Despite any number of challenges, the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) had a hugely successful 2022 and looks forward to a bright 2023.
Executive Director Kenneth M. Slaw, PhD, outlined a number of firsts for the Society, including:
- Publishing the first appropriate use criteria (AUC) to cover treatment of claudication
- Creating popular roundtable webinars on putting SVS guidelines into practice
- Holding the first hands-on training course, the Complex Peripheral Vascular Intervention Skills (CPVI) course
- Creating a new structure for the Journal of Vascular Surgery publications
- Conceiving and running the successful, first-ever Vascular Health Step Challenge, in which participants pledged to walk at least 60 miles during September—Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Awareness Month—to highlight PAD and raise money for public awareness and other initiatives
The year also included the conclusion of the year-long celebration of the Society’s 75th anniversary, which kicked off in San Diego in August 2021, during the 2021 Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM).
Festivities ended in June 2022, with the “Cheers to 75 Years” Gala, which kept the crowd dancing and—not at all incidentally—netted the SVS Foundation more than $200,000 for programs and initiatives.
Growing the specialty and adding new voices, through:
- Adding membership sections for women and young surgeons
- Including sessions at VAM 2022 for all five special membership sections.
- Holding a summit on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
- Adding a fourth pillar, for DEI initiatives, to the SVS Foundation
- Creating a portal for recruitment into vascular surgery, choosevascular.com, through COVERS (Coalition for Optimization of Vascular Surgery Trainees and Students), a coalition comprised of the Association of Program Directors of Vascular Surgery (APDVS), Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery (SCVS), SVS and the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society (VESS)
“Applying DEI awareness and principles is a culture-change journey, and we are well on the way to finding new balance,” said Slaw. “Through changes in governance committees like the Executive Board, Strategic Board, appointments, and the Nominating Committee, greater DEI awareness is influencing the way we work and what we do.”
Advocacy in Washington to support patients and surgeons through:
- Holding the first Payment Reform Summit, bringing together people for two days of discussions on setting a new direction and alternative for government policies that affect vascular surgery
- Bringing aboard our new advocacy director and legislative assistant
- Organizing two separate “Weeks of Action,” urging member engagement with lawmakers in efforts to change policy on physician payment and reimbursement
“Great challenges remain with addressing payment policy, and it is looking more and more like the current system offers no acceptable path forward, so alternative, creative solutions need to be brought front and center,” Slaw said.
Expanding the SVS quality footprint in the United States and globally via:
- Establishing the Patient Safety Organization’s Vascular Quality Initiative as a premier provider of real-world evidence across medicine, government, and industry
- Expanding the Society’s work with the International Consortium of Vascular Registries
- Establishing SVS as the administrative home of the World Federation of Vascular Societies (WFVS)
“Quality patient care is central to the SVS mission, and the SVS must establish itself as the epicenter and driver of quality,” Slaw noted. He went on to add his personal thanks to the SVS leaders and volunteers, and staff, who together “achieved great progress in the face of many significant challenges.”
President Michael C. Dalsing, MD, said it has been his privilege to lead the organization as president for the past six months. “I am really looking forward to the next six as we prepare for the Vascular Annual Meeting in National Harbor,” he said.
After looking back, he added, he is also looking ahead. “The year 2023 will be even better! My hope is we will continue to work together to advance the specialty, improve patient care, and have even ‘more voices’ drive our efforts and be a unified force for our members. The Strategic Board of Directors meets in January with a fresh Member Survey to guide our planning … game on!”