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
As we bring you news from the Jan. 8 Board of Directors meeting held during our annual Veterinary Leadership Conference in Chicago, we’d like to start with an exciting update that our AVMA Future Leaders program participants shared with the Board about their ongoing efforts to address the important issue of wellness.
The 2015-2016 class of Future Leaders is building on the excellent momentum established by last year’s class, which took up the issue in earnest and set a solid foundation for the future. The latest initiatives from the 2015-2016 class include the development of a 5-Step Countdown to Wellness toolkit that will be posted on our website and shared with members through AVMA convention programming and other means. The Future Leaders also are assisting in the planning and development of our upcoming AVMA Wellness Roundtable, which will be held in March.
The Board approved the 2016 budget and strategic operating plan, both of which include emphasis on the strategic priorities that our members made clear to us during our extensive survey and scanning process over the past year or so. Those areas include advocacy and public policy, accreditation and certification, and veterinary economics.
As we work to enhance and improve the efficiency of our governance process, the Board agreed to establish a Strategy Management Committee, which will be comprised of members of the Board and the AVMA House of Delegates. The Board believes this committee is critical to the success and performance of our governance initiatives and our ability to best serve member needs. The committee’s work will help us in our efforts to establish and maintain efficient decision-making and effective operational processes, and improve allocation and management of resources.
The Board also spent a day working to improve its own performance and functionality through broad discussions held by the entire Board and in smaller breakout sessions. As we mentioned in the November Board update, we are striving to become a Board that is more focused on strategic thinking and actions, and a lot of our discussion during Friday’s meeting centered on the primary strategic issues we should address in the next two years, including, but certainly not limited to, growing member value across all segments of the profession, the financial health of the association, enhancing AVMA governance to become more nimble and member responsive, increasing member profitability, and helping build the leadership development skills of our members.
As we continue to evaluate all of our programs and services to ensure that we are best meeting your needs, the Board also agreed to work with our Veterinary Medical Assistance Team volunteers to assess the program and determine how it fits into the AVMA’s goal of strengthening the AVMA’s value to its members. We anticipate that a report from this work will be submitted for Board review in April.
In our ongoing efforts to improve the continuing education experience for our members, the Board also discussed and revised policies related to the Convention Education Program Committee.
And finally, the Board agreed with the recommendation from our Legislative Advisory Committee and other volunteer entities to take a position of “no action” on the draft version of the Veterinarian Payments Sunshine Act legislation, which you can read more about in the this AVMA@Work blog post. If you’d like to learn more about the AVMA House of Delegates session that was held during the Veterinary Leadership Conference, please check out our update on the AVMA@Work blog.
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