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AAHA opens Connexity conference to all with free gamified virtual sessions in May

AAHA’s Connexity is changing the CE game and inviting the entire profession to come play 

Free admission or choose-your-own-donation with all proceeds going to BlackDVM Network.

Lakewood, Colorado—March 15, 2021The American Animal Hospital Association today announced a radically different approach to its annual Connexity conference for 2021, which will now be open to the entire profession rather than only AAHA members and include experimental new CE formats. The reimagined Connexity will kick off with a free online mini-conference May 26, 10:00 am1:00 pm Eastern time, which puts a gamified, crowdsourced, and debate-heavy spin on the typical expert talking heads and “death by PowerPoint” virtual CE. 

Everyone is invited. Period. 

The decision to open the first 2021 Connexity session for free to everyone was made in the spirit of inclusivity. It signals a reversal for the association, which moved a few years ago toward a members-only conference. Now under new leadership and with a fresh vision for the future, AAHA is opening registration to all veterinary professionals, whether or not they are AAHA members or work for AAHA-accredited hospitals.  

Admission is offered for free, with an optional choose-your-own-price donation. All proceeds will go to BlackDVM Network and the content will be equally inclusive, with topics for the entire practice to increase teamwork and engagement. 

“We believe veterinary teams and veterinary medicine benefit tremendously from collaboration and inclusivity. A members-only conference doesn’t mesh with either that belief or AAHA’s new direction of making continuous improvement simpler for all veterinary practices.” said AAHA CEO Garth Jordan, MBA, CSM, CSPO. “What’s more, we need to experiment with conference formats that include and engage all types of learners. We all know that diverse participation across roles, backgrounds, styles, and perspectives creates a rising tide that lifts all boats. There’s no doubt in my mind that we had to change our AAHA annual conference approach.” 

Serious science. Serious play. 

The May mini-conference has three consecutive sessions, each with a distinct themeThe first session is “Are You Smarter Than a Specialist?” where two general practice veterinary professionals will go head-to-head with specialists in areas such as emergency care, epidemiology, dentistry, and dermatology. Everyone who attends will get refreshers on pathologies and treatment plans for discrete ailments commonly seen by specialists. 

The second session will be an experiment in crowdsourced problem-solving as the moderators on video and in live chat lead a virtual brainstorm tackling one of the profession’s persistent challenges—how to staff practices for longevity 

And the third session promises to be a hard-fought debate on the pros and cons of a veterinary technicians union. Participants may not leave with all the answers, but it will be a thought-provoking conversation. 

In addition to the May session, Connexity will meet for an in-person conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, September 22–25, followed by a second virtual session November 10. Both sessions have select speaker slots still open for fresh voices in the profession, and a call for papers will be released later this month for those interested in sharing their knowledge. All sessions are open to everyone in the veterinary profession! Learn more at aaha.org/connexity.  

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About AAHA

Since 1933, the American Animal Hospital Association has been the only organization to accredit veterinary hospitals throughout the United States and Canada according to more than 900 standards directly correlated to high-quality medicine and compassionate care. Accreditation in veterinary medicine is voluntary. The AAHA-accredited logo is the best way to know a practice has been evaluated by a third-party. Look for the AAHA logo or visit aaha.org.

About Matchbox: A virtual platform grounded in diversity 

To produce Connexity virtual, AAHA selected Matchbox Virtual Media, which is headquartered in Montreal, and has a worldwide team experienced in everything from video games and AI, to international development and philosophy. Matchbox’s internal working style is highly collaborative as they facilitate live co-creative experiences that provide opportunities for crowdsourced problem-solving of complex issues just like those facing today’s veterinary profession.