We are excited about the Academy's annual conference on Transforming Health, Driving Policy in Washington, DC, from October 16 to 18. This year's conference will be at the Washington Grand Hyatt, a much larger hotel that will provide the space that we clearly are needing with over 1,200 people attending the induction ceremony last year, I don't think we could have squeezed one more person into the room!
This year's conference will focus on issues related to the Academy's new strategic plan and the website will keep you posted on speakers and events as they are confirmed. I think you will find the agenda to be a most interesting one with exciting speakers and formats.
One of the most popular events at the conference is the Living Legends evening, which will be on Thursday, October 16. We have had a number of fellows question why we limit the number of Living Legends we honor each year. Certainly, we receive a number of exceptional nominations, but the board has decided to limit the number selected each year to four. There are significant costs associated with the event and we are trying to be mindful of the implications that this limitation poses. I'd welcome your ideas on funding sources to expand the number of Living Legends that we can select in a given year.
And this ties into another important issue. After an analysis of the costs and revenues for the conference, the board has approved an increase in the conference fees to $700 for early bird fellows, $825 for fellows after the early bird deadline, and $925 for on-site registrations. Registration includes the Living Legend Ceremony and reception, the Induction Ceremony and soirée, the "healthy breaks" (yes, healthy food costs more, but you asked for it, so we changed what we offer on breaks), the increasingly popular policy dialogues, expert panel meetings, and so on—three jam-packed days with exceptional networking opportunities as well. We are still quite competitive with—and often less than—other national policy or nursing conferences in Washington. We greatly appreciate fellows' efforts to bring in new sponsors of the conference and exhibitors, as these sources of revenue significantly reduce what we must charge fellows and others to attend the conference.
Registration opens today on our website. And make sure you reserve your hotel room early. There will be two options to accommodate our growing numbers of attendees.
We look forward to seeing you in October and hope that you will invite your colleagues and students who are "future fellows" or simply interested in attending the conference. They won't be disappointed--and neither will you.
Diana J. Mason
PhD, RN, FAAN