SVS ONLINE: A meeting of firsts

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The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) notched up plenty of firsts this year with its virtual meeting, SVS ONLINE: “New Advances and Discoveries in Vascular Surgery.”

These include the mere presentation of the first virtual meeting, of course, said Matthew Eagleton, MD, SVS Program Committee chair. The committee plans the educational programming for the Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM), canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others included the first virtual SVS Business Meeting and online election of officers, he said, in presenting a wrap-up July 2 of the two weeks of educational, scientific and industry programming.

Eagleton noted:

  • The tremendous faculty support for the entire program, with 240 faculty members and moderators for scientific sessions, invited sessions, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society (VESS) presentations, the e-Poster Competition and the OnDemand presentations
  • The more than 800 registrants for SVS ONLINE
  • The Resident, Student Outreach Committee programming, which drew more than 300 attendees to four virtual sessions
  • The continued collaboration with other societies, including the American Venous Forum (AVF), VESS, the Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN) and the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI)
  • Continuing programming for SVN and VQI
  • The e-Poster Competition, which had drawn 2,200 views by July 2

He thanked the SVS staff for its work in revising the programming, promoting it and presenting it in just 80 days. “I hope the audience didn’t recognize anything going on behind the scenes,” he joked. “And I hope we get to meet in San Diego in 2021,” the site for the 2021 meeting from June 2–5, 2021.

SVS President Ronald L. Dalman, MD, acknowledged “Matt for his leadership of the past three years” as chair, calling the job “one of the most important jobs at the Society for Vascular Surgery.”

He also noted the pandemic’s “unprecedented challenges” not only on the meeting itself but also the Society as a whole, and thanked immediate past president Kim Hodgson for his “leadership under really trying circumstances.”

Dalman continued: “He had other ideas for his presidency, but given the challenges of the moment he more than rose to the occasion. The weekly town halls Hodgson created on many important topics directly addressed membership COVID-19-related concerns and were “exactly what we needed in the moment.”

Dalman also thanked SVS executive director Kenneth M. Slaw, PhD, who changed course in the middle of the year and led the staff in meeting the challenge of repackaging hundreds of abstracts and other programming for the virtual meeting.

“It’s been a great experience, but I hope we don’t end up doing that again. No offense, Matt,” he said to Eagleton, “but I prefer the in-person meeting.” Eagleton heartily agreed with the sentiment.

“On behalf of the Executive Board, the Program Committee, hundreds of participants, committee and council members, and all of our members, I thank everyone for their support of SVS and SVS programming as we move on into the unknown,” said Dalman.

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