Your SVS: Storming into 2020 and horizons beyond

Kenneth M. Slaw

With significant progress made on many fronts in 2019, the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) is looking forward to the next horizon in 2020.

In late January, I updated the Strategic Board of Directors on progress to date on strategic priorities for the past year. The board also set priorities for 2020–21. In six areas, 85% of strategic planning objectives were accomplished or experienced significant progress. Highlights include:

Strengthening SVS

  • The Vascular Surgery Branding Campaign is on the launchpad and the countdown has begun for an initial soft launch at the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery (SCVS) 48th annual symposium in March with a formal launch to follow at the Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM) in June. The initial focus is on referral sources and development of a member toolkit for local branding
  • SVS, in collaboration with the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society (VESS) and SCVS, has formally launched its inaugural Leadership Development Program. A cohort of 25 vascular surgeons has begun a six-month longitudinal leadership skills-building program culminating at VAM 2020
  • Speaking of collaboration, SVS has initiated an outreach program seeking to develop and codify collaborations across vascular societies. SVS leadership has met regularly with national vascular surgery leaders and leaders of regional societies
  • SVS has completed its move to new home headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois. In the first year, an unprecedented 125-plus SVS members have visited the space, fulfilling the Executive Board’s vision of a member-centric HQ
  • SVS celebrated the one-year birthday of SVSConnect, the new member online community

Addressing practice issues

  • The Vascular Valuation Study was launched. The SVS engaged SG2 to complete a comprehensive assessment and consulting report on the valuation of vascular surgery services. More than 525 SVS members responded to an essential survey, with results and a final report to be delivered at VAM
  • The Document Oversight Committee (DOC) produced three additional published guidelines this past year, has six in the pipeline and is actively working to streamline the guideline development process
  • The SVS Wellness Task Force completed phase one of its work focused on researching the issue in vascular surgery and presented several abstracts at VAM and other societies’ meetings. Phase two, focused on member support services, has launched with SurgeonMasters. Check it out on SVSConnect

Advancing quality

  • The SVS and American College of Surgeons are on the launching pad to pilot the Vascular Center Verification and Quality Improvement Program (VCV & QIP) in Spring 2020. A broader launch plan will be announced at VAM
  • The Alternative Payment Models Task Force completed its work and presented its final report and recommendations
  • The SVS Patient Safety Organization/Vascular Quality Initiative completed another stellar year hitting milestones of 650 subscribed data collection sites and 665,000 cases and has successfully launched the new Vascular Medicine Consult Registry in collaboration with the American Heart Association and the Society for Vascular Medicine, and Venous Stent and Varicose Vein Registries with the American Venous Forum

Excellence in education

  • SVS is working with the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery (APDVS) to address future training and education gaps regarding open surgical skills and with APDVS, VESS and SCVS, on an integrated approach and career support for medical students and vascular surgery trainees
  • The SVS Learning Management System is nearly ready for launch. The SVS online education portal is on the launch ramp and will be ready to debut at VAM
  • VAM is evolving into “Future VAM.” Come and experience an ever-changing, ever more robust and exciting VAM in Toronto, June 17–20, featuring more ask-the-experts sessions, a new Practice Pavilion for hands-on education and, of course, the best new and original science in the field of vascular surgery

Aggressive advocacy

  • Vascular surgery is facing unprecedented cuts in payment with new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rules, and the SVS Advocacy and Policy Council, Coding Committee, Government Relations Committee and Political Action Committee are front and center fighting for your patients, quality and the value of vascular surgery. They need your help and engagement. If you have given to the SVS Political Action Committee (PAC), now is the time to double your donation, and, if you have never given, if ever there was a time, this is it!


  • The Vascular Research Initiatives Conference (VRIC) hit a new record with more than 200 submitted abstracts
  • SVS, working with Elsevier, launched its newest edition to the Journal of Vascular Surgery portfolio, JVS-Science, a basic science journal

Many of the bold signature programs developed by the SVS Strategic Board over the past two years have hit the implementation stage. It is going to be an exciting year thanks to the foresight and support of the SVS leadership and membership. The only thing more exciting is the next horizon for SVS. Thank you.

Kenneth M. Slaw, PhD, is the SVS executive director.


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