(July 17, 2020) – Earlier this week, we announced that the Kansas Hospital Association Board has made the difficult decision to not hold an in-person convention and trade show in 2020. We have known for some time we would be facing this decision, so we set out to make it as thoughtfully as possible. We gathered input from many sources including the KHA Convention Planning Committee, KHA members and staff, Kansas physicians and public health officials. As we approached this issue, the safety of members, vendors and staff has been our #1 priority.
We are determined to make the most out of this unfortunate situation to cancel convention, and we. are excited about the options being considered. Some of the convention activities, which we hope to include virtual networking roundtables, a virtual speaker that will offer some much-needed comic relief and access to vendors through a virtual trade show.
As we work through the details, we will share additional information. At this point, it is unlikely that events will take place on Sept. 10 and 11, but probably sometime later in October. This also will likely require us to hold our KHA Annual Business Meeting, which includes our annual election process, virtually and likely at a later time than has been scheduled.
We have been fortunate that the facilities where we hold convention have been very flexible, and the financial impact of this change to KHA will be very low. To help all of you out, we have asked the hotel to automatically cancel any room reservations that were made in connection with our convention room block.
We know there will be questions as we move forward but wanted to share this change as soon as possible so our members can plan accordingly. Please don't hesitate to reach out and ask anything that might not be clear and/or share ideas you might have about alternative approaches.
As I said at the outset, this was a difficult decision—difficult because of how much KHA staff and members enjoy getting together. However, after speaking to experts in Johnson County, talking to our members about their feelings and exploring logistics, it was really the only conclusion. And, while it is a major decision for KHA and our members, it is frankly inconsequential compared to the difficult situations healthcare providers across Kansas are facing right now. That is what we must, and will, continue to prioritize.