From the AVA Chief Operations Officer (COO), Tonya Hutchison and 
AVA President, Lori Kaczmarek 
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Leadership and Staff of the Association for Vascular Access (AVA), we are pleased to share updates, planning and next steps for the organization:
First, we understand that the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is on the forefront of everyone’s minds. Currently AVA is following the recommendations of medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) . At this time, the risk to the general public continues to remain low therefore there is no plan to postpone or modify the AVA Scientific Meeting in September. We recognize that this is a fluid and rapidly evolving situation which requires our continued vigilance.  
Network leaders are encouraged to monitor the impact of COVID-19 within their community and follow recommendations of their local health authorities as localized outbreaks may impact scheduled network events.  It is important that individuals stay home from work or gatherings if they are ill, are immunocompromised or have pre-existing respiratory disease placing them in an at-risk group. The onus is on the participant to avoid events if they fit into any of the categories. If network leaders or members have concern regarding a participant’s health, they may ask them to leave for the safety of others.
The health and safety of our attendees is our highest priority and we are following CDC recommendations as we plan for our Annual Scientific Meeting in Colorado: 
  • We are partnering with the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Conference Planners to assure a safe venue. This includes assuring an adequate supply of soap, hand sanitizer, and tissues and maintaining regular cleaning and disinfecting throughout the facility. 
  • We are keeping in regular contact with local health officials in our host city of Aurora, CO and monitoring for any developments 
  • We are establishing handshake-free meetings at all events 
  • We will continue to provide updates and regular communication on the AVA website and through membership emails like this.  
As Lori updated the membership on February 20th, the Board of Directors is proceeding with the search and hire of our next executive leader. Several search firms’ interviews are underway and the board is awaiting two more proposals before choosing one. Selection of the search firm is as important as hiring the candidate, so the board is conducting this review methodically. Its anticipated that proposals and decision can be announced soon after our April 6th board meeting.  
In closing, the headlines are concerning, experts however continue to say the overall coronavirus risk in the U.S. remains low for healthy adults.  While it's critically important to remain vigilant and take useful precautions in times like these, it's equally important to make calm, rational, and fact-based decisions. Please return to the AVA website for updates and we will continue regular communications like these to keep you informed.
Lori Kaczmarek, MSN, RN, VA-BC

Tonya Hutchison, AVA COO