The Advanced Venous Career

By: Peter Pappas, MD - Past AVF President

Looking back on your time as AVF President, is there anything you wish you could have accomplished in your term that you didn’t get the opportunity to?

During my term as president, I wanted to develop a strategic plan that outlined the goals and direction of the organization for the next five years.  This strategic plan would obligate the President of the society to follow the plan and achieve the goals outlined by the organization.  Instead of having a formal retreat at an outside location, I opted to hire a consultant who interviewed all the stakeholders and have them present their findings to the executive committee.  The presentation occurred without any consensus development or the writing of a strategic plan.  This initiative was completed last year under Dr. Fedor Lurie and is currently utilized during Dr. Blebea’s current tenure.

What do you feel the role of future AVF Presidents should be compared to when AVF first started?

When the AVF was first inaugurated, the organization’s main goal was to create a society focused on improving the quality of venous research and developing the next generation of academic leaders.  The organization was an exclusive society and comprised primarily of Vascular Surgeons.  The organization was spectacularly successful in achieving these goals.  Today, the organization strives to be a true national society.  For example, the organization is now inclusive and does not restrict membership.  The organization continues to focus on presenting and developing high quality research but also focuses on issues important to our membership.  Issues like, reimbursement, practice guidelines, third-party payor practice guidelines etc..

What should we expect from future AVF Presidents?

AVF members should expect the AVF to become more involved in Government Relations, reimbursement and the development of practice guidelines. Future presidents will develop strategic partnerships with other societies and industry sponsors.  Finally, future presidents will continue to make the AVFF stronger with an emphasis on decreasing the society’s reliance on industry support.

How should AVF incorporate other societies in the future activities?

It is my strongly held belief that the ACP and AVF should merge.  I have written two articles in Vein Magazine on this topic.  The first outlined the advantages a single American Society would have versus our current model.  The second outlines the issues that need to be addressed with suggestions as to how to overcome any potential barriers.  A merged society would have a membership as large as the SVS.  We should strive to mirror the SVS model and be as respected as the AHA and SVS.

How can we create an atmosphere of cooperation between all specialties of venous and lymphatic disease?

The first step is communication.  The ACP and AVF have the same goals.  They both strive to improve the care of patients suffering from venous disease and to raise awareness of the disease.  By celebrating our common goals and striving to overcome our differences both groups will continue to change the delivery of venous health care.  Speaking as a single unified voice will increase our national stature and significance to government, industry and our patients.

What would the patient gain from that atmosphere of cooperation? What will doctors gain?

Patients will continue to experience improved healthcare by staying true to our core strength of basic science and clinical research.  Doctors will gain a stronger advocacy voice in the halls of government and with third-party payors.  Finally, a combined foundation will have a stronger impact on patient and physician education. 

[return to issue]