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When we reunite, we'll do it safely—Care Providers of Minnesota 2021 Convention & Expo vaccination requirements
By Patti Cullen, CAE | September 24, 2021 | All members
Care Providers of Minnesota is excited to bring together members, experts, and resources from across our great state for three days of education, celebration, and fun, as we present our 73rd annual Convention & Exposition: Moving Forward Together, November 15-17, 2021. We will be hosting this premiere professional educational opportunity at Mystic Lake Center in Prior Lake, MN.
This year, we are requiring attendees at our in-person convention to attest to and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status as a condition of attending our event in person. I want to take the time to explain how we came to this decision, and why I still believe it is important to enforce at this time, even though there are members who will not be able to attend in person this year due to this policy.
First and foremost, we did not take this decision lightly. The Care Providers of Minnesota Board of Directors as well as Care Providers of Minnesota staff leaders have been discussing COVID-19 protocols since the board confirmed in June their desire to hold our convention and exposition in person. At a special board meeting in early September, they were able to review current best practices for other state and national conventions, and made the determination (with enough time for staff interested in attending to complete their vaccination doses) to require full vaccination for in-person participation.
We value the health, safety, and well-being of our members and the residents they care for above all else. We have been closely monitoring the evolving situation with COVID-19 and the Delta variant, CDC guidance, state guidance, protocols at our venue, and the anticipated federal regulations for staff vaccinations in healthcare settings.
We don’t know how long the current surge will last, whether the prevalence of the Delta variant will increase or be replaced with yet another variant. We do know that the best protection against the virus is vaccinations, so we needed to plan ahead for what “might be” in November and give all attendees the peace of mind that we are planfully protecting them, their colleagues, and their residents as much as possible.
I also believe we have a responsibility for demonstrating care and consideration when hosting a large event that may receive media and/or external stakeholder scrutiny. We should not, as a profession, be at risk for a COVID-19 outbreak at our gathering because we did not implement recommended safety protocols. Finally, we are aware that several state agency speakers would not be able to present their valuable information if we did NOT institute this vaccine requirement—their employer, out of an abundance of caution as well as consideration of the external optics, made this specific request.
For those who are unvaccinated and will be unable to attend our convention in person, I am sorry you will miss the in-person experience. I offer the accommodation of digital convention education handouts at a reduced fee. We will hopefully all be able to gather together in 2022 unfettered as we celebrate our 75th year of service to members!
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Patti Cullen, CAE | President/CEO | firstname.lastname@example.org | 952-851-2487