49th Annual Meeting
The SNACC 2021 Annual Meeting is Going Virtual: A Message from the Chair of the Annual Meeting
Alana Flexman, MD, FRCPC
SNACC Vice-President for Education and Scientific Affairs
2021 Chair, Annual Meeting Planning Committee
Alana Flexman, MD, FRCPC
Safety First: Moving to a Virtual Format for 2021
The past year has been an incredible journey, marked by a need for rapid change and flexibility to adapt to the ongoing pandemic. Last year, the resilience, support, and engagement from the SNACC community after we rapidly moved the SNACC Annual Meeting to a virtual meeting were remarkable, including our speakers, moderators, abstract presenters, committee members, and attendees. Although there is no doubt that nothing can replace the in-person experience of the meeting, we received very positive feedback about the meeting experience and content.
When we started to plan the 2021 meeting last year, our planning committee was optimistic that the situation would be much different in a year’s time. While we remain optimistic that the world will start to emerge from this pandemic in the coming months with many positive signs, uncertainties still remain about the timeline of important milestones such as local public health recommendations, global vaccination, resumption of international travel, and quarantine requirements.
At the time of this writing, COVID-19 cases are still surging in parts of the world, and many of our members are dealing with extraordinarily difficult situations and unable to travel. Vaccination schedules worldwide continue to vary considerably, international travel has not resumed on a large scale, and quarantine restrictions remain in place in many jurisdictions. The safety of our members and conference attendees is our absolute first priority. Although we anticipate that the world will be in a better situation in the fall, we are unable to plan a safe in-person meeting for September 2021 confidently. After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to move again to a virtual annual meeting. We are confident that we will be able to deliver another high-quality virtual meeting for our membership.
SNACC Virtual Annual Meeting - September 10-12, 2021
Our meeting planning committee has been working very hard to create a program of excellent speakers on a range of neuroscience topics, and we hope we will "see" all of you there.
Our Maurice Albin keynote speaker, Gelareh Zadeh, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FAANS, is a world-renowned translational and clinical researcher in neuro-oncology and Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto.
On the first day of the conference, we will be offering three simultaneous tracks of workshops for you to choose from:
- An ICPNT workshop along PBLDs;
- Professional development and equity, diversity and inclusion workshops; and
- Cutting edge topics in the Neuroscience Symposium.
The main program will include panels on the Neuroscience of Pain and Anesthesia for the Vulnerable Brain and a pro-con debate on the merits of same-day discharge neurosurgery that you won't want to miss.
Like last year, we will feature the JNA Year in the Review session, host a complete scientific abstract program, and feature the top-rated abstracts and award-winners in the program. We are pleased to bring back the PBLDs this year which are very adaptable to the virtual format, and we are confident they will be popular as in the past so make sure you secure your tickets early. We are also planning social and networking events during the meeting for everyone, including special events for our trainees!
Over the past year, we have all discovered the advantages of virtual meetings, and we hope to carry some aspects forward. All of our content will be available on-demand for months after the meeting, so you can watch any sessions you might have missed at your convenience. The poster presentations were very well received last year, and some of you commented that the accessibility and communication was even better than in person. Our reach is wider, and our meeting is more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to travel.
Lastly, I’d like to sincerely thank our Meeting Planning Committee and management company Ruggles for their time, support and hard work, and the flexibility of all those involved in the meeting as speakers, moderators, and organizers. These difficult times call for a team effort, and it is amazing to see how everyone has stepped up to the plate and come together.
Looking Forward to Next Year
As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will no longer take for granted the opportunities to be together, share knowledge in perioperative neuroscience, along with food and drink with our friends and colleagues. The Annual Meeting is a major part of our SNACC community and something I, along with you, look forward to every year. Next year will be a very special year in many ways. Not only will we be able to meet in person (finally), we will also be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of SNACC. Prepare yourselves for a huge celebration, because just like you, we can’t wait!