A Message from the President: Update on the 2022 Annual Assembly

The 2022 Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care will be held February 9-12, 2022 in Nashville, TN. We are resolved to meet in Nashville, in person and use our voice for good. The safety and well-being of our attendees is always our top priority, and this is the core tenant that will continue to guide us as we shape the meeting.

Over three months, AAHPM and HPNA leadership participated in many listening conversations with our volunteer leaders and members, collaborated with the city of Nashville, connected with the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, our vendor partners and more to get a full picture of the how the legislation in Tennessee impacts our attendees.

AAHPM is dedicated to treating every individual with dignity and respect, assuring access to quality healthcare, and providing a voice for those who are not heard in all communities. Staying in Nashville will be the best way for us as a hospice and palliative care community to use our voices on-the-ground to positively impact and support those affected by legislation in Tennessee.

While in Nashville, we can serve as allies to the LGBTQ community, foster a greater understanding of transgender identity, complete community service projects, and back local LGBTQ-owned business. It is important to embrace these challenges to create change – and this is our opportunity to use our strengths, and our dollars, for good.

AAHPM is committed to educating and building a community that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more on this commitment, you can review our pledge, our dedication to a welcoming environment, and our DEI strategic goals.

YOU, our members, attendees, and customers, are our top priority while planning the Annual Assembly. We aim to create a safe, healthy, and welcoming environment for all who wish to come to Nashville. If you are not comfortable traveling to Nashville for health and safety reasons, know that we are planning a virtual component designed to bring you connection and education.

Keep your eyes on AnnualAssembly.org as we continue to provide resources for housing, dining, transportation and more. It is our promise to continue working with Nashville partner-vendors that align with AAHPM’s values and DEI strategic goals.

In addition, we continue to monitor the COVID pandemic, including vaccination policies and rates across the country and in the Nashville area.  We will also provide updates on this at AnnualAssembly.org.

I hope you will join me in standing up, advocating, and creating positive change for a better world. And thank you, as always, for the work that you do every day for our patients with serious illness and their families.

Sincerely,

Nate Goldstein, MD FAAHPM
AAHPM President

4 thoughts on “A Message from the President: Update on the 2022 Annual Assembly

  1. Dear Nate,
    I appreciate your perspective and thoughtfulness.Attending this wonderful
    gathering , connecting with old friends, meeting new colleagues, is always one
    of the highlights of working in palliative care. To your point about AAHPM being concerned about safety foremost, I agree. Last year was a new experience
    attending virtually, and with the tech services so active, it was also a way to stay in community and connect safely. My gratitude for the.creative and powerful decision AAHPM made to move to a virtual platform then actualized last year.

    The decision this year is disappointing. The way things are going in the world and in this country with covid not yet effectively contained and new variants on the rise since now the delta strain presence, the decision of AAHPM seems remiss in several ways. Holding the in-person conference in a state that has not been known for its robust response to covid throughout the pandemic and now has some of the highest numbers of patients seems a huge oversight to the primary tenant of safety and well being to our community your letter has stated a few different times in its content. (Also, as I recall, last year, it took quite awhile for AAHPM to actually switch all to virtual)

    I guess my whole point is that AAHPM view and practice needs to be a “both/and” not an “either/or” philosophy if AAHPM Is truly walking its talk. Your letter concerns me that it is not rigorously practicing safety ,accessibility , and inclusion for all of us in membership ,both md and non-md providers alike.

    Your letter indicates that AAHPM is planning a “virtual component designed to … bring connection and education” for all of us who are not willing to travel. That is important to members like myself who are in high-risk categories but very active in Pc and continue to be part of the covid frontline workforce. I am not willing to travel until more is known about covid prevention/protection which will be unlikely by February,2022, I am sure. I am imagining that my concerns are more a shared common humanity response and I am not the only member
    With these concerns.

    Your letter does not explain the detail of the virtual platform you suggested. My hope is that the virtual access will not significantly differ from in-person access allowing FULL access to attend keeping true to the tenant of safety while also promoting the relational tenant of this organization. The agenda needs to offer equal access virtually so that many in our community who are not willing yet to attend in person can attend with presence via virtual platform. My wish is that folks will put more creative efforts into re-designing the entire virtual platform of the meeting to accommodate both virtual and in-person attendees in user-friendly ways for a robust change. AAHPM program has always been jam-packed with presentations which makes it wonderful but hard to pick and choose whose presentation to go to,etc when all are relevant. Last year was no exception. I am suggesting that re-styling the flow of the schedule to accommodate what we know about how learning is affected by being in the “cascade of trauma” culture we are living in as well as also zooming through would be greatly appreciated and actually quite creative and smart.Let’s apply some of our own Medical Communication like we have learned through Vital Talk and/or CAPCAnd /or ARiadne to our own needs for a change if you want to highlight a better way of providing education now.

    On another practical note, many of us have taken “temporary” salary cuts that initially were to help the financial crunch of our medical institutions, now only to learn that these cuts will not be restored and are permanent. Moral distress and injury have escalated within many of our institutions increasing the ethical dilemmas many of us feel and are big factors in empathic distress and burnout many providers are experiencing. I am as worried about my friends’ and colleagues well-being and safety against the sheer exhaustion and suffering I see amongst us as with the covid virus itself.Having a community like AAHPM to connect to, if only once a year, is of paramount importance to all members.

    To facilitate inclusiveness,a few more points to make- having a virtual platform needs to also be part of a philosophy reflected in lowering the conference rates which have been greatly unaffordable in the past to non-md providers,even with the small discount AAHPM has offered to those of us non-mds in the Pc field..Ifor an example of a possible solution , I would suggest an option to keep recordings of the conference in an online library with at least a six month access to all AAHPM members that would give those that pd a conference fee access free as well as to CEs /CEUs and charge some kind of equitable fee to those members who did not sign onto the conference , but again, a fee structure that is fair ,reasonable and accessible given the times we are living through.

    Thank you for your letter as well as your consideration to my commentary. I hope more changes will be made that I will be able to attend virtually. We need our community now more than ever. I find I am in agreement with Diane Meier who recently spoke with the NYZen Center’s Comtemplative Medicine program that the future of palliative care is at risk to be used by many institutions in a metrics /profit drive way, losing the relational, compassionate soul of palliative care that we all have made foundational in palliative care.

    Warm regards,
    Karen

    Karen Schanche, LCSW, APSHW-C,SEP,Vital Talk Faculty,Jr Associate
    Advanced Palliative Care Social Worker,III & Private Practice Psychotherapist
    Kaiser Permanente Medical Center,Northern California
    Cell: 415-260-1459

  2. Since 1999 when we became the AAHPM I have attended 90% of these important annual conferences—for support, education, and entertainment! Given the decision today by the governor of Tennessee to void any local masking decisions, I am afraid I am not going to be able to attend. Sorry. Convince me otherwise, I’d love to come!

  3. let’s look at this again

    “We are resolved to meet in Nashville, in person and use our voice for good. The safety and well-being of our attendees is always our top priority…”

    No, your top priority is obviously to meet in Nashville in person – you said it yourself. You resolved to do it.

    The safety and well-being of your (?) attendees is obviously an afterthought, something to dance around with Weaselspeak and gaslighting.

    Anyone who isn’t a white cishet abled physician or nurse is in danger from racist homophobic transphobes, and y’all are going to be at risk for catching and transmitting a deadly highly transmissible variant of a novel coronavirus in a pandemic.

    But commerce and climbing the ladder matter most, seems clear.

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