While the goal of offering two meetings -- typically on opposite sides of the country -- was to minimize travel expenses and make it easier for central service managers and technicians to attend, IAHCSMM recognized that offering two educational conferences was putting a financial strain on the vendors that have supported the association by exhibiting and sponsoring the events.
"For some time, we have been hearing from vendors who were concerned about their mounting financial constraints and its direct impact on exhibiting budgets," said IAHCSMM president Sybil Williams. "We understand these challenges and have listened to these concerns, and as a result, have responded appropriately."
The decision is sure to please vendors, according to Sandy Buhler, chair of IAHCSMM's exhibitor advisory committee.
"We are all under siege. Our budgets are getting smaller each year and spending is being assessed more carefully," she noted. "Vendors will be relieved that they won't have to choose between meetings and will be pleased that IAHCSMM took into consideration their financial limitations."
The fact that IAHCSMM will cease offering the fall meeting by no means indicates that the association is wavering in its commitment of providing ongoing education to the nation's central service materiel management professionals, the group emphasizes.
"On the contrary, IAHCSMM remains wholeheartedly committed to providing the very best educational programs and services to those involved in the sterile processing profession, regardless of their location," explained Williams. "With this fall meeting change comes a renewed commitment to strengthening educational efforts at the chapter level, which will ultimately create even more opportunities for CS technicians, supervisors and vendors to participate."
IAHCSMM is hopeful that chapters will step up their meeting efforts and perhaps even partner with other area chapters to generate greater regional interest from both attendees and exhibitors. Buhler added that vendors' regional offices may even be able to help fund the meetings.
"By strengthening educational efforts at the grassroots level, IAHCSMM members will have even greater access to the knowledge and support they need to perform their jobs effectively."
The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management is a premier association for professionals in healthcare central service/materiel management. IAHCSMM provides structural educational opportunities, professional development and a forum for information exchange to more than 9,000 members.