SVS charts its course ahead for diversity, equity and inclusion

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Michael Dalsing

Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) President Michael Dalsing, MD, has added two more liaisons—Vincent Rowe, MD, and Palma Shaw, MD—to the SVS Executive Board to “increase the diversity of perspective.”

They will serve for the remainder of the fiscal year and join Linda Harris, MD, the recently re-elected representative of the SVS Strategic Board of Directors, to the Executive Board.

In addition, SVS has hired a consultant in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to develop a translational webinar and guide in DEI principles and values that will be mandatory for all elected and appointed members of boards, councils, committees, sections and task forces.

The move, approved by the board, came as a result of listening to multiple groups and member constituencies within SVS following a sparsely attended session on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at the Vascular Annual Meeting and relatively low participation of members participating in the online office election held prior to VAM.

Though SVS “has made significant progress in many ways, it was clear that SVS must not rest on its laurels and needs to stay vigilant and committed to the current trajectory of change.”

DEI issues were front and center during the Executive Board Retreat in late July, where members debated many potential ideas on promoting DEI values. Immediate actions were hiring the consultant, plus planning for a follow-up “DEI summit” across vascular surgery in January. Collaboration also will be increased between the DEI and Communications committees to shape SVS focus and messaging consistently.

Other ideas proposed at the retreat need more thought, Dalsing said, and may lead to substantive changes in SVS governance and bylaws. He is forming a Special Bylaws Subcommittee to review and discuss potential changes that could be implemented for this current fiscal year. Any proposals that impact bylaws to take effect before the year ends on March 31, 2023, would require a special member referendum before Jan. 31, 2023.

Dalsing asked members to “stay positive, hopeful and deeply engaged with SVS. It is the only way to ensure that the Society will advance and meet its optimal potential for all members.”

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