Dear CSHA Conference Attendees:
In light of the governor’s announcement last night that the California Department of Public Health has issued updated policy guidance recommending that all gatherings of 250 or more people be postponed or canceled, CSHA is canceling next week’s annual convention.
These are unprecedented times. We appreciate the patience and support from the community as CSHA worked through the delicate balance of critical human and organizational considerations over the last few weeks.
With the governor’s statewide action, CSHA will move forward as swiftly as possible to manage next steps. Once we have a better understanding of possible options related to recouping your and our financial investment in this year’s conference, including the possible issuance of any refunds, we will be in touch.
We must focus in the coming days on managing the countless logistics required to dismantle a major event like ours.
There is no question that this turn of events will seriously impact CSHA from a financial perspective. Priorities will be re-examined, and some initiatives will need to be delayed or cancelled.
In the meantime, please, keep in mind that the CSHA office is staffed by only four people. We would appreciate you refraining from requesting information that we do not yet know. Specifically, please do not call or email the CSHA office regarding refunds or other similar questions. Again, we will send updated information on this and other issues when we have it.
I know that many are concerned with refunds and some are even demanding them immediately. This is just not possible. There are vendors who will NOT be refunding all amounts that CSHA has already paid to them. Costs for a convention of this size have been paid out over the past year.
CSHA will certainly be pursuing refunds from vendors, but as the governor and Department of Health did not go as far as using the words “ban” or “forbid” gatherings, there will be challenges in this area.
We are a member-driven organization and will continue to work on behalf of the membership, but it will take time to resolve the complexity of issues. Not because we don’t want to move swiftly, but because it is just not possible. In the meantime, we are dealing with the multitude of logistics that must be resolved relative to canceling the event.
I wish you wellness and hope that we can soon gather again as a strong and healthy organization of speech-language pathologists, assistants, audiologists and speech and hearing scientists and educators.
These will continue to be stressful days for everyone. Your patience and grace are greatly appreciated.