AAGP Board Update on AAGP 2020 Meeting Cancellation and Next Steps

The past 10 days have challenged us all as never before. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our personal and professional lives in ways that are difficult to comprehend. We are all focused on how to keep our patients and their caregivers safe and supported while doing the same for our staff and colleagues. We are worried about our families, including elderly parents and grandparents, not to mention our children and ourselves.

 

When we first began to seriously discuss the possibility of cancelling the AAGP 2020 Meeting two weeks ago, it was incomprehensible at that time how rapidly the world would change. In a way, we were lucky. The timing of this year’s meeting was such that a decision to cancel was apparent at precisely the time we needed to make that difficult call. We all know how much the AAGP means to us, the opportunity to connect with colleagues and friends whom we’ve known for years and to meet and mentor the next generation of clinicians, educators and researchers dedicated to the mental health needs of our aging population.

 

We were all devastated at this tremendous professional and personal loss that is now rapidly overshadowed by our public health crisis. However, there has never been a more important time for us to work together as a community to support one another, our patients and their families as we continue to do this important work about which we are so deeply passionate and committed.

 

This update will provide details on the financial implications of cancelling the AAGP 2020 Meeting, the impact on our CME efforts and Scholars program and our plans for moving forward in a very uncertain year.

 

Most of all, we want to thank you for your patience while we deal with myriad logistical details from the actual cancellation of the AAGP 2020 meeting. Like other professional organizations that hold conferences, AAGP has made up-front investments to plan and execute the conference. When the AAGP meeting was cancelled, we were only days away from the start of the meeting.  AAGP cannot be released from its many financial obligations to the venue and vendors contracted who worked so hard on our behalf up to the cancellations. Cancelling the conference has consequences not just for attendees, presenters, and exhibitors, but for AAGP as well.  Negotiations are underway to try and mitigate the financial losses.

The AAGP board of directors met last Thursday to address AAGP business that needed immediate attention.  These things affect you as AAGP members, AAGP attendees, and AAGP partners.  We have come up with three possible options in terms of handling attendee registration fees: converting your fee into an AAGP donation, a partial refund with access to other material, or a full refund.

Donation and Refund requests must be made online via this AAGP REFUND REQUEST FORM so that all requests can be tracked and documented and avoid overwhelming the management team with individual emails.  Refund requests must be made by June 18, 2020.  After June 18, 2020, no refund requests will be issued.

This is applicable to workshop registrations as well as the various conference registration options listed below:

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEES:

Workshop Registration Fees:

  • Donate Registration Fee. Donations to AAGP are tax free and AAGP will provide official documentation with thanks and tax language to use for your tax records.
  • 50% Refund with Access to handout materials in PDF format. We’ll refund half of your workshop registration cost
  • 100% Refund with no access to handout materials.

Conference Registration Fees:

  • Donate Registration Fee. Donations to AAGP are tax free and AAGP will provide official documentation with thanks and tax language to use for your tax records.
  • 50% Donation and exchange 50% of registration for Access to the AAGP iGPSAP (Internet Geriatric Psychiatry Self-Assessment Exam) – worth 42 CME credits. We’ll refund half of your conference registration fee and provide you with complimentary login credentials to the iGPSAP so you can earn additional CME for MOC and re-certification requirements.
  • 50% Refund with Access to the AAGP iGPSAP (Internet Geriatric Psychiatry Self-Assessment Exam) – worth 42 CME credits. We’ll refund half of your conference registration fee and provide you with complimentary login credentials to the iGPSAP so you can earn additional CME for MOC and re-certification requirements.
  • 100% Refund with no access additional material.

Conference Recordings:
If you purchased a set of conference recordings as part of your registration for the Annual Meeting you will receive a full refund for those fees.

 

OTHER MEETING RELATED UPDATES:

 

AAGP 2020 Session and Poster Abstracts
We’ve received a lot of correspondence about what is/will happen with the abstracts that were submitted and accepted for presentation at the 2020 Annual Meeting. 


Session and poster abstracts (with the exception of late-breaking posters) will be published as an online supplement to the April 2020 issue of The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Our partners at Elsevier, who publish the journal are putting final touches on the file and we hope to provide a link to the abstracts in the next edition of AAGP E-News on March 31.  

Please note: All abstracts were peer-reviewed and can be listed on CVs as presented for the AAGP 2020 Annual Meeting/published in AJGP April 2020.

 

2020/2021 AAGP Leadership Transition Plans
Given the unusual circumstance we are facing this year, the Board decided last week to modify our standard approach to leadership transition effective immediately. Specifically, our current President, Dr. Rajesh Tampi, and President-Elect, Dr. Brent Forester, will serve as Co-Presidents for the upcoming year.
 
During the 2021 AAGP Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, Dr. Forester will take on the President role. We will also add our recently elected President-Elect, Dr. Marc Agronin, and Secretary/Treasurer-Elect, Dr. Ilse Wiechers, to our Board Executive Committee and extend the terms of our current Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Mustafa Husain, and Secretary/Treasurer-Elect, Dr. EJ Santos
 
Recently elected Board Member, Dr. Krista Lanctôt, will join our Board of Directors and those members with expiring terms will continue in their roles.
 
We will also keep in place the Chairs of our three standing committees, Dr. Susan Lehman (Teaching and Training Committee), Dr. Howard Aizenstein (Research Committee) and Dr. Marie Dewitt (Clinical Practice Committee).
 
Finally, Dr Kirsten Wilkins, who has done an incredible job as Program Chair of this year’s Annual Meeting Program Committee, will continue in this role with Dr. Michelle Conroy serving as Associate Program Chair for the 2021 Annual Meeting. 
 
2020 AAGP Scholars Program & Donor Communication
Plans are being made on how to keep the 38 AAGP Honors Scholars and 10 AAGP General Scholars engaged over the course of the year. We plan to communicate with the donors who very generously supported the Scholars Program in the coming days.
 
2020-2021 Online CME/Annual Meeting Planning
A task force composed from the AAGP Board of Directors is investigating possible options for presenting some content from the scheduled for the 2020 Annual Meeting digitally to provide additional CME opportunities during the coming year.
 
This task force will also be looking at how parts of the 2020 Annual Meeting might be adapted/updated for the 2021 Annual Meeting in San Diego. While no plans are definite, we promise to share details as we work things out and come up with an overall plan.
Again, we thank you, our members and partners, for your understanding and patience as we work through these issues and consequences resulting from cancelling the AAGP meeting.
 
As a leadership team, the 2020 AAGP Board of Directors and newly elected 2021 Board members will be meeting more often during these difficult times until things are on more stable ground. We will keep you informed of processes, actions, and plans being made as we forge our way together through this troubled time.

 

Thank you,

 

Rajesh R. Tampi, MD, Co-President, AAGP

Brent P. Forester, MD, MSc, Co-President AAGP

 

 

REMINDER:

Refund requests must be made online via this AAGP REFUND REQUEST FORM so that all requests can be tracked and documented and avoid overwhelming the management team with individual emails.  Refund requests must be made by June 18, 2020.  After June 18, 2020, no refund requests will be issued.