Note from the Editorial Director: Let there be cake—Two great ACDIS conferences this fall

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 30

by Melissa Varnavas

It’s like holding a winning hand. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. If you like cake, it’s that good.

Personally, I like to eat cake at parties with friends. And anyone who has attended the annual ACDIS conference knows that the event is a huge gathering of friends you just haven’t met yet. There is something magical about taking that elevator down from your hotel room, dressed in ACDIS purple and orange, and making your way to the conference floor as you pass by dozens of others in their ACDIS purple and orange. You know you are in the right place. You know that everyone around you knows what CDI is all about. You know that you can approach any one of those folks around you and they’ll be able to understand—really understand—what it means to do the job you do every day.

This year’s ACDIS conference “Stepping Forward” takes place in Dallas, Texas, October 25 through the 28th. We have four, in-person tracks with more than 40 education sessions to choose from:

  1. Clinical & Coding
  2. Management & Professional Development
  3. Quality & Regulatory
  4. Innovation & Expansion

We have three knockout keynote speakers— Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE, trauma surgeon, surgical intensivist, and medical Director of CDI, Cooper University Health Care, two-time TEDTalk presenter Mike Rayburn, and former Olympic medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace.

Plus, we have more than three dozen exhibitors who each bring a wealth of knowledge regarding CDI practices around the country. And, we have our opening night reception, breakfast, lunch, and snacks (I can’t promise there will be cake but there’s always something delicious). Plus, we have numerous ways for attendees to network with one another—not the least of which is the aforementioned “purple and orange day.”

Sometimes, however, when I spy a piece of scrumptiousness in the window of the local bakery, I box it up and take it home where I curl up on the couch with a cup a tea and my little sweet to savor every bite.

Many of you participated in ACDIS’ numerous online events over the past year. Some were one-day intensive, sponsor-assisted events. Others were multiple day deep dives into education. Each one was great to savor (like a little slice of cake) from the comfort of your home or office. One of the best parts about it was being able to go back and re-watch the most interesting sessions.

What’s perfectly sweet about this year’s ACDIS is that anyone who attends the in-person event in Dallas also gets to come to our “Next Steps: ACDIS Encore,” a three-day online event taking place November 17-18 at no additional charge. That means you have the four in-person tracks—PLUS—two virtual tracks with 18 additional sessions to choose from.

We know there are those who can’t come to the in-person event in Dallas for various reasons (and this year there are many ranging from costs to COVID, from travel restrictions to productivity concerns). So those who cannot come to Dallas can still choose to attend just the online event.

To be clear, we aren’t saving pieces of the main conference’s cake and dishing them out later at the virtual event. The sessions on the ACDIS stage in Dallas are not being recorded and all the sessions at the November event will be new content not previously seen either on-stage or online. There’ll be extra fresh slices for anyone choosing to come to the “Next Steps” event.

So that’s what I mean by having our cake and eating it too. Our fun fall is chock-full of education both in-person and online with fresh content delivered at both. Now, who likes pie?

Editor’s Note: Varnavas is the Editorial Director for ACDIS and works closely with our volunteer event planning committee and ACDIS staff on a wide-range of educational and networking events. Contact her at

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