The Department of Health and Human Services has released a draft of its Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives for Fiscal Year 2007-2012.
The DHHS plan includes four goals: Health Care; Public Health Promotion and Protection, Disease Prevention and Emergency Preparedness; Human Services; and Scientific Research and Development. These goals are further broken down into four objectives per goal.
The AVMA supports Health and Human Services' (HHS) promotion of our nation's public health through Secretary Leavitt's Strategic Goals. Disease prevention, basic and applied research, and disaster preparedness and response are examples of how the collaborative efforts among the wider public health community including the veterinary profession, can promote optimal health for Americans.
The AVMA believes, however, that the Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMATs) should be added to the last paragraph of "Workforce Readiness" within Strategic Objective 2.4. The VMATs have illustrated their expertise providing emergency veterinary care for animals in need during times of national emergencies, including the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the after effects of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in Louisiana and Mississippi.
View AVMA's first response to DHHS (PDF)
View Health and Human Services' Strategic Plan
AVMA responded on June 13, 2007.
The VMATS were not added to the HHS' strategic plan goals and objectives.
- The specific roles of the federal government and the AVMA as participants in the public-private Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) partnership have over time in response to several changes in federal laws. What began as a privatized effort of the AVMA to assist with the care of animals, animal related issues and public health during a disaster, has become a federal program named the National Veterinary Response Teams (NRVT) within HHS. The AVMA is proud to have "birthed" such a needed program.
- The AVMA has signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the roles of each in delivering veterinary services during emergencies. The memorandum sets the stage for continuing collaboration between the AVMA and HHS-but distinguishes the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams from the federal government's National Veterinary Response Team.