The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a tidal wave of economic burdens across all industries, including non-profit associations like the AAPD. The AAPD, like many other medical and dental associations, incurred a significant financial loss due to the cancellation of an annual meeting this year—in our case AAPD 2020 in Nashville. In addition, a few weeks ago I had to make the heartbreaking decision to let go almost 20% of our staff, while shifting many of their responsibilities to those who continue to work on your behalf. Due to the revenue loss as Annual Session registration fees are refunded, we have needed to draw down nearly $2 million from investment reserves to cover our operating expenses. I do want to acknowledge those 44 generous members who opted to contribute their registration fee to the AAPD rather than request a refund.
Our dedication to our AAPD membership will not waiver. We intend to continue to offer you the resources you need to maintain your professional goals, starting with the AAPD Annual Session, now being offered virtually.
In order to present quality CE via the NashVirtual online course, a fair and reasonable registration fee was established. This course offers a substantial amount of CE hours at a very low cost. We were able to retain a majority of speakers for NashVirtual who were scheduled for the regular annual session. We are also offering the experience of a virtual exhibit hall, because the sponsors and exhibitors that attend the Annual Session each year make up a significant portion of our community. We are utilizing state-of-the-art technology to provide this programming. Our staff worked tremendous hours under a tight deadline to make this programming possible. All of this requires resources. Let me state unequivocally that without charging a reasonable registration fee, the AAPD would not be able to offer this CE programming.
We hope you can participate in NashVirtual, but respect that not all of our community will be able to join us.
We look forward to a time where we can again connect our members in person. You have my personal commitment that we will do our best to continue to deliver virtual CE opportunities to you in a cost-effective manner.
John S. Rutkauskas, DDS, MBA, CAE
Chief Executive Officer