Significant changes may be required for the timing, location and structure of the GPHA Annual Meeting due to budget restrictions imposed on health districts across the state. In addition to across-the-board budget cuts which severely limit public health spending, Governor Sonny Perdue has also restricted travel for state employees. These restrictions could have a large impact on attendance at the GPHA Annual Meeting.
However, an active GPHA membership is crucial during these difficult times, which is why GPHA Executive Board members are currently exploring all options for holding an annual meeting. Canceling the meeting has negative financial impacts on the association as well, which could incur penalties for breaking contracts with the host venues.
The Westin leadership has asked for a week to contact the Governor’s office to request an exemption from the travel restrictions for the GPHA meeting. The International Convention and Trade Center also wishes to approach the Governor through the Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau. Both the Westin and Trade Center are losing money due to the state budget restrictions.
If the annual meeting in Savannah must be canceled, an invitation will be issued to Dr. Rhonda Medows to speak at a rescheduled one-day annual meeting. If Dr. Medows accepts, we will make meeting arrangements to accommodate her schedule. Contact has also been made with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s staff, and the Lt. Governor will be asked to speak as well.
The agenda for the rescheduled meeting would include reports by the Nominating Committee and election of officers, presentation of awards, and addresses by the invited speakers. Rescheduling of the Student Research Conference is still to be decided.
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