Due to safety concerns and travel limitations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists has been canceled. Health Journalism 2020 was originally scheduled for April 30-May 3.
AHCJ is trying to work with the conference hotel, the JW Marriott in Austin, to determine if there is another set of dates later in the year that might work.
“This was a difficult decision,” said Executive Director Len Bruzzese. “The acceleration of the virus reach and an increase in state of emergency declarations across the country meant more and more attendees and speakers could not – or should not – travel. AHCJ did not want to be in a position of placing people in danger.”
AHCJ’s board of directors approved the move, noting that most of its members were also under travel restrictions, according to AHCJ Board President Ivan Oransky.
“I know that our members are as disappointed as I am that we have had to make this difficult decision,” Oransky said. “The pandemic is yet another reminder of the importance of the high quality, evidence-based journalism that health care journalists pursue every day. We look forward to being able to reschedule our annual meeting and continue all of the other training events we offer throughout the year.”
Registrations will be honored for the next set of conference dates, or registrants will have the option of requesting a refund.
Plans for handling AHCJ’s annual health journalism writing awards and other conference-related matters will be announced in the days ahead.