Key leaders from the society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) gathered in mid-January for a two-day Strategic Board of Directors (SBOD) meeting to work through the Society’s six strategic domains.
SVS Executive Director Kenneth M. Slaw, PhD, noted, “The SBOD provides a global and diverse perspective on SVS priorities; members selected from the major vascular societies represent the full spectrum of demographics and practice settings and keep the overarching needs of the entire specialty in mind as they work to set SVS priorities.”
The strategic domains focus on advocacy, education, clinical practice, quality, research and the overall health of the SVS.
“Through discussions of each domain, our Strategic Board of Directors provides the overarching strategy and directional objectives for the Society’s work over the next year but, more importantly, with an eye to a three-to-five-year horizon,” said SVS President Michael Dalsing, MD.
Slaw emphasized the importance of positioning vascular surgeons to provide optimal care for their patients while working to ensure they have a fulfilling, rewarding and valued career.
Members across SVS worry about the survival of vascular surgery within the current health policy and delivery system. Megan Tracci, MD, vice chair of the SVS Advocacy Council, and Megan Marcinko, SVS director of advocacy, led the conversation on the pressing issues regarding the vascular surgery payment policy.
“It is obvious that we need to continue to work within the system to represent our members on the Hill but more is needed, and lively discussions regarding proactive options were entertained,” said Dalsing. “It was good to see the enthusiasm and brainstorming that took place and suggests that a second payment summit needs to be convened. Vascular surgeons need to sculpt and map out a new future for vascular health delivery.”
Plans for the coming year include building an enhanced online education platform to provide members with both formal education and “micro-learning” opportunities. “SVS Presents,” a monthly webinar series, is scheduled to begin in April, and will provide an evening of programming members can access at any time. The next version of the Vascular Education and Self-Assessment Program (VESAP), the online learning assessment and self-study tool, is in the works for later this year. In addition, education leaders plan a Vascular Annual Meeting Education Retreat for the fall to prepare for VAM for the next three to five years. Education Council Chair Linda Harris, MD, and Lisa Cohen, SVS director of education, presented the information.
Clinical Practice Council Chair Dan McDevitt, MD, and Reva Bhushan, SVS director of clinical guidelines and quality practice, presented the domain findings concerning clinical practice issues. The top priorities are the need to develop a Society position report on optimizing vascular surgery service, the role of vascular surgeons and the need for an optimized vascular team. This year will see the launch of the first phase of a national compensation study. The data will provide a vascular-specific, in-depth understanding of the different components of a vascular surgeon’s compensation and puts this in SVS members’ hands.
Quality Council Chair Thomas Forbes, MD, presented priorities in this domain. This included the necessity of appropriateness of care and the next steps to launch SVS’ second appropriate use criteria (AUC) project, focused on carotid disease. Also discussed was the “Vascular Verification Program: A quality program with the Society of Vascular Surgery,” in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
This program is designed to ensure quality, as well as quality improvement in vascular care, in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. The inpatient component is launching this winter, with the outpatient program expected to begin in the spring.
Of particular note in the research area is the finalization and publication of the updated research priorities, which will shape the focus and funding for vascular surgery research in the coming decade. The research council plans to focus on developing new scholarships and awards for translational research development. Research Council Chair Raul Guzman, MD, presented the priorities for this domain.
SVS health and vitality
Slaw, presenting alongside SVS Secretary William Shutze, MD, highlighted the importance of building member value and improving membership retention, specifically among early-career members. The necessity of branding the specialty to its different audiences also is deemed critical, as is investing in the SVS communications platform and infrastructure to reach audiences across different media channels and in different formats. The SVS will also press forward on its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
The meeting adjourned Jan. 14 with the near-finalization of the 2023 strategic objectives and budget discussion for fiscal year 2024. The SBOD will meet next on March 21.