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The 108th Hinman meeting was forced to cancel due to the growing number of COVID-19 concerns domestically and abroad, organizers said. (Photo: Dental Tribune America)

Hinman cancels 2020 meeting, scheduled in Atlanta March 19-21

By Dental Tribune USA
March 11, 2020

ATLANTA, Ga., USA: The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting — one of the nation’s largest dental meetings — announced today (March 11, 2020) that it has canceled Hinman 2020, which was scheduled for March 19-21 at the Georgia World Congress Center and Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta. The 108th Meeting was forced to cancel due to the growing number of COVID-19 concerns domestically and abroad, and those implications, which have substantially impacted the logistics of the conference.

“It was a very difficult decision to make, as we know it affects thousands of attendees and industry professionals who were planning to attend the meeting next week. But, the health, safety and well-being of our attendees, exhibitors, speakers and members are our highest priorities,” said Dr. Bob O’Donnell, general chair for Hinman 2020. “Our concern is not only for the health of everyone involved, but also the quality of event that we can deliver with the current logistical challenges we are facing. Hinman’s goal has always been to provide world-class continuing education and exhibits, and in the current climate, we will not be able to provide the experience that our attendees have come to expect from our organization.”

The Hinman meeting typically attracts more than 20,000 dentists, hygienists, assistants, students and other dental professionals and industry personnel to Atlanta. In addition, more than 400 companies exhibit at the conference, which is held every March. This will be only the third time in its 108-year history that the meeting has been canceled. In 1931, the meeting was canceled out of respect for the death of its founder, prominent Atlanta dentist Dr. Thomas P. Hinman. And, in 1933, the meeting was canceled due to the Great Depression. In 2008, Hinman was forced to close a day early due to a tornado that not only surprised Atlanta, but also extensively damaged the Georgia World Congress Center and Omni Hotel at CNN Center, among other downtown buildings.

Hinman’s leadership and staff have been closely monitoring the situation, reviewing daily the recommendations provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, who has officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. They’ve also been seeking guidance from local government and health officials. But, as the week progressed, many academic centers, health systems and businesses issued notices that do not allow for domestic travel. These travel bans and restrictions have had a direct impact on Hinman’s educational sessions and exhibits.

“Unfortunately, it left us no choice and it became very clear that we must move the meeting to a later date. It’s simply the right thing to do,” O’Donnell added. “And, of course, we couldn’t live with ourselves if even one attendee was at risk.”

Hinman will share with registered attendees and exhibitors its plans for the 2020 program on the Hinman website, www.hinman.org, and its social media pages in the coming days. In addition, information regarding registration refunds will be posted as well. Please contact the Hinman office, if you have any questions or concerns at (404) 231-1663.

The Hinman Tradition

The Hinman Dental Meeting is designed with a commitment to quality and professionalism and a high regard for the value of continuing education. The meeting is sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society, a non-profit organization, and excess revenue is invested and gifted in the form of individual scholarships to dental, hygiene and assisting students and in contributions to institutions that foster dental education.

For additional information about the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting, visit Hinman.org or contact Ms. Sylvia Ratchford, executive director, at (404) 231-1663.

(Source: Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting)

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