I know that many of you have been waiting for an update on the status of our Annual Meeting, and I thank you for your patience. Your OTA Executive and staff have been working diligently to optimize the meeting and minimize any potential safety risks or financial implications for our group. Unfortunately, it appears clear to us that given the current situation — both nationally in the United States and locally in Nashville — it will simply not be possible to have an in-person meeting there in September of this year. Tennessee’s state of emergency has been extended to August 29, Nashville has reverted to Phase Two of its re-opening plan (we need Phase Four to hold our meeting), COVID case numbers are increasing across the state, and many academic institutions are extending or expanding their travel bans.
Therefore, on this basis, the OTA Board decided last night to cancel the in-person Annual Meeting in Nashville and proceed with a virtual meeting.
I am sure that many of you are as disappointed as I am that we will not be able to enjoy the knowledge and friendship that flows naturally from our Annual Meeting. However, Program Chair Steve Kottmeier, MD and his committee have been planning a virtual meeting for some time now, and it promises to be excellent both in format and quality. More to follow on the details of our virtual meeting as we focus on that. Additionally, we are committed to returning to Nashville in the future to enjoy the benefits of that entertaining city. Lastly, I thank you all for the many messages of encouragement and support we received during this difficult period, and look forward to the time we can meet in person. Let’s make our OTA Annual Meeting in Ft. Worth, Texas 2021 the brightest and biggest ever!
Michael D. McKee, MD, OTA President