In the past few weeks, I have heard from several constituents inquiring about the timing and location for the next ACHA National Conference, so I want to provide an update to our full membership.
The ACHA National Conference—our premier event that gathers both patient/family members and medical providers—has recently taken place every three years (2011 in L.A., 2014 in Chicago, 2017 in Orlando). Following that cycle, our next Conference year would be 2020, and that is the target we are working toward. However, we want to make sure there are enhanced opportunities for gatherings in the “off years” as well. Most of you are probably also familiar with our half-day Regional Events, including the ones already announced for 2018 (you can learn more and register here). So, after extensive conversations involving our Board of Directors and Medical Advisory Board, here is our plan for the next few years:
- In 2019, we will extend our Regional Conferences to full-day events, affording more opportunities for both educational, social and networking opportunities. We are currently finalizing locations for these extended Regional Conferences and hope to announce them by the end of the summer, if not sooner. We will do our best to make these events geographically diverse so that members all across the country will have one relatively nearby.
- Keeping our every-three-years schedule, in 2020, we will present our 9th National Conference! We continue to evaluate dates and locations, and as soon as we have a confirmed plan, our members and supporters will be the first to know.
I am very excited about these expanded Regional Conferences, which join our growing calendar of events like our ACHA Galas (new for 2018), Meet and Greets, Congenital Heart Walks, volunteer fundraisers, and others. So, we want to announce another change. Starting next month, as a member, you will begin receiving an events email each month, as our Heart Happenings newsletter you are reading now will move to a bimonthly schedule. ACHA volunteers and staff are very active in their communities across the country, and we think a focused calendar of events mailing each month will help all of us be better informed.
Finally, it’s National Volunteer Week, and I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our AMAZING volunteers for helping us further our important mission each and every day. Did you know one of our biggest volunteer bases are supporters of Congenital Heart Walks? Whether you walk, volunteer, donate—or all three—we are incredibly thankful, and especially as walks are about to kick off this weekend! Click here for our schedule, and we hope to see you in one of the 26 communities with a Congenital Heart Walk this year.
Mark Roeder, President and CEO