Date: July 5th, 2016
By: Mila Garrido
Vegas, baby, Vegas. This year, Healthy Teen Network’s Annual Conference will be held in Las Vegas. The glitzy city is known for many things, from gambling to Cirque du Soleil. So how did we come to pick Las Vegas as the site of our conference this year? Well, just like the city, there is more to it than meets the eye.
This year’s conference theme is Roles, Relationships, and Relevance in the Changing Landscape of Adolescent Health. Las Vegas, a city founded in the middle of the desert, is a testament to what is possible when people put their mind to something. The city’s history dates back to native tribes that populated the area, marking it with petroglyphs, traditions, and artifacts. While it is mainly known for its recent history as a gambling and entertainment center, it has a long and diverse history for many varied people. As we consider this year’s theme, Las Vegas serves as a physical reminder of what can be built upon the desert sands.
In addition to the metaphorical linkages of this year’s location, we have also taken into account many practical considerations. We tried to balance the site of our conference this year to be convenient for different people around the country and the territories. Las Vegas is relatively central and allows to more participants to join given the accessibility and “connectedness” of its airports—flights to Vegas are often less expensive than other destinations. Additionally, the city is well accustomed to conferences, and the numerous venues allow us to meet the needs of our network. From hotel rooms to restaurants, we aim to find a location that will ensure that all of our participants are able to comfortably and conveniently take part in learning and community building.
At the same time, Las Vegas is also home to numerous issues related to adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Our gathering in the city provides an opportunity to open a conversation about how to directly address the needs of youth at different levels. We hope that our professional community can raise attention and be active contributors to raising awareness during our brief stay.
We are incredibly excited to welcome everyone to join us in Las Vegas for the 2016 national conference! Read more about the conference (and stay tuned for more updates) here and register soon to take advantage of Early Bird majorly discounted rates.
About the Author
Milagros Garrido, MS, Associate Director of Innovation and Research at Healthy Teen Network, is a creative educator committed to helping communities to learn, use, and translate practical and innovative approaches to solve public health issues.