2023 Fall Newsletter

President’s Message 

Murray L. Shames, MD
2023 – 2024 FVS President

It is both an honor and a privilege to address you as the President of the Florida Vascular Society. This society has held a special place in my heart since my days as a resident, dating all the way back to the mid-90s. I vividly recall my first encounter with this remarkable community at the Florida Vascular Surgery Society conference in Miami in 1998. It was a pivotal moment for me giving my first podium presentation at FVS, and I’ve cherished the connections I’ve made ever since. 


Looking back on the past year, I am thrilled to say that our scientific session was nothing short of outstanding. This achievement would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our program committee, our visiting professors, and our presenters. A heartfelt thank you for going out to each of them. 


I would also like to extend my gratitude to our exceptional management team for their tireless efforts in organizing the venue and the various extracurricular activities. From the golf tournament to the Saturday afternoon splash bash, it was a pleasure to share these memorable experiences with you and your families. I am excited to announce that we will continue the tradition of the golf tournament and Splash Bash next year. 

As we look ahead, we are already in the planning stages for next year’s meeting, which will be held at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando from April 11 – 14, 2024. We anticipate another fantastic session with distinguished visiting professors, including Dr. Anita Dua from MGH, Dr. Jason Lee from Stanford, and Dr. David Rigberg from UCLA. I am especially excited about the Seeger Symposium that will focus on vascular oddities this year. To ensure your participation, please submit your abstracts through the FVS portal as soon as possible. 


I want to express a special thank you to our industry partners, whose support is indispensable in making our annual meeting possible. I encourage all our members to take the opportunity to engage with the exhibitors during the meeting and explore the latest advancements in vascular technology. 


This year, one of our key priorities remains the recruitment of new members, particularly young vascular surgeons who are either relocating to the state or embarking on new practice journeys. We kindly request that our current members involve their partners in our vibrant community by bringing them to the meeting. 


Together, we are creating a thriving and dynamic environment within the Florida Vascular Society. I am excited about the opportunities and growth that lie ahead and look forward to sharing them with each of you.


Thank you for your continued support, dedication, and commitment to our shared mission. 

2024 Scientific Sessions Program Report

Santiago Chahwan, MD, FACS
2023 – 2024 FVS Past President

The Florida Vascular Society’s 37th Annual Scientific Sessions is being held on April 11 – 14, 2024 at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in-person in Orlando in 2024 and hope you will make plans to join us.

This meeting will be jam-packed with cutting edge science, brilliant speakers, and fun-filled down time. Expect our famous golf tournament benefitting the Florida Vascular Foundation, and Splash Bash that the whole family can enjoy. The developing agenda for the meeting can be found here: 2024 FVS Annual Meeting Agenda : Florida Vascular Society 

We are excited to announce our 3 visiting professors for the 2024 Annual Meeting.

Anahita Dua, MD

Dr. Dua is a vascular surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. At Mass General, she is the director of the Vascular Lab, co-director of the Peripheral Artery Disease Center and Limb Evaluation and Amputation Program (LEAPP), associate director of the Wound Care Center, associate director of the Vascular Surgery Clerkship and director of clinical research for the division of vascular surgery. She specializes in advanced endovascular (minimally invasive) and traditional (open) limb salvage techniques for treating peripheral arterial disease and critical limb ischemia, diabetic limb disease, aortic disease, carotid disease, thoracic outlet syndrome and venous disease.


Jason T. Lee, MD

Dr. Lee is the chief of vascular surgery for Stanford Medicine. He is a fellowship-trained, board-certified vascular surgeon and a world-renowned leader in the field. He has a strong “patient first” philosophy of care. For every case, he emphasizes the most advanced, minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment approaches. He works closely with a multidisciplinary team of specialists to ensure that each care plan is personalized, precise, compassionate, and comprehensive. Dr. Lee also is passionate about educating and mentoring tomorrow’s vascular surgeons. He is a professor of surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He serves as past president of the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society and is current president of the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery.


David A. Rigberg, MD

Dr. Rigberg is an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He completed his internship and residency in general surgery at UCLA, and then was the vascular fellow at UCLA as well. This training included open vascular surgery as well as catheter-based endovascular interventions. Dr. Rigberg has published extensively in the basic and clinical sciences, including work in the field of outcomes from aortic operations.


Foundation Report

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

Dear FVS Colleagues,

The footballs are flying, the leaves are dropping, and the temperatures are falling, at least for those of us in Northwest Florida, and it is time for a fall update from the Florida Vascular Foundation. I want to thank everyone for a very successful 36th annual Scientific Sessions of the Florida Vascular Society.

It was great to see everyone in Orlando, it was a welcome return to post-covid “normalcy”. The program committee again knocked it out of the park with excellent speakers on a breadth of topics that exemplify the fascinating breadth of our chosen specialty.

I would like to congratulate the 3 winners of our annual awards in honor of “Pepe” Alvarez (Carlos Huerta, MD), J.J.  Karmacharya (Christine Jokisch, MD) Mark Friedell (Miguel Rojas) for their outstanding presentations. The future of vascular surgery in the state of Florida remains in good hands based on the quality of the presentations and original research presented by all the residents and medical students. The quality of their work presented is a testament not only to their individual excellence, but a statement to the quality of mentorship provided by our members.

The Florida Vascular Foundation relies on the generous donations of our members in order to provide for these awards and remain an important part of the making the Florida Vascular Societies annual meeting a special event. I would like to thank the 37 individual members who have donated nearly $17,000 thus far for 2023. Please take a moment to look at the list of colleagues below who have donated and thank them for their contributions. As the tax-year closes, please consider the Florida Vascular Foundation in your year-end tax planning, every little bit counts.

  • Brett Almond, MD, PhD
  • Paul Armstrong, DO, FACS
  • Diego Ayo, MD
  • William Blackshear, MD, FACS
  • Mark Bonta, MD
  • Xavier Cannella, MD, FACS
  • Santiago Chahwan, MD, FACS
  • Vasana Cheanvechai, MD, RPVI, RVT, FACS
  • Paul Citrin, MD, FACS
  • Dawn Coleman, MD, FACS
  • Paul Collins, MD, FACS
  • Shawn Corbitt
  • Jeffrey Edwards, MD
  • Robert Feezor, MD, FACS
  • Brian Hart, JD
  • Howard Hermans, MD, FACS
  • Thomas Huber, MD, PhD, FACS
  • Michael LePore, MD, FACS, RPVI
  • Deepak Nair, MD, FACS, RVT
  • Charles Ozaki, MD, FACS
  • Arthur Palamara, MD, FACS
  • Inkyong Parrack, MD, RPVI
  • Duke Pfitzinger, DO
  • Geoff Risley, MD, FACS, RPVI
  • Reagan Ross, MD
  • Ignacio Rua, MD, FACS
  • Murray Shames, MD, FACS
  • Scott Tapper, MD, FACS, RPVI
  • Joshua Unger, MD, FACS
  • Jason Wagner, MD
  • Libby Watch, MD, FACS
  • Chun Kevin Yang, MD
  • Jack Zeltzer, MD, FACS

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season and look forward to seeing everyone again in April for the 37th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Florida Vascular Society at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria resort in Orlando.

Membership Report

Shonak Patel, MD
Shonak Patel, MD
Chair, Membership Committee

I am honored to serve as Florida Vascular Society Membership chair again this past year. This is a fantastic organization to be a part of, and it’s amazing to have watched it grow and expand. The membership committee meets monthly to discuss initiatives to increase membership and expand upon member categories and benefits. Dues invoices have been mailed out. We now have the AutoPay option which allows you to pay dues automatically annually.  We have made changes to the application process, streamlining it to be more efficient. In addition, we have also been working with industry partners on identifying vascular surgeons in the various regions of Florida with the local members doing outreach.

We are looking forward to our 36th Annual Scientific Sessions being held on April 11 – 14, 2024 at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. We hope to see all the members there! 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 encourage you to participate.

At our last Board Meeting, the members voted to make fellows, residents, and medical students have no membership/application fees. We have had a great number of applicants since this change.

I am beyond excited to see what the year holds for the Florida Vascular Society!

Welcome our newest FVS members who joined in 2023:

  • Mark Bonta, MD, FRCPC
  • Akshara Challa, MS3
  • Gustavo De Jesus, MD
  • James Graves, APRN
  • Suy Sen Hong Fong, MD
  • Aqiyl Mills, MS
  • Alec Schubert, MS
  • Roberto Torres-Aguiar, PG3
  • Miguel Villalobos, Jr., MD, FACS, RPVI
  • Rachel Wilson, MD