The AVMA announced two appointments to staff in early March. Dr. Lynne A. White accepted the role of assistant director in the AVMA Scientific Activities Division, and Tara Madson, JD, was named state policy analyst for the State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department in the AVMA Communications Division.
In her new role, Dr. White will facilitate development, implementation, and communication of AVMA policies and programs. She will assist with professional issues in veterinary medicine that impact animal health, including those associated with public health, food safety, animal agriculture, aquaculture, the environment, disaster preparedness and response, biologic and therapeutic agents, and regulatory veterinary medicine.
Dr. White was a 2004 extern in the AVMA Governmental Relations Division Student Externship Program.
"In my externship with the AVMA GRD, I saw firsthand the impact that the AVMA has in representing the veterinary profession," she said.
"It is paramount that the veterinary community has a voice in legislation and the regulation of veterinary medicine, and the AVMA excels in this role," she continued. "I am excited about the ability to serve the profession in my position developing policy."
Dr. White has worked as a policy analyst and student intern for the Food and Drug Administration, and served as an associate veterinarian at a small animal practice in Washington, D.C. She was a veterinary assistant at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Animal Poison Control Center before receiving her DVM degree in 2006 from the University of Illinois.
Dr. White chose to attend veterinary school after earning a master's degree in animal sciences, with a focus on swine nutrition, in August 2001 from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
"I knew that I would continue to gain excellent animal health and public health training in veterinary medicine, and I felt that my education in both agriculture and veterinary medicine would complement each other well," she said about pursuing her DVM degree. "It has given me a very well-rounded and unique perspective for a career in animal health."
Madson focuses on legislation
As state policy analyst, Madson said she looks forward to using her background in legislation and the law to help state organizations and AVMA members understand what kind of impact new and pending legislation may have on the practice of veterinary medicine.
"I am looking forward to getting to know different AVMA members as well as staff, and really feeling like what I do makes a difference," she said.
Prior to joining the AVMA staff, Madson served as a legislative assistant to the Committee of Public Safety Policy and Finance for the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she performed legislative research and worked with constituents, among other responsibilities.
She has worked as a legal assistant and served as an intern to Judge Diana Eagon in the Hennepin County Government Center, to State Sen. Julie Rosen of Minnesota, and to U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas of Wyoming.
"I have always had an interest in the law as well as government and politics," she said. After spending a summer in the capital, Madson started applying to law schools and, in 2006, she received her law degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn.
Madson joins Assistant Director Adrian Hochstadt, JD, and Senior State Policy Analyst Julia Fullerton, JD, in the State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department. Established in 2005, the department serves as a resource for state and local veterinary associations as they become more politically active. In November 2006, the AVMA Executive Board approved the third position in the department to help respond to the rising numbers of requests from constituent organizations for research and legislative assistance.
State legislative resources are posted on the Advocacy section of the AVMA Web site, www.avma.org