A Message from the SPR Board of Directors on Site Selection for Meetings

Statements & Endorsements,

A Message from the SPR Board of Directors on Site Selection for Meetings 
Endorsed by the SPR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee 

As we look forward to continuing to meet in person, we recognize the locations for the 2023 (Austin, Texas) and 2024 (Miami, Florida) annual meetings have prompted concerns, as in the past, with meetings occurring in states whose legislation may be perceived as discriminatory. This has been a recurring topic of discussion among the Board members, centered around the following topics: 

  • The Society’s mission and DEI and Professionalism Statements
  • You, the Society members: Because SPR is comprised of a diverse group of pediatric imagers, the Board does not wish to define what is or is not discriminatory for any member. 
  • The health, well-being, and safety of all meeting attendees 
  • State and local politics are ever-changing and meeting locations are traditionally set years in advance.

Selecting a meeting site depends on many variables, including prior locations, labor costs, hotel availability, guestroom rates, other radiological meetings, and more. The reality is that no matter how well planned the process, unpredictable circumstances can arise or become apparent after the meeting site is finalized. While hotels may accept some occurrences (e.g., natural disaster, a pandemic, etc.) for cancelation, they may not agree to all. Breaching a hotel contract could result in the Society facing significant financial implications of up to half-a-million dollars.
Out of commitment to our fiduciary responsibilities, we strive to strike a balance between those fiduciary responsibilities and guiding the Society in a politically neutral manner. Following all considerations, the SPR’s informed and mindful decisions on meeting sites will contribute to our broader efforts in reaffirming our mandate to foster excellence in pediatric health care through imaging and image-guided care. As in 2018 (Nashville), potentially discriminatory laws provided opportunities for discussion. It was out of such conversations that the Society’s DEI Committee was formed. Our intent is not to unfairly disregard a municipality consisting of diverse human beings for the actions of a statewide electorate. Instead, we intend to foster meaningful conversations amongst all by bringing together people who represent various beliefs and views. Please understand that we believe from these differences, we can start conversations which can be the beginning of meaningful change.
While we cannot reschedule the upcoming meetings or solely base site selections on state and local politics, we can and will continue to have discussions that include the diverse opinions and beliefs of the SPR membership. If you are attending RSNA 2022, we hope you will join us at the SPR Member Forum for further discussion of this topic - more information to come.