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.
Download the 2012 Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society Historical Book (PDF)