2017 Annual Conference

kim-freemanGreetings and Happy New Year to all!  2017 brings with it an exciting opportunity to travel to the west coast for the annual VCS Conference to be held October 26-28 in the heart of Portland, OR.

We are in the midst of planning a great conference for you all and are still working on the details, so stay tuned for updates. Our meeting will be held at the Hilton Portland & Executive Towers.  This hotel is within a couple of blocks from the MAX, Portland’s light rail system, that connects to the airport and the rest of the city.  It is about a 30 minute ride from the airport.  If you plan excursions to wine country, the coast, or the the surrounding mountains, then renting a car is needed. Otherwise, transit around the city can easily be done on foot, by rail, by BIKETOWN bike share, or uber/ lyft/ taxi.

The Resident Review Workshop begins on Thursday morning and runs from 8 am to 12 pm. Drs. Jayme Looper and Dr. Tony Mutsaers have agreed to serve as presenters for this popular pre-conference workshop open to everyone.  In addition, we are working on a Thursday morning workshop program for those of you who are not interested in attending the Resident Review Workshop to try and incorporate some additional clinically relevant topics of interest in the meeting.  Current topics in the works include nutrition, medical marijuana (it is Oregon), and pharmaceutical regulations in practice.

Following these Thursday morning learning opportunities, the general conference gets underway at 1:30 pm on Thursday and run through Saturday afternoon with presentations ending at 3:30 pm.  Similar to 2016, we will have the general membership meeting in combination with awards presentations from 3:30- 5:30 pm.  The VTCS (Technician Workshop) sessions will run all day on Friday and Saturday.  They, too, are planning for a pre-conference lab for Thursday afternoon.  Technicians interested in this opportunity should stay tuned as well.

washingtonpark1Plan to stay through Saturday night as we will host a soiree at the Portland Art Museum for everyone to mingle and enjoy the art museum’s great collection, taste some local craft brews and wine and possibly enjoy some great local music as well.

We are excited to have already confirmed three great keynote speakers and will be finalizing themes for each half-day session and SOTA speakers in the near future.  Our keynotes include Chris Corless, MD, PhD from Portland’s Oregon Health & Science University.  Dr. Corless is an anatomic pathologist with special interest in personalized medicine, genomics and target therapies. Dan Promislow, PhD is a professor in the Departments of Pathology and Biology at the University of Washington in Seattle.  He will speak about the Dog Aging Project, a nationwide longitudinal study of aging in companion dogs.  Susan Hedlund, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C is the Family Support Services Manager at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University.  Ms. Hedlund will be addressing burnout, compassion fatigue and resilience in professional practice.

We are excited about the agenda and about hosting everyone here in Oregon.  We hope to provide you with a great Pacific NW experience.  If you have some free time, there are world renowned wineries within an hour of downtown and an abundance of restaurants for the foodies, coffee shops, and microbreweries within walking distance of the hotel.  You are a close drive to the spectacular Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and the Columbia River Gorge.  If you need a gift to bring home, don’t forget to check out the Portland Saturday Market (also held on Sunday) for local crafts.  This is also within walking distance to the hotel.  You may wish to bring a raincoat, because you never know, it just might rain.

Stay tuned for updates!  Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Cheers,

Dr. Kim Freeman
2017 Program Chair