VAM plans for San Diego shape up: ‘The June gloom will be history’

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More than 60 exhibitors were already booked for VAM 2021’s Exhibit Hall 10 weeks out from the event

Registration for the live, in-person 2021 Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM) has begun—and organizers promise you won’t want to miss the meeting.

VAM will be Aug. 18 to 21 in beautiful San Diego, California. Educational programming will be presented across all four days of the conference. The Exhibit Hall will be open Aug. 19 and 20.

The registration and housing kick-off is especially welcome, say Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) leaders, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of VAM 2020 and also prompted SVS to move this year’s VAM from June to the August dates.

That move turned out to be a prescient one, as VAM becomes one of the first meetings to be held in nearly 18 months at the San Diego Convention Center.

“We’ve all missed being together in person and we look forward to welcoming you, live and in person, back to VAM,” said President Ronald L. Dalman, MD. He called this year’s meeting “a homecoming for friends of vascular surgery everywhere.”

At this year’s meeting, SVS also will begin the party for the Society’s 75th anniversary (culminating in Boston at VAM 2022) and, importantly, enjoying the camaraderie and company of colleagues and friends.

SVS Program Co-Chair Andres Schanzer, MD, reiterated the plea for attendees to take note of the changed structure and programming instituted this year.

“We’ve changed the schedule significantly, moving several ‘traditional’ Thursday events to Wednesday,” he said. These include:

  • The Opening Ceremony, 7:30 a.m.
  • The first plenaries, including the William J. von Liebig Forum at 8 a.m.
  • The E. Stanley Crawford Critical Issues Forum, 10:45 a.m. This year’s Crawford Forum will focus on multispecialty collaboration, “The role of multispecialty practice in vascular/endovascular surgery: Can we work together?”

In addition, in direct response to feedback, planners scheduled all morning sessions to be conflict-free (except for breakfast sessions) and limited overlapping sessions in the afternoon to three.

Instead of having all postgraduate courses on Wednesday, this year’s three courses are held on three separate days.

“Please remember that if you want to take full advantage of everything we’re offering, make your travel arrangements to be here Tuesday night and leave after 5 p.m. Saturday, following the final concurrent session and the Championship Round of the Poster Competition,” said Schanzer.

Of course, attendees’ health and safety remain the top priority, and SVS has instituted protocols to safeguard them as authorities continue to overcome the pandemic. At this writing, attendees will need to provide either COVID vaccine verification OR a negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel. These protocols will undoubtedly change, said Dalman, so members should check the VAM Protocols webpage often. (See vascular.org/VAMProtocols.)

“And, as a California resident, I can’t wait to show off my state,” said Dalman. “The June gloom will be history; August promises some of California’s nicest weather. Bring the family and extend your stay to take advantage of beaches, baseball at Petco Park, San Diego Bay and the incredible number of tourist attractions San Diego has to offer.”

(The San Diego Padres are playing at home Aug. 20-22, against the Phillies, and from Aug. 24-26, for those staying later, against the Dodgers.)

For all things VAM-related, visit the VAM website, at vascular.org/VAM.

Exhibitors ready to welcome SVS

It’s not only members who are eager to attend the VAM this August. Industry representatives are enthusiastic to see everyone as well.

More than 60 exhibitors are already booked for the Exhibit Hall, 10 weeks before Opening Day. The slots for industry presentations, including the popular Vascular Live presentations, symposia and industry breakfasts, likewise, are almost full.

The Exhibit Hall is an integral part of VAM. All members of the vascular team, as well as other attendees, will be able to see a wide-ranging array of products of interest to vascular surgeons and their teams from dozens of vendors.

Participants also can take advantage of non-CME learning opportunities, giveaways, training opportunities and networking potential.

Industry-Supported Evening Satellite Symposia will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday’s session is sponsored by Gore; Thursday’s is sponsored by Medtronic.

Industry Breakfast Symposia will be held from 6:30 to 8 a.m. Thursday.

  • B1: “Why clinical trial participants need to look like us and how we can improve care for the underserved population living with peripheral arterial disease (PAD),” sponsored by Abbott
  • B2: “Paclitaxel safety: A view from multiple perspectives,” co-sponsored by Boston Scientific and Medtronic
  • B3: “Clinical insights in chronic coronary artery disease (CAD)/PAD: Reducing the risk of major cardiovascular events,” sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Industry-sponsored symposia are not eligible for CME credit.

Vascular Live includes six innovative sessions about the latest products and developments related to vascular surgery, in a theater-in-the-round setting during Thursday and Friday’s coffee breaks and lunch hours. These sessions are frequently standing-room only, so be sure to arrive early in order to secure a good seat. Device makers Abbott, BD and Gore are sponsoring two sessions each. Remember that industry participation in the VAM exhibits underwrites a significant portion of VAM, thereby allowing us to keep registration fees at a much lower rate than other industry meetings.

Please support our industry partners. A complete list of exhibitors and their booth locations will be available as the dates of VAM draw closer. Meanwhile, the SVS will again host a Scavenger Hunt during Thursday’s opening reception. The first-place prize is two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States.

VRIC comes to VAM

This year, the two major meetings of the SVS that involve the presentation of scientific research are being housed in one tent.

The Vascular Research Initiatives Conference (VRIC), typically held in May and geared to translational research, will be held over two sessions Thursday and Friday at the 2021 Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM).

More than 25 abstracts will be presented in four sessions covering arterial remodeling and discovery science for venous disease; vascular regeneration, stem cells and wound healing; atherosclerosis and the role of the immune system; and aortopathies and novel vascular devices.

The four recipients of the VRIC Travel Award—participating in vascular research in labs across the country—also will be recognized.

Thursday’s session includes abstracts in the first two categories followed by a short discussion and summary session.

Friday’s session will be preceded by a networking lunch from 12 to 12:55 p.m.; the afternoon’s program will be from 12:55 to 3 p.m. Philip S. Tsao, PhD, of Stanford University, will present the Alexander W. Clowes Distinguished Lecture, “Molecular and genetic approaches to understanding abdominal aortic aneurysm disease,” beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Tsao also is associate chief of staff for precision medicine at the Department of Veteran Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and director of the VA Palo Alto Epidemiology Research and Information Center for Genomics. VAM registrants may attend VRIC@VAM as part of their registration fee.

Those who want to attend only VRIC may do so. Cost is $100 for an SVS member, $75 for a candidate member and $50 for residents and fellows (both SVS member and non-member); $200 for a non-member physician; $75 for allied health professionals; and $25 for medical students (both member and non-member). To register, visit vascular.org/RegisterVAM21.

“It’s definitely not our ‘regular’ VRIC this year,” said Luke Brewster, MD, chair of the SVS Research Council. “But we are excited to be presenting our translational research—many of it from vascular surgeon-scientists relatively early in their careers—to the wider VAM audience. It’s important for these researchers to have this forum, and it’s important for our SVS members to be presented with their exciting work.”

Selected content to be live-streamed at VAM

Organizers stress that the best way to experience the 2021 Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM) is in-person, surrounded by friends and colleagues, participating in small-group sessions and seeing all the devices and information available in the Exhibit Hall.

“But we know not everyone—particularly our international members—can travel just yet,” said SVS Program Committee Co-chair Andres Schanzer, MD. “To accommodate these individuals and other situations, we have carefully chosen selected content to be live-streamed. We hope offering streaming will let us reach our goal to provide all vascular surgeons worldwide access to our live meeting.”

All the abstract-based plenary sessions will be live-streamed, as will four international events, specialty lectures and the two presidential addresses. A total of 15 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits can be earned from among the streamed sessions. Additionally, most VAM sessions will be recorded and available in the new SVS OnDemand six to eight weeks following the live event.

Schanzer urged those who cannot participate in person to consider registering for the streaming option. Visit vascular.org/RegisterVAM21 to register today. Live-streaming sessions (all times are Pacific Time) are:

WEDNESDAY

  • Plenary Session 1, William J. von Liebig Forum, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Plenary Session 2, 9:45 to10:45 a.m.
  • Crawford Forum, “The role of multispecialty practice in vascular/ endovascular surgery: Can we work together?”, 10:45 to 12:15 p.m.
  • International Forum, 1 to 3 p.m.
  • International Fast Talk, 3 to 4 p.m.

THURSDAY

  • Plenary Session 3, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Awards Ceremony, 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.
  • Roy Greenberg Distinguished Lecture, presented by Elsie Gyang Ross, MD, 9:45 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Presidential Introduction and Address, (address by Immediate Past President Kim Hodgson, MD), 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • International Chapter Forum, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

FRIDAY

  • Plenary Session 4, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion invited speaker, Lee Kirksey, MD, 10 to 10:20 a.m.
  • DEI Scientific Session (abstracts presentation), 10:20 to 11 a.m.
  • Presidential Introduction and Address (address by President Ronald L. Dalman, MD), 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • International Young Surgeons Competition, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

SATURDAY

  • Plenary Session 5, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • John Homans Lecture, presented by Jim Stanley, MD, 9:30 to 10 a.m.
  • Plenary Session 6, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Meeting at large

The lineup of educational programming includes a total of six plenaries, six “Ask the Experts” small-group sessions , six concurrent and six breakfast sessions, three postgraduate courses and a number of other special sessions.

The special sessions include a COVID-based program, collaborative sessions with the American Venous Forum (AVF) and the Society for Vascular Ultrasound, a session for members in community practice, programming for physician assistants, content on diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and the Aortic Summit, presented jointly by the SVS with The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Hodgson, the SVS’ immediate past president, will be delivering his 2020 presidential address, which he was unable to deliver last year after VAM was canceled and replaced by SVS ONLINE. President Dalman will introduce Hodgson at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, followed by Hodgson’s speech at 11 a.m.

On Friday, President-elect Ali AbuRahma, MD, will introduce Dalman at 11 a.m., with the latter taking the microphone at 11:15 a.m. And the mood is sure to be festive in 2021, as the SVS begins a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of its founding. For the complete schedule, see the Schedule At-a-Glance at vascular.org/VAMSked.

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