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Calendar of Events

SPP Fall Meeting
October 22-24, 2020
Portland, Oregon, USA
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SPP Spring Meeting
March 12-14, 2021
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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President's Address: Gino Somers

May 6, 2020

Dear SPP family,

The unprecedented changes due to COVID-19 are hard to put into words. While the SPP Spring Meeting in Los Angeles took place a few weeks ago, in looking back it seems like a different time altogether. When was the last time we had more than 5 people in a room? When was the last time we shared food and drink with friends? When was the last time you took your children to school? Certainly too long ago. I’m thankful for the opportunity to see many of you back then, and I’m very much looking forward to working with you as your SPP President this year.

I wanted to thank everyone for their efforts in making the Spring Meeting so successful. Although the formal evaluations are still being compiled, there were many highlights. I’m always impressed to see the number of trainee presentations, and this meeting was no exception. Trainees are our future, and our future seems very bright. The “poster blitz” was a big hit and, by all accounts, one of the highlights of the weekend. The educational offerings were excellent, and the Farber-Landing lecture confirmed Dr. Parham’s central role in improving the care of children with rhabdomyosarcoma, and affirms his place as one of the legends of pediatric pathology.

I’d like to thank all of the SPP committee members and chairs for their tireless efforts to improve our Society. Just a few of the initiatives underway include: a new and improved website; a number of membership initiatives to improve recruitment and retention; efforts to increase our virtual presence and the accessibility of educational offerings; collaborations with other societies to increase the profile of the SPP; changes in the format of our scientific sessions to better meet our members’ needs; and of course, this newsletter! Our committees are the “engine room” of the SPP, driving us toward a bigger and better future.

We are looking forward to the upcoming SPP Fall Meeting in Portland, Oregon, in October. The local organizers, Jessica Davis and Terry Morgan, are doing an incredible amount of work behind the scenes. The education program looks excellent, and the social program looks exceptional. I can’t wait to see everything that Portland has to offer. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention the uncertainty regarding the long-term effect of COVID-19, and the Executive and Planning Committees are looking very closely into contingency plans should the need arise. Rest assured – one way or another, we will see each other next fall!

As we live our lives in these uncertain times, I wanted to say to all of you how proud I am to be President of the SPP. The Society is only as good as its members, and our members (i.e. all of us) are fighting a once-in-a-generation medical crisis with commitment and professionalism. Having spoken to many of you recently, I know that fight can take many different forms –distributing PPE, testing patients and employees, working from home, navigating uncertainty, keeping up with policies, dealing with the possibility of redeployment, and advocating for the needs of children. One thing is certain – we are all committed to providing first rate pediatric laboratory care during the pandemic, and for that, we should all be very proud.

Stay safe, stay well and see you all in October!


Gino Somers
SPP President

About the Author

Gino Somers, MBBS, PhD, FRCPA

SPP President
Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto, ON, Canada

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Gino Somers, MBBS, PhD, FRCPA

SPP President
Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto, ON, Canada

President's Address: Gino Somers