Integrative Healthcare Symposium postpones 2021 conference amid COVID-19

Integrative Healthcare Symposium

The 2021 Integrative Healthcare Symposium, scheduled to take place January 14-16 at the Hilton Midtown in New York City, has been postponed by its organizer, Diversified Communications. The conference will now take place May 2-4, 2021.

The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) led to the postponement, according to Liz Plizga, Diversified Communications Group Vice President.

“Postponing is unavoidable due to the ongoing public health and safety issues caused by COVID-19,” Plizga said.

The May 2021 edition of the Integrative Healthcare Symposium will follow a new date pattern, with the exhibit hall and conference program opening on Sunday May 2 and ending Tuesday May 4. The Pre-Conference day is scheduled for Saturday May 1. Event officials said the decision to postpone applies to the 2021 event only, and the 2022 conference will take place as planned in February.

Earlier this year, the 2020 edition of the Integrative Healthcare Symposium took place February 20-22, two weeks before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a State of Emergency on March 7, and business shutdowns, school closures, and social distancing mandates were implemented. The event hosted 191 exhibitors and 1,478 attendees, with featured speakers including Mimi Guarneri, MD, Mark Hyman, MD, David Perlmutter, MD, and Jeffrey Bland, PhD.

“The healthcare industry and community, along with the rest of the world, has faced unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19,” Plizga said. “We value the support of everyone involved in the making of this event, including our vendors, the venue, and, most of all, our partners, advisory board members, friends, and customers in integrative medicine. We are looking forward to bringing this strong community of practitioners back together, but, until then, our heartfelt thoughts are with those affected by COVID-19, especially those on the frontlines caring for patients and researching solutions.”

The new dates were carefully chosen in consideration of the situation with COVID-19, the venue availability, as well as feedback from customers and practitioners, according to a statement by event organizers.

“Postponing the conference to a later date will give the city and our healthcare community extra time to recover,” the statement said. “We will continue to monitor state and city guidelines and will consider additional precautions as needed, and as conditions change.”    

The conference program will remain robust, and event officials said they plan to offer the same amount of educational content. A highlight of the original program has been confirmed for the new dates. Andrew Weil, MD, will present a highly anticipated keynote address on Monday May 3.

The healthcare industry has experienced a dramatic shift amid COVID-19, with practitioners pivoting to meet new federal and state guidelines, transitioning to telemedicine, or uprooting their existing practices to take on the demands of a global pandemic. Integrative medicine has been uniquely positioned to both address the root cause of the virus and contribute to preventative measures.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 25,541,380 cases reported globally as of September 2 at press time, with about 5,968,380 cases occurring in the United States. More than 852,000 people have died from the virus worldwide, the organization said.

The New York State Department of Health currently has a statewide ban of non-essential mass gatherings in place, with social gatherings of 50 people and indoor religious gatherings at 33 percent capacity allowed. Individuals must wear face coverings when they are in a public and are within six feet of distance from other individuals.

The Integrative Healthcare Symposium event organizers said they are committed to the health and safety of their customers. Updates on health and safety information will be added on the event’s website as they become available.

Editor's note: Click here for more information and ongoing COVID-19 updates for integrative healthcare professionals.