The inaugural “Southwest Regional Advances in Digestive Diseases: Best of DDW” 4.0-CME, half-day conference, hosted Sept. 7 at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort, was wildly successful, according to organizers of the event at the University of Arizona Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Organized by GI’s Oleh Haluszka, MD, and Hemanth Gavini, MD, MPH, the conference hit its target of pre-registrants and exceeded its expectations for actual attendees, said Lisa Laughlin, an administrative associate with the GI division and UA Thomas D. Boyer Liver Institute.
“Our SWRADD conference was a smashing success for a first-time event. We had a total of 151 registered with a final attendance of 125—25 more than we anticipated. Attendees were mostly local but we had a handful from the Phoenix area as well as Yuma,” Laughlin said.
SWRADD’s program, Dr. Haluszka said, was designed to showcase the latest themes in treatment, procedures and research a physician might see at DDW, an annual conference hosted this year in San Diego, May 18-21, by the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT).
ABOVE LEFT (click image to enlarge): DDW 2019 in San Diego attendees and guests, where three UA GI fellows were among presenters, at May 20 reception: Dr. Thu Pham (GI fellow), Dr. Rolando Leal (hepatology locum tenens), Dr. Sasha Taleban, Dr. Bhaskar Banerjee, Dr. Bhupesh Pokhrel (SAVAHCS), Dr. Oleh Haluszka, Sharon Haluszka, Dr. Juanita Merchant, Dr. Taylor Riall, Dr. Sasan Mosadeghi (GI fellow), Dr. Avin Agarwal (GI chief fellow), Mrs. Gavini, Dr. Hemanth Gavini, Dr. John Brooling (SAVAHCS).
With more than 14,000 attendees–about half from outside the United States, Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is the world’s leading educational forum for academicians, clinicians, researchers, students and trainees working in gastroenterology, hepatology, GI endoscopy, gastrointestinal surgery and related fields. The next DDW will be May 2-5, 2020, at Chicago’s McCormack Place Convention Center.
In addition to Drs. Haluszka and Gavini, SWRADD speakers included (see image right; listed alphabetically from top left): former GI chief Bhaskar Banerjee, MD; COM – Phoenix Medicine Chair Michael Fallon, MD (a hepatologist); George Fantry, MD; Michael Gavin, MD, a GI faculty member and staff gastroenterologist with the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System; Dr. Gavini; COM – Tucson Pediatrics Chair Fayez Ghishan, MD; Dr. Haluszka; GI Chief Juanita Merchant, MD, PhD; COM – Tucson Surgery Interim Chair Taylor Riall, MD, PhD; Sasha Taleban, MD; and Banner – UMC South GI Services Director Eugene Trowers, MD, MPH.
For their topics, a copy of the program and a Q&A on the conference with Dr. Haluszka, see this link.
Top-rated speakers of the day, according to attendees, included Drs. Fallon, Haluszka, Gavini and Taleban.
“We are already planning next year’s event, which we’ve tentatively set for Sept. 12, 2020,” Laughlin said.
For that, they’ll invite a keynote speaker to address attendees at a reception the Friday evening before the conference. SWRADD 2020 also will be at the Starr Pass Resort. Look for details later.
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