Thank you to the members and colleagues of VESS for the honor of serving you as President of the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society for 2019-2020. The VESS was the first society I joined out of fellowship in 2004, and without a doubt, the relationships and colleagues I met under its banner have been critical to my development as a surgeon. While the VESS has grown in members and reach, the core mission to elevate vascular surgery and mentor the young trainee and surgeon is unchanged. It’s in our fabric and it is who we are. As your President, I look forward to identifying the obstacles and impediments to our goal of providing the best care for our patients, solving those gaps, and celebrating our shared vision for vascular surgery at our phenomenal meetings.
Our Winter Meeting is the embodiment of that stated goal. In the 43rd Winter Meeting of VESS, Snowbird provided a beautiful backdrop to the sessions. Attendance, once again, was very strong. The offerings of the academic sessions was broad and beautifully composed by the Winter Program Committee, headed by Justin Hurie. The Next Generation Student Mentor Program was fully attended, and in great demand with applications well in excess of the available venue. Gabriela Velazquez-Ramirez and Dawn Coleman led the student program par excellence. Karan Garg led the Vascular Fellows Course, and the practical workshops and forums speaks volumes to the eagerness of the VESS to supply the skills to succeed in their transition to young faculty and attendings. Dawn Coleman, never short of roles and reach, also led a lively Technology Forum to engage industry with our thoughtful members, and to help introduce and guide new therapies and technology into our treatment strategies.
Coming up soon is the VESS Spring Meeting on the Wednesday June 12th, before the VAM in National Harbor, Maryland. Matthew Smeds and the VESS Spring Program Committee, working with the VAM program committee have assembled a great lineup of talks and discussants. Per our VESS custom, trainees and young surgeons take the mic, some for the first time to engage some of the best abstracts and presenters in the vascular surgery landscape. So come learn, watch, mentor, and contribute to this great day!
As a final thought, consider what you want or have wanted from VESS. There is no reason why VESS can’t provide those thoughts with a practical solution. VESS members are the best at tackling new ideas, challenging old ones, and thinking ahead to the need of an emerging expert surgeon. Ours is a “flat” organization – the hierarchy is absent, so any member can find a place to express an idea, contribute to a committee, or vet a research project. So I invite you, your partners, colleagues, or trainees to contribute or join our great organization: THE. BEST. VESS.
James H. Black, MD
Johns Hopkins Hospital
2019-2020 VESS President