2018 Annual Meeting Highlights

​The 2018 Annual Meeting of the AVAS, held May 5-8 2018, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, was a resounding success. The program committee, led by Dr. Danny Chu, and the local arrangements committee, led by Dr. Seth Spector, created a memorable program this year. Several fantastic panel sessions were conducted. The first panel session on “Veterans Choice Program (VCP) and value-based care in Veterans Health Administration (VHA): How can vha compete with private sector?” was moderated by Jason Johanning, MD and Ronnie Rosenthal, MD. Carolyn Clancy, MD (Executive-in-Charge, VHA) started the discussion on “Turning challenges into opportunities (2018)”. Vince DeGennaro, MD (Chief of Staff, Miami VA HCS) followed with his talk on “How do you balance VCP vs maintain keeping in-house surgical volume?” The panel concluded with a revelation by Edward Young, MD (Chief, Infection Prevention & control System, Michael E. DeBakey VAMC) on “Veteran/patient perspective, why did you choose to have surgery at VA?” The second panel session on “Nuts and bolts of vha data warehouse outcomes research: what do I need to be successful? “was moderated by Panos Kougias, MD and George Sarosi, MD. Laura Graham, PhD (HSR&D fellow Center for implementation to Innovation, Palo Alto VA HCS) began the educational discussion by describing the “Medication/pharmacy database”. Daniel E Hall, MD, (Surgeon and Core investigator, Center for health equity research and promotion VA Pittsburgh HCS) next explained his experience and lessons in “Working with local and national VASQIP data for quality improvement”. Nader Massarweh, MD, MPH (Michael E. DeBakey VAMC) finished off the session explaining that “There is no perfect dataset—optimizing your research by linking VA data sources” The final session on “Debunking the myth: VHA and innovation-is it possible?” was moderated by Walter Longo, MD and Mark Wilson, MD, PhD. Joseph Amaral, MD (Vice President Surgical Science Ethicon) initiated the conversation by describing the “Innovation from industry perspective. How may VA partner with industry to achieve innovation?” Hop Tran, MD (Surgeon Baylor College of Medicine) followed with a description of “The challenge of innovating in the private sector perspective. How may VA partner with private sector to achieve innovation?” Finally, Bill Gunnar, MD (Director VA National Surgery Office) finished the panel off with his explanation of “innovation from VHA perspective. past, present, future of VHA innovations”. Please feel free to peruse the AVAS Newsletter site for summaries of these panel discussion. The approved panel presentation slide decks are available at http://www.vasurgeons.org/resources.html.

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