1. Why did the Society change the date from June to August?
We had emphatically stated that we would wait at least until May 1st before making a decision about the NARHC. Then it became increasing clear that a June conference wasn’t going to be possible. We were receiving a high volume of emails and calls from attendees saying travel had been restricted through June 30th. Mid-August still isn’t the perfect time, but it was the best date we could obtain (we were competing with many other events shifting their dates). Still, August gives us exactly four and a half months from when we decided to reschedule (end of March), and that may be enough time to return to some normalcy.
We also needed to consider school going back into session in the fall; new resident rotations beginning; at what point does the economy restart; airline availability; medical provider workload; and, when will people feel safe enough to congregate again? Given all the data we were able to analyze, it became clear that a June conference definitely wasn’t going to happen and an August conference had a higher likelihood of happening. With that said, we will watch the pandemic very closely and make whatever adjustments are needed in the next three months.
2. Is my June registration still good for August?
Absolutely! If you have already registered for the NARHC your registration automatically transfers to the August event. You don’t have to do anything.
For planning purposes, please keep in mind that the August NARHC is a Sun/Mon/Tue pattern, not the Thu/Fri/Sat pattern we had originally booked for June. We were still able to have at least one weekend day in our pattern. That is always our goal.
3. What do I need to do if I had already registered for June NARHC and now cannot attend the new August date?
If you selected “pay by check”, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to say you can’t attend. We will cancel your registration. If you paid with a credit card, send the same message and we will cancel AND refund your registration in full.
*** You can hold your registration all the way up to two weeks before the conference (in case you change your mind!).***
4. I had booked a hotel room for the June conference. What do I need to do?
Unfortunately it was not possible to transfer June hotel registrations to the new August dates. Thus, all previous hotel registrations made through our conference hotel portal were cancelled and you will have to re-reserve your rooms using the new conference hotel website link.
5. I haven’t booked a hotel room yet for NARHC. What do I need to do to book?
Visit our hotel page for more information about booking hotel rooms at the discounted rate. The new hotel room block is up and running. We highly suggest you reserve your room now since – traditionally – we run out of rooms far before the deadline. Our discounted room rate will be offered through July 24th, but is on a first come/first served basis.
Please keep in mind that due to the date change, the Marriott only has the nights of August 15th, 16th, and 17th available. The Hyatt has a broader range of dates available for the new NARHC (and is less expensive). In case you are wondering, NARHC staff are staying at the Hyatt.
6. Is the pre-course still on?
YES! Our pre-course Forensic Evaluation of Asylum Seekers will be held on August 15th.
As of early April it was 60% full, so if you plan to attend, please register as soon as possible before we close registration.
7. I am still under travel restrictions. What do I do?
We recognize that most of you are under travel restrictions though your agencies. We have heard a range of travel restrictions from the end of April to the end of June. Still…. it takes several months to put together the NARHC and we can’t grind everything to a halt, then try to ramp up again in July and still put on the conference. Thus, we continue to work on conference planning until it becomes clear that the NARHC either can or can’t be conducted in August.
What you can do is keep planning as if you are going to attend. Specifically, register for the conference and book your hotel room. Both can be done without any financial penalty on your part. We suggest waiting on airline tickets until it is certain the NARHC is happening.
If you are under travel restrictions you can register for the NARHC and select “pay by check” to defer your payment. If you have already paid, or plan to pay by credit card, all registration fees will be fully funded if we cancel the conference.
8. When will the August conference schedule be published?
All our invited speakers are shifting to the new dates. We are working through our abstract submissions right now and plan to have a final schedule posted on our website mid to late April.
9. Will my registration be refunded if August’s NARHC is canceled?
Yes. All registration fees will be fully refunded if we cancel the conference.
10. When will you know if the August conference will be held or canceled?
These are scary times…and the Society Board, NARHC Planning Committee, and our staff don’t take any of this pandemic lightly. We are cautiously optimistic that the NARHC can still be conducted in August and are planning to do so until such time that it becomes clear that we can’t. We don’t know when that “decision date” will be, but our best guess is by the end of June it will be more clear to everyone whether an August event can be held or not. In the meantime, keep your chin up; stay safe; follow all guidelines from your leaders; and, keep an eye on August as a time where we can meet again and discuss our mission of caring for refugees and asylum seekers entering the U.S. and Canada.
11. My question wasn’t on this list. Who can I contact?