Whether we’re treating a sick pet, tending to a livestock animal or advising on public health or animal welfare, there’s no replacement for the expertise of a veterinarian. That’s also the case for policy development – the voices of veterinarians are critical in helping lawmakers create sound, science-based laws.
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve selected three AVMA Congressional fellows who will serve as full-time staff in a congressional office or on a congressional committee for a year each in 2017-2018. As Congressional fellows, these veterinarians will advise on a wide range of pressing issues including food safety, public health, animal welfare, research and small business.
The 2017-2018 AVMA fellows are:
- Radhika Gharpure: Originally from Plainsboro, N.J., Dr. Gharpure is a 2016 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. As a veterinary student, she had the opportunity to intern with several national and international public health organizations including the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also was a 2015 student extern with the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. Dr. Gharpure recently completed her MPH degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she focused on epidemiology and infectious diseases. Her professional interests include emerging and neglected zoonoses, outbreak response and global health policy.
- Matt Holland: Dr. Holland graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. Originally from Libertyville, Ill., he came to veterinary medicine as a second career, after graduating in 2007 from Drake University with a B.A. in radio and television journalism, and then working as a freelance television producer for various media outlets in Chicago and New York City. He was drawn to spend free time working with animals, and found that was where his true passion lay. During veterinary school, he served as president of the Student AVMA (SAVMA) and began work toward a Master’s degree in public health (MPH) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Combined with his previous experience as a journalist, his involvement in organized veterinary medicine and public health drew him to seek opportunities at the intersection of science and policy as a health communicator. To that end, he says he is thrilled to serve in the AVMA Fellowship Program.
- Mark Logan: Dr. Logan graduated from University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 and moved to Cape May Court House, N.J., to begin a 34-year career in private small animal practice. He also has served as volunteer staff veterinarian at the Wetlands Institute of Stone Harbor, N.J., for more than 30 years, providing advice and consultations for aquatic species, support for the Diamondback Terrapin project and shell fracture repairs for more than 1,000 female terrapins injured while crossing coastal boulevards. Dr. Logan was elected president of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association in 2001; appointed to the New Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NJBVME) in 2002 and re-appointed by governors of both parties; and elected president of NJBVME each year over the last decade. Additionally, Dr. Logan has been a board member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J., and also served on the Board of Directors for the American Veterinary Medical Law Association and continues as a member.
These fellows will interview with congressional offices and committee staff in September to receive their year-long placements. We’re looking forward to watching them protect, promote and advance the veterinary profession in Congress.
Through the AVMA Fellowship Program, the AVMA annually selects veterinarians to spend a year serving as full-time staff in congressional offices as part of our ongoing efforts to elevate veterinary voices in policymaking. We encourage AVMA members to learn more about the fellowship program and consider applying for this unique service opportunity. Applications for the 2018-2019 cycle will open in fall 2017, and applications will be due on Feb. 9, 2018.
The fellowship program is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to place scientific experts in congressional offices where they are needed. The AVMA provides funding for the program. To date, more than 65 veterinarians have participated in the AVMA Fellowship Program.