Important 2021 Annual Meeting Update

This has been a challenging time for all of us in the healthcare profession. The ability to help our patients has been diminished, and our co-workers on the front lines have sacrificed their personal safety to help the thousands affected by the virus. The WOA Board thanks you for your dedication and service to your communities and your faithfulness to the Society – it has been a hard year.

And while I would like to say that 2021 will return us to normalcy, it is impossible to accurately predict the behavior of the virus and its subsequent effect on society. We are being advised that masks will be mandated through the fall, and social distancing will continue to be enforced for at least that long. The significant rate of new COVID cases has been devastating in certain western states. The good news is that vaccines are being distributed and will hopefully be effective.

With that as the backdrop, the WOA Board has thought and debated long and hard over the right thing to do concerning the 2021 WOA Annual Meeting. Additionally, the 2021 Annual Meeting venue needs to have a final answer now as to whether or not we will be utilizing their site in August. With the safety and health of our members at the forefront of our decision, the Board has determined that the proper course of action is to cancel the 2021 in-person Annual Meeting and focus our planning on the 2022 meeting at the Grand Wailea in Maui. The WOA is planning virtual CME programs for 2021 to provide the WOA Membership with the opportunity to continue their education and earn CME credits. These programs will be made available with no registration fee for all WOA Members.

Again, it is very disappointing that we will not see you in Coeur D’Alene this year, but we are planning for a great return in 2022 to Hawaii, and, in 2023, we will be back to Coeur D’Alene. Thank you for your understanding of this situation and your faithfulness to WOA.

On behalf of myself and the WOA Board, we hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

Nitin Bhatia, MD
President, Western Orthopaedic Association