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Know Before You Go | 2019 SRAI Annual Meeting

By SRAI News posted 10-16-2019 01:43 PM


Know Before You Go | 2019 SRAI Annual Meeting

The Co-Chairs are looking forward to welcoming you to the San Francisco Hilton Union Square. 

While we are excited about the program (more about the program a bit later) and the innovations being introduced, we hope that your free time allows you the opportunity to explore this fabulous city.  Union Square is considered by many to be the heart of the City.  The hotel is conveniently located to many of the city attractions; unique neighborhoods, including Chinatown and Nob Hill, museums, theatres, and landmarks unique to SF.  Union Square is home to one of the largest shopping areas in the United States.  There are many sites to see, including the famous Golden Gate Bridge. 

October is one of the best months to visit with cool mornings and evenings and moderate day time temperature (high 60s,), perfect for a walking city (bring comfortable shoes).  It is important to remember that it is a maritime climate and things can change with a moment’s notice, or without it or from one part of the City to another.  Be sure to pack a windbreaker or raincoat, possibly an umbrella (it is not typically rainy in October, so just in case), and dress in layers.  Sweaters and light jackets should be fine. 

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is approximately 14 miles from the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel:

10% Discount for SRAI Conference attendees through SuperShuttle | Use DISCOUNT CODE: 2C67E. Discount code valid dates: October 14-30, 2019


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), is a convenient way to get into and around the city.  It runs from SFO and Oakland International Airport, an alternative airport (about a fifteen – twenty minute trip), but often a location for less expensive airfare.  Be aware, those coming in on Sunday, that there will be delays as BART will be doing some work on the line. 

For other shuttles, subway and taxi information, visit the official SFO website.  

There truly is something for everyone. is a good resource as are and

If in your travels, you care to worship, there are several churches, some historic, an easy walk from the hotel.,-122.414827,15z/data=!3m1!4b1.

For those of you bringing families, visit  Also check for deals on hop on/hop off and other types of transportation and events passes.  Of course, no trip is complete without a ride on one of SF’s cable cars (  The Powell and Market Street Cable Car turntable is a roughly five-minute walk from the hotel.  Check the maps since that is the location with the longest lines.  You may find it easier to walk a couple of extra blocks and shorten your wait time.

Some tours require reservations and sell out fast.  Book early, especially for places like Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods, always popular spots for tourists.

For those of you wanting to get out of the city, car rental agencies are conveniently located directly across the street from the Hilton Union Square.

There are too many restaurants and bars to mention.  Explore the neighborhood.  The Hilton Union Square has two restaurants and a grab and go type place.  For those of us who need to know, there is a Starbuck’s just a block away. 

About the program:

The educational opportunities are outstanding.  There are four certificate programs and eight tracks in a packed program.  Please check the schedule,  Regular sessions will begin at 10:30 and are limited to 60 minutes.  Plan to attend some of the quick talks included in the program for the first time; three independent 20 minute talks integrated into the program.

We are fortunate to have two innovative and thought-provoking speakers for the Annual Meeting. 

On Monday, the keynote will be delivered at 9:00 a.m. by Michael Cushman, Senior Fellow at the DaVinci Institute (  We promise, you won’t want to miss it.

The closing keynote Wednesday morning will be given by Emiliana Simon-Thomas, the Science Director at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (

Do plan to come to the reception on Monday evening in the historic August Hall, with three distinct rooms (including a three lane bowling alley in the Fifth Arrow).  For those who want a quieter, laid back experience, a local jazz trio will be in Green Room for your listening and relaxing pleasure.  The main event, in the Musical Hall, will feature the Green Light Band and the talents of some amazing divas.  There will be something for everyone and a great sampling of San Francisco cuisine. All levels are handicap accessible.  A special thanks to Cayuse for its support.

As a reminder, breakfast will not be served at the meetings.  For many attendees, this is not an issue.  There are several places near the hotel open for breakfast (

There are also several grocery stores conveniently located.  

Be sure to stop by the vendor booths.  We are especially grateful to this year’s sponsors.

So start planning and packing and expect to leave a bit of your heart in San Francisco.

Gayle Walters
Authored by: Gayle Mowbray Walters
, MS, MAS, Director

Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Office of Research Administration