2022 Spring Newsletter



President’s Message

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

I am incredibly excited to announce that the 35th Annual Florida Vascular Society Meeting is almost upon us, at last. It has been a very difficult past two years for the organization, and life in general, with the cancellation of the 2020 meeting and the abbreviated virtual 2021 meeting. However, I am proud to say that this year’s meeting will be among the best ever thanks to the efforts of Dr. Santi Chahwan and the Education Committee. The scientific program is incredibly strong and includes a broad range of topics from multiple centers across the state. The Seeger Symposium, coordinated by Dr. Jorge Rey, will address both new management strategies for infrainguinal occlusive disease and vascular care for COVID patients. Drs. Kellie Brown, Vince Rowe, and John Rectenwald will be our distinguished visiting professors and will share insights on a host of vascular issues. Importantly, the annual meeting provides a wonderful opportunity for the next generation of vascular surgeons including medical students, residents, and fellows to share their research and experience the excitement of vascular surgery. The industry support has been very good, affording a nice opportunity to meet with our various sponsors and become familiar with the newest technologies. The social program will provide a nice opportunity to catch up with old friends and create new relationships in a relaxed family environment and the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World is arguably the nicest venue in the state and an incredible site for both the 2022 and 2023 annual meetings.

The organization has had a very good year due to the committed involvement of the leadership. We have weathered the financial constraints of not having a face-face annual meeting for the past two years and have emerged financially solvent due to the efforts of Dr. Murray Shames our Treasurer and Mr. Brian Hart and his exceptional management organization. We have expanded our membership under the leadership of Dr. Shonak Patel and his committee and are hopeful to reach our target goal of 25 new members with one final push. Lastly, we have continued to engage the membership and have emphasized the benefit of being part of our collegial group. I would encourage everyone to use the annual meeting as an opportunity to become more involved in our organization. There are dedicated committees for Education, Advocacy, Communications, and Membership under the leadership of Drs. Santi Chahwan, Arthur Palamara, Shonak Patel, and Murray Shames. Although the committees are fully staffed, there is always an opportunity for interested, eager new members with better ideas. The Florida Vascular Foundation is the charitable organization affiliated with our Society that was designed to educate the public and expand the knowledge of vascular disease. Dr. Geoff Risley has done a nice job advancing this mission in his role as the President
of the Foundation with the tangible benefitting of creating opportunities for students, residents, and fellow scholars to attend the meeting.

It has been a pleasure to serve as the president of the Florida Vascular Society this past year. I think we can all feel good that we have strengthened the organization this past year and that next year looks good under the leadership of our incoming president Dr. Santi Chahwan. I would like to formally recognize Drs. Juan Carlos Pereda and Shonak Patel for their service as councilors these past years and the thorough efforts of our management organization under Mr. Brian Hart. I look forward to catching up in person and am excited for the meeting.


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

On behalf of the Florida Vascular Foundation (FVF), I would like to extend a hearty welcome back to our 35th Annual Meeting of the Florida Vascular Society. It has been a long and stressful two-year hiatus from our yearly in-person meeting celebrating all the things that make vascular surgery great in Florida. The Florida Vascular Foundation (FVF) provides scholarships to ease the burden of attending this meeting to all trainees in vascular surgery. These scholarships are funded by the generous donations of our members. This year we are pleased to support 5 medical students and 2 surgical residents who have expressed a high level of interest in our specialty. Please see the list of recipients below and please make them feel welcome, they might be your new associates.

The FVF is also pleased to continue to provide the following competitive awards: (1) The 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. The awardee receives $1,000 and will be considered for publication in the Annals of Vascular Surgery. (2) The 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). (3) The Mark L. Friedell, MD Award: Awarded for the Best Medical Student Abstract and Oral Presentation. Awardee receives $500. Please be sure to support these young trainees as they are often our best and brightest and we would like to encourage them to stay in our great state.

Established in 2008, the FVF, 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. 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. Many of these patients suffer from acute arterial and venous thromboembolic events at a higher frequency than 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 continue to provide high-quality vascular care to the citizens of Florida that have 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. The Foundation provides scholarship support to medical students and residents who desire to pursue careers as vascular specialists. 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

Membership Report

Shonak Patel, MD
Shonak Patel, MD
Chair, Membership

The membership committee has met to discuss initiatives to increase membership and expand upon member categories. The current members of this committee include:
Dr. Chahwan- Southwest Florida

Dr. Feezor- Northeast Florida

Dr. Pereda- Southeast Florida

Dr. Patel- Panhandle/Northwest Florida

We are looking forward to our Annual Meeting. To date, we have received 19 applications for new members this year with a goal of 25 total new members. In an effort to drive membership goals we have been pushing the FVS Membership Challenge. The member who recruits the most new applicants/members will have a waived registration fee for this year’s annual meeting.

We currently have 114 members within FVS with paid 2022 dues. We have members with unpaid for which we will continue outreach. Membership can now pay dues through the website. Non-members can now join through the website directly, at https://fvs.org/apply/.

Fellows, residents, and medical students have no membership fees.

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

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!