2024 Meet the VP Candidates

Early Active, Active and Senior Members are now able to vote. The deadline to vote is June 20 at 2 p.m. CT. 

Vote Now

Meet the candidates for the 2024-25 election for SVS Vice President. Each candidate has shown long-standing dedication to the vascular surgery community and has provided a great deal of time to work with the SVS. Once elected, the Vice President will serve one year in that role, followed by a year as the SVS President-Elect, and then will become the SVS President. This role is vitally important to the inner workings of the SVS as well as to the vascular surgery community at large. 

If you missed the 'Meet the Candidates' Town Hall on May 1, you can view it here.

Bios

Service & Leadership Roles

Q&A #1

Q&A #2

Q&A #3

Q&A #4

Videos  

Bios

Linda Harris

Linda Harris is a tenured Professor of Surgery at Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo. Harris has established an international reputation in education. She is a Distinguished Fellow of SVS, and Chair of the Education Council. She has served as President of APDVS and EVS, and is the inaugural President of the International Society for Women Vascular Surgeons. Harris has an established reputation as an excellent technical surgeon and accomplished researcher. She currently has NIH grants and industry-funded studies. She is the PD for vascular surgery fellowship/residency. She served as Division Chief from 2001-2018. Harris is the co-editor for Rutherford's Textbook and has been selected to lead the 12th edition team.

Palma Shaw

Palma Shaw is a Professor of Surgery at State University of New York and a member of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. She is Program Director of the Vascular Fellowship and leads the Limb Preservation Program. She has a Master of Business Administration. She is board-certified in General and Vascular Surgery. She was a Visiting Research Fellow with Dr. Frank Veith at Montefiore Medical Center. She is a Fellow of American College of Surgeons, Distinguished Fellow of Society for Vascular Surgery, and Secretary General of World Federation of Vascular Societies. She is President of the International Society for Endovascular Specialists, Member-at-large for Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery, Treasurer for Eastern Vascular Society, former Advisory Liaison to Society for Vascular Surgery Executive Board and is Co-Founder of the SVS Women's Section. She is Vice President of the newly formed International Society of Women Vascular Surgeons. Her clinical expertise includes aortic surgery, peripheral and venous intervention, diabetic foot management and wound care.

Service and Leadership

Linda Harris

  • SVS
    • 2005-2008 Communication Committee
    • 2008-2011 Resident & Student Outreach Committee
    • 2010-2012 Resident Section (faculty rep)
    • 2010-2013 Program Committee
    • 2013- current Education Council
    • 2014-2016 Board of Directors
    • 2014-2015 EB Executive Committee
    • 2016 Nominating committee
    • 2018-2019 Clinical Practice Council 
    • 2018-2021 Publications Committee
    • 2019-current Strategic Board
    • 2020-current Education Council Vice Chair/Chair
    • 2021-2023 EB
    • 2021- present Board Vascular Center Verification & Quality Improvement Program
    • 2022-current Awards & Distinction Committee
    • 2023 Nominating committee
  • ACS:
    • 2002-2008 Board of Governors BOG Committee to Study Fiscal Affairs of the College
    • 2008-2014 Vascular Advisory Council/ Surgery RRC
    • 2023 Academy of Master Surgeon Educators
  • APDVS:
    • 2008-2012 Secretary/treasurer
    • 2012-2014 President-Elect
    • 2014-2016 President
  • ISWVS:
    • 2023-current President
  • EVS:
    • 2003-2007 Chair Young Vascular Surgeons Committee
    • 2011-2015 Bylaws Committee, chair
    • 2012-2015 Treasurer
    • 2015-2016 President-Elect
  • 2016-7 President WNY Vascular Society: 2009-2022 President
  • WNY ACS:
    • 1997-1998 Treasurer
    • 1998-1999 secretary
    • 1999-2000 President-Elect
    • 2000-2001 President
  • University: 2001-18 Chief, Division of Vascular Surgery
  • 1997-2016 USA Executive Council
  • 1999- current PD Vascular surgery Fellowship/Re

Palma Shaw

Regional

  • 2019- 2020: Vice-President of the New England Society for Vascular Surgery, September 2020-2021
  • 2021-2022: Councilor at Large for Eastern Vascular Society 
  • 2022-present: Executive Council Treasurer of the Eastern Vascular Society

National

  • 2021-2024: Member-at-Large for Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery
  • 2021-2024: Executive Council Eastern Vascular Society Representative to the Society for Vascular Surgery Strategic Board
  • 2022- 2023: Society for Vascular Surgery Advisory Liaison to the Executive Board 

International

  • 2019-2021 Secretary for International Society of Endovascular Specialists
  • 2021-2023 President-Elect, International Society of Endovascular Specialists
  • 2023 -2025 President
  • 2021-present Secretary General of the World Federation of Vascular Societies (2021-202
  • 2021-2023 President-Elect, International Society of Endovascular Specialists
  • 2023 -2025 President, International Society of Endovascular Specialists7)

SVS Involvement

  • 2013-2015 SVS Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • 2015-present SVS International Relations Committee -
    • Co-Chair 2018-2020 -
    • Chairperson 2020-2023
  • 2020-2023: SVS VAM Program Committee
  • 2021-present: SVS Document Oversight Committee
  • 2022-present: Women's Section Member - Co-Founder 
    • Co-Chairwoman (January- June 2022)
  • 2022- 2023: SVS Education Council
  • 2023-2026 SVS Industry Relations Advisory Committee - Chairperson
  • 2023-2026: SVS Foundation Board of Directors

Q&A - Question 1 

Please provide a brief summary of your Strategic Vision of the Future for Vascular Surgery and the key role SVS must play to realize that Vision. This may include addressing concepts such as:

  • Current SVS strategic plan and priorities
  • Changing demographics of the SVS membership and vascular surgery workforce, embracing
  • the values of DEI
  • Collaboration with other specialties in the vascular space
  • Relationship between vascular surgeons, SVS, and industry
  • Current reimbursement threats to vascular surgery
  • SVS’s role in defining quality and appropriateness

Linda Harris Answer 1

The SVS needs to focus on: Advocacy; Branding; Diversity and unifying our divergent groups; Appropriate quality care; and Cutting edge education We continue to have declining reimbursement despite significant wins from SVS lobbying. These efforts have not been widely recognized by our members', creating feelings that SVS does not represent all our needs. We need to continue advocating on Capitol Hill and to better engage our members, ideally by better educating them. Surgeons do not participate in these efforts due to time constraints and it is "outside of their wheelhouse". We need to increase branding to combat continued lack of recognition at institutions, by patients, c-suites and referring physicians. This also has the potential to increase our revenue and institutional power which may help with decreasing burnout and attrition. The SVS has been struggling from the view that it is not representing ALL of our members. We need to continue current DEl efforts- highlighting what we have accomplished (major inroads in committee and council composition). This has not yet reached our EB. Having at-large members is good as a stop-gap measure, but the time is now to have diverse officers. Diversity includes ensuring that we always have community practice, women, and URM on the board. This needs to be incorporated into nomination process. The SVS needs to continue to aggressively participate in defining quality and appropriateness of care, while making sure that this does not become a "town/gown" debate. The VCVQI will help. We must intentionally incorporate community practice and academic surgeons in groups defining appropriateness. We need to continue publicly endorsing quality which saves limbs and lives to combat the media misinformation. Above all, we need to work aggressively and collaboratively with ALL of our members. If we cannot serve as the voice of our members, we are failing in one of our most important roles. Lastly, we need to remain on the cutting edge of education. 

Palma Shaw - Answer 1 

A major role of the SVS is service to its members. Based upon the most recent survey, 5 strategic priorities are established including Advocacy, Education, Clinical Practice, Quality and Research. These are designed to support the crucial facets of excellent vascular care. As our noble purpose is to provide patient care based upon high quality research and lifelong learning, the SVS aims to ensure that this is available for the busy vascular surgeon conducting his/her practice. Our efforts deserve fair equitable compensation, and a top priority is commitment to advocacy. The SVS will continue to work utilizing consultants in Washington DC to navigate challenging legal terrain with a focus on efforts that avoid cuts to reimbursement, physician shortages, and permit deferred loan repayment. Continued membership growth, with a focus on diversity, early career engagement and an effort to identify value and create programs that meet these needs of young surgeons, women and underrepresented minorities is a priority. They should have a voice through committees and officer roles. There is a need for SVS to establish a structure that can serve as a home for Vascular Nursing, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to create unity and a template for a Team Approach to vascular care. The SVS Branding Campaign will strengthen our identity and the perception of our specialty as the most appropriate comprehensive leaders in vascular care. Careful interaction and negotiation with competing specialties can make these productive relationships for the SVS. At times a mutual agreement is reached and there are other instances where we need to stand firm and avoid compromise of our commitment to quality, appropriate use guidelines and our identity as vascular surgeons. Further adoption of the ACS verification program, development of an Appropriateness of Care SVS Position Statement, and translation of Clinical Practice Guidelines into practice webinars are all ongoing efforts to support quality of care. Our industry partners support a number of our educational efforts inc including the VAM which is the highlight of our year as a Society. Industry helps introduce us to new technology which can help provide better outcomes for our patients.

Q&A - Question 2

Given the growing diversity of the SVS membership, how will you ensure all constituents of the SVS are represented and have a voice in the Society?

Linda Harris Answer 2

First, as a diverse member, selecting myself or someone who is similarly diverse, will demonstrate that the organization is truly serious about change. Change must come from the top. As a woman who started when there were only 5 women in academic vascular surgery, I personally experienced many barriers that are faced by diverse groups. Along those lines, I co-founded the Womens' Vascular Health Summit, pre-pandemic and pre-of which l am the inaugural president. This society is orking coller asly wisure sve as well as other national, international, regional, and multiple diverse organizations.

Allowing people a true voice is the most important method of ensuring representation. We need to reach out to all of the diverse groups and actively invite their participation. Bringing people to the table, having open discussions about controversial or uncomfortable topics, and identifying barriers, and possible solutions will have a major impact on ensuring representation. These discussions must be held in a diplomatic manner, allowing for the expression of all views, but without accusations and personal attacks. One of the current concerns of many of our members is feeling left out, or not understanding the decision-making process. Therefore, the conclusions from these meetings need to be adequately publicized, so that our constituents understand the reasoning behind the decisions. I do believe that we should continue to have at-large members on the EB. However, if we relegate diverse groups to ONLY at-large and not officer roles, we will lose our younger members, as this gives the impression that we are not valued equally. This includes ensuring that we always have representation from private practice, women, URM and other under-represented groups.

Clearly, we need people who have adequate experience and expertise. However, we have many well qualified individuals who are diverse. Now is the time for change.

Palma Shaw - Answer 2

To address disparities inherent to our specialty and the Society, the SVS has already made many changes to committee composition and leadership representation with appointments of SVS Advisory Liaisons to the Executive Board demonstrating transparency in its actions to the membership. The current SVS leadership has been forward-thinking and should continue to expand minority representation in decision-making and leadership roles. As a female surgeon who trained in an environment where there were few like role models and a single mother of 2 who had to raise her children while working many long hours as a vascular surgeon, I am acutely aware of the need for understanding differences in people's genders, cultures, and circumstances. We must embrace differences and try to understand how to help support those who come from less privilege. Role modeling is important. We need to see people like us with whom we can identify in high-level positions. There is an urgency to this which relates to the younger generation of surgeons who are demanding a change.

We all need to work together as colleagues, be respectful of differences and help each other be the best surgeons that we can be for our patients. Patients respond better to a surgeon who looks like them and can understand their background and culture. Through increased clarity of these different perspectives, we can better address the work force shortages, and challenges in valuation and reimbursement. Hearing other's thoughts and opinions is necessary even when it challenges the status quo. As a small specialty, we face threats from other interventional specialties who erode our practices and promote themselves as the go-to Vascular Specialist. This ability to be more open minded will facilitate a more collaborative approach so we can better reach a common goal which is better delivery of care across vascular deserts. We will not have enough vascular surgeons to meet the growing demands for vascular care. Working with diverse groups such as Cardiology, Interventional Radiology, Nurse Practitioners, Vascular Nurses and Physician Assistants to form an effective Vascular Team can only happen with an enlightened more accepting mindset.

Q&A - Question 3

Please highlight key leadership positions you hold or have held, and/or significant
leadership achievements you have accomplished in vascular surgery or organized medicine.
This may include examples such as:

  • History of leadership training (SVS or other)
  • History of SVS Leadership Mentoring
  • Leadership positions in home institution (division chair, program director, etc.)
  • Leadership positions in regional vascular societies (highest)
  • Leadership positions in national vascular societies (SVS, SCVS, VESS) (highest)
  • Leadership positions in vascular training and education (APDVS, RRC) (highest)
  • Leadership positions in vascular certification (VSB, ABS) (highest)
  • Leadership positions in vascular journals (highest)
  • Leadership positions in SVS VQI or VRIC (highest)

How have these helped you prepare for the position of Vice President?

Linda Harris - Answer 3

I participated in leadership training in College/Medical school and through ACS Young Surgeons. I have been Division Chief for 18 years, and PD for 24, and EB member of our surgical corporation. I have been a mentor at SVS, EVS and APDVS. I helped organize the resident/student outreach for APDVS and SVS. I have served 3 terms on the SVSEB, most recently 2021-3, in addition to the strategic board. I Chair the Education Council and have served on numerous committees/task forces. I represent SVS at IACCT, where I have served as President. Locally I rose to the presidency of WNYVS and WNYACS, then Governor for ACS. At ACS I served on the Governors fiscal affairs committee. Regionally, I was EVS President, where I created multiple committees enabling greater member participation. I served as President of APDVS, and on the surgery RRC, and the inaugural vascular milestone committee. Additionally, I participated in the first summit between ABSVSB, APDVS and RRC, helping unite the groups. As APDVS president, I created several committees, which are now standing committees. I have been an ABS examiner for over 20 years, and serve on the MOC writing committee. I am a member of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. I have been on the Editorial Board for JVS, JVSVL, and JVSCIT, Vascular Specialist and ACS news. I am an editor for Rutherford and have co-edited 2 additional vascular textbooks. My leadership experience has enabled me to unite diverse people, actively engage participants, and empower members. Leadership style plays a significant role in how societies function. Members need to feel valued, heard, and appreciated. They need to be able to reach out to those in charge. I am very familiar with the EB and have committed the time to this while co-editing several books. I am used to multitasking. I believe that I am viewed favorably by many different constituencies as I try to recognize excellence in others rather than to take credit for their work which I have empowered.

Palma Shaw - Answer 3

Key leadership roles that have prepared me to become Vice President of the SVS include serving as the Society for Vascular Surgery Advisory Liaison to the Executive Board (2022- 2023) and the Eastern Vascular Society Representative to the SVS Strategic Board (2021-2024). Time invested in these important positions gave me the best insight into the operations of the SVS and how all of its component parts align to allow for the SVS to remain successful and current. My other roles in the SVS, such as the development of the Women's Section, participation on the Program Committee for VAM, Chairing the International Relations Committee and serving on the Document Oversight Committee have allowed me to make substantial contributions to the Society. Other roles that I have held that support my ability to serve in this capacity include my role as President of the International Society of Endovascular Specialists, Secretary General of the World Federation of Vascular Societies, Vice President of the International Society of Women Vascular Surgeons and Treasurer of the Eastern Vascular Society. Additional training that has enabled me to be successful is having completed an Executive Master of Business Administration at the Heller School of Brandeis University. This was a transformative experience for me. Although I have always been able to multitask and organize effectively, this has helped me channel my skills into leadership roles in different societies. This knowledge has enabled me to not only be successful in my SVS commitments, but it helped me contribute substantially to other leadership roles. I led the transformation of the World Federation of Vascular Societies helping build its infrastructure, website, business plan and re-engagement of its 8 societal members across the world I remain devoted to strengthening and furthering the mission of the SVS. My experience across societies at the regional, national, and international levels, my strong track record of success in my positions, ability to collaborate effectively, commitment to excellence in patient care and positive outlook for the future of vascular surgery enable me to be well suited to serve on the SVS Executive Board as Vice President.

Q&A - Question 4

Please highlight activities or initiatives that best exemplify your commitment to Clinical and Academic Excellence in vascular surgery. This may include examples such as:

  • Reputation for clinical/academic excellence
  • Publication of clinical or basic science results
  • Presentation of clinical or basic science results
  • Participation in clinical investigational trials
  • Leadership of national clinical trials
  • Leadership of collaborative NIH research

Linda Harris - Answer 4

I am an academic surgeon, clinician and educator. I have published > 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 25 book chapters, co-edited 3 vascular textbooks, and served on multiple editorial boards. I am recognized for my clinical acumen and have been an invited speaker at national and international meetings, including SCVS, VeithSyposium, EVS, as well as many smaller meetings, and institutional grand rounds. My reputation in the arena of surgical education and mentorship is where my greatest strength lies. I have mentored numerous medical students, residents, fellows, junior and midlevel faculty. As an educator, I led the APDVS and I continue to participate actively in the APDVS on the research committee. As one of the members of the inaugural milestone committee for vascular surgery, I helped to create the method by which we currently assess our trainees within our institutions. I continue to be involved in research on education, including recent presentations on the evaluation of faculty as well as assessing our interview processes. I am also recognized as a leader in the area of gender-based differences in vascular disease- having organized a forum for discussion, presentation and furthering the mission of understanding the differences to achieve a change. I have been invited to regional and international meetings to discuss these issues. Through the years, I have also been involved in over 60 funded research studies, including NIH, physician-initiated projects, and industry-sponsored studies. I have also mentored a multitude of trainees, from medical students and general surgical residents through vascular fellows, in successful research productivity. My current NIH grants are a collaborative process with the Department of Engineering. My research has recently been recognized at my local university by being awarded the Sustained Achievement Award in the Exceptional Scholar Program. This is awarded to honor the outstanding achievement of senior scholars focused on a particular body of work over a number of years that goes beyond the norm in the particular field of study.

Palma Shaw - Answer 4

I am a Professor of Surgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University and a Distinguished Fellow of the SVS. My reputation for clinical/academic excellence is reflected by regional (#24), national (#69) and international (#71) invited presentations. I have authored or co-authored 48 peer-reviewed publications and 12 book chapters. I serve as an editor for the Journal of Vascular Surgery Cases & Innovative Techniques and a reviewer for JVS, JVS CIT, and JVS Venous & Lymphatic Disorders. I have been a site Primary Investigator for Clinical Trials - IMPROVE AD (2024- present), TREO (P1900015) Post Approval Study (2021-present), BEST - Registry (2020-2023), BEST-CLI Trial (2015 - 2022). I remain committed to excellence in education through my role as a Vascular Fellowship Program Director. I have served as a proctor for events focused on improving excellence in vascular training, such as the Advanced Surgical Skills & Simulation Assessment Program and New York Endovascular Symposium Aortic Symposium Cadaver Workshop. In my role as Secretary General of the World Federation of Vascular Societies (WFVS), I have created numerous Symposia around the world in collaboration with leaders of major vascular societies to give visibility to my peers from the SVS so they can present their work and receive global recognition. Some of these include the WFVS Symposium at VEITH, Charing Cross, SVS Vascular Annual Meeting and support those held abroad by ensuring SVS representation at meetings held by the European Society for Vascular Surgery, the Annual meeting in South Africa, and Panamerican meeting in Brazil. To expand the reach of the WFVS and create more opportunities for younger aspiring vascular surgeons, I have founded the Global Training Initiative (GTI) which includes a trainee or young surgeon representative from each of the WFVS Societal Members. This includes representatives from the SVS Young Surgeons Section and Women's Section. We aim to address ongoing concerns faced by trainees across the globe such as issues with training, work-life balance, mentoring, and education. National societies collaborate and provide resources to trainees on a shared portal/website. At the request of the GTI we designed a program at Charing Cross 2024 with Challenging Cases and Leadership Challenges.

Videos

Question 1: What do you think is the #1 challenge facing SVS members in the next two years?

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Question 2: What should the SVS be doing regarding the promotion of appropriate care and admonishment of inappropriate care?

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Question 3: What is your message for members & nonmembers who may be feeling somewhat disengaged & questioning the value of SVS membership?

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