Online Format Outlined for PWSA’s 2021 Convention

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by Steve Bryson, PhD |

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (PWSA) in the U.S. has announced its upcoming 36th National Convention,  “Hope’s on the Horizon,” will be moving to an all-new virtual format. 

The PWSA will provide patients and families within the Prader-Willi community with a variety of online learning, educational, and support activities.

The 2021 PWSA Virtual Convention will take place June 22–26 and will include three conferences: General; Professional Providers; and Medical-Scientific. Each will feature workshops, breakout sessions, and virtual networking opportunities. 

As more information about schedules and registration becomes available it will be accessible here

“The National Convention has been one of the most anticipated events in the Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) communities since its 1979 debut in Minnesota,” Paige Rivard, PWSA USA’s CEO, said in a press release. “Since then, thousands of professionals and families have attended the biennial event to connect and to learn from experts who provide attendees with the most up-to-date information and resources for addressing the very complex needs of supporting and caring for an individual diagnosed with PWS,” she said.

Prader-Willi syndrome affects many parts of the body. It is characterized in infancy by weak muscle tone, feeding difficulties, poor growth, delayed development and, in childhood, an insatiable appetite that leads to chronic overeating (hyperphagia) and obesity. As such, education and support is needed for people diagnosed with PWS, but also their families and caregivers. 

For members of the PWS community, registration to the General Conference is free, and attending parents, grandparents, caregivers, and professionals can choose between various learning tracks covering a variety of topics that can be tailored to individual needs.

The Professional Provider Conference — to be held June 22 — presents an opportunity for social services, residential, and educational providers to discuss supported best practices and standard approaches. The cost of this conference is $25, which includes General Conference registration. 

The Medical-Scientific Conference is scheduled for June 23 and 24/. It will bring together researchers, scientists, and other medical professionals from different fields to share ideas and updates toward the goal of identifying safe and effective treatments for PWS. The cost of this conference is $150 and also also includes registration for the General Conference. 

“While we will all miss being in-person this year, we look forward to bringing this invaluable resource to more participants than ever before in a way that ensures the highest level of safety and well-being for our community,” said Rivard.