In mid-March, the Society of Hospital Medicine board of directors concluded that it was impossible for SHM to move forward with Hospital Medicine 2020 because of the continued spread of virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Given the most recent information available from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the World Health Organization about the evolving global pandemic and the number of institutions that had travel bans in place, SHM leadership concluded that canceling the Annual Conference was the only path forward.
“Canceling the conference during this unprecedented time is the right thing to do,” said Benji K. Mathews, MD, SFHM, CLHM, course director for HM20. “With the evolving circumstances out of our control, there were risks to our community as it would have gathered, communities we connect with on our travels, and our home communities and hospitals – canceling was the best way to mitigate these risks. Through it all, I couldn’t have asked for a better leadership team and the larger SHM community for their support.”
Because hospitalists are on the front lines of patient care at their institutions, they will be needed more than ever as the pandemic continues to grow in order to manage care of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and other illnesses. As the only medical society dedicated to hospital medicine, SHM will continue to support hospitalists with resources and research specific to COVID-19 and its impact on the practice of hospital medicine.
SHM is aware that this necessary cancellation impacts many from both a financial and logistical perspective. As such, SHM will refund all conference registration fees for HM20 in full. SHM is also providing the opportunity to defer your HM20 registration to HM21, taking place May 4-7, 2021 in Las Vegas, or Pediatric Hospital Medicine 2020, taking place July 23-26, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
For accommodation or travel cancellations, SHM requests that individuals please refer to their respective hotel or carrier’s customer service team and related cancellation policies.
To provide the world-class education that conference attendees have come to expect from SHM over the years, the SHM team is exploring virtual options to offer select content originally anticipated at HM20. SHM also offers online education via the SHM Learning Portal and the new SHM Education app.
Visit shmannualconference.org/faqs for a full list of FAQs. For additional questions, please contact [email protected].
SHM will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and provide hospitalists with useful resources in this time of need at hospitalmedicine.org/coronavirus. For news coverage of COVID-19, visit https://www.the-hospitalist.org/hospitalist/coronavirus-updates.