Georgia Vascular Society (GVS) is the membership of choice in the state of Georgia. Comprised of board-certified vascular surgeons and other specialized medical staff, their commitment to excellence in diagnosing, treating, and managing patients with vascular disease is unmatched.
Advancing every aspect of vascular care is what drives and directs their annual Scientific Sessions. The opportunity to network and the power of collaborating, in these meetings, propel this specialty forward in knowledge, understanding, and innovation.
As a member of GVS, vascular surgeons and other medical staff can address the geographical interests and challenges unique to Georgia. Simultaneously, the well-respected and lively group is organized to remain at the forefront of global efforts in improving vascular care.
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE (Fall 2021)
Charles B. Ross, MD, FACS, DFSVS
It is tradition that every religious faith, regulatory body, and professional society, etc. has a calendar year. Each year begins with hope and longing for what might be experienced and achieved; and each year ends with gatherings and celebrations. Following essentially two-years of virtual meetings and remote conferences, the 9th Annual Scientific Session of the Georgia Vascular Society was held at The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds, Lake Oconee on September 10-12. This represented one of the most joyful and successful meetings I have ever attended. More than 100 vascular surgical colleagues, medical students, residents, and vascular APPs participated, making this the largest attendance in the history of the society. The venders and their clinical representatives, with whom we interact daily, strongly supported the meeting. As a society, we all salute the diligence and vision of immediate past-president Dr. J. Sheppard Mondy, III, and the program committee of Dr’s. Christopher Ramos (Chair), Mrinal Shukla and James Chang which made the meeting such a success. Finally, the meeting would not have been possible without the amazing work of our Executive Director, Liz Burkhardt and her staff.
Beyond the fact that we had all been couped up for the better part of two years, this year’s meeting was exceptional for many reasons: First, the visiting faculty was incredible, and the topics delivered were immediately relevant and prescient. Dr’s. Margaret Tracci (UVA, Charlottesville), Sam Money (Ochsner, New Orleans), Russell Samson (FSU, Sarasota), Matt Corriere (UM, Ann Arbor), and Scott Stevens (UT, Knoxville) delivered incredibly insightful and helpful scientific presentations in the Saturday session; and presentations ranging from governmental relations, health and well-being, patient-centered research, and ethics on Sunday. The panelists interacted fluidly and challenged us all to be the absolute best we can be in our love for and practice of vascular surgery.
So many changes have happened in our society over the past two years. I had the pleasure of serving as treasurer under our 8th President, Dr. Will Jordan in 2020. During that time, we had to be nimble to survive the economic challenges caused by the pandemic. During that time, Ms. Burkhardt and the executive committee, tightened our belt and strengthened our financial position, and updated our website. Dr. Mondy continued that under his leadership. I encourage everyone to visit our website where you will see these changes and will also find pdfs of the past meeting.
I would be remiss, as well, if I did not mention our meeting’s venue. During the pandemic, The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds, Lake Oconee, refurbished their hotel and conference center. This facilitated safety protocols which we followed meticulously for our meeting. For those not in attendance, the outer walls of the main conference center retracted to allow an open-air meeting. We enjoyed the breeze of fresh air and natural light while sitting with proper spacing and comfort. One could hear birds singing while enjoying the presentations without any degradation of the acoustic and visual quality. For our families, extra amenities facilitated a safe and comfortable environment. We are incredibly pleased that for the next two years, the meeting will continue to stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds, Lake Oconee.
I am a founding member of the Georgia Vascular Society, but I am not originally from Georgia. I am a Kentuckian by birth, and I started my practice there in 1991. In the year 2000, primarily for work I did in Kentucky to help my colleagues develop endovascular skills, as well as work in outcomes as leader for Kentucky/Indiana in the Multistate Carotid Endarterectomy Project, I was honored to serve as President of the Kentucky Vascular Surgical Society. I was fortunate to be recruited from Louisville in 2012 to a leadership position in the Piedmont Heart Institute as part of the practice of Drs. Patrick Battey, Robert Powers, and Eyal Ben Arie. In 2016, upon Dr. Battey’s ascension to President and CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, he stepped out of his counselor position in GVS, and I was fortunate to be able to take his place in leadership. Since then, it has been a pleasure to serve. I am now deeply humbled and so excited to serve as the 10th President of the Georgia Vascular Society.
Over the next year, speaking on behalf of our executive committee and membership at large, we look forward to more vascular surgeons and APPs joining our society. Please check the website periodically for updates. Do not forget to support our Georgia Vascular Foundation. Continue to generously give your time and attention to students and APPs who have vascular interest. Reach out and let us know how we can help and make plans now to attend our 10th Annual Scientific Session, September 9-11, 2022, at The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia.
Charles B. Ross, MD, FACS, DFSVS
2021-2022 Executive Committee
Charles B. Ross, MD, FACS, DFSVS
Dr. Ross currently serves as Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Services at Piedmont Heart Institute, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He is Co-Director of the Piedmont Level I Cardiovascular Emergency Program and Chief of the Vascular Center of Excellence at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Prior to his recruitment to his present position in Atlanta in 2012, Dr. Ross was Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapeutics at the University of Louisville. He is Past-President of the Kentucky Vascular Society, and he is a founding member of the Georgia Vascular Society. Dr. Ross is a member of the Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS), American Venous Forum, Southern Association for Vascular Surgery (SAVS), and the PERT Consortium. He has served on multiple committees of the SAVS and SVS. He served on the board of the PERT Consortium 2017-2019 and remains active on multiple committees within that organization. Dr. Ross is Medical Director, Southeastern Vascular Study Group. He has participated in numerous clinical trials for endovascular devices and procedures. Major endovascular interventions for venous thromboembolic disease including pulmonary embolism and open/ endovascular approaches to carotid artery disease have been his focused clinical interests.
Arun Chervu, MD, MBA, MHA, FACS, RVT
Arun Chervu MD, MBA, MHA, FACS, RVT has been with Vascular Surgical Associates, PC in Marietta, GA since 1995. He did his General Surgery Residency and his Vascular Surgery Fellowship at UCLA Medical Center, graduating in 1992. He spent 3 years on faculty at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX. His clinical interests are open and endovascular interventions for carotids and AAA.
Jonathan D. Woody, MD, FACS
Jonathan D. Woody, MD, FACS graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then received his medical degree from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Woody completed his internship and surgical residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was followed by a fellowship in Vascular Surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was on faculty in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine prior to joining Athens Vascular Surgery in 2005. The practice has evolved into University Vascular which employs six vascular surgeons and eight physician extenders. Dr Woody is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia and has served in numerous leadership roles within the Athens medical community. He is an active member of many professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, the Society for Vascular Surgery, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, and he is a charter member of the Georgia Vascular Society.
Gautam Agarwal, MD, FACS
SECRETARY & EDITOR
Dr. Gautam Agarwal is a vascular surgeon in Augusta, GA and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University Hospital Summerville, Associate Professor and Section Chief of Vascular and Endovascular surgery at Augusta University Medical Center. He received his medical degree from SCB Medical College, Cuttack and completed his vascular surgery fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN and has been in practice 24 years.
J. Sheppard Mondy, III, MD, FACS
Dr. Mondy earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia (VCU) and completed his General Surgery Residency training at the University of Alabama Birmingham. He completed a Fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at UC-Davis, and a Vascular Surgery Fellowship at Wake Forest University. Dr. Mondy is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Radiology at Mercer University School of Medicine. He is a founding member of the Savannah Vascular Institute (Medical Director of both the Vascular Lab and the Mobility Institute) and serves as the Medical Director of the Vascular Center of Excellence at Memorial University Medical Center. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Georgia Vascular Society since 2015, on the Budget and Finance Committee of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, and on the Community Practice, Document Oversight and Wellness Committees of the Society for Vascular Surgery. Dr. Mondy began his career as a maximally invasive aortic surgeon but has enjoyed riding the pendulum swing through total endovascular and back to hybrid care models in all vascular beds.
Juan Ayerdi, MD, FACS
Juan Ayerdi, MD FACS is a Vascular Surgeon in Columbus Georgia. He is graduated from Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala. He attended a Surgery internship at the University of Massachusetts, completed a General Surgery residency at The Guthrie Clinic in Pennsylvania, and completed a Vascular and Endovascular fellowship at Southern Illinois University in Illinois. He then went on to become the Director of Endovascular Therapies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Dr. Ayerdi is an Associate professor of Surgery with Mercer Medical School. He practices all aspects of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery in private practice at River City Vascular specialists in Columbus Georgia.
Guillermo A. Escobar, MD, FACS
COUNCILOR (EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE)
Dr. Escobar graduated from La Salle University Medical School in Mexico City in 2000. He did his general surgery internship at the Mayo Clinic and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Colorado in 2008. During this time, he also completed a 2-year NIH Basic Science Research Fellowship. His vascular surgery fellowship followed at the University of Michigan (2008-10). He stayed on U-M’s faculty until 2013 where he ventured South to the University of Arkansas. He joined Emory in 2017, where he has been the Program Director for the vascular surgery fellowship and residency.
Dr. Molnar practices nearly the entire spectrum of vascular and endovascular surgery. His vascular fellowship was at Vanderbilt, following general surgery at residency at Rush, medical school at Ohio State, and undergraduate at Duke. Away from the hospital, he coaches youth basketball and enjoys mountain biking, hiking, traveling to new cities, and reading.
Christopher R. Ramos, MD
COUNCILOR (ATL. METRO AREA)
Dr. Ramos completed his general surgery residency at the University of Colorado (CU) Health Science Center in 2016, undertook a postdoctoral research fellowship at CU’s Trauma Research Center from 2012-2013, and completed his vascular surgery fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine in 2018. He is now faculty with Emory University at Grady Memorial Hospital, the public hospital for the city of Atlanta. It is the fifth-largest public hospital in the United States, and one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the country.
Mrinal Shukla, MD
Dr. Shukla earned his medical degree at the Wake Forest University and completed his General Surgery residency at the Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. He completed a fellowship in Vascular Surgery at the University of Vermont. He then joined the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, where he is an Assistant Professor of Surgery, and serves our veterans at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. His special interests include quality improvement in vascular surgery along with resident education.
Andrew W. Unzeitig, MD, FACS
COUNCILOR (ATL. METRO AREA)
Dr. Unzeitig is a board-certified vascular surgeon employed by Piedmont Heart Institute, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. He grew in Laredo, TX and completed his undergraduate at Stanford University. Dr. Unzeitig received his medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He completed his residency and fellowship training at UTSW Medical Center. His special interests include diseases of the aorta, especially endovascular aortic repair (EVAR), fenestrated EVAR, thoracic EVAR, carotid endarterectomy, carotid artery stenting, varicose veins, venous thromboembolism, dialysis access, and peripheral artery disease including operative and endovascular revascularization. Hobbies include woodworking, hunting, fishing, and cycling. He is an officer in the Navy Reserve.
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