American Venous Forum
“Year at a Glance”
It is my distinct honor and privilege to serve as President of the American Venous Forum (AVF). Throughout 2018, volunteer leaders on the Board of Directors and across our Committees have worked tirelessly on behalf of our mission and members. This “Year at a Glance” communication is aimed at keeping you apprised of some of the accomplishments of the AVF and my opportunity to recognize and thank so many AVF members who are contributing to our success as a global leader in venous and lymphatic care.
- Clinical Guidelines: AVF Compression guidelines has been accepted for publication in the JVS –VL and is pending publication (Primary author: Fedor Lurie, MD). Near completion are guidelines on post-ablation thrombosis (EHIT) diagnosis and treatment, and duplex ultrasound surveillance after venous interventions which are targeted for publications in 2019. The long-awaited update for superficial venous disease or varicose veins guidelines is currently in its early stages and is being organized in conjunction with the Society for Vascular Surgery and American College of Phlebology. (Chair: Anil Hingorani, MD)
- Membership Benefits: The AVF offers many benefits to its members and welcomes the opportunity to serve new members. (Chair: Kathy Gibson, MD)
- Complimentary yearly subscriptionto the Official Journal of the American Venous Forum:the Journal of Vascular Surgery Venous and Lymphatic Disorders (JVS-VL), with editors Peter Gloviczki, MD and Peter Lawrence, MD.
- Registration benefit at the AVF Annual meeting in Palm Springs CA in 2019.
- Up to date email announcements: on progress pertaining to Advocacy, Health Care Policies and local coverage determinations, and publication of clinical guidelines.
- International membership: The American Venous Forum International Committee welcomes our international colleagues to join the AVF and participate in a world-wide exchange of venous and lymphatic knowledge. The International Committee proudly hosts “Sharing Excellence in Global Venous Science”, a session during the AVF Annual Meeting featuring abstract submission from around the world, and is committed to developing and supporting our young professionals. (Chair: Lowell Kabnick, MD)
- Research: The American Venous Forum is proud to be able to offer a unique, unprecedented research grant, the BSN Jobst grantof $100,000 over two years, for original work in basic or clinical research in venous or lymphatic disease. This grant has a tremendous history with the AVF having been offered for almost two decades with outstanding productive research findings and publications. (Chair: Harry Ma, MD).
- The AVF is proud to announce the successful publication of the long-anticipated consensus document for Basic science animal model on thrombosis. (Principal investigator: Jose Diaz, MD)
- Educational Programs: Featuring foureducational conferences held throughout the year including the Annual AVF Meeting in Palm Springs California, February 19-22, 2019, two Fellows courses December 2018 and May 2019, and West Coast Vein Forum in August 2019. (Educational Councilor: Ruth Bush, MD, along with Chairs Ellen Dillavou, MD, Lori Pounds, MD, Steve Elias, MD, and Dan Monahan, MD)
- Ethics Task Force: We are committed to addressing the alarming reports of inappropriate venous care for our patients. As a result, the AVF Ethics Task force developed three subgroups: the AVF Pledge, Conflict of Interest for leadership and committees, and the Clinical Practice Standards. Thus far we have 3 projects under development. (Chair: Elna Masuda, MD, Ex officio: Marc Passman, MD):
- The AVF Pledge: this is a statement required for membership renewal and initial application as a condition for membership. It is a confirmation by members of our society to adhere to the high standards of delivering care and provide the best care for our patients, placing the patient’s best interest above our own. (Past and present Chairs: Thomas Wakefield, MD, Joann Lohr, MD)
- Conflict of Interest policy. The AVF leadership has been transparent and provided 100% submission of COI declarations. Currently the AVF is reviewing our current policy and considering changes based on the subgroups recommendations. (Chair: Rob McLafferty, MD)
- The Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) is a multi-society project and we greatly appreciate the cooperation of the following societies: the American College of Phlebology, Society of International Radiology, and Society for Vascular Surgery. This collaborative project applies the RAND/UCLA method of measuring appropriateness though a structured, reproducible quantified process which combines best available scientific evidence with opinions of expert panelists. The goal is to identify clinical scenarios deemed appropriate, may be appropriate, rarely appropriate and never appropriate. The document could be adopted by each society as their appropriateness standard, and may provide useful information for payers, physicians, government, and accreditation bodies. The results of the AUC appropriateness project will be presented at the upcoming AVF Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, February 19-22, 2019.
- Awards for Publications: Handbook of Venous and Lymphatic Disorders, 4thedition.Edited by Peter Gloviczski, MD and contributing authors consisting of AVF members. This textbook received a special award by the British Medical Association 2017 for its outstanding quality amongst surgical specialty textbooks.
- Advocacy: Through our Health Care Policy committee, the AVF has been very proactive in addressing multiple Medicare local coverage determinations, and responding to reimbursement challenges regarding ultrasound coverage. By meeting with leaders of CMS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare policy groups, and private insurers the AVF will continue to play an active role in addressing coverage issues. (Chair: Kathleen Ozsvath, MD).
- Multimedia services: We successfully launched a totally revamped website in the summer of 2018. Our new website is intended to be of value to our members and highly informative to the public. The website provides a more rapid upload, and more efficient access to links. Its new design will be more compatible with smart phones and tablets. The AVF Website Committee is working on many new features and capabilities associated with making our site a significant asset for the AVF as well as a benefit for all AVF members. (Chair: Paul Haser, MD)
- Administrative Services: In June of 2018 we hired John Forbes, Principal at Balanced Growth Consulting, as AVF Interim Executive Director. John has served in leadership roles with other societies including the American Red Cross, the Ameircan Academy of Pediatrics and most recently as the Executive Director of the American Academy of Periodontology. He was instrumental in the selection of a new association management company, Veritas Meeting Solutions. Veritas is headed by an exceptional leader, Sue O’Sullivan, whose team currently manages 19 specialty medical societies. Together, John, Sue and the Veritas team will provide both strategic and operational leadership to move the AVF forward as a global leader in venous and lymphatic care.
- AVF Foundation (AVFF): Our Foundation President Lowell Kabnick, Director of Mission Advancement Jeffrey Mendola, and committed AVFF Board of Directors lead our “Healthy Veins for Healthy Life” campaign to:
– Increase education and awareness of venous disease among healthcare professionals.
– Support cutting-edge research & clinical innovation in venous and lymphatic disease that will advance patient care.
– Promote evidence-based best practices to ensure that patients have access to the highest quality of care.
– Heighten awareness of venous & lymphatic disease, increase access to care for the underserved, reduce DVT in high risk patients.
Our upcoming “Venous Patient Outreach Survey” will help guide the delivery of patient education in the way that patients tell us will be most impactful. (President of AVFF: Lowell Kabnick, MD)
- Multi-society Collaboration: the AVF’s goal remains committed to finding ways of strengthening relationships with several professional organizations who share common core values and interests in venous and lymphatic disease.
Other new exciting areas of development:
- Development of the Early Career Advisory Committee for promoting our early career providers with career opportunities and education. (Co-Chairs: Raudel Garcia, MD and Steve Abramowitz, MD)
- CEAP revisited 2018-2019. (Chairs: Marc Passman, MD and Fedor Lurie, MD)
The vision of the AVF and its leaders is to continue to provide high quality care for our venous and lymphatic patients through education, research, patient advocacy and by addressing numerous health care policy changes proposed on a steady basis. Together, let us usher in a new era of even better quality venous and lymphatic care for our patients.
On behalf of the American Venous Forum Board of Directors, we thank you for your support as we strive to fulfill our strategic goals for many years to come. On a personal level, it is my goal to serve the AVF to the best of my ability for the remaining months of my term as President.
Elna Masuda, MD
President of the American Venous Forum
Many thanks to the American Venous Forum Board of Directors:
Elna Masuda: President
Brajesh Lal, MD: President Elect
Hal Welch, MD: Vice President
Antonios Gasparis, MD: Treasurer
William Marston, MD: Secretary and Administrative Councilor
Marc Passman, MD: Past President
Lowell Kabnick, MD: AVFF President
Ruth Bush, MD: Educational Councilor
Jose Diaz, MD: Research Councilor
Glenn Jacobowitz, MD: Recorder
Joseph Rafetto, MD: Archivist
Jose Almeida, MD: Director
Anil Hingorani, MD: Director
Rabih Chaer, MD: Director
Patrick Muck, MD: Director