Update March 11, 2020:

Please see the SPPAC 2020 Welcome page for an update from SPP President, Dr. Jennifer Pendley, Past President, Dr. David Elkin, and President-Elect, Dr. Wendy Ward. In brief, SPPAC 2020 will be moving to an online-only format and more details will be available within the next few days!


Update March 10, 2020: Message from SPP President Dr. Jennifer Pendley 

Thank you for your patience as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation. We know this is weighing on many hearts and minds, not just because of the uncertain status of SPPAC, but because of all those have been affected. We have heard from many of you and truly appreciate your caring commitment, passion, and desire for us to do the right thing. I’ve been struck by the number of people who have offered to help, to support, to encourage. Your positive and compassionate attitudes have been such sources of support for all of us as we have wrestled with this situation. This is why I love SPP- we care about each other and are willing to roll up our sleeves to help one another. I have much gratitude for this group. Thank you.

As you all know, this is an extremely complex situation is changing by the hour and will likely to change dramatically over the next couple of days. We are fully aware of the impact the uncertainly is having on our members. We also know that many presenters have spent much effort and energy into preparing their talks in what we expected would be another inspiring conference. And we know that SPPAC is a annual highlight for many in our group. We also realize the significance of the health risk particularly given many of our work environments and understand we have a responsibility in promoting and protecting health. We also have noted the long list of institutions who have enacted travel bans. Due to these multiple factors and the rapidly changing status, we are not able to give you a decision today. We are intensely discussing a variety of creative options that would enable us to keep people engaged and we are in active conversations with the hotel.

We know time is the essence and we hope to have final answers late thursday or Friday. For now, if you know you are unable to attend, please take care to cancel your hotel reservation directly with the hotel. You may also request a registration refund (minus processing fee). Please note that refunds need to be processed individually and please be patient as it may take a few days.

I know this is probably not the message anyone wants to hear. I have heard from many of you and take what you say seriously. I apologize if we don’t respond to each email – the volume has been overwhelming. I promise that we are doing everything possible to explore every possibility and to think creatively.

Thank you for your continued patience. I will update with emails when we have new information.



Update March 9, 2020:

We have received some questions regarding refund of registration fees.  At this time, we are following our standard registration policy – full registration minus service fee is refundable up to March 12.  After that, registration refund requests will be evaluated on an individual basis.


Update March 4, 2020:

We wanted to provide an update regarding SPPAC and the concern about COVID-19. We want to assure you that our members’ and meeting attendees’ safety and well-being remain a top priority. This unprecedented situation is changing daily and we are continuing to monitor the situation and follow guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Our conference staff is communicating with hotel staff and is staying up to date regarding the risk in traveling to Dallas.   As of today, there are no travel bans for traveling to or from Dallas and we are still moving forward with our meeting as planned.

Additional information about global travel impacts and the coronavirus can be found here:

We have received some questions regarding refund of registration fees.  At this time, we are following our standard registration policy – full registration minus service fee is refundable up to March 12.  After that, registration refund requests will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Our plan moving forward:

Although no cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Dallas at this time, remaining vigilant in preventing the spread of communicable illnesses—including the Coronavirus, the flu, and the common cold—is critical. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

Practice everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday or the ABCs 2x!). If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What we are doing:


  • We will keep up-to-date information on our website pertaining to the status of the event, and precautions for attendees onsite
  • We will send email communications to registered event participants with any pertinent updates leading up to the event


  • We will provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wipes and tissue.
  • We will provide signage onsite encouraging attendees to practice Respiratory Hygiene.
  • We encourage attendees to

    • Adopt a no-handshake policy at the event – how about a fist bump or hand wave?
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Cough or sneeze into elbows only
    • Stay home if they are sick or experiencing any cold/flu-like symptoms for their own safety and the safety of others

The SPPAC planning committee will remain vigilant and utilize precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of all attendees. We will continue to regularly check the latest official information leading up to the event and encourage our conference participants to do the same.  It is our collective responsibility as a community to focus on the facts, use sound judgement, and follow the advice of the relevant authorities and scientists.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!