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important information on the 2020 annual meeting and SVP membership

April 9, 2020
As we all know by now, COVID-19 has had an extraordinary impact on the world, with new, unsettling information arising each day regarding the health and safety of our communities, the ability to travel and the devastating financial impact on the economy. We sincerely hope that you and your family are healthy and safe during this pandemic. As we all work to navigate through this crisis, SVP wants you to know that we are here for you.

Business (Mostly) as Usual
First and foremost, our newly transitioned SVP staff have taken critical steps around mitigating the impact of this pandemic and moved our offices to fully remote. However, you can still connect with us by:
•    Email at membership@vertpaleo.org
•    Phone at +1-301-634-7024

Membership Grace Period
Second, we understand that some of our members may be struggling financially during this difficult time. So that you won’t have to prioritize your SVP membership over other critical needs you may have at this time, SVP is extending a grace period for renewal of membership. Should you be unable to renew your membership right now, you will continue to receive membership benefits for the next few months until the crisis has subsided. If you experience problems accessing any of your member benefits, please email membership@vertpaleo.org or call +1-301-634-7024 for immediate assistance.   

Membership Requirement for Abstract Submission for 2020 Annual Meeting
Third, we understand that the requirement for abstract submissions, that at least one author is an SVP member, might be difficult in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Please rest assured that the membership grace period extended above for all members in good standing before the COVID-19 crisis, will cover individuals who wish to submit abstracts for the 2020 Annual Meeting.

Extension of Abstract Deadline for 2020 Annual Meeting
Fourth, in acknowledgement of the upheaval of work, school and home settings due to COVID-19, we have decided to extend the abstract deadline by two weeks to May 14th to give members more time to complete their submissions. Furthermore, we understand your research may not be as complete as you had hoped and that preliminary results may be subject to change. The impacts of the pandemic on research will be taken into account in programming decisions.

Delay of 2020 Annual Meeting Registration Launch
Fifth, out of sensitivity to our members who may be facing financial hardship, and in light of the unknown future with respect to travel restrictions, SVP has decided to delay the registration launch date for the 2020 Annual Meeting to at least June 1st. This will give SVP more time to understand whether or not the COVID-19 crisis will greatly impact our in-person event in Cincinnati, and to creatively pivot as needed to ensure that we provide the Annual Meeting’s high value content to as many of our members as possible.

Alternate Scenario Planning for SVP Annual Meeting
And finally, while we all hope that the COVID-19 crisis will be behind us by October, we recognize the possibility that it could greatly impact SVP’s ability to execute our planned Annual Meeting in Cincinnati. To address this, SVP’s leadership is working hand in hand with staff and the host committee and program chairs to engage in scenario planning. Our aim is to deliver the annual meeting in some format, ideally in person, with the potential for virtual elements. We encourage you therefore to please go ahead and submit your abstract. Note that we’ve added an option to the abstract submission site for you to indicate your willingness to present virtually, should that be the format. We will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 crisis and potential impacts on the meeting. At this juncture, we simply don’t know what is the best solution for SVP and our membership, but we are committed to keeping you informed as we navigate through this evolving situation together.

We hope that this message brings you some clarity around how SVP is addressing COVID-19’s impact on our annual meeting and membership services. And, we sincerely wish you the best of health.

Warm regards,

Emily J. Rayfield
SVP President