The Northern Plains Vascular Surgical Society was founded in 1987 under the name, “Evening of Clinical Discussions”. A group of rural, vascular surgeons were brought together in Billings, Montana.
In 1988, the group had its second meeting in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Steve Hamar was elected as the group’s first president. The meeting included three 30 minute talks. The group has been meeting in Denver since that time. Initially, the group met at the Stouffer Concourse hotel near the old Stapleton Airport in Northeast Denver. Since 2011, the group has been meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver.
For years, Dr. Robert Rutherford provided influence and support for continuing education in vascular disease and subsequent therapeutic management. Dr. Rutherford was very instrumental in bringing into the annual meeting key thought leaders in vascular surgery from around the country.
In 2015, it became quite obvious that rural surgeons were doing less and less vascular surgery. The group still felt a strong need to convene on an annual basis. There was something special that brought this group together. After much discussion, the group realized that they were really just a collection of rural surgeons that valued the collegiality and education that would come from such a gathering. At the 29th meeting of the organization (2015), the group decided that this would be the final meeting of the Northern Plains Vascular Surgical Society. The group, however, did make a decision to meet the following year (2016) to discuss, consider a transformation to a rural surgical society. In 2017, the group met for the first time as the Northern Plains Rural Surgical Society. The original organization carried a balance of approximately $10,000. This money was forwarded on to the new 501(c)(3) organization.
The Northern Plains Rural Surgical Society carries a simple mission…”The Northern Plains Rural Surgical Society is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to supporting and promoting surgical education, and maintenance of that education, to surgeons across the Northern Plains States”.
A listing of past presidents:
1988, Dr. Steve Hamar (Bismarck, North Dakota)
1989, Dr. Timothy Durenbach
1990-1992, Dr. Fred Harris (Sioux Falls)
1993-1995, Dr. James Anderson (Casper, Wyoming)
1996-1998, Dr. Steve Stromstad (Fargo)
1999-2001, Dr. David Antonenko (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
2002-2004, Dr. Bill Altringer (Bismarck, North Dakota)
2005-2007, Dr. Paul Dearing (Idaho)
2008-2010, Dr. Scott Charette (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
2011-2013, Dr. Dan Margo (Grand Rapids, Minnesota)
2014-2015, Dr. Tom Derrig (Wisconsin)
2016 – No president
2017-2019, Dr. Dan Margo, (Grand Rapids, Minnesota)
2020-2022, Dr. Robert Sticca (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
2023-2025, Dr. Jeffrey Chipman (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Since its inception, the organization has had three individuals serve as the secretary/treasurer. This important leadership position has been held by Dr. Bill McGregor, Dr. Steven Stromstad, and Dr. Mark Deatherage. Dr. Deatherage is currently serving as secretary and has been for the past 12 years.
Ms. Sally Evans has been serving as the Administrative Assistant and Secretary since 2008. Sally works to coordinate the meeting and does the necessary work to secure the continuing medical education credits. Our CME is currently granted through the American College of Surgeons. We feel that the CME component of this meeting gives great credibility to the educational component as well as the ethical standards held by the organization.
Most importantly, much of the expense of the annual meeting has been covered each year by an unrestricted educational grant from W.L. Gore and Associates. Mr. Kurt Long (a Gore associate) has been instrumental in supporting this unbiased and professional educational activity. Mr. Long has been granted honorary membership status in the society. The Northern Plains Vascular Surgical Society and the Northern Plains Rural Surgical Society have deep gratitude for Mr. Long and W.L. Gore and Associates.