SIR and AHRA call off meetings in wake of coronavirus

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 09, 2020
Business Affairs Risk Management
SIR and AHRA have canceled their events amid the risks and fears over the transmission of the coronavirus
The Society of Interventional Radiology and the Association for Medical Imaging Management have joined the list of organizations canceling events worldwide in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

SIR made the decision to cancel its 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting, which was scheduled to take place from March 28 – April 2 in Seattle, based on recommendations of the CDC and WHO, both of which advise against hosting large public gatherings at this time.

“SIR and SIR Foundation leadership have made the difficult, but necessary and responsible, decision to cancel the SIR 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting in Seattle,” said Susan E. Sedory, SIR executive director and Dr. Laura Findeiss, SIR president, on behalf of the SIR executive council and SIR 2020 Annual Meeting Committee, in a statement. “We have given the situation deep consideration and want to provide all attendees with ample opportunity to manage air travel, hotel reservations and personal schedules. We also want to respect our physicians’ need to be on call back in their own communities and countries.”

AHRA, likewise, will not move forward with its 2020 Spring Conference between March 26 and 28 in San Diego, with President Chris Tomlinson saying the basis for the decision is the latest scientific evidence on the risks of transmission of COVID-19, as well as numerous travel restrictions implemented by companies and medical organizations as safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The health and well-being of our meeting attendees, staff, vendors, and the AHRA community are our primary concern,” he said in his organization’s own statement. Additionally, many AHRA members who are frontline medical imaging managers and critical to their health organization’s operations, are not permitted any nonessential travel at this time. We believe it’s important that key healthcare leaders aren’t displaced during a critical time.”

The cancellations by SIR and AHRA come just days after the postponement of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), one of the largest annual conferences in the field of medicine that is hosted by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) every year in Vienna. Initially scheduled for March 11 – 15, the event has been moved to July 15 – 19.

Other organizations that have cancelled upcoming annual conferences include The American College of Healthcare Executives, America's Health Insurance Plans, and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, according to HealthLeaders Media.

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