September 01, 2007


 Members of one-health task force named - September 1, 2007


Executive Board convenes twice in D.C.

posted August 15, 2007

At the final meeting of the 2006-2007 Executive Board, held July 12 in Washington, D.C., prior to the House of Delegates session and AVMA Annual Convention, board members approved proposals addressing a range of issues, from rabies awareness to global accreditation.

When the 2007-2008 board convened on July 18, the final day of convention, the board elected new officers and tackled a small agenda comprising such matters as the Association's investment policy and the AVMA Political Action Committee Constitution.  

2006-2007 Executive Board

Dr. James O. Cook, then District IV representative and board chair, announced members of the One Health Initiative Task Force, July 12. 

Veterinarians on the task force are Drs. Lonnie J. King (chair), director of the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Carina G. Blackmore, Florida state public health veterinarian; Michael J. Blackwell, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine; Elizabeth A. Lautner, director of the National Veterinary Services Laboratories; Leonard C. Marcus (who, in addition to being a veterinarian, is also a physician) of Travelers' Health and Immunization Services; James E. Nave, AVMA globalization monitoring agent; Marguerite Pappaioanou, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health; and Rear Adm. William S. Stokes, assistant surgeon general. 2006-2007 AVMA President Roger K. Mahr, who proposed the formation of the task force, will be its Executive Board liaison.

Nonveterinarian members are Student AVMA President Justin Sobota; Thomas P. Monath, MD, of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers; medical student Travis E. Meyer; and Jöerg Ohle, president and general manager of Bayer HealthCare LLC's Animal Health Division. The American Medical Association's representative to the task force is Larry Anderson, MD. The AMA liaison is Ronald M. Davis, MD, the association's president; Jay H. Glasser, PhD, is the American Public Health Association liaison.

Board members approved a recommendation from Dr. James E. Nave, the AVMA globalization monitoring agent, to host a working group of international veterinary college and school accreditors for a one-day meeting, at a cost of $3,500.

The working group will consist of two representatives each from the AVMA, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Australasian Veterinary Boards Council, and South African Veterinary Council, in addition to one observer from the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education.

Their job will be examining what changes are necessary to the respective accreditation policies and procedures to make it feasible to conduct cooperative/joint accreditation site visits to veterinary colleges and/or schools, and discussing other matters of mutual interest. The group will report its findings to the AVMA Council on Education and Executive Board for consideration.

There are currently eight AVMA-accredited foreign veterinary colleges, and in recent years, the COE has granted permission to conduct joint visits with other accrediting agencies.

At a recent meeting on global accreditation, representatives determined that it would be appropriate to continue exploring the means for conducting cooperative/joint accreditation site visits. They believed this could eliminate the need for each college to complete separate self-study reports for each accrediting body and schedule independent site visits. Board members also voted in favor of increasing AVMA sponsorship of the 2008 Student AVMA Educational Symposium by $22,500, bringing the total AVMA sponsorship to $25,000.

According to the Membership and Field Services Division, SAVMA symposium budgets have steadily increased over the years, and corporate sponsorship has risen to offset budget costs. The AVMA, however, has sponsored the symposium in the amount of $2,500 a year since 2000.

By approving the recommendation, the board elevated the AVMA to the Gold sponsorship level, meaning the Association will enjoy special recognition throughout the SAVMA symposium.

A recommendation by the Education and Research Division for Dr. Elizabeth A. Sabin, an assistant division director, to participate in the 1st Annual Afghan Veterinary Association Congress in Kabul, Afghanistan, this September at a cost of $2,000 was approved by the board. Favorable security conditions in Kabul must be ensured for Dr. Sabin to travel to the region.

Dr. Sabin was invited to attend the meeting by Dr. Said Gul Safi, president of the fledgling Afghan Veterinary Association.

An AVMA/Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges task force suggested that the AVMA continue dialogue with the Afghan VA to promote organizational development, capacity building, and member services. Accepting the AVA invitation is a step in that direction, according to the recommendation.

The Executive Board approved a one-day meeting for Drs. J. Edward Branam and Joseph J. Bertone of the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and Dr. Charles A. Lemme of the Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee to explore with invited stakeholders the feasibility of establishing a system to validate the efficacy claims of therapeutic pet diets.

The meeting will take place in October one day prior to the fall CPAC/COBTA meeting at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg.

The COBTA recommendation noted that the council believes veterinarians bear some responsibility for ensuring the efficacy of therapeutic products they recommend, despite the insufficient availability of information to do so.

The AVMA is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote World Rabies Day on Sept. 8, 2007. The event raises awareness of rabies as an ongoing public health issue and is a time to educate the public, both domestic and global, about the continued need for rabies prevention programs (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2007, page 513).

The Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine recommended collaborating with the CDC on the project, which the Executive Board approved.

The board approved a proposal from the Communications Division to provide select information on veterinarians from the AVMA member record database to the National Academy of Sciences on a one-time basis for its analysis as part of the project "Assessing the current and future workforce needs in veterinary medicine."

At its June 2006 meeting, the board approved $200,000 to partly fund an NAS study on veterinary workforce issues. Earlier this year, a committee was empanelled that has begun gathering data that will be used to develop the study.

Because the AVMA has the most complete data on U.S. veterinarians, the NAS is seeking access to the AVMA member record database. Information will include such areas as membership status, gender, and employment types.

Board members approved a recommendation by Dr. Cook to create a four-member task force to review policies regarding stipends and reimbursements for AVMA officers and Executive Board members, at a cost of $6,000. (Task force members were named at the July 18 meeting.)

In his recommendation, Dr. Cook stated that the board wanted the matter looked into, since a notable period of time had elapsed since it was last reviewed.

The board approved attendance of Dr. H. Fred Troutt, the former chair of the Council on Education, at the fall 2007, spring 2008, and fall 2008 COE meetings as a consultant, at a total cost of $2,000 for travel expenses. Board members Drs. Jacky R. Horner and Douglas G. Aspros made the recommendation, noting that Dr. Troutt has extensive experience with issues the COE will be addressing in the coming year.

A new accounts payable clerk position in the AVMA Business Division has been created. The board approved the recommendation from Business Division Director Daniel H. Murawski, who explained that the workload in the area of accounts payable accounting has doubled in the past decade, with expenses totaling $14 million in 1997 and increasing to $26 million in 2007.  

2007-2008 Executive Board

On July 18, the final day of the convention, the 2007-2008 Executive Board conducted its first meeting of the new Association year. 

Two new board members were welcomed: Drs. Joseph H. Kinnarney of Reidsville, N.C., and (in absentia) Janver D. Krehbiel of Mason, Mich. A mixed animal practitioner, Dr. Kinnarney succeeded Dr. Horner as representative of District III, which comprises Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Dr. Krehbiel is the new District V representative, succeeding Dr. Cook. He is a professor in the Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation Department at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. District V comprises Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

The board elected Dr. Larry Corry of District IV as its 2007-2008 chair. The outgoing chair, Dr. Cook, passed the gavel to Dr. Corry. After casting five ballots for vice chair that were tied between Drs. Larry Kornegay, District VIII, and David McCrystle, District X, the tie was broken by a coin toss and Dr. Kornegay was elected.

Dr. Bruce W. Little, three weeks away from his retirement as AVMA executive vice president, received a standing ovation from the board for his leadership and contributions. Dr. John Drake, president of the Canadian VMA, addressed the board.

One of the actions Dr. Cook completed while he was board chair was to name the members of a task force authorized at the July 12 board meeting to review policies regarding stipends and reimbursements for AVMA officers and Executive Board members. At the July 18 meeting, he announced these task force members: Dr. Richard Coon, Executive Board representative (chair); Dr. Sal Cirone, House Advisory Committee representative; Dr. Bret D. Marsh, AVMA treasurer; and Dr. René A. Carlson, representing former volunteer officers.

The board revised the AVMA Investment Policy to permit an investment consultant to adjust asset allocation and investment managers as necessary, and to add foreign real estate investment trusts as a permissible investment. AVMA Treasurer Bret D. Marsh, who made the recommendation, assured the board that the Association has well-prescribed investment parameters, and within that framework, this action will reduce the time required to make tactical adjustments.

As recommended by Dr. Clark Fobian, District VII representative, the board authorized the establishment of a Property Review Task Force to explore the feasibility and desirability of purchasing the 2.7-acre parcel of property located adjacent to AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. The background to the recommendation states that purchase of the land would add to the fixed assets of the Association and provide another investment with the good possibility of appreciation over time. Dr. Corry appointed Treasurer Marsh and two other board members to the task force: Drs. Fobian (as chair) and Aspros, District I. Expenses up to $1,800 were approved, and the task force will report its findings to the board this November.

The board approved inviting liaison representatives from the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association to attend meetings of the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force, at their own expense. The AMA liaison is Ronald M. Davis, MD, the association's president; Jay H. Glasser, PhD, will represent the APHA.

AVMA co-sponsorship of A Day at CDC for Veterinary Students, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was approved at a cost to AVMA of $3,000. The seminar is designed to introduce veterinary students to the CDC mission and to the fields of public health and epidemiology. The 2008 event is scheduled for Jan. 28 in Atlanta.

The board authorized the Tufts University Veterinary Business Management Association to use the AVMA name and logo in its promotional efforts to encourage practitioners to use the practice tools of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. As with similar programs, Tufts veterinary students will train veterinarians how to implement the tools.

Amendments to the constitution of the AVMA Political Action Committee were approved to bring the document up to date.

International travel from funds in the budget was authorized for two events. One trip will be to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for Dr. and Mrs. Little to attend the British Veterinary Association's annual congress this September as invited guests. Also in September, AVMA immediate past president, Dr. Mahr, will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, to make a presentation on the AVMA One Health Initiative at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners conference.

The board appointed board Dr. John Scamahorn, District VI, to fill a one-year vacancy on the Legislative Advisory Committee, Dr. Ted Cohn, District IX, to serve on the Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee.

At one point, the Executive Board recessed briefly to convene a meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation members and elected Dr. Little as an at-large member of the AVMF directors. AVMA Executive Board members constitute the "members" of the AVMF as a corporate body. As such, they elect the AVMF directors.

During the Executive Board meeting, members and guests viewed the AVMA's new career DVD "Veterinary medicine: More than you think."