Growing COVID-19 concerns lead 2020 Hinman Dental Meeting and others to cancel

March 12, 2020

Hinman Dental Meeting cancelled. IADR/AADR/CADR General Session & Exhibition in Washington, DC, also cancelled.

It seems every time we turn on the TV news or read an article the last few days, we are bombarded by updates on coronavirus (COVID-19), and with good reason. A huge national and sports announcement hit when the NBA announced it would postpone the remainder of the 2020 basketball season, and then the NHL followed with a similar statement putting hockey on hold as well.

The unfolding COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected many sporting events, meetings, the travel industry, the stock market and more. Companies are making plans to allow employees to work from home or at the very least limit travel and take other precautions.

Shortly after a successful CDS Chicago Midwinter Meeting took place in late February at Chicago’s McCormick Place, a number of large conventions and conferences planned for McCormick Place were postponed or canceled, having a huge impact on the economy. Similar announcements of cancellations have taken place throughout the country and this week a pair of large dental meetings have been cancelled.

On Wednesday, the Hinman Dental Society made the difficult decision that its 108th Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting scheduled for March 19-21, 2020 at the Georgia World Congress Center and Omni Hotel at CNN Center cannot be held. The Boards of Directors of the International Association for Dental Research and the American Association for Dental Research, with input from the Canadian Association for Dental Research, the IADR Pan European Region, many Institutional and Corporate Members and individual Members, also made the difficult, decision to cancel the IADR/AADR/CADR General Session & Exhibition scheduled for March 18-21, 2020 in Washington, DC, USA, due to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.   

Related Reading: Keeping a dental practice and patients safe from Coronavirus

In a March 11 statement from the Hinman Dental Society, Robert J. O’Donnell, DDS, 2020 General Chair wrote:

“Over the past week, many academic centers, health systems and businesses have issued notices that do not allow for domestic travel. This list continues to grow and has a direct impact on our educational sessions.

Our concern is not only for the health of everyone involved, but also the quality of event that we can deliver with the current logistical challenges we are facing. Hinman’s goal has always been to provide world-class continuing education and exhibits, and in the current climate, we will not be able to provide the experience that you have come to expect from our organization.”

To read the full statement from the Hinman Dental Society, click here

The IADR statement shared similar sentiments and also offers advice for those who had made arrangements to attend.

“Based on the numerous travel bans and advisories implemented by Governments and Governmental agencies, institutions and corporations, and to protect public health, it is clear that canceling is the right course of action,” stated the IADR.

2020 is a special year as the research group was scheduled to celebrate the IADR Centennial throughout the meeting, including three Centennial Plenary sessions, many centennial-themed symposia and an IADR Centennial Gala at the U.S. Library of Congress. While there will be an inevitable “sense of loss” regarding this cancellation, over the coming weeks and months, the IADR will explore ways to virtually celebrate all of the awards, fellowships and grants that it planned to celebrate in Washington, DC as well as 100 years of dental, oral and craniofacial research. 

The full statement can beread here.  

The IADR on what happens next:
Everyone who has registered to attend the meeting will receive a full registration refund within the next 45 days. Once the registration cancellation is processed, they will receive confirmation in a separate email. Registrants do not need to contact IADR or the registration company Spargo. Despite the cancellation of the meeting, IADR/AADR will make abstracts citable as part of a special online only issue of the Journal of Dental Research. Remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel and housing reservations. Please note any cancellation of your hotel reservation must be made at least 72 hours prior to your scheduled arrival date to avoid penalty (unless noted otherwise).

Stay tuned as further cancellations and postponements would not surprise any of us.