The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Foundation program formerly known as VISTA has a new name. VISTA—an acronym for Vascular Volunteers In Service To All—is now simply Vascular Care for the Underserved™. Its mission, however, remains the same: “to provide outreach, screening and other resources to those who are impacted by lack of access, inadequate resources and/or distance from modern healthcare facilities.”
With many SVS members expressing interest in addressing disparities in care, and building on the Foundation’s successful grant programs for community awareness and prevention, the program provides opportunities for vascular surgeons to make a direct impact on patients.
Vascular Care for the Underserved™ focuses particularly on bringing vascular care to underserved populations, such as Black, Native American, and Hispanic patients, and all those who lack access due to low socioeconomic status.
“The new name better reflects what our goal is: to provide programs and resources to those who, for whatever reason, are underserved in terms of healthcare,” said SVS Foundation Chair Peter Lawrence, MD. “That’s the aim of our pilot programs, which will bring healthcare to people in need, particularly those with diabetes, and the homeless.”
The program is being implemented through a phased approach, with two new programs recently approved.
Three existing projects are “Disparities in Access to Care for Limb Salvage: The Oklahoma Project,” headed by Kelly Kempe, MD; “A Patient-Centered Approach to Reduce Diabetes-Related Lower Extremity Amputations among Underrepresented Minorities,” from Jospeh Mills, MD; and a project from Misty Humphries, MD, named “Targeted Outreach in Vascular Deserts to Improve Outcomes for Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia.”
“Lack of appropriate care leads to limb loss, stroke, death and other serious issues,” said Lawrence. “And many of these situations are avoidable—if we can just get patients appropriate care. That is what this program strives to address.”