May 27, 2020 — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) announced today that its 106th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, previously scheduled to be held Nov. 29 – Dec. 4, 2020, at McCormick Place in Chicago, will be held as an all-virtual event Nov. 29 – Dec. 5.
“As RSNA holds the world’s largest radiology meeting with over 50,000 attendees from 137 countries, our ability to conduct RSNA 2020 in Chicago is impacted by global public health considerations,” said RSNA President James P. Borgstede, M.D. “With a mission that focuses on health and patient care, the primary consideration for RSNA is the health and safety of attendees, presenters, exhibitors, staff, and by extension, the global community. Therefore, we concluded it would be impossible to safely conduct RSNA 2020 in person and have decided to hold RSNA 2020: Human Insight/Visionary Medicine as an exclusively virtual event. While we are disappointed we could not safely meet in Chicago this year, we continue to stand proudly in partnership with the many physicians, health care professionals, researchers and companies doing their part to stop the pandemic and preserve public health, and we look forward to a successful virtual program.”
As a virtual event, RSNA 2020 promises to deliver an outstanding program for radiology professionals from around the world. RSNA will be enhancing its already successful virtual meeting to offer a rewarding experience for attendees, presenters and exhibitors. With more than 11,000 scientific and educational abstract submissions, the radiology community is looking to RSNA as its anchor for learning and sharing science and education this year, despite the pandemic.
“We proudly recognize that our attendees rely on the RSNA annual meeting as a source for the latest research, premier professional education and cutting-edge radiologic innovation,” Borgstede said. “Connecting medical imaging professionals from around the world is more important than ever during this time, and RSNA is doing this in the best and safest way possible.”
The RSNA 2020 Virtual Meeting will ensure the opportunity for participation for all of those who have been impacted by institutional, corporate or national travel restrictions.
“Fortunately, RSNA 2020 is still several months away, which will allow us the opportunity to prepare a robust virtual experience for our attendees and exhibitors,” said RSNA Executive Director Mark G. Watson.
Since the inception of the RSNA annual meeting more than a century ago, the society has canceled the physical meeting only twice before – in 1943 and in 1945 – due to transportation and gasoline supply issues during and immediately following World War II.
The McCormick Place convention center is currently configured as a COVID-19 overflow hospital, but it is unknown how long that will stay in place. There is concern that COVID-19 will have a resurgence in cases starting this fall, possibly impacting the conference if SARS-CoV-2 cases increase. Also, the state of Illinois has stated it will not reopen conventions and other large events until after there is a vaccine, according to its COVID-19 reopening planning, and a vaccine is not expected until at least 2021.
Registration for RSNA 2020 opens July 22nd and will be free to members. Visit RSNA.org for more information and to sign up to receive future annual meeting updates.
From early on, RSNA has been a global leader in disseminating information and the latest research on COVID-19 through our scientific journals, webinars, podcasts and best practices documents. To learn more about RSNA’s COVID-19 activities, visit RSNA.org/COVID-19.
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