March 30, 2020
Dear ICSUS Members and Colleagues:
In an earlier message I indicated that the health and safety of everyone is of paramount importance, specifically as it pertains to our annual meeting. As such, using the latest information available from the WHO and the CDC, the ICSUS Executive Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Surgical Update scheduled for April 30 to May 2 in Providence, Rhode Island. Unfortunately, due to legal reasons, we were unable to announce an official decision to cancel our event until now.
Your executive leadership and headquarters staff have been communicating regularly to discuss the appropriate response to this global pandemic. In particular, we have been monitoring the travel policy restrictions affecting our members and attendees as most health systems and academic centers have instituted travel bans or restrictions that would significantly impact the feasibility of our conference. It became obvious that ultimately cancelling the meeting as scheduled would be necessary in order to protect the safety and well-being of participants. In addition, taking this action will ensure that our meeting participants, who represent a critical element of the healthcare workforce, are available to provide proper care to patients. In the weeks ahead, we will provide further details about our plans to reschedule certain elements of the 2020 Annual Surgical Update.
Please note that our 2021 Annual Surgical update will be held in Minneapolis next year in June. I am also happy to inform you at this time that our 2022 Annual Surgical Update will be held in Providence, Rhode Island. Announcements and information will be posted on FICS Online and disseminated through other communication channels.
As far as we can ascertain, this is the first time in at least 50 years that an ICSUS annual meeting has not occurred as scheduled. It has been a privilege to lead the ICSUS through this extraordinary time. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the past few weeks as we contemplated these rapidly changing circumstances to arrive at this very difficult, but necessary decision.
The safety and well-being of not just our meeting participants and staff, but their families, colleagues and patients was and is as always our top priority.
Demetrius Litwin, MD, FICS
President, United States Section
International College of Surgeons
Anyone who booked a hotel room at the Renaissance Providence Hotel will need to cancel that reservation. You may use either the Modify/Cancellation link included in the confirmation email sent to you directly by the hotel or by calling 866-630-0704. The hotel has indicated they cannot process reservation cancellations as a group – everyone must handle this individually.
Attendee registration fees will be refunded as soon as possible. Should you wish to have your refund applied as a charitable donation to the ICSUS to be used to help offset the unrecoverable expenses that have already been incurred, contact Nick Rebel at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.