NEC Symposium

The NEC Symposium will take place on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, June 2 – 5, 2019. The theme of the Symposium is “Breaking down the barriers to NEC prevention and treatment.” The NEC Symposium follows an immensely successful NEC Society conference held in April 2017 through a partnership with the University of California at Davis and support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The 2017 NEC Symposium’s highlight reel showcases the meeting’s momentum and commitment to innovative solutions. The executive summary for the first NEC meeting in North America provides a concise overview of every session and key points that were presented at the 2017 meeting at UC Davis.

Dr. Samir Gadepalli, a University of Michigan pediatric surgeon and founding member of the NEC Society’s Scientific Advisory Council, will co-chair the 2019 NEC Symposium, along with the directors of the NEC Society, Jennifer Canvasser, MSW and Erin Umberger, M.Arch. Dr. Gadepalli cared for Jennifer’s son Micah, who died from complications of NEC when he was 11 months old. Dr. Gadepalii notes that, “Learning from our patients and families is key to being a better researcher, better clinician, and better person. None of us can solve complex problems alone and this conference brings together diverse knowledge, skills and experiences to break down these barriers. From young to seasoned researchers incorporating the global perspective, we will discover innovate ways to move the field forward.”

Registration for the 2019 NEC Symposium will open in the fall of 2018. Additional details will be announced in the coming months, stay tuned!


The NEC Society, in partnership with the Section of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, with support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), is proud to announce the following updates. Please stay tuned for more details and email Jennifer with any questions. 

July 2018: NEC Symposium to Address Disparities in the Care of Fragile Infants

June 2018: NEC Society Receives PCORI Engagement Award

May 2018: Patient-Family Keynote Panel Announced for 2019 NEC Symposium

April 2018: President of the Vermont Oxford Network to keynote the 2019 NEC Symposium!

March 2018Dr. Mark Underwood to provide the opening keynote!

Interested in supporting or exhibiting at the 2019 NEC Symposium? Email Jennifer



The 2019 NEC Symposium is certified as a Patients Included meeting. Visit the Patients Included website to learn more. Integrating patient-families throughout the NEC Society’s research, Symposium, and efforts is fundamental to our organization’s mission. 

The NEC Symposium chairs certify that the 2019 NEC Symposium meets the five Patients Included Conference Charter Clauses:

1. Patients or caregivers with experience relevant to the conference’s central theme actively participate in the design and planning of the event, including the selection of themes, topics, and speakers.

Jennifer Canvasser (founder and co-director of the NEC Society) and Erin Umberger (co-director of the NEC Society) are patient-families and co-chairs of the 2019 NEC Symposium, along with Dr. Samir Gadepalli (NEC Society advisor and pediatric surgeon at the University of Michigan). 

2. Patients or caregivers with experience of the issues addressed by the event participate in its delivery and appear in its physical audience.

Patient-families will serve as NEC Symposium co-chairs, faculty, panelists, and will participate in every aspect of the meeting. 

3. Travel and accommodation expenses for patients or carers participating in the advertised programme are paid in full, in advance. Scholarships are provided by the meeting organizers to allow patients or carers affected by the relevant issues to attend as delegates.

Travel scholarships will be provided to all patient-families who are serving as faculty or panelists at the 2019 NEC Symposium. Additional travel scholarships for patient-families attending the 2019 NEC Symposium will be made available as the budget allows and more details will be available in the fall of 2018. 

4. The disability requirements of participants are accommodated. All applicable sessions, breakouts, ancillary meetings, and other programme elements are open to patient delegates.

The 2019 NEC Symposium will be held on the University of Michigan campus and will be accessible to all participants. Specific accessibility needs or requests can be made through 

5. Access for virtual participants is facilitated, with free streaming video provided online, wherever possible.

The 2019 NEC Symposium will use the hashtag #NEC2019 and will post live meeting highlights and photos on social media before, during and after the Symposium. The NEC Society will publish videos of the faculty and sessions who agree to be recorded at the 2019 NEC Symposium. 

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