This year, ACR 2020 transitioned to a completely virtual meeting that prioritized governance activities. Approximately 750 members and guests logged online to acr.org from Saturday, May 16, through Tuesday, May 19.
“The health and safety of ACR members and the patients they serve, as well as that of ACR employees and local hospitality staff, are the primary reason for this transition,” said Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, now president of the ACR.
“The move to a virtual meeting is the right thing to do during this difficult time for healthcare providers, those we serve, and our nation,” added Richard Duszak Jr., MD, FACR, speaker of the ACR Council.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s effort was also a departure from previous ACR Capitol Hill Days. Over the past two decades, thousands of ACR members have traveled to Capitol Hill on a designated day during ACR annual meetings and chapter leadership conferences to meet with their elected representatives and staff. This year, ACR members were asked to send specific tweets, tagging their federal lawmakers in two successive weeks to raise their awareness of specific ACR legislative priorities. During the week of May 18, ACR members tweeted Congress on issues related to waiving budget neutrality for the proposed evaluation and management policy. They tweeted their senators and representatives again during the week of May 25 to emphasize the need to broaden the scope of prior authorization relief.
McGinty expressed her admiration for Duszak and Amy L. Kotsenas, MD, FACR, the vice speaker, aided by ACR staff, for creating a virtual meeting and governance process that ensures the continuity of our organization and provides a way to connect virtually, while many other medical societies have cancelled their meetings because of the technical obstacles.
“As we have lived through this crisis, I’ve learned so much about our resilience and humanity as a community,” McGinty said, “and about the foundations on which our organization stands.”