2013 President's Message
Serving as the President of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery is quite surreal for me. I vividly remember being approached during a general reception at the 2004 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico by Past President David Rosenthal who inquired about the strength of my administrative infrastructure in Greenville and its ability to absorb some the administrative functions of the Association. That was the first hint that my personal relationship with the SAVS was about to radically change. Almost nine years later and consecutive terms as Councilor, Secretary-Treasurer and President-Elect, my connection with the SAVS has become visceral; it is part of my inner being. The mention of the SAVS conjures emotions of deep respect, devotion, responsibility and love. The SAVS Annual Meeting is not just an event that I attend every January, but a major part of my professional and social fabric. It is the connectivity to academic vascular surgery and to some of the most amazing people in the world. The privilege of serving the Association has shaped me as a leader and has improved me as a surgeon and scientist. For that, I owe everyone a great debt of gratitude. Being elected President represents the pinnacle of my academic surgical career.
2011 was an extraordinary year for the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery. It was capped off by the Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch, hosted by President and Mrs. John F. Eidt, M.D. The meeting was well attended, the scientific program, organized by Program Chair Will Jordan, was outstanding and the weather was perfect. (And as Founding Member and Past President Norm Rich, who has attended every Annual Meeting since the inception of the organization, reminds us, any meeting with excellent weather is always an excellent meeting!)
However, upon reflection, the 2012 Annual Meeting was different. It was really special. Perhaps it was indeed the weather, or the fact that I did not have to type the minutes of the Executive Council meeting, but I think the 2012 Annual Meeting turned out to be one of the best meetings in the history of the organization. Moreover, I think I know why. Not the weather or the minutes; it was the loving effort afforded by President & First Lady John & Lacy Eidt. Assisted by meeting manager April Conti and Local Arrangement Chair Rob Winter, John and Lacy carefully thought through every detail, from the scientific plenary sessions to the social events. Their fingerprints were on everything, and the results were amazing. Be it the inaugural Jesse E. Thompson Honorary Guest Lectureship delivered by Dr. Roy Greenberg or the “first annual” cigar and port bar after the black tie Presidential banquet, the Eidt’s attention to detail paid huge dividends. Please join me in recognizing both John and Lacy with sincere thanks. They have raised the bar forever. It will be a difficult act to follow next year.
Speaking of next year, the 37th Annual Meeting of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery will be held January 23-26, 2013 at the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas. My wife, Marie, and I would like to extend a special invitation to attend this meeting. We are bringing our family and are planning to totally immerse ourselves into the Atlantis experience. We hope you will join us and do the same. Please save up your best scientific work and submit it for consideration at the meeting. Program Chair Marc Mitchell is already preparing for the program next year. Like this year, we will provide self-assessment CME credits for those who participate. Continuing Medical Education Chair David Minion is preparing another outstanding postgraduate course and the social events, being arranged by Local Arrangements Chair, Jay Robison, promise to be extraordinary and will include swimming with the dolphins; something that even John and Lacy could not pull off in Scottsdale. I want this to be the best-attended and most memorable Annual Meeting ever. We promise to bring a large contingent from Greenville and will do our part!
In reflecting on the successes, challenges and opportunities of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, I continue to be impressed on how our Founding Members created the perfect venue for a scientific association. Our half-day scientific sessions allow time for collegial interchange of ideas by members and guests. The plenary sessions continue to yield manuscripts that boast top acceptance rates to the Journal Vascular of Surgery. Our meeting attendance remains strong. Camaraderie, friendship and collegiality continue to drive the Association to new heights. It is truly an honor to be part of this organization and I look forward to leading as our President over the next year.
Please have a safe and happy summer. But also remember to save your time, energy and money because Marie and I want to see everyone at Atlantis next January. As always, if there is anything I can do for you as your President; please do not hesitate to call.