The President's Message
We were so fortunate to celebrate our 32nd Annual Convention in the beautiful city of San Antonio. Local member and President-Elect Phyllis Gordon served as our hostess and shared with us some local history, as well as, wonderful suggestions for experiencing the flavor of the city. The beautiful River Walk was just outside our hotel doors.
The Convention Planning committee organized a stellar program. Attendees traveled from Brazil, Canada, Sweden, and many US cities, with a total attendance of 140. Our meeting opened with an energetic and moving presentation by Kevin Carroll, Vice President of Prosthetics with Hanger Clinic. We traveled with Mr. Carroll through the stringent course of the amputee patient and their difficult process to reach that goal of obtaining a prosthetic limb, allowing them to experience functional independence. Fondly associated with the story, Dolphin Tale, Mr. Carroll shared his research and development of a prosthetic dolphin tail for Winter, an injured dolphin. She has been an inspiration for children and adult amputees. This segued nicely in to our first general session, with Colonel Todd Rasmussen, United States Air Force, discussing advances in medicine and trauma care, lessons learned in the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Although certainly not expected, these advances are helping us to cope more efficiently with multiple traumatic incidents within our United States borders.
Traveling from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Rita de Cassia e Silva reviewed a research study discussing intermittent claudication and cardiovascular risk. Our first afternoon, presentations moved to more complex vascular surgery issues, showcasing the expertise of our SVN members.
Dr. Joseph Ricotta, Northside Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute in Atlanta, Georgia challenged us with an early bird session on day two, discussing AAA detection and treatment. Our general session that followed was an intriguing presentation by Dr. Dianna Milewicz reviewing the genetic basis of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA) and acute aortic dissection. Stepping up to the plate yet again, the topics presented by SVN members continued to keep our rapt attention throughout the conference.
Day two brought us to the very special moments of our President’s Luncheon celebration. Founding member, Jeanne Doyle was present to assist in presenting this year’s Jeanne Doyle award to our Journal of Vascular Nursing (JVN) editor, Cindy Lewis, an active SVN member for more than 20 years and 13 years as JVN editor. Debra Kohlman-Trigoboff shared smiles and tears with us in her address as the outgoing President, challenging each of us to help our organization move forward. Early risers on Day three, listened as Kate Obermiller, PTA, and a local San Antonio resident reviewed treatment for lymphedema. Dr. Alan Lumsden, Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas then guided us through developing techniques for complex TAA repair. Member experts shared the pre and post-operative care for patients with Thoracic Endovascular repair (TEVAR).
Our closing session, also provided by Hanger Clinic was amazing. Katy Sullivan, actress and amputee, shared with us her inspirational story of growing up without her legs. Smiles and laughter filled the room as she shared hope and optimism, not sadness. As a parent, I could not help but think of the challenges that her mother had faced and yet as Katy explained, her Mom let her stumble and find her way, giving her confidence and independence.
We cannot dismiss the importance of the social part of our meeting, seeing old friends, reminiscing about the way it was, making new friends, meeting new members and sadly sometimes seeing colleagues off to new adventures. Even in these sessions, the knowledge shared was evident. We have an amazing organization and through shared expertise SVN has developed wonderful educational materials for patients and nurses available through the SVN website. Congratulations to all of our talented award winners this year. We continue active collaboration with our physician colleagues and are spreading our wings with plans in progress for international collaborations in South Africa and India.
As Debra shared in her address, we need each of our members to consider just one of many ways to be an active participant in SVN. We need your help to move forward and to grow our member numbers. I challenge you to think of Katy’s mother and her success in stepping out of her comfort zone, allowing her child to try and to succeed so amazingly. Let us try coloring outside of the lines, approaching change with creativity, not regimented ideas. We are challenged with the economy, health care changes, and our individual concerns, but together we can raise the bar, providing excellence, respect and advocacy for vascular nurses and persons living with vascular disease.
THE PRESIDENT’S UPDATES...
In this quarter, SVN seeks input from membership and works toward expanding the organization and its member education and benefits.
The Board reviewed and is focusing on these major themes from the member satisfaction survey:
• Request for more CEU opportunities. SVN is exploring the cost of increased on-line or webinar opportunities.
• Local interaction for members; explore the idea of regional meetings, virtual chapters.
• Members are looking for more basic vascular education. SVN is working on tool kits which will be a great resource.
• SVN is promoting membership to Magnet hospitals, reaching out to 13 states without SVN members.
• Scope and Standards draft was sent out to members for review. After final review by the Task Force the document will be sent to ANA for publication.
• A new PAD position statement has been added to the SVN website home page.
• San Antonio convention program distributed to collaborating organizations. Convention Planning Committee finalizing details for the San Antonio meeting, with great excitement for our Keynote and Invited speaker presentations.
• Collaboration continued with Vascular Endovascular and Surgical Society (VESS) formerly PVSS, with a plan for joint participation in future meetings of each society.
• ANCC Cardiac and Vascular Certification materials will be available at the conference registration desk.
• Public Policy and Advocacy sending out requests to state governors for the proclamation of Vascular Nurses Week,the second week in June.
• SVN very excited to receive a request for new collaboration with the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). They have requested an SVN member for the Board of the newly launched Accreditation of Vein Centers.
• SVN has also received a request to assist with development of a Vascular Nursing Society in India.
• San Antonio Convention a wonderful success.
• Your 2014-15 Board welcomes President-elect, Phyllis Gordon and Director, Tiffany Street.
• Congratulations to all of our award winners. Welcome our three new Chapters. Please share your comments to them on our Facebook page and Twitter.
• The On-line courses via Course Park approved for reaccreditation through May of 2016.
• SVN Board excited to explore new opportunities, poised to share international collaboration and continue to advocate for our members.