Dear Friends & Colleagues,
On Feb 27, 2020, in preparation for this newsletter coming out, I wrote the following: “This winter has been a busy time for ISSVA as we organize and finalize the program for the May 12-15 Workshop, our 23rd Biennial meeting which will be held in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. This is a wonderful venue for our meeting and we hope you will be there and encourage your colleagues to attend.”
I was not completely oblivious to the impending pandemic and writing: “Even as we put the final touches on the May Workshop program, we are all mindful of the disruptions to travel that the COVID-19 virus is causing. While we are optimistic than it will be possible (and safe!) to travel and meet together in Vancouver, we are making contingency plans for live-streaming the meeting to individuals who register but are unable to physically be present.”
Today only a month later, I am updating my message to you. In the intervening month our world has been rocked by almost unimaginable events that have changed our lives, at least for the present and possibly long-term. I hope that all of you and your families are well and staying safe.
As most of you know by now, instead of meeting in Vancouver, we will instead be having our Workshop as a “virtual” online meeting to be held May 14-15, 2020. While not the same as meeting together in person, we are optimistic that it will be a meeting filled with new information, updates, and the ability to interact though to a more limited extent. It is also proof that we are a resilient group! We faced a similar situation exactly a decade ago, in 2010 when the eruption of a volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, caused all trans-Atlantic travel to cease. Now as then we have found a way to meet nonetheless!
Please register for the online meeting. Please encourage colleagues to register as well, including those who may not have planned to be at the meeting in person in Vancouver. The cost, both in time (2 days instead of 4 and no travel time), and lower expense (lower registration fee and no cost for air or hotels), is far lower than it would have been for an in-person meeting. We have been able to accommodate most of the oral and all of the poster presentations planned for the Vancouver meeting. If you had already registered for the Vancouver meeting, you have the option to apply that registration fee to the ISSVA Online Workshop by completing this survey. We look forward to “seeing you” at the online meeting.
Other News and Final Comments: After years of planning and careful consideration, ISSVA we will have its own Scientific Journal! We have signed a contract with Wolters Kluwer to publish the Journal of Vascular Anomalies, an open-access, online only journal. Our Editor-In-Chief, Gresham Richter is busy assembling an editorial board to help make it a highly relevant publication that will help advance the field and patient care.
With regret, I must inform you that we have accepted the resignation of Josée Dubois, who has served as President-Elect. (See her note below). Josée has been a long-time dedicated member of ISSVA for as long as I (almost 30 years), and although she will not become President, as expected, she has promised us that she will stay involved in ISSVA. At our February 9 Board meeting, based on our Bylaws, the Board unanimously selected our current Vice-President, Anthony (“Tony”) Penington, to serve as President-Elect. He will then become President at the end of the Online Workshop in May. Tony is well-known to ISSVA regulars. He is a Plastic Surgeon who helped organize our meeting in Melbourne. He is thoughtful and collegial and I’m confident he will do a great job as ISSVA president.
Finally, I have some thank-you’s as I end my 2-year stint as ISSVA President. The Board of Directors has been a great group to work with and have been wonderful partners in making the hard decisions forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been thoughtful and forward thinking in trying to forge the best possible solutions as the ground shifted under us. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Francine Blei who will end her term as Scientific Chair. She has put in literally hundreds of hours on selecting abstracts, organizing the scientific meeting, and then reorganizing it when circumstances changed. Tony Penington (now President-Elect) has been a great colleague who has helped us pivot from a live to online meeting. He will be a fantastic President of ISSVA. Last, but not least, our Executive Director, Justin Dodge, has been a true partner and wonderful resource. Justin literally saved ISSVA by renegotiating our meeting hotel contract in Vancouver when we were looking at the possibility of hundred of thousands of dollars in losses if we did not meet in person. He has also, in his very easy going, but detail-oriented way, been someone who has helped with so many other aspects of our organization.
Thank you all for being ISSVA members! It has been an honor to serve as your president. I am optimistic about our future. I look forward to “seeing” you at our virtual meeting May 14-15, 2020.
Ilona J. Frieden, MD
President, ISSVA 2018-2020
For me, ISSVA is a vital society, contributing to ever-better best practices and a forum for increasing our collective knowledge. I have wholeheartedly given my support and energy to the society since I became a member three decades ago. In recent years, I have enjoyed being on the Board and my role as Vice-President for the past two years.
Following ISSVA's normal process regarding appointments, I would take on the duties of President this spring. Sadly, I will not be able to take on the role. Challenging demands in our medical community at home make it impossible for me to commit the time and energy required to ensure a successful presidency for ISSVA.
It was a pleasure working as a member of the Board and I encourage all members to get involved in the Society. I look forward to being involved (to the extent that my first priorities allow) in what comes next.
Thank you all,
2022: ISSVA has postponed our 2020 in person meeting to 10-13 May 2022. Mark your calendars!
In keeping with the ISSVA policy, and with the approval of its Board of Directors, we announce the following meetings. This does not indicate an endorsement or sponsorship of these meetings: