Update from the AVF Strategic Planning Retreat

On December 13 - 14, 2014, leaders of the AVF and AVF staff gathered to participate in a strategic planning retreat that was facilitated by Michela M. Perrone, PhD of MMP Associates. 

The agenda of the two-day retreat was structured to include general sessions and focus group discussions. The participants were divided into four groups and each examined one critical area of engagement.

These critical areas had been previously identified through an online member survey and were broadly categorized into:

  • Scientific/Educational
  • Financial/Membership
  • Strategic Positioning for the Future
  • Advancing AVF Leadership in Health Policy

The meeting started with identification of the positive and negative external influences impacting both AVF and field and the AVF’s strengths and weaknesses. Following this analysis, the focus groups discussed the desired outcomes in the short and long terms and strategies and initiatives to accomplish each desired outcome were identified.

The results of the small group deliberations were presented and discussed by all retreat participants. The strategies and initiatives were prioritized and a consensus was reached. As a final step, the Mission and Vision of the AVF were discussed and a revised vision statement for the AVF was agreed upon.

After working through the goals associated with each critical issue, the participants were asked to vote on which goals AVF should focus its time and resources between 2015 and 2018. The group agreed that the priorities for the next three years should include development of new and updated guidelines and reporting standards, increasing awareness of AVF by patients and physicians through outreach and communications, and greater participation in health policy decision-making. Other important goals included defining more formal relationships in areas of mutual interest with related societies and expanding our research initiatives and outcome study publications.

AVF is already putting plans into motion toward accomplishing these goals.  An RFA (Request for Applicants) has already been sent to members interested in  becoming the editors on four books to be published by the American Venous Forum: Atlas of Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) (Textbook and & Mobile Application), Companion Review to the AVF Handbook of Venous Disorders, 4th EditionLayman’s Handbook of Venous Disorders, and a History of the American Venous Forum.   Members interested in these opportunities should contact the AVF Executive Director, Mary Dean at  mdean@veinforum.org   by July 1.  Through the leadership of past president Joseph Caprini MD, a process has already been initiated for the AVF, through the National Institutes of Health, to begin a multi-center clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of patient-specific compression therapy for chronic venous insufficiency. An Organizing Committee have been put into place and an announcement has been has been sent to all members for the recruitment of the national Principal Investigator to lead this trial. Those interested in this role should contact the AVF offices by June 1 at the latest.

A Distinguished Fellows Committee has been established. Composed of past presidents Drs. Tony Comerota (Chair), Bo Eklof, Peter Gloviczki, Mark Meissner and Seshadri Raju, they have already begun meeting to establish criteria and an application form for this new category of membership. It is anticipated that applications will become available to members within the next two months.

A Guidelines Committee is being established to function as a facilitating forum to identify areas of need for new or updated guidelines, assemble a group of experts to write them and facilitate the necessary organization and resources to complete them in a timely manner. Guidelines for the use of compression therapy was identified at the strategic retreat to be of most immediate priority.  Another recently established committee, the Health Policy Committee, is working to oversee external communications, federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting venous and lymphatic health, review and develop the AVF’s position on legislative/regulatory issues that have an impact on venous and lymphatic health.

The AVF leadership has conducted an analysis of the various committees and assigned them the appropriate responsibilities in order to accomplish the identified strategic goals of the society.  The strategic plan will serve as a guide for the current and future leaders of the American Venous Forum to ensure continuing progress and advancement in the field of venous and lymphatic disease. 

The enduring vision of the American Venous Forum is to save and improve lives by reducing venous and lymphatic disease through education, innovative research and advocacy, and to empower venous specialists to be the best in the world in assessing and treating venous disease. We look forward to each of our members to empower that vision!

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