Women’s Surgical Leadership Initiative Looks to 2011 at Inaugural Board Meeting

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Formed in August, WSLI held its first board meeting this week in Las Vegas and set a course to promote mentorship, training and awareness of leading-edge minimally invasive surgical options

The Women’s Surgical Leadership Initiative (WSLI) held its first board meeting this week to further define the organization and begin 2011 planning.

Formed in August by the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery (AIMIS) Clinical Advisory Board, the goal of the WSLI is to encourage female surgeons to take an active role in and advocate for women’s health issues, promote training and awareness of minimally invasive procedures and to provide a forum for mentorship programs for female surgeons.

“More than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the U.S. each year, making it the second most common surgical procedure. My goal with WSLI is to unite female surgeons who say ‘enough is enough’ — we should be outraged that a majority of these procedures are performed by outdated surgical methods,” said Dr. Lori L. Warren, chair of the WSLI board of directors. “WSLI is a women-to-women network formed to educate doctors, patients and communities about the most updated and least invasive options to reduce pain, speed recovery times and improve patient outcomes,” she added.

Minimally invasive surgical procedures translate to significant savings for the health care system and employers while dramatically improving patient outcomes and recovery time. Unlike traditional surgery, minimally invasive procedures involve no large incisions whatsoever. Instead, extremely small incisions are made—only large enough for the insertion of minuscule cameras equipped with microscopes and tiny fiber-optic flashlights. Surgeons use this micro-technology to view the inside of a patient’s body on a high-definition monitor. After the procedure, it takes only a few stitches to close up each of the incisions.

“There currently exists a huge discrepancy in the quality of surgical care when it comes to the hysterectomy procedure with significant variations between regions, hospitals and surgeons. We believe the WSLI can be a major force for change and look forward to actively supporting their efforts,” said Dr. K. Warren Volker, CEO and chairman of AIMIS.

WSLI is planning a conference for 2011 to provide specialized training for female GYN surgeons in minimally invasive procedures. Additionally, the conference will present mentorship programs for both physician and patient education, provide training in marketing, public relations and general business procedures for private medical practices and strive to raise awareness in both medical and consumer media about minimally invasive surgical options in the area of women’s health.

About AIMIS
The American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery is the nation's pre-eminent educator of minimally invasive surgical techniques. The organization both teaches minimally invasive methods and also supports graduates and members with opportunities where they can find marketing support, consulting services and strategies to help them grow and strengthen their practices. AIMIS also provides resources for patients, corporate partners and physician members and affiliates to help foster progress throughout the medical profession. In just two years, AIMIS has attracted physician members representing hospitals and clinics in 29 states. For more information, please visit aimis.org.

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Amy Little

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