How everything began: VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL – from a pioneer to a world leader – everything starts with an idea

December 1990

FounderThree visionary vascular surgeons, Prof. Dr. med. Jens-Rainer Allenberg, University Hospital Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. med. Georg Hagmüller, Wilhelminenspital Vienna, and Prof. Dr. med. Jon Largiadèr, Klinik im Park in Zurich, share an idea: to convey their specialist knowledge and most of all their practical experience to young colleagues. The industry, above all Albert Panzeri and Toni Meile, is enthusiastic about the idea of simulation training and the development of lifelike models associated with it. In the same year they decide to hold a pilot vascular course in Zermatt the following spring. The development of the first models together with the Anatomic Institute of the University of Zurich starts.


Four months after the foundation, the first “Zermatt Vascular” workshop takes place. In spite of rather the simple means available at the time, the participants and the industrial partners are enthusiastic about the completely new concept of simulation training. Years of intensive work follow for VI. The course contents and models are further professionalized and perfected.

In 1993

the first bilingual workshops are held, in German and French. The courses become known beyond the borders of Switzerland, Germany and Austria.


VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL tutors teach in Milan for the first time, later in Palermo and Siena. In the same year the first “advanced course” takes place in and lays the foundation for today’s “master class”. For the first time an endovascular simulator is shown and applied.


Pontresina becomes the centre and heart of VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL. The so called Pontresina courses, basic course and master class, develop rapidly and become an international elite training unit that attracts participants from all over the world. The course contents and the models are constantly developed further.


LogoThe foundation is handed over to today’s foundation board members Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hans-Henning Eckstein, President and Head of Vascular Surgery at the Klinikum rechts der Isar, Prim. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Afshin Assadian, Head of Vascular Surgery at the Wilhelminenspital Vienna, Prof. Dr. Jürg Schmidli, Head of Vascular Surgery at the Inselspital Bern, Prof. Dr. Hardy Schumacher, vascular surgeon at the Klinik Hirslanden in Zurich, and Hanspeter Kiser, entrepreneur.

In 2010

the VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School AG is founded as part of the realignment and extension of the activities under the management of Toni Meile. Today VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL, based in Fürigen, has made a name for itself internationally. The high quality of the VI courses and models, which are now used to train in the entire field of vascular medicine, is recognised worldwide. VI courses are qualified with maximum credits by the most important international institutes for certification. Some VI courses have already been integrated in the learning and training programmes of several international specialist societies.


Due to its high quality standards and its enhanced activities VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL reorganises its internal management structure and establishes a new Management Board, including members of the Board of Trustees as well as two very active VI tutors: for the years 2013 and 2014 Prof. Dr. Lorenz Gürke, Head of the Department of Vascular Surgery of the University Hospital Basel, and Dr. Klaus Klemm M.Sc., Medical Director and Head of the Vascular Department at Marienhospital in Stuttgart, are members of the VI Management Board.