I’m writing to share with you the difficult decision we at U2FP have made to transition our Annual Symposium from an in-person meeting to a fully virtual conference this fall.
We had been hopeful that we would see the Covid Delta variant begin to recede by summer’s end. Instead, we continue to see an increase in the number of new infections. Many in our SCI Community are immunocompromised and/or have respiratory issues that put them at risk of potentially serious illness.
While it’s possible infections could go down this fall, we feel compelled to put the safety of our conference attendees above our strong desire to meet in-person.
U2FP’s whole mission centers on improving the quality of life for individuals with an SCI by expediting curative treatments. Therefore, it feels irresponsible to move forward with a gathering that could negatively impact the health of everyone - especially those more vulnerable in the SCI Community.
All that being said, no one is more disappointed about this than we are.
However, as we learned last year, there are some advantages to an all-virtual symposium, chiefly, increased accessibility.
And we continue to have an all-star line-up of presenters ready to engage with the latest cure research and strategies. We are currently in the process of building a virtual platform similar to what we created last year with our audio-visual team.
We'll be launching our updated registration page this coming week, with reduced pricing and updated details on what to expect for our virtual symposium this fall, so stay tuned for that announcement.
In the meantime, below are some details for those of you who have already made plans to attend.
- Current Registrants. For those who have already registered, you don't need to do anything. We'll refund the difference of your registration fee and continue to hold your spot for the Symposium. You'll receive a separate email from us soon, confirming that this refund has occurred.
- Travel Grant Applicants. Unfortunately, since we will no longer be meeting in Salt Lake City, this means that your Travel Grant application will not be considered for this year. We are happy to keep your application on file for next year. Just send us an email stating that it is your intention, and we'll make a note to keep it on file for consideration in 2022.
- Hotel Reservations. If you’ve already reserved a room at our conference hotel, please call the Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel at (801) 534-3459 to cancel your reservation
We plan to return to the Sheraton Salt Lake City hotel, in partnership with The Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitatio Hospital (our Title Sponsor) in the fall of 2022.
Thanks for your understanding, support and engagement. We hope you continue to stay safe and look forward to seeing you virtually this fall.