2019 Meeting Highlights

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the AVAS, held April 27-30, 2019, at the Motif Hotel Seattle, WA, was a resounding success. The program committee, led by Nader Massarweh, MD, and the local arrangements committee, led by Gale Tang, MD, created a memorable program this year. Several fantastic panel sessions were conducted. The first panel session on “TO STAY IN VA OR NOT TO STAY? THAT IS THE QUESTION” was moderated by George Sarosi, MD and Seth Spector, MD.

  • Kamal Itani, MD (Professor and Chief of Surgery, VA Boston Health Care System) started the discussion on “WHY I STAYED IN VA”.

  • Melanie Morris, MD (Associate Professor and Chief of General Surgery, Birmingham VA Medical Center) followed with her talk on “HOW AND WHY I SPLIT TIME IN VA”

  • Leigh Neumayer, MD MS (Professor and Chair, University of Arizona) continued with her explanation “WHY I LEFT THE VA”.

  • Todd Rosengart, MD (Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine) Concluded with his explanation on “HOW ACADEMIC AFFILIATE CAN SUPPORT VA SURGEONS”.

The second panel appropriately titled the “INSPIRATION SESSION” was moderated by Faisal Bakaeen, MD and Gosta Pettersson, MD

  • Frederick Grover, MD (Emeritus Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Colorado) began with his thoughts on “HOW TO INSPIRE THE VA AND HAVE THE VA INSPIRE YOU”.

  • Melina Kibbe, MD (Chief of the Department of Surgery University of North Carolina) next provided her thoughts on “A PATH TO THE SURGICAL SUMMIT THROUGH THE VA”.

  • Joseph Coselli, MD (Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine) encouraged us further with his heartfelt talk “FROM PERSPIRATION TO INSPIRATION: THE AORTIC LEGEND”.

  • Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD (Chief, Research and Development Officer (CRADO) Department of Veterans Affairs) inspired the audience even more with her talk “RESEARCH THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE”.

Finally, Houston Surgical Legend, Kenneth Mattox, MD (Professor, Baylor College of Medicine Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff, Harris County Hospital) concluded by covering the life of “A VETERAN SURGEON WHO INSPIRED A GENERATION”. The final session “MEASURING ACADEMIC PRODUCTIVITY IN VA” was moderated by David Berger, MD and Jason Johanning, MD.

  • Eileen Moran, MS (Director, VHA Office of Productivity, Efficiency, and Staffing West Haven, CT) initiated the conversation by providing helpful hints on “MEASURING VA SURGEON PRODUCTIVITY NOW AND IN THE FUTURE “.

  • Brian R. Smith, MD (VISN 22 Chief Surgical Consultant) followed with his query on “IS STANDARIZED MEASUREMENT OF SURGEON PRODUCTIVITY ACROSS ALL VA'S THE RIGHT APPRAOCH? “

  • Carolyn M Clancy, MD (Deputy Undersecretary for Health, Discovery, Education and Affiliated Networks Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC) asked the burning question, “CAN VA MAINTAIN ITS TRADITIONAL ACADEMIC MODEL IN THIS DAY AND AGE?“

  • Mark Wilson, MD PhD (Professor and Chief of Surgery, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Acting Director of Surgery, National Surgery Office) concluded with his thoughts on “PRODUCTIVITY AND PERFORMANCE “


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