2021 Fall Newsletter


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President’s Message

Thomas S. Huber, MD, FACS
President 2021 – 2022

I would like to again thank you for the honor and privilege to serve as your President of the Florida Vascular Surgical Society. The organization is among my favorites due to the commitment and collegiality of the membership and the quality of our annual meeting.  I have jokingly said that it is by far my favorite state of Florida vascular surgical society, reminiscent of comments to my daughter Abigail (aka Abby) about being my favorite daughter (3 sons, 1 daughter).

My outlined presidential platform has been to assure the financial viability and sustainability of the organization, streamline the organization structure, maintain the quality of the annual meeting, expand the membership roster and foster the engagement of the members. I am happy to say that the organization is in very good shape and remains financially sound, even in the face of the pandemic and the necessity of cancelling our past two annual meetings. Mr. Brian Hart and his management organization have done an excellent job of renegotiating our two previous hotel commitments and have streamlined our organization structure. Furthermore, they have continued to engage or corporate sponsors and sustained their commitments to the annual meeting.  Our immediate two Past Presidents Drs. Deepak Nair and Charles Thompson steered the organization through two difficult years and their efforts and foresight, including identifying a more effective, cost efficient management organization, can not be recognized enough. Your current Treasurer Dr. Murry Shams and Secretary Dr. Libby Watch have continued their fiscally sound leadership.

Our next face-to-face annual meeting will be held from April 28 – May 1, 2022, at the Four Seasons in Orlando. This is a wonderful venue, as you all probably know, and will be a great forum for the meeting.  Notably, the next two annual meetings will be held at the Four Seasons as part of the concession negotiated by Mr. Hart to release the organization from its past financial liability. Dr. Santi Chahwan, the President-elect and Chairman of the Program Committee has begun to put the meeting together along with his other committee members Drs. Robert Feezor, Erin Moore, and Robert Winters. The format of the meeting will be identical to the past live meetings and include scientific sessions, a student/resident/fellow session, Seeger Symposium, and Visiting Professors. Dr. Jorge Rey from the University of Miami is in the process of organizing the Seeger Symposium, including selecting a timely topic, and I am confident that the academic centers across the state will be contacted about making presentations. Drs. Vince Rowe (University of Southern California), John Rectenwald (University of Wisconsin), and Kellie Brown (Medical College of Wisconsin) will be this year’s Visiting Professors and will provide a series of lectures, similar to past years. I would strongly encourage everyone to submit their best material for presentation at the meeting. There are several different venues in the meeting for presentations, and both practicing physicians and learner at all levels are encouraged to get involved. The overall quality of the program is reflected by the submitted work and, notably, submission at our annual meeting does not necessarily preclude presentation in another venue.

The leadership goal is to expand the membership by 25 individuals to sustain the viability of the organization. Membership affords several advantages including the quality of the annual scientific meeting, exposure to our industry partners and their next greatest technologies, an expanded voice for vascular surgery in the region, and the ability to interact with colleagues across the state in a family-friendly environment. Indeed, the collegiality of the organization remains the greatest benefit to me, and I can assure you that the leadership is committed to preserving the esprit de corps. We are in the process of reaching out to potential members throughout the state, but I would encourage everyone to contact their partners and colleagues to espouse the value of membership while challenging them to apply.  The membership process is fairly painless, and the annual dues are moderate. I continue to be struck by the fact that we as vascular surgeons are all in this together and share the same challenges, frustrations, and rewards, most notably the ability to help our patients.

We are hoping to build upon the collegiality of the organization and sponsor regional get-togethers over the course of the year that will serve both to get folks together, but also serve as a potential outreach for new members. It was nice to attend the Vascular Annual Meeting this past August and I was struck by the fact that it was just nice to get together with friends and colleagues. I am sure that everyone feels the same way and is looking forward to our live annual meeting so please submit you best stuff, encourage your colleagues to join, and register for our annual meeting.

Please feel free to contact me any time at president@fvs.org.


Scientific Sessions Update

The Florida Vascular Society’s 35th Annual Scientific Sessions on April 28th – May 1st, 2022 will be at the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World. We are looking forward to seeing our members back together in-person in Orlando in 2022 and hope you will make plans to join us. Registration is now available, here.

This annual meeting will feature three visiting professors, Drs. Brown, Rowe, and Rectenwald, who will be presenting a variety of topics:

Kellie R. Brown, MD
Kellie R. Brown, MD

Dr. Kellie Brown is a tenured Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Vascular Surgery, is the past president of the Midwestern Vascular Surgical Association, is the Vice Chair of the Vascular Surgery Board, and Senior Medical Director for Perioperative Services at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. Her clinical interests span the spectrum of vascular disease, including aortic, carotid and venous disease.




Vincent Rowe, MD
Vincent Rowe, MD

Dr. Vincent Rowe holds the title of Professor of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and he serves as the Program Director of the Vascular Surgery Residency. He currently serves as a director of the Vascular Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery. His major research interests include lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD), traumatic vascular injuries and vascular surgery in the pediatric population.




John Rectenwald, MD
John Rectenwald, MD

Dr. John Rectenwald is currently Professor of Surgery, Vice-chair of the Division of Vascular Surgery and Program Director at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His academic interests are in Resident Education and the use of inferior vena cava filters. He spent 2 years doing basic science research on a NIH T-32 physician training grant exploring the inflammatory mediators of arterial neointimal hyperplasia.




The Scientific Sessions will have riveting sessions, lively discussions, and much needed quality time. Since an in-person meeting has been stalled due to social distancing mandates, we are excited about reconnecting in 2022 after our hiatus. Aside from vascular discussion, we are happy to announce events taking place at the conference that the whole family can enjoy!

On Friday, FVS invites you to join us for a day on the links! The FVS Golf Tournament will take place at the Four Seasons Tranquilo Golf Course. Your ticket price includes a spot in the golf tournament, green fees and lunch.

On Saturday, at the Four Seasons pool, a party will be held in a private area just for FVS conference attendees. Join us for an afternoon of fun including swimming, food, pool games and activities for all ages. Details can be found here.


Foundation Report

Geoffrey Risley, MD, FACS
Geoffrey Risley, MD, FACS, RPVI
President, Florida Vascular Foundation

The Florida Vascular Foundation (FVF), established in 2008, is a not-for-profit entity created to promote education and awareness of vascular diseases among medical professionals and the public in the state of Florida. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant stressor on our society as a whole and the healthcare system most significantly. The care we provide to our vulnerable vascular patients has been greatly impacted. The ability to educate our colleagues, advance medical science and improve the vascular care we provide to our Florida community, all core goals of the Florida Vascular Foundation, was equally disrupted. Our current understanding of the COVID-19 infection is one that includes a significant vascular component. Many of these patients suffer from acute arterial and venous thromboembolic events not previously observed. This novel disease reinforces the need for continued education of fellow vascular surgeons, medical colleagues and our patients in the ever-changing face of vascular disease. Only by doing this can we provide the high quality vascular care to the citizens of Florida that has become synonymous with the Florida Vascular Society.

The Foundation provides a mechanism to promote excellence in the treatment of vascular diseases through educational programs directed at physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and vascular technologists involved in the care of patients with these disorders. In addition, the Foundation promotes awareness of vascular diseases among primary care providers through live presentations and publication of continuing medical education materials. Thirdly, the Foundation provides scholarship support to medical students and residents who desire to pursue careers as vascular specialists, specifically:

Jose “Pepe” Alvarez, Jr., MD Resident Award: Awarded for the best overall abstract and oral presentation for clinical or experimental work performed by residents of fellows in training. Awardee receives $1,000 and will be considered for publication in the Annals of Vascular Surgery.

Dr. JJ Karmacharya Award: Awarded for the best abstract and oral presentation in aortic aneurysmal disease reconstruction and treatments. Awardee receives $1,000. (formerly sponsored by the JJ Karmacharya Foundation for Vascular Surgery).

Mark L. Friedell, MD Award: Awarded for the Best Medical Student Abstract and Oral Presentation. Awardee receives $500.

Since the inception of the FVF, the members of the Florida Vascular Society (FVS), along with our industry partners have donated over $300,000 to the Foundation. Now, more than ever, the foundational support provided by you is essential to ensure that future patients will have access to care by highly qualified vascular professionals.

The goals of the Florida Vascular Foundation are lofty, yet attainable. Likewise, the calling of vascular surgery remains a grand pursuit. By contributing to the Florida Vascular Foundation you can help reach these lofty goals that are so critical to the health and well being of our fellow Floridians. Please join us in our efforts by contributing to this most worthy cause.

Donate Online Today

Call for Abstracts – Due by October 24th!

(abstract window is currently closed)

All current surgery residents or vascular fellows in the state of Florida are encouraged to submit an abstract for oral presentation. Abstract submission carries with it the eligibility to receive the Jose “Pepe” Alvarez, Jr., MD Resident Award, the Dr. JJ Karmacharya Award or the Mark L. Friedell, MD Award.

The abstract submission window closes Sunday, October 24th, so be sure to get yours in here!

Rules for Submission:
Abstracts must be original work and must not have been published or presented at a national or regional meeting. It is acceptable to submit work that has been presented at local meetings or as a poster, provided it has not been published. No reference should be made on or in the abstract to the names or institutions of the authors, as the abstract review process is conducted “blindly”, in that the reviewers do not know the origin of the work. Non-member authors must list the name of a member sponsor.

Abstract Format:
Abstracts must be submitted as a structured format (Introduction/Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusion) using the Abstracts Submission and Transmittal Forms. A current CV must be submitted with your submission.

All vascular related topics submitted will be considered by the FVS program committee for acceptance throughout the program. Topics related to the following areas will be given the highest consideration for acceptance in the James E. Seeger, MD Symposium, and Luncheon Session.

Topic Related Scientific Sessions:
-Vascular Medicine
-Lower Extremity -Revascularization
-Vascular Trauma
-Carotid Dissection Aneurysms
-Dialysis Access

Membership Report

Shonak Patel, MD
Shonak Patel, MD
Chair, Membership

The membership committee has met to discuss initiatives to increase membership and expand member categories. The current members of the membership committee include:

Dr. Chahwan – Southwest Florida
Dr. Feezor – Northeast Florida
Dr. Pereda – Southeast Florida
Dr. Patel – Northwest Florida

We currently have 120 members within FVS (107 active, 23 inactive). We are currently accepting dues and members can now pay through the website without Paypal. Non-members can now join through the website directly, also without Paypal, at https://fvs.org/apply/.
As a goal for continued growth in FVS, we have developed a spreadsheet to use as a tool for outreach and tracking. We have assigned regions to each committee member based on their current practice location. Through this, we are asking our local industry partners to help provide a list of regional Vascular Surgeons. This list will be used to track current members as well as to help recruit new members. Further outreach will be provided by compiling SVS, FMA, ACS, and other lists of Vascular Surgeons. This will be an ongoing initiative with Dr. Huber’s recruitment goal during the 2021-2022 year.

To work towards the stated recruitment goal, the individual who recruits the most – new members, defined as having not paid dues before, receive a complimentary registration to the 2022 Florida Vascular Society annual meeting. Other considerations are being discussed for additional incentives.

Lastly, it was discussed that FVS will host regional social gatherings for members and prospective members. Each member of the Council will be asked to support a local event through fundraising (by industry to the FVS) and local vascular surgeon and trainee event recruitment. The Executive Council set a goal of hosting at least four events in the 2021-2022 association year. Our first regional gathering will be held during the VEITH Symposium – November 2021 (Orlando, FL).

We look forward to seeing everyone in person!

Do you know the FVS member types?

-Active Member
-Fellow Member
-Resident Member
-Medical Student Member
-Associate Member

The types are explained here.

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!