Presidential update: My, how we’ve grown

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The start of the new year—a little more than halfway through my presidential term—is a fitting time to reflect upon the accomplishments of our society and its future direction.

When I became president in June 2014, I saw opportunities for SVS to pitch a “big tent” for those dedicated to the treatment of vascular disease and provide the best education to physicians so that all patients benefit.

Dr. Peter Lawrence

Over the past several months, thanks to the contributions of SVS members, I am proud to say we have made meaningful strides.

Practice guidelines. Last month, SVS published Lower Extremity Practice Guidelines in JVS for the treatment of asymptomatic PAD and intermittent claudication. These guidelines are an important step in assuring the quality of care for vascular patients, and help establish vascular surgeons as the best qualified providers

Vascular Annual Meeting. While VAM has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, it is always evolving. In 2015, we will be offering self-assessment credits for Maintenance of Certification, enlarging our international programming, and offering more presentation opportunities for a greater diversity of speakers than ever before.

International membership. SVS membership grows each year across the world, and 15% of our 5,000 members are now vascular surgeons practicing outside of the U.S. and Canada. We all benefit from a worldwide perspective on vascular disease.

Global Vascular Guidelines. Together with the European Society for Vascular Surgery and the World Federation of Vascular Societies, SVS is participating in the Global Vascular Guidelines to develop a practice guideline on the evaluation and management of patients with limb-threatening ischemia related to peripheral artery occlusive disease.

Multi-disciplinary outreach. SVS has strengthened its relationships with other like-minded societies, such as the American Podiatric Medical Association, American Venous Forum, the Society for Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine and the Society for Vascular Ultrasound. Collaborative projects are underway or in planning with these groups.

Practice support. SVS has an array of programs to keep physicians informed on coding, reimbursement and political issues that can impact their practice. These programs and the SVS PAC, vascular’s voice in Washington, help us protect quality patient care.

VQI. Our registry program provides data to our patient safety organization to improve patient care. Over the past several months, VQI has added a new registry, the Varicose Vein Registry, in collaboration with the American Venous Forum, gained two new regional quality groups to review data reported, and contributed new information that is changing how care is delivered.

JVS. Since the first issue was published in 1984, the Journal for Vascular Surgery’s impact on patient care over the last 30 years is substantial. The JVS family has branched out, with the Journal for Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disease and the new JVS Cases, an online only, open-access journal that is set to debut in March 2015.

I’ve learned over my years of gradually increased involvement in SVS that this is an organization that will thrive only when members get involved. SVS has thrived, and will continue to thrive in the future, as people recognize they have an opportunity to participate, but also a responsibility. Our society will only be as strong as our members make it. I encourage you to get involved with SVS.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president.- Peter

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