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 Saturday, January 31, 2015


The President's Message

Debra Kohlman-Trigoboff


In July of 2013, SVN received a request from a South African nurse, Ms. Jessica Kolberg, to collaborate on a vascular nursing education program in conjunction with the World Federation of Vascular Societies (WFVS). We had no concept of the amazing journey that would follow. Past President Debra Kohlman-Trigoboff started our process with an introduction to her research on the South African nursing demographics. Vascular nursing was not found to be a specialty that is recognized in nursing education or with a specialty certification. In her literature review it was evident that there was a high prevalence of peripheral artery disease in rural black South Africans 1.Ms. Kolberg advised that nurses in these areas were the primary care givers in many clinics and rural hospitals, with physician
visits infrequent. They needed the skills to recognize early vascular disease.

Descriptions of Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) technique varied throughout the literature reviewed, suggesting an opportunity to train nurses in consistent ABI technique both by sharing our PAD/ABI on-line course as well as expert demonstration.1

Debra shared a 2007 research study on vascular risk factors from the Southern African Stroke Prevention Initiative (SASPI) showing a high incidence of hypertension and stroke in sub-Saharan Africa. This study predicted that the country would face an increased economicburden for non-communicable diseases such as stroke.2 Vascular risk factor prevention is another opportunity to share our knowledge through lectures, but also provide the resources of our Core Curriculum and On-line courses.

With our first conference call, we recognized the passion and dedication of Jessica Kolberg in her goal to support vascular nurses in South Africa by expanding their knowledge and skills. She had an extraordinary goal to design a two day nursing symposium, covering vascular disease from early detection, through treatment and follow up. Segments would include added topics of diabetes and vascular disease, as well as wound care. It was vitally important to identify the vascular nursing role in the continuum of care. For our society, this was an incredible opportunity to learn from another culture,
develop an understanding of differences and similarities in our care and hopefully make us stronger. On September 28, 2014, I was honored to travel with Debra Kohlman-Trigoboff, Cindi Christensen, Marge Lovell and Karen Fitzgerald to beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. Arriving at night we had no idea what a beautiful vista to which we would awaken. We had given ourselves a couple of days to acclimate to the time change and review our program for the symposium. Our greeting by Jessica was warm and inviting. There was no time to sit still as we had plans to explore this new environment
and experience the local culture. During a tour of Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town,
we were able to gain perspective on the nursing roles and responsibilities. It is always
surprising to find that while there are many differences, we also share many similar practice concerns. Again, we were very openly welcomed and the passion for the care of their patients was clear. Although resources were more limited than in most of our experience, they utilized that nursing skill to ‘find a way’ to make things work. We would like to thank the Vascular Society of South Africa (VASSA). Not only was our travel supported, but nearly 100 local nurses were able to attend the meeting. In  addition, various pharmaceutical companies and hospital groups dedicated time and financial resources to make this first Vascular Nursing Symposium in South Africa a real success. Local physicians participated with presentations and shared panel discussions. South African nursing
delegates shared their expertise in various areas of care. Attendees were engaged and attentive, asked thought provoking questions. The discussions were lively and interactive. Nearly all stayed for our ABI workshop and participated with great enthusiasm. All of us were grateful to be included in social events with the physicians attending WFVS from around the world. This was a great opportunity for that famous SVN networking. Contacts made during this journey have already connected with us
for membership, as well as to explore collaboration. The South African nurses hope to form their own local SVN chapter and we will work to assist them in this endeavor. This was a great opportunity for SVN leaders to share our mission and help the South African nurses to define their expertise and the value of their care in improving outcomes for the vascular patient. Our Founding President Jeanne Doyle so eloquently stated that “the evolution of our specialty and our Society is a dynamic
journey. We must continue to chart the course.”3

1.Kohlman-Trigoboff,D. Globalizing Vascular Nursing Education. SVN...prn. Vol 20, No 3-July/August/September 2013.
2.Paul, A., Mash, B., Rupesinghe, G. Peripheral Arterial Disease-high prevalence in rural black South Africans. South African Medical Journal Vol. 97 (2) 2007: pp. 285-288
3.Doyle, J. (2007) The Evolution of Vascular Nursing, Forward, Core Curriculum for Vascular Nursing (pp 1-3), Society for Vascular Nursing.



In this quarter, SVN seeks input from membership and works toward expanding the organization and its member education and benefits.

AUGUST 2014-SVN Board approves to move to an Annual Dues Cycle effective January 1, 2015(see page 8 for additional details).

SEPTEMBER 2014-electronic version of Core Curriculum available for purchase: 25% member discount code on member home page

OCTOBER 2014-SVN leaders presented Two Day Vascular Nursing Symposium in South Africa

- SVN members from Albany NY traveled to India and made valuable connections with nurses interested in forming new SVN chapter.

- Board travels to new management office in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin for Fall Board Meeting. Challenging meeting with leaders focused on ideas to support the mission and vision of the SVN.


NOVEMBER 2014- VIVA convention in Las Vegas, SVN members presenting topics for the VIVA (Vascular InterVentional Advances) Cardiovascular Healthcare Professionals Symposium where 4 SVN members presented.  During the conference SVN advertised the 2015 Conventions at Bally’s Las Vegas.


•You should have received your 2015 annual dues notice in November

•Save the Date-Annual Convention at Bally’s Las Vegas: April 29-May 1, 2015

•As the premier provider of state-of-the-art healthcare information on vascular care, SVN offers you:

– Specialty specific continuing education units offered at our annual convention

– Membership discounts for the annual convention and other SVN products and services– Subscription to the Journal of Vascular Nursing, the official journal

– Four electronic issues of SVN...prn, the official newsletter

– Research grant opportunities

– Annual awards program recognizing excellence in education, research,

practice and service

– Valuable networking and educational opportunities through local and

regional chapters and SVN List Serve

DECEMBER 31, 2014

Deadline for nominations for SVN Awards to be presented at the annual meeting in 2015. Do you have an amazing colleague? Consider nominating. Check out the online applications. There is nothing wrong with drawing attention to your own accomplishments. If you feel qualified, consider self-nomination.


We are also transferring SVN member data to a new membership system, Wild Apricot. Don’t forget to login and update your membership information and change your password

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