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Committee Spotlight: Appointments Committee Helps Keep SVS Humming

The Society for Vascular Surgery appreciates the time, commitment and energy of hundreds of volunteers who staff the Society’s committees and councils. These individuals plan the Vascular Annual Meeting, interact with federal lawmakers and leaders on legislative issues important to vascular surgeons, develop and update clinical practice guidelines, hammer out coding issues, even preserve our history. These activities barely scratch the surface of the responsibilities of those who work to fulfill the Society’s mission of advancing excellence and innovation in vascular health.

And keeping all those wheels and gears turning and the Society humming starts with the Appointments Committee, composed of the president elect, president and vice president.

The Appointments Committee has recently finished its yearly task of soliciting members to serve on nearly 30 committees and four councils. Volunteers are sought from across membership categories: active, senior, affiliate, associate, international and candidate.

"We want the voices and viewpoints of a wide range of members. We want to involve new members that represent the full spectrum of experience levels," said Dr. R. Clement Darling, III, committee chair for 2016-17 (and now SVS president). "This year, in fact, we added slots for candidate members on several committees, where we felt that voice was needed. We can’t stay static. We look at what’s good for SVS as a whole."

From time to time committees are also consolidated. At the recommendation of the Research Council, the Outcomes and Technology Committee was integrated with the Clinical Research Committee, as much of the work of the Outcomes and Technology Committee has become integrated with other committees or programs such as the SVS PSO/VQI.

Work begins in early January each year, to consider committee needs and evaluation of all members’ performances from the prior year.

SVS leaders send out communications seeking volunteers who are asked to submit letters of interest and qualifications, and then work begins to match needs with members. Some committees require a certain level of expertise and others – Conflict of Interest and Ethics and Professional Responsibilities, for example – mandate specific expertise and/or a lack of conflicts and industry ties.

The desire is always to appoint all members who want to have a place at the table, but given the overwhelming amount of volunteers, it is a challenging process. If we cannot make an appointment one year, we keep track so that we can try to accommodate volunteer’s requests the following year. The goal is to have all committees filled in early May, so that committee members can start to engage at the Vascular Annual Meeting or shortly thereafter.

"Members are the lifeblood of SVS. The SVS appreciates the hard work and dedication of our volunteer members in giving their time to work to improve vascular care and support the mission of our society," said Dr. Darling.