Southern Association for Vascular surgery

2014 President's Message

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Thomas S. Huber, MD
SAVS President
Thomas S. Huber, MD
The 37th Annual Meeting of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery (SAVS) at the Atlantis was another resounding success. The quality of the academic program, the educational opportunities and the fellowship were all spectacular as one would expect given the overall quality of our organization. The attendance was very good and rivaled the largest registration from past years. The Atlantis resort did a nice job and a special recognition is due to the Local Arrangements Chairman, Jacob Robison, and our management organization, PRRI, for their attention to the overwhelming number of details required to assure that the meeting and all of the associated activities ran smoothly. The Mock Oral Examinations continue to be an integral part of the meeting and the organization’s commitment to the education our trainees. A total of 28 Examinees participated in the exercise and a comparable number of Examiners graciously dedicated their time and expertise. It is worth emphasizing that this is this is the largest number of Examinees that has ever participated in the exercise and the appropriate credit should be given to our Recorder Matt Edwards for his impressive efforts. David Minion and the Continuing Medical Education Committee did a wonderful job with the Post Graduate Course, focusing on controversies in our discipline. The depth and breadth of the presentations were spectacular and a special recognition should also be given to the numerous presenters. The Post Graduate Course has evolved over the past several years and the logistics and complexity of the effort parallel that of the plenary session.

The Scientific Sessions again included a wide range of topics encompassing both the clinical and basic sciences. This year Marc Mitchell and the Program Committee introduced a new Poster Session and video presentations. Both of these were well received and, importantly, gave the membership another opportunity to share their quality work at the annual meeting. It is no surprise that the SAVS continues to have one of the highest publication rates in the Journal of Vascular Surgery for papers submitted from the annual meeting. Two of the highlights of the scientific program were the Founders’ Award Paper entitled “Improved Procedural Hemodynamic, and Late Clinical Outcomes Using Intravascular Ultrasound Anatomic Guidance During Carotid Artery Stent-Angioplasty” by Megan Carroll and the Presidents’ Award winning paper by Peter Nelson entitled “Percutaneous Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair (PEVAR): Results from the First Prospective, Multicenter Randomized Trial”. Unfortunately, the invited Jesse E. Thompson Distinguished Guest Lecturer, George Andros, was unable to attend the meeting, but Joe Mills did a wonderful job filling in while reviewing the classification of vascular disease form Linnaeus to Rutherford. My own personal highlight of the meeting was Spence Taylor’s Presidential Address entitled “Vascular Surgery, Self Awareness, and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville”. Spence documented the impressive task of starting a medical school, but more importantly detailed his personal journal from “leading from the front” to “shepherding” a group of talented individuals with a common goal. I look forward to reading the final text in the Journal and highly recommend it to the membership. The whole meeting was a nice testament to Spence and a formal recognition of his commitment to our organization over the past half decade in his role as Secretary-Treasurer and President.

The future or our organization is incredibly bright. We are financially sound, the membership roster is nearly full, and, most importantly, both the membership and leadership are committed to our ongoing success and maintaining the collegiality and fellowship emblematic of our group. A remarkable total of 22 individuals were approved for membership at the annual meeting upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee. We are incredibly fortunate to have Rick Endean “shepherding” our collective mission as the current Secretary-Treasurer and our future has been entrusted to Ali AbuRahma as the President-elect, Cynthia Shortell as Councilor, Jeb Hallet as our Representative to the SVS, and Scott Berceli as the next member of the Program Committee among other new appointments. Our next annual meeting will be held January 15 – 18, 2014 at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida and efforts have already been initiated by Mo Moursi and the Program Committee to assure that the meeting will be the best ever. The Breakers is an absolutely spectacular venue and I am hopeful that the weather will cooperate. I would encourage everyone to continue to submit your best work to the meeting and circle the September 3 abstract deadline on your calendar.

It has been an overwhelming pleasure to serve as the President of the SAVS and I am both honored and humbled by the privilege. The SAVS is my favorite organization and the annual meeting is the highlight of my academic year. The leadership is committed to maintaining the integrity and level of excellence that has defined our group. However, it is important to recognize that it is “our” organization and I would challenge the membership to bring forward your best ideas and suggestions so that we can continue to evolve and remain the preeminent regional society.

Regards,
Tom