It is out of an abundance of caution and in the best interest of the public’s health that we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Connections 2020 conference scheduled for March 30-31, 2020. This decision was informed by science, Georgia’s declaration of emergency, and grounded in our organizational values.
Our biennial Connections conference has always been a labor of love for our Foundation Board and staff. We cherish the time we’re given to convene our grantees and partners, and it’s always been highly rewarding to see our Foundation’s community come together to share ideas about furthering the cause of health equity. That’s why we did not arrive at this decision to cancel Connections 2020 without extensive conversations with those in the healthcare space.
Our top priority is, as always, the health and well-being of our grantees and partners. We’re also cognizant of the threat COVID-19 poses for those in high-risk populations; adults over 60 years of age, immunosuppressed persons, and those who have chronic diseases. The thought that our Connections 2020 could contribute to the spread of even one COVID-19 case is untenable, and it’s not a risk we are willing to take.
The Foundation is in conversation about next steps with our event planner (Meetings Planned Here). If possible, we will reschedule our Connections conference near the end of 2020 and subject to the course of COVID-19. In consideration of the health of our Foundation staff, in the days and weeks ahead, we will rely on virtual meetings and conference calls and avoid in-person meetings.
Like many of you, the Foundation will experience significant changes in how we do our business. We pledge to do our part in supporting our grantees and partners during this health crisis. We are very much concerned with the changes in your organization’s revenue streams, particularly gifts, donations, and fundraising events. We are keenly aware of the employment risks that many of you may face. Of course, as a critical part of our state’s safety net many of you will place yourselves in harm’s way in order to serve our most vulnerable. We salute your service in times of need.
Thank you for what you do to enable, improve, and advance the health and well-being of all Georgians. Please reach out to the Foundation if we may be of assistance by calling 404.653.0990.
Gary D. Nelson, PhD
Questions about our Connections conference cancellation? Contact:
Healthcare Georgia Foundation