In June of 1976, John J. Bergan, M.D., (Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago), first conceived the idea of a Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society. At the same time, unaware of Dr. Bergan’s interests, D. Emerick Szilagyi, M.D., (recently retired as Surgeon-in-Chief at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit), had discussed with John R. Pfeifer, M.D., (Chief of Surgery, Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan), the possibility of a Michigan Vascular Society. Upon learning of Dr. Bergan’s efforts, Dr. Szilagyi and Dr. Pfeifer agreed upon the concept of a single Midwestern Vascular Society, thus merging their efforts with Dr. Bergan. A preliminary committee was organized by Dr. Bergan and met at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago on October 12, 1976.
At this first meeting, it was agreed that a founding member group should be contacted and that, by definition, these founding members should be members of either the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) or the International Cardiovascular Society (ICS). The founding members, in turn, would recommend other vascular surgeons for later membership. It was further agreed that the meetings of the Society should be held throughout the Midwest to give all surgeons an opportunity to visit various institutions. There was to be no emphasis on regulatory activity (i.e. peer review) by the Society. The geographic boundaries were established and by-laws and membership committees organized. Dr. John Bergan was elected President Pro-Tem, and Dr. John Pfeifer, Secretary Pro-Tem.
The second meeting of the organizing committee was held at the Drake Hotel in Chicago on December 1, 1976. A tentative founding member list was agreed upon. Annual dues of fifty dollars were set. The Constitution and By-laws were approved. Incorporation as a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation was approved. A nominating committee was identified to recommend the first slate of officers. The annual meeting was set up for the third week of September, as September does not conflict with the meetings of major national groups.
The Founding Meeting of Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society (MVSS) was held on March 2, 1977, at the Statler Hilton in Buffalo, New York. Seventy-four surgeons had been invited to become founding members and 67 agreed to be in this initial group. Twenty-six were in attendance. Members favored a practical discussion group format to the meetings, with emphasis on technique and practical aspects of vascular surgery. The first slate of officers was unanimously elected:
President: D. Emerick Szilagyi, M.D.
M.D. President-Elect: John J. Bergan, M.D.
Secretary: John R. Pfeifer, M.D.
Treasurer: James C. Stanley, M.D.
Councilors: William H. Baker, M.D., David S. Sumner, M.D., Frederick Winegarner, M.D.
The Society comprised 527 members strong with 293 Active members. At the Annual Meeting, there was a moment of silence for two members who had passed: Dr. John H. Hagerman from Toledo and Dr. Burl Dillard from St. Louis.
With the success of New Horizons course at the Annual Meeting, the TEVAR course, and the change in dues instituted last year, the Society was financially healthy; total member had increased to 580 members. Three members have passed away and will be dearly missed: Dr. Emerick Szilagyi from Bloomfield Hills, Dr. Thomas E. Topper from Evansville, and Dr. Vallee L. Willman from St. Louis.
At the Annual Meeting in Chicago, Dr. Emerick Szilagyi, in his nineties, attended to present the first annual Szilagyi Award, which is given to the resident trainee who gives the best paper in clinical research. MVSS now had 3 membership categories: Active, Associate, and Candidate. Associate Members consist of allied health care professionals who have a major interest in peripheral vascular surgery and/or endovascular intervention, including Vascular Nurses, RVTs and Physician Assistants.
The attendance at the Annual Meeting was 279, including 202 members. The Society had grown to 428 members, making the MVSS one of the largest regional vascular societies in the US. We were saddened by the passing of Dr. Jack Cranley, the fourth President of the Society, and one of the great innovators and pioneers in the early history of vascular surgery.
MVSS’s 25 Anniversary Meeting was held in Chicago, and among its attendants were 20 of the past 25 Society presidents. The meeting was clouded by the devastating events of September 11th, and at the opening session a moment of silence was respected in remembrance of the victims.
At the 24th Annual Meeting of MVSS, held in Scottsdale, AZ, Dr. Roy Greenberg from the Cleveland Clinic was invited to deliver the Honored Guest Lecture on “Biomechanical Issues Associated with the Design and Development of Endovascular Aortic Grafts”.
The 22nd Annual Meeting was held in Dearborn, MI, with a total attendance of 297, including 144 physicians, 112 members, 22 guests, and 10 residents. For the Guthrie Award, 13 submissions were made and one selected.
The Annual Meeting was held in St. Louis, MO, with Membership was now 358 members, with 277 active members, 39 senior members, 41 senior retired members, and one honorary member. Twelve abstracts were reviewed for the Guthrie Award.
The Eighteenth Annual Meeting was held in Cincinnati, OH. As of that meeting, there were 320 members, with 261 active, 58 senior, and one honorary member. A suggestion to expand membership to include Canadian surgeons in contiguous provinces was rejected, but members were free to sponsor Canadian guests and papers for the meetings.
At the Annual Meeting at the Drake Hotel, membership had risen to 291 members. Fifty-seven abstracts were submitted at the meeting, of which 23 were accepted; seventeen were subsequently published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
The Society decided to expand its membership by actively inviting interventional radiologists, vascular internists, and cardiologists to join; to preserve the character of MVSS, it was agreed that non-vascular surgeons should not exceed 20% of the active membership.
Dr. Emerick Szilagyi, editor of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, reported that 68% of the manuscripts from the 1989 Annual Meeting had been accepted for publication in the Journal, the highest acceptance rate for a major regional vascular society.
At the Eleventh Annual Meeting in Chicago, 17 new members were accepted. The Executive Council agreed to establish a distinguished Service Award to be given to members of MVSS who have made unusual contributions to the growth and development of the Society.
The possibility of creating an “inactive membership” status for members living outside the geographic area of the Society was considered and rejected. Thus, to maintain active membership, members inside and outside the geographic area should attend at least one meeting every three years.
By the Ninth Annual Meeting, MVSS had outgrown the Drake Hotel and had moved to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. MVSS had 211 members, and of the 12 states within the Society’s geographic boundaries, South Dakota was the only state not represented.
The Fifth Annual Meeting was again held at the Drake Hotel, with 250 surgeons in attendance, and membership rising to 160 members. At the suggestion of the former MVSS President, Dr. James C. Stanley, the Charles C. Guthrie Award was established.
The First Annual Meeting of MVSS was held at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL, with over 200 surgeons in attendance. It was determined that a basic science lecture should be part of the annual meeting format.
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Learn more about Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society’s various membership categories: Active, Candidate, and Associate.