 5 by early October. Another major concern discussed by the AsMA Council was the contract the association had with the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The contract called for financial penalties for AsMA should the contract be cancelled. One way to avoid these stiff penalties was to reschedule the Atlanta meeting to May 2025. Thanks are due to Walt Galanty of Aim Meetings & Events and our Executive Director, Jeff Sventek, for their efforts in renegotiating the contract. AsMA and the Hyatt Regency Atlanta have finalized the 2025 contract. Now that the 2025 contract has been approved and signed, AsMA has cancelled the October 2020 meeting in Atlanta without penalty.

The Annual Awards, normally presented at during Honors Night Ceremonies at the Annual Meeting, will now be presented during the meeting in Reno, NV, in 2021. The biographies of those remarkable individuals who will receive awards for 2020 will be published in September. 

Many of the Constituent Organizations within AsMA have already held their business meetings virtually and have either decided to keep their current leadership or have transitioned to the new incoming president and leadership. Biographies of the incoming presidents of the constituent organizations can be found in the July newsletter (https://www.asma.org/asma/media/AsMA/pdf-journal/pdf-news-2020/july-2020_news-opt.pdf) or in the July issue of the journal on pp. 616-618. 

The Aerospace Medical Association thanks you for your patience as we worked through this in a very deliberate fashion. We wanted to make an informed decision on this important matter. We will be in contact with sponsors, exhibitors, and participants who had previously registered for this year’s annual meeting. In the meantime, we hope you all remain healthy and safe! 

Meeting Registration

We hope those of you who have already registered for the 2020 meeting will be able to join us in May 2021 in Reno, Nevada To this end, we are working with our Association Management System (Impexium) vendor to transfer all paid registrations from the 2020 meeting to the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting registration database. Your meeting registration and all related meeting fees will remain active in our system and will be applied to the 2021 (Reno) meeting. This transfer process should be completed by August 15, 2020. If you decide you cannot attend the 2021 meeting in Reno, Nevada, you should contact Sheryl Kildall at (703) 739-2240 x107 - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT) and request a refund. You can also contact Sheryl Kildall via e-mail at skildall@asma.org. Our staff will provide a full refund to your credit card.

As a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, AsMA can also accept donations from those who cannot attend the October meeting. Should you decide to donate all or part of your registration fees, please contact our staff.

Hyatt Regency Hotel Room Reservations

If you already have a room reservation at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, that reservation will be cancelled automatically for you. The cancellation process will be accomplished by the hotel. You should receive an e-mail from the Hyatt Regency Atlanta when your room reservation has been cancelled. If you wish to confirm cancellation of your Hyatt Regency room reservation, please call the hotel at (404) 577-1234. 

The AsMA leadership thanks you for your understanding and patience during these unusual times. We look forward to an excellent scientific meeting in May 2021 in Reno, Nevada. We hope many of you will join us for the 91st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association now scheduled for May 23-27, 2021 at the Peppermill Resort Hotel in Reno, Nevada!

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will my current meeting registration be retained and used for the 2021 meeting in Reno, Nevada?

Yes. All current meeting registrations and related meeting fees will be retained in our system and applied to the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting unless you call the AsMA Staff and request cancellation of your current meeting registration and related meeting fees.

Will AsMA refund registration fees for the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting?

Yes. AsMA will issue penalty-free refunds for all conference registration-related fees, including registration and optional add-ons such as pre- and post-conference workshops, guest tickets, and social events. Payments processed via credit card will be refunded automatically to those accounts. Call (703) 739-2240 x107 (Sheryl Kildall) or send an e-mail to skildall@asma.org to request the refund. Please inform Sheryl during the call if you wish to donate all or part of the registration fees to AsMA to assist with operational costs in 2020.

What about my hotel reservation?

All room reservations at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel made through the Aerospace Medical Association website will be cancelled by the hotel without penalty. This will be done automatically. You may also call the hotel and cancel your current room reservation by calling (404) 577-1234.

What about air travel?

Please check with your air carrier for flight cancellation policies. Currently, many major airlines are waiving flight change or cancellation fees for flights. Recommend you contact your airline soon to cancel or reschedule your air travel.

What about the 2020 AsMA Annual Business Meeting?

The 2020 AsMA Annual Business Meeting (which normally occurs on Tuesday during the Annual Scientific Meeting) has been cancelled. However, AsMA members voted to approve the 2020 Slate of Officers proposed by the AsMA Nominating Committee via a Survey Monkey voting process in April 2020. The new AsMA Council replaced the current AsMA Council on May 21. The new AsMA Council has been active conducting the business of the Aerospace Medical Association since May 21, 2020.

AsMA Bylaws requires the Executive Director to file an annual report on the state of the Association. This report has always been presented during the Annual Business Meeting. The Executive Director will prepare an annual report describing the events of the last year. The Executive Director's Annual Report will be published on the AsMA website, in the AsMA digital newsletter (Ever Upward), and in the Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance journal.