With the COVID-19 Pandemic continuing to surge, many government employees under travel restrictions, and public health officials pleading for us to avoid in-person meetings of even small groups of people, the co-organizers of the National EHDI Meeting (American Academy of Pediatrics, Hands & Voices, HRSA, and NCHAM) have made the difficult decision to replace the in-person EHDI Meeting that was scheduled for February 28th through March 2nd, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio with a virtual meeting that will take place March 1-5, 2021.
- The main conference will be spread over three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) from noon – 5 PM (Eastern time).
- Conference activities will be similar to past EHDI Meetings with plenary sessions; breakout sessions; posters; small group networking opportunities; exhibitors; special sections and activities for parents, students, and health care providers; instructional sessions; and, awards. In short, everything you have come to love about the National EHDI Meeting! We have spent a lot of time talking with people who have done virtual meetings during the last 4 months and have benefitted from their experience and insights about what worked well and what didn’t work well so that we will be able to bring you an EXCELLENT conference.
- Continuing education credits will be offered for all the sessions and recordings of every session will be available for on-demand viewing for three months following the conference. This means that you will be able to participate in sessions that you would have missed at an in-person meeting because they were happening at the same time as another session you were attending.
- There will a be a large number of optional instructional sessions offered in the mornings and on the Friday following the conference. These will offer continuing education credit and will be recorded for later on-demand viewing so don’t have to miss an instructional session you wanted to attend because of scheduling conflicts.
- The virtual format will mean that many people who have not been able to attend the conference in the past because of travel costs and time, work conflicts, and childcare responsibilities will be able to attend the virtual conference. We are particularly excited about the potential for having a record number of health care providers, parents, and Part C providers and administrators
The decision to change the in-person meeting to a virtual conference was made after carefully considering the results of a national survey of past EHDI Meeting attendees, extensive consultation with the EHDI Meeting Planning Committee, advice from other organizations who have held virtual meetings of a similar size during the last 4 months, and discussions with many EHDI coordinators and other stakeholders. We know that many of you consider the in-person National EHDI Meeting as the highlight of the year and the source for many ideas for how to continually improve your EHDI program. Thus, we did not make this decision lightly. But with the pandemic continuing to surge in almost all states, we knew many of you would not be able to travel to attend the meeting and many of those who could travel would have to quarantine after returning home.
We are excited to be able to participate with you in the 2021 National EHDI Virtual Conference and are convinced it will be a great experience for all attendees. Please watch the website at https://ehdimeeting.org/ and our EHDI Annual Meeting Facebook page beginning next week for updated and additional information.
Best wishes and stay safe and healthy,
National EHDI Conference Planning Committee