A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN VASCULAR FORUM
The Central European Vascular Forum was inspired by the scientific and professional potential of vascular medicine specialists from Central European countries. Its founders sought to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences among specialists who were managing vascular patients. However, this initiative soon outgrew its premise by gathering together some of the most excellent vascular societies in Central Europe and by promoting scientific knowledge, stimulating research and clinical work, and endorsing the dissemination of knowledge throughout this geographical area that includes over 100 million people.
Angiology in Central Europe has a long and prolific tradition. With the rise of angiology as a separate medical discipline in the 1920s, several scientists in Central Europe sought to promote current of vascular medicine in their respective countries. It is noteworthy that the Central European city of Prague was granted the honour of hosting the second congress of the International Union of Angiology in 1950.
In the late1990s, some strong-willed angiological societies from Central Europe envisioned a need for organizing a regional medical society that would converge the clinical and scientific potentials from a large geographical and cultural area in Europe. Thus, the Central European Vascular Forum (CEVF) was founded on 24 October, 1997 in Rome. Today, this forum includes 9 countries that once were part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Romania).
CEVF organizes once a year congress or educational course. The president is elected for 2 years. Within this common geographical and cultural environment, CEVF today promotes the exchange of experiences and professional activities and endorses the dissemination of documents and research, as well as friendly personal relations. Over recent decades, angiology has grossly outgrown its original role of the medical discipline dealing with the circulatory system. Today, it includes a fascinating interplay of medical, surgical and radiological knowledge and integrates various arterial, venous and lymphatic diseases, risk factor modification, disease prevention, invasive and surgical treatment as well as conservative management and rehabilitation of patients with vascular diseases. A specialists in vascular medicine should be able to address most of the major diseases in our age in a comperhensive manner, using a unique perspective. In the light of the current shortage of practitioners in this field in particular, training programmes and promotion of awareness in both patients and physicians of this as a distinct medical specialty are of paramount importance. With an increasing burden of vascular diseases in our aging population, the establishment of a critucal mass of physicians with interest in vascular diseases is crucial, and it is also at the forefront of the aspirations and goals of the Central European Vascular Forum.
THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN VASCULAR FORUM IN PERSPECTIVE
CEVF is an association of different specialities working together in the management of vascular diseases. It aims to promote the education of medical experts through the organization of congress and courses. However, for the near future it also aspires to broaden its impact of the medical profession and the general public.
The forum will continuously strive to promote education and propagation of knowledge on vascular disease, their prevention and management. Moreover, it will try to increase awareness in the general population by endorsing initiatives for the promotion of vascular health.
A cornerstone of the activities of CEVF is to educate and train physicians and other healthcare professionals in the field of vascular diseases. The forum will provide assistance in the exchange of experts and training of prospective angiologists. We also envision a great potential for organizing joint research projects and possible multi-centre initiatives, in which the forum would function as a means for providing infrastructure, cohesion and support. Last, but not least, this international society will promote the creation and implementation of the current guidelines, with special emphasis on vascular issues that are specific for the Central European geographical and cultural area.
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