AVMA Strategic Planning News


The current strategic plan of the AVMA, adopted by the Executive Board in 2012, has enabled the association to mobilize significant resources to accomplish important goals for the profession and the organization.  This Strategic Plan Progress Report (April 2013) provides highlights of key objectives and tactics that have been completed or are in progress.


At its June 2011 meeting, the Executive Board approved a new strategic plan for 2012-2015. The new plan was recommended by the Task Force on Strategic Planning after completion of an extensive review of draft goals and objectives, and a comment period by the AVMA membership and the House of Delegates in the first quarter of 2011. In addition, the Task Force on Strategic Planning carefully considered the final reports of two other task forces that submitted their reports in April to the Executive Board: AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission; Task Force on AVMA Programs for Veterinary Students and Recent Graduates. Plans are in progress for implementation of the new strategic plan.

At the July 2011 meeting of the House of Delegates, Reference Committees will have the opportunity to consider the new Strategic Plan for 2012 and to submit ideas for tactics to accomplish specific objectives and goals in the plan.


The Executive Board, at its August 2010 meeting, established a special task force on strategic planning of four Board members and the chair of the House Advisory Committee to prepare a draft strategic plan for the period 2012-2014. The task force on strategic planning met during the fall and provided a report to the Executive Board in November, 2010. The task force developed a list of 6 draft goals and a number of objectives for each goal for the future. During the January - March, 2011, these future goals and objectives will be published on the AVMA web site for AVMA membership to review and comment. Also, the future goals and objectives will be distributed to the HOD at its January meeting for review and comment. The task force on strategic planning anticipates submission of a new strategic plan for the AVMA to the Board by June of 2011.

The AVMA House of Delegates worked diligently during its regular session in July 2010 on a comprehensive review of a summary of critical issues from its earlier meeting in the year. Critical issues encompassed animal welfare, veterinary education, economic profitability in practice, veterinary workforce, and scope of practice issues. The HOD also considered and advised on draft goals and objectives.

In April, 2010, the Executive Board approved a revised Strategic Plan for the current period 2010-2011. The revisions to the current plan involved the inclusion of specific objectives and tactics to advance AVMA diversity initiatives. Also, the revisions in other areas of the plan were based on "taking stock" of the tactical accomplishments and adjustments for specific objectives that had been in place for two years. The revised 2010 Strategic Plan adopted by the Executive Board is available in the Strategic Planning section of the AVMA web site.

In January, 2010, the AVMA House of Delegates embraced environmental scanning to provide input into the strategic planning process at AVMA. In reference committees of the House, delegates and alternative delegates shared an array of information from their professional and personal lives that was recorded by staff and will be compiled for Executive Board and House of Delegates at their next meetings.

Also in January, 2010, the Executive Board took other actions to deepen its commitment to strategic planning both short term and long term. Time spent in strategic discussions by the Executive Board has expanded to the extent that the Board approved a new meeting calendar for 2010, in part, to better develop its strategic agenda for each association year. The Board meetings will be held in August, November, January, April, June, and July of each association year. Plans in place for the April 2010 meeting of the Executive Board include a comprehensive review of the current Strategic Plan, inventory of tactics accomplished or in progress, and consideration of tactical adjustments that need to be made to the plan.

Also in January, 2010, the Executive Board approved establishment of a new entity – AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission -- a group of about 10 individuals that will come up with a concept of what AVMA should be like by the year 2020 and a roadmap of how we could get there over the next 6-10 years. The Commission will be composed of members who represent sundry experiences and perspectives in and outside the veterinary profession, and will include diversity among appointees on the basis of gender, generation, and ethnicity. Also, the individuals selected for the Commission are expected to be progressive, "big picture" thinkers who will contribute to critical strategic discussions, ask pivotal questions, and challenge assumptions to identify and create a future vision. The Commission will have up to three, two-day meetings in Schaumburg and conference calls as needed. It is projected that the Commission will conclude its work in spring 2011.


Under Executive Board oversight, Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, Executive Vice President, spearheaded the implementation of a broad range of objectives to achieve the approved strategic plan goals. A management team of five goal managers, reporting to Dr. DeHaven, managed the work directed toward specific tactics associated with each of the goals and objectives. Dr. DeHaven provided progress reports throughout 2009 to the Executive Board and the House of Delegates.


The Executive Board approved the AVMA's first Strategic Plan. This dynamic plan included five strategic goals and a number of objectives for each goal to be accomplished over the next one to three years. The Executive Vice President and designated Goal Managers led the development of tactics in collaboration with appropriate staff teams and advisory entities. The Executive Board approved a Strategic Goal Fund to provide the necessary financial resources to accomplish specific Board-approved tactics for each objective. Within the approved Strategic Planning Framework, all components of the Association are engaged in an ongoing process to identify critical issues, develop and manage goals to address critical issues, communicate information about the strategic plan, and build strategic planning into the culture of the Association.


In June 2007, the Board approved the following strategic planning goals as the highest priority Strategic Goals of the AVMA:

  • AVMA, through its members and leaders, is committed to be a leading force and advocate on veterinary-related issues in local, state, federal, and international legislation and regulation.

  • Critical shortages in veterinary workforce, infrastructure, and resources are identified and solutions developed in collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure that national veterinary needs, including those with global implications, are met.
  • The AVMA Council on Education accreditation process is the premier standard for veterinary medical education globally.
  • The veterinary profession's economic viability and sustainability is evaluated and strengthened within all segments.
  • AVMA is a leading advocate for, and an authoritative, science-based resource on animal welfare.

The Board approved that the Executive Vice President would act as the primary point of coordination (i.e., chief strategy officer) for management of the approved strategic goals. The Executive Vice President would designate strategic goal managers from within the AVMA staff to coordinate the Association's efforts to advance the objectives for each of the approved strategic goals. Goal managers collaborate with relevant entities and staff to develop objectives, which include timelines, budgets, and oversight, for each of the approved goals.

At the January 2007 Veterinary Leadership Conference, the Strategic Planning Committee Chair provided an overview of the strategic planning process. This was followed by a 50-minute presentation by a panel of five staff on activities for selected goals for each of the five critical issues. As requested by the Executive Board, the delegates and alternate delegates in attendance were asked to complete and return prioritization sheets on the strategic goals. The results of this goal prioritization were compiled and reviewed by the Strategic Planning Committee and the Executive Board in time for the Board's April meeting.


In November 2006, the Executive Board considered the approved Strategic Goals of the AVMA and, on recommendation of the Strategic Planning Committee, approved establishing a prioritization of the approved goals. It is important to focus on those strategic goals that are of the highest priority and to enable appropriate choices to be made in developing effective strategies and allocating resources for their accomplishment. The Board conducted prioritization exercises at its November 2006 meeting. To gather further input on the prioritization, the Board requested that the Strategic Planning Committee gather input from the House of Delegates on goal prioritization, and that staff gather input on goals via the upcoming membership needs assessment survey scheduled in the spring 2007. The Strategic Planning Committee will prepare a summary report on goal prioritization in early 2007. Also in November, the Board established a subcommittee to study and prepare recommendations for modifying the budgeting process necessary to enable alignment of the 2008 budget with the approved critical issues.

The Executive Board conducted a very successful Strategic Visioning Session in June 2006 with the Strategic Planning Committee. Using a facilitator/coach, the Board considered five future scenarios, discussed factors that may lead to these scenario results, and what steps the AVMA might take now to minimize the risk of these future scenarios happening. This exercise of visioning resulted in affirmation and consensus on 22 goals spread across the 5 critical issues of animal welfare, economic viability, veterinary education, veterinary services, and veterinary workforce. At the Board's June 2006 official meeting, the Board approved the strategic goals.