By: Dr. John de Jong, Board of Directors Chair; Dr. Joe Kinnarney, AVMA President; Dr. Tim Montgomery, House Advisory Committee Chair; Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA Executive Vice President
Following up on the promise made in September to share a synopsis of Board of Directors meetings, we’re providing you with this update from the November 19-21 Board meeting.
Over the past year, we’ve streamlined our meetings to more efficiently address business matters and allow more time for strategic discussions. To that end, strategic discussions were held on Thursday, Friday morning and Saturday morning. We received updates on our integrated marketing and communications plans, as well as our digital strategy, all of which are in development. These plans represent a fundamental shift in our approach, and there’s a lot of moving parts involved as we better integrate all of the AVMA’s roles, products and services according to our strategy.
We held breakout sessions based on the focus of our three Strategic Business Units – Advocacy & Public Policy, Accreditation & Certification, and Products & Services – to receive updates and discuss important issues. Each SBU has been working closely with our Marketing Department to identify their top issues and activities for prioritization of workload. Advocacy & Public Policy has identified 5 key areas to focus on in the next few months including drug compounding, Veterinary Feed Directive implementation, Humane Endings, performance and timing of spay/neuter, and opposition to the Fairness to Pet Owners Act. A continual challenge for the Products & Services SBU is to increase awareness of the valuable products and services currently available to members, as well as determine which potential products and services would best suit our members’ needs. The Accreditation & Certification SBU continues to focus on programmatic evaluation and all of the documents necessary to maintain recognition as accrediting bodies for veterinary medical education and veterinary technology education.
In November, a working group formed as a precursor to an economics of education summit met to discuss issues and set the stage for the upcoming workshop, which will be held April 20-22, 2016, at Michigan State University. The Board was provided with an overview of the working group’s progress and approved AVMA’s portion of the funding for the workshop at MSU. More information will be coming soon. Continuing on the theme of education, we also approved funding of the ALL for Students program through 2018.
The Continuing Education Task Force presented its report to the Board, emphasizing the need for veterinary CE to evolve with the changing needs of society. The Regulatory Advisory Panel and Practice Advisory Panel that are part of our ongoing pilot program both presented progress updates. The Board approved a proposal from the Regulatory Advisory Panel to convene a facilitated discussion with representatives of the medical profession to establish a One Health-focused approach to antimicrobial resistance. This proposal was in response to recent publications by the American Academy of Pediatrics that placed blame on the animal agriculture industry for resistant infections in children.
The Board agreed to provide limited association management support to the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative in keeping with our goal to promote the participation of women in leadership roles in the profession. The Board also agreed to provide financial support for WVLDI travel to meetings to help them in carrying their message.
Several policies related to the operation of the Council on Education came to the board for review. The Board decided to rescind all of those policies to further strengthen the firewall between the AVMA and the COE.
At the invitation of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, the AVMA Board agreed to submit a name in nomination to serve on the PAVE Committee.
The Board spent considerable time hearing about and discussing a recent Awareness, Attitudes and Usage Study that was conducted as a continuation of our ongoing efforts to listen to our members so that we can better serve your needs and meet your expectations. We understand the need to remain relevant, and our focus going forward is squarely focused on building member value in your AVMA.
The Board agreed to broaden our conflict resolution strategies by agreeing to coordinate a gathering of veterinary stakeholders so that we can better understand the varying perspectives on certain topics that have recently caused controversy and raised concerns.
During the business meeting, the Board took action on several policies of relevance to members, including:
- Revisions to the policy on pain in animals
- Revisions to the policy on tail docking and teeth clipping of swine
- Endorsement of the updated AAEP policy on tail alteration in horses
- Revisions to the policy on new therapies for the alleviation of acute pain in animals
- Reaffirming the policy on nonhuman primates as assistance animals
Revisions to the policy on free-roaming abandoned and feral cats have been referred to the House of Delegates for consideration at its winter meeting in January. The revised and new policies will be posted on the AVMA website within the next few weeks.
Finally, we’re pleased to tell you of a simple, yet significant, change in how members can reach the AVMA Board: each Board member will be given an @avma.org email address for their term in AVMA leadership. The IT Division is updating the website to reflect this change.
Dr. John de Jong, Board of Directors Chair
Dr. Joe Kinnarney, AVMA President
Dr. Tim Montgomery, House Advisory Committee Chair
Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA Executive Vice President