M. ASHRAF MANSOUR, MD
Dear Members and Colleagues:
As we begin this New Year, it appears that all of us will be facing changes in the way we practice. Experts predict that more patients will have access to medical care as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Also, physicians and hospitals will be held financially responsible for the way they deliver care. It is very likely that unnecessary tests, wasteful practices, unplanned readmissions and some complications will not be reimbursed. So now, more than ever, vascular practitioners need to subscribe to treatment guidelines and know the outcomes of their interventions.
The Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI), endorsed by many vascular societies including ours, is a great program to participate in. By submitting cases, each practitioner is able to compare personal results to those of other surgeons and other hospitals. This is a great tool for continuous quality improvement. It is also a requirement by the American Board of Surgery for maintenance of certification. In our state, most of the large hospitals participate in the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC) and BMC2-Peripheral Vascular Interventions. Practitioners and hospitals get quarterly reports on their individual performance. There are opportunities to learn from best practices.
The goals of our society are to advance the science of vascular surgery and to uphold high standards in managing our patients. Our Annual Meeting is an excellent venue for the exchange of ideas. Last year, we had a record number of 94 submissions. The historic Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee was the location of the meeting and hosted our excellent attendance of over 250 individuals. There were 24 papers presented, 12 rapid fire talks and 20 posters. For the first time, the society sponsored practice oral exams for vascular fellows, largely organized by Dr. Raghu Motaganahalli. The participants benefited from being quizzed by examiners. The social program was held at the beautiful Milwaukee Art Museum. I also want to thank our industry partners and the companies who supported our Annual Meeting by exhibiting and through their generous educational grants.
Our society continues to grow. We have a total membership of 583. We encourage residents and fellows to become Candidate Members. We also welcome nurses, physician assistants and vascular technologists in the Associate Member category. And, please encourage your partners and colleagues to apply for Active Membership in our Society.
Our program committee strives to arrange a well-balanced and stimulating program with up to date information. We encourage you to submit your work for presentation at our next meeting in Chicago, September 6-8, 2013. Please visit the 2013 Annual Meeting page to submit work and sponsor the work of one of your colleagues.
I look forward to seeing you in Chicago.
Ash Mansour, MD