Before we can look to where we’re going, we need to look to where we’ve been. And we do just that, in the pages of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Foundation Annual Report, available at vsweb.org/FoundationReport2020.
This has been a challenging year for the SVS Foundation, the SVS and all its members. A year that began with promise and excitement over the second annual “Vascular Spectacular” gala became the Year of the Pandemic instead. COVID-19 halted elective—but medically necessary—surgeries, upended our members’ practices and created economic uncertainty.
The pandemic is not yet tamed, though some equilibrium has returned with the resumption of elective surgeries and the training of our future colleagues. We remain not only hopeful, but excited, in looking ahead to the future of the SVS Foundation. We have done some major restructuring, including the addition of board members from outside the SVS itself. New voices offer alternatives and put us in touch with a greater number of people and initiatives. We have additional stability.
Yet we have the same ultimate goal: to improve patient care through public education and awareness, and through research with the support of Foundation grants and scholarships. As chair, I hope to promote prospective research, in particular device research that could lead to better treatment options for our patients. Such research is difficult to conduct, but necessary to be able to make the best decisions on treatment.
We will also review all current and existing programs, and consider new programs in both education and research. I congratulate and thank all who have donated to the SVS Foundation in the past, particularly this past year. And I want to encourage anyone who has never donated to make 2020 the year that changes. Become a first-time donor! After all, the need is as great as ever. Foundations are mission-driven and thrive with the support of donations.
We can change and enhance vascular health and knowledge, and ultimately, as always is our goal, improve patient care. I ask all of you to be generous in supporting your Foundation and allowing it to continue to find better solutions in treating vascular disease.
Peter F. Lawrence, MD, is the SVS Foundation chair.