2020 Summer Newsletter

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President’s Message

Charles S. Thompson, MD, FACSPresident (2020 - 2021)
Charles S. Thompson, MD, FACS
President (2020 – 2021)

2020 is more than halfway through, and we have faced challenges most have not experienced in their lifetimes. COVID-19 has impacted our lives personally and professionally through illness, loss, recovery, decreased patient care, decreased earnings, decreased training, and less surgical community.

The impact has also been felt within the Florida Vascular Society with the cancelation of the 2020 Annual Meeting and not being able to come together as an organization. Through opportunity, participation, and trust, the FVS is going to continue its efforts to support the surgeons and surgical trainees of Florida, as well as their families. We need you to get on board as we move forward together.

“COVID-19 has impacted our lives personally and professionally through illness, loss, recovery, decreased patient care, decreased earnings, decreased training, and less surgical community.”

During the 2020-2021 year, I seek to accomplish four goals:

  1. Financial stability of the Florida Vascular Society and Florida Vascular Foundation
  2. Progress towards established strategic goals
  3. Facilitate participation of our membership on FVS committees
  4. Safely gathering in person for the 2021 FVS Annual Meeting

The FVS entered the COVID-19 era as a financially stable organization. My top priority for my term as President remains maintenance of the financial viability of our organization for the course of the COVID-19 epidemic and beyond. We will do so by working toward our strategic planning goals established in the Fall of 2019:

Savings & Investments

The FVS Executive Council has committed to a strategy of savings and investments, starting with saving at least $10,000 per year for the next three years. As reserves grow, the FVS will work with a qualified investment consultant to grow reserves through a reasonable investment approach, balancing liquidity and growth with a tolerable level of risk.

Organizational Pillars


The Advocacy Committee is chaired by Arthur Palamara, MD, FACS and will focus on (1) representing FVS on the Florida Carrier Advisory Committee with First Coast Service Options and at the Florida Board of Medicine, (2) participating in the All-Florida Surgical Advocacy Days program hosted by the Florida Chapter, American College of Surgeons, and (3) providing a delegation to represent FVS and our patients to the Florida Medical Association House of Delegates.


The Communications Committee is chaired by Murray Shames, MD, FACS, and will focus on redeveloping an enhanced FVS website to serve the membership with additional resources, event registration, and frequent communication with the membership. The Communications Committee will also oversee the recurrence of this newsletter.


The Education Committee is chaired by Thomas Huber, MD, FACS, and will focus on maintaining and improving the FVS Annual Meeting, ensuring educational opportunities for members unable to attend the Annual Meeting, creating added value between FVS, and the Annals of Vascular Surgery.


The Membership Committee is chaired by Shonak Patel, MD, and will focus on membership recruitment and retention, awareness of FVS by Florida’s medical community, branding FVS for use by the membership in their community, and adding new membership benefits.

To meet these goals, I encourage everyone to volunteer for committee opportunities. As you will read in the newsletter, several of our committees are open for volunteers. Get engaged today. We need everyone!

Each year, I look forward to coming together at the FVS Annual Meeting. My final goal is for us to do our best to safely gather in person for the 2021 Annual Meeting. Be sure to put April 22-25, 2021 on your calendar today. We plan to be at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, and I look forward to seeing everyone.

I wish everyone good health, safety, and surgical success. Please feel free to contact me at any time at cthompson@arteryandvein.com.

Committee Volunteer Opportunities

The Florida Vascular Society was established to promote the science and art of the diagnosis and management of vascular disease and encourge research and education in the field. We are looking for volunteers to join the following FVS committees to meet our goals:

Advocacy Committee: The FVS Advocacy Committee works to make sure our voices are heard in Florida Legislature through collaboration on surgical advocacy days programming, at the Florida Medical Association House of Delegates, the Florida Board of Medicine, and First Coast Service Options – Florida’s current Medicare Administrative Contract. By joining this committee, you can ensure the voice of FVS is heard in the state.

Communications Committee: The FVS Communications Committee leads the outreach efforts to our membership and beyond through social media, our website, and a newly-developed and member-exclusive electronic newsletter. Volunteer today to help FVS promote the awareness, collaboration, and opportunities to engage in Florida’s vascular community.

Membership Committee: The FVS Membership Committee seeks to identify who we are to the Florida medical community, increase membership and awareness of the FVS in Florida, and develop value for the membership through tangible and intangible membership benefits.

Email membership@fvs.org to volunteer for one of these important and engaging FVS committees. Get involved today!

2020 Florida Vascular Foundation Board Appointments

The Florida Vascular Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes, the making of distributions to organizations under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and Regulations issued pursuant thereto as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.


The Florida Vascular Foundation will pursue the expansion of the knowledge of vascular disease of all individuals.

Board of Directors


Geoffrey Risley, MD, FACS
Fort Walton Beach, FL


Jose Almeida, MD, FACS
Miami, FL

Paul Armstrong, DO, FACS
Tampa, FL

Richard Lynn, MD, FACS
Palm Beach, FL

Deepak Nair, MD, FACS
Sarasota, FL

Charles S. Thompson, MD, FACS
Orlando, FL

Omaida Velazquez, MD, FACS
Miami, FL

Executive Director

Brian Hart, JD

Facts about vascular disease

There are expected to be considerably more cases. Vascular Disease primarily effects seniors, and as the U.S. Population rates for seniors increase with aging baby boomers, the potential for vascular disease increases. In 2005, the U.S. Census reported there were more than 7 million people aged 55 and older. It anticipates that the number will rise to more than 87 million in 2015. with this increase in potential vascular disease cases knowledge of all treatments will become even more critical to your senior readership and their families.

Peripheral arterial disease affects more than 8 million people in the U.S., especially those over 50, African Americans, and Hispanics. In advanced cases, when the diagnosis is made late, amputation may be necessary, particularly among diabetics.

Nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) annually, and approximately 10,000 die each year from a ruptured AAA.

Vascular disease can block the carotid arteries to the brain and cause paralyzing strokes. Stroke remains the third leading cause of death in the U.S. with nearly 157,000 people dying annually. A large proportion of strokes are caused by plaque in the carotid arteries. In 2006 it was estimated that Americans would pay about $57.9 billion for stroke related medical costs and disability.