Several medical and healthcare conferences scheduled for the popular destination of New Orleans have been canceled or relocated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's devastation on the Gulf Coast. Officials have canceled all events in the city for the foreseeable future, and it could be months before the water is pumped from New Orleans.
The American Public Health Association, which was set to hold its 133rd annual meeting in New Orleans Nov. 5-8, canceled those plans last week, said Sabrina Jones, an association spokeswoman. She said officials are now considering alternative locales for the meeting, which usually attracts 13,000 to 14,000 attendees.
Ironically, some who are associated with the group are in New Orleans now aiding disaster victims.
"We are saddened by the tragic loss of life and widespread devastation to homes and communities, and we continue to pledge our support to the front-line public-health and safety workers responding to this emergency," officials said on the organization's Web site.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists, which expected to host its 100th anniversary annual meeting in New Orleans Oct. 22-26, said it is looking at alternative sites.
The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, scheduled to hold its conference in New Orleans Sept. 22-25, canceled those plans after the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency, said it would be closed until at least mid-November. The group rescheduled the conference for Oct. 26-30 in Las Vegas.
Other health-related groups to cancel in Katrina's wake include: The Gerontological Society of America and the American Federation for Aging Research, which canceled a conference planned for Nov. 18-22; the National Association for Healthcare Quality, which canceled its annual meeting set for Sept. 16-20; and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, which was scheduled to meet in New Orleans for its annual institute on Sept. 21-23.