AVMA Board of Directors summer meeting update

By: Dr. John de Jong, outgoing Board of Directors Chair; Dr. Mark Helfat, Board of Directors Chair; Dr. Joe Kinnarney, AVMA Immediate Past President; Dr. Tom Meyer, AVMA President; Dr. Tim Montgomery, outgoing House Advisory Committee Chair; Dr. David Ylander, House Advisory Committee Chair; Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA Executive Vice President

dejong1-350The AVMA Board of Directors concluded its regular summer meeting Tuesday with the installation of a new Board member, several officers, a new chair and vice chair of the House of Delegates’ (HOD) House Advisory Committee (HAC); and the election of a new Board chair and vice chair. But we’ll get into greater detail on that later in this blog post.

After thoughtful discussion during the business portion of its meeting, the Board referred to the HOD a proposed bylaw amendment and a resolution.

Proposed Bylaw Amendment 1-2016: Executive Vice President and Assistant Executive Vice President was referred to the HOD with a recommendation by the Board to approve. [Note: The HOD, during its meeting Friday, approved the bylaws amendment with 71 percent of the vote. The change removes the requirement that the AVMA executive vice president/chief executive officer be a veterinarian but requires at least one of the two offices of executive vice president and assistant executive vice president be a veterinarian and a voting member of the association for a period of at least five continuous years immediately prior to election.]

Resolution 4-2106: Request for the Council on Education to Adopt a Standard on Financial Literacy was referred to the HOD with no recommendation from the Board. The Board agreed that financial literacy in this time of growing student debt is a vital skill for veterinary students to develop, and they shared the belief that it will be incumbent on veterinary schools to provide the necessary resources. But when it came to making a recommendation to the HOD, the Board also felt that any recommendation for or against the resolution should come from the HOD and not the Board, which has been working hard to bolster COE independence. [Note: After deliberation and an amendment to the language of Resolution 4-2106, the HOD approved the measure by a 93 percent vote. The resolution states that the AVMA COE support the process of adding a new student financial literacy and wellness standard to its standards of accreditation as initiated by the Student AVMA.]

The Board was enthusiastically supportive of a new scholarship program in development between the AVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. The AVMA and AVMF Military Veteran Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine will support military veterans interested in pursuing veterinary medical education. Through this effort – and with the philanthropic support of our members – we hope to honor military service, promote the good work of the Army Veterinary Corps and support the future of the veterinary profession.

The Board also received updates from AVMA staff regarding numerous strategic programs, services and initiatives. As the AVMA continues to focus its efforts on better meeting members’ needs and expectations, and following through on programs and services that members want most, the Board was pleased with a new project review process that brings Board members, volunteer entities and staff members together to determine what projects will best fulfill our charge of focusing on member benefit.

Now back to our members – and your colleagues – who assumed volunteer leadership roles in your association.

Dr. Karen Bradley officially took her place at the Board table as the new director for District 1, succeeding former District 1 director and outgoing Board Chair Dr. John de Jong. District 1 includes AVMA members living in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Dr. Tom Meyer, a former HOD member and AVMA Board of Directors chair, was installed as AVMA president. Dr. Meyer co-owns a mixed-animal practice in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife, Dr. Jean Meyer.

Dr. Stacy Pritt, director of the institutional animal care and use committee in the Research Administration department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, was installed as AVMA vice president, a two-year position that serves as the association’s liaison to the Student AVMA and student chapters, and also a voting member of the AVMA Board.

Dr. Michael Topper, who the HOD elected to the office of president-elect, officially assumed his role. He is the immediate past chair of the HAC and has been a member of the HOD since 2008. A veteran of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, he currently is director of clinical pathology and immunology for Merck Research Laboratories.

Dr. Joe Kinnarney, who served as 2015-16 AVMA president, assumed the role of AVMA immediate past president.

Elected Board chair was Dr. Mark Helfat, who is coming off a stint as Board of Directors vice chair and District II Board representative. Helfat is a mixed-animal veterinarian practicing in Mount Laurel, N.J.

Dr. Michael Whitehair, District IX AVMA Board representative, was elected as vice chair of the Board. Whitehair is a partner in the Abilene Animal Hospital, P.A., in Abilene, Kan. His clinical interests include beef cattle, feedlot and equine medicine.

Dr. David Ylander, an HOD delegate from Nebraska, was installed as chair of the HAC. Dr. Doug Kratt, an HOD delegate from Wisconsin, was installed as HAC vice chair.

The Board also appointed several AVMA members to numerous volunteer entities, including:

  • Dr. Gary Marshall to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation Board of Directors
  • Drs. Elizabeth Mackey, Christopher Ashworth, Johann Coetzee, Elizabeth Colleran, Angela Baysinger, Emily McCobb and Kathryn Proudfoot to the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee.
  • Drs. Katherine Haman and Myron Kebus to the AVMA Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee
  • Dr. Jonathan Garber to the AVMA Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee
  • Dr. Jose Arce to the AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs
  • Dr. Susan Gogolski to the AVMA Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates
  • Dr. Carla Huston to the AVMA Food Safety Advisory Committee
  • Dr. Gary Bullard to the AVMA PAC Board
  • Drs. Michael Karle, Calvin Johnson and Jason Johnson to the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee, and
  • Dr. Joann Lindenmayer as the AVMA liaison to the One Health Commission Board of Directors.

We would like to thank all of our volunteers who have served and who are serving the AVMA to help protect, promote and advance both veterinarians and the veterinary profession. Your service is critical to our ongoing success.

As we conclude this association year, we want to gratefully acknowledge the renewed sense of collaboration between the Board of Directors and the HOD. The HOD Veterinary Information Forum was a big success, and it will lead to greater input by the HOD on issues affecting our members. Thanks for all your efforts in the past year and for working so diligently to protect, promote and advance both our veterinary colleagues and the entire veterinary profession.

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