2011 President's Message<< Back to President's Message Listing
By many measures, the 34th Annual Meeting of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas under the leadership of President Bruce Perler met all of our expectations and was by far one of the best and most enjoyable meetings ever. Not only did attendance by members of the Association exceed all past records, but we also enjoyed the largest number of accompanying spouses and children. It is refreshing to see that a top quality scientific and professional program can also be a memorable family affair. Considering the depressed economy, resurgent winter weather, and the health care reform stalemate which was then still looming in Congress, these benchmarks speak well for the vitality of our association and the support of its members. It just goes to show that an excellent educational opportunity in a proper venue combined with good friends and colleagues can prevail over adversity. Again this year the Mock Oral examinations and the Postgraduate Program attracted strong interest and were well attended thanks to the efforts of Recorder Tom Huber and CME Chairman Chip Sternbergh. We should also be proud that the SAVS scientific program continues to be one of the strongest and most competitive among the regional vascular societies. This fact is a tribute to the continued interest and academic efforts of our members. I further wish to recognize Secretary-Treasurer Spence Taylor, Program Chairman Randy Geary and his committee, and April Conti and her staff at PRRI for their important roles in making this meeting a success. We were also especially pleased this year to welcome Tony Sidawy as our Honored Guest Lecturer and appreciate his contributions and comments.
I want to turn for a moment to the unexpected passing of Past-President Jim Seeger just a few months prior to the past meeting. I knew Jim for nearly twenty-five years, and I always marveled at his encyclopedic knowledge of vascular surgery and his clarity of thought. Few people have left their mark on the SAVS like Jim Seeger. At one time or another Jim served in almost every official capacity within the SAVS including a term in the all important position of Secretary-Treasurer and was last serving as the Bylaws Chairman. No one knew the SAVS better than he did. Despite all of his many other activities and responsibilities, the SAVS was always one of Jim’s special interests and pet projects. As a professional organization we will benefit from his legacy for many years to come. His eloquent euology delivered by Past-President Stan Snyder was a fitting rememberance of his great talent, tireless effort, leadership, and many other contributions to vascular surgery and the SAVS. Jim will be greatly missed. We were all especially pleased to see Carolyn Seeger at the meeting to receive Jim’s well-deserved Rudolph Matas Lifetime Achievement Award and hope that she will continue to be a familiar face at SAVS meetings in years to come.
For next year’s 35th Annual Meeting we return again to the elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida from January 19 - 22, 2011. As many of you will recall, this hotel has some of the finest meeting facilities of any venue that we have used in recent years. Plans for another outstanding meeting next year are already in progress. The abstract deadline for the scientific program has been set for September 3, 2010.
I hope you will all plan to attend, and I look forward to seeing you in Naples.