April 15, 2009


 Many faces, one profession

Posted April 1, 2009

Council on Communications
Front row: Ginger Morton (Auxillary representative), Dr. Suzanne Craig, Robin Hansen (student representative), Dr. Bernadine D. Cruz, Dr. Lydia F. Gray, and Dr. Elizabeth M. Charles. Back row: Drs. Saundra E. Willis, Malcolm A. Kram, David C. Koncal, and Theodore J. Cohn (Executive Board liaison).  

Council on Communications  

Charge/mission: Envision and oversee communication programs, foster a positive public image of the AVMA, and support the Executive Board in developing resources to accomplish communication programs.

Dr. Bernadine D. Cruz (CAL '82), chair, Laguna Hills Animal Hospital, Laguna Woods, Calif.; at-large representative
Dr. Lydia F. Gray (IL '94), vice chair, SmartPak Equine, Plymouth, Mass.; representing nonprivate practice
Dr. Elizabeth M. Charles (WSU '03), Fallbrook, Calif.; representing private practice—predominantly equine
Dr. Suzanne L. Craig (TUS '89), University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; at-large representative
Dr. Malcolm A. Kram (COR '74), Pfizer Animal Health, Exton, Pa.; at-large representative
Dr. Natalie L. Marks (IL '02), Blum Animal Hospital, Chicago; at-large representative
Dr. Saundra E. Willis (CAL '84), Seattle King County Humane Society, Tacoma, Wash.; at-large representative
Dr. David C. Koncal (OSU '71), Northfield Veterinary Clinic, Northfield, Ohio; representing private practice—predominantly small animal
Dr. H. Keven McShane (TEX '92), Caring Hands Animal Hospital, Austin, Texas; representing private practice—predominantly small animal
Dr. Martha A. Littlefield (LSU '82), Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, representing public health or regulatory veterinary medicine

What current project(s) are you most excited about?
Chair Bernadine D. Cruz said that would be the public education campaign, "Aardvarks to Zebras," which teaches the public about what veterinarians do and the one-health concept.

"Hopefully it will capture people's attention and make them realize veterinarians are professionals trained to take care of animal, human, and environmental health," Dr. Cruz said.

How is your entity addressing the profession's pressing issues and concerns of recent graduates?
The council is fortunate to have a new graduate, Dr. Cruz said. This is important because council members are able to better understand their struggles with getting a job to help pay their loan debt, integrating their practice mentality and work ethic with older viewpoints, and learning how to achieve a proper work/life balance, she said.

How is the entity addressing the strategic or operational goals of the AVMA?
Dr. Cruz said the AVMA Communications Division is supportive of the council's efforts to increase diversity within the AVMA.

"The diversity is there, especially looking at those involved in councils and committees," she said. "These diverse veterinarians are getting involved and will be assuming greater roles in the future."

The Many Faces feature in JAVMA News highlighting AVMA council, committee, and task force members shows there is a "diverse face" to the organization and may inspire more people to get involved in volunteer leadership, she said.

"We need to have input from so many different psychological and philosophical backgrounds," Dr. Cruz said. "Getting involved is quite simple to do. The time commitment doesn't have to be burdensome."


Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities
Left to right: Dr. Edward I. Gordon, Dr. Anthony J. Rumschlag, Dr. Craig L. Wardrip, Dr. Jacob Casper, Josh L. Clark, Dr. Melvin C. Chambliss, Dr. Sarah A. Wagner, Dr. Frank E. Walker, Niki Riggleman, Dr. Glen W. Jackson, Julie Legred, Dr. Helene E. Pazak, Rachel A. Valentine, Dr. Geoffrey R. Gardner, C. Lynn Reece, John Sherman, JD, Dr. Anne S. Hale, Deborah Danforth, and Catherine K. Fitch  

Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities

Charge/mission: The CVTEA accredits training programs for veterinary technicians and advises the AVMA Executive Board on policy pertaining to veterinary technicians.  

Dr. Anthony J. Rumschlag (PUR '85), chair, Eli Lilly and Company, Greenfield, Ind.; representing industrial veterinary medicine
Rachel A. Valentine, RVT, Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, Okla.; representing veterinary technicians
Dr. Anne S. Hale (AUB '88), Midwest Animal Blood Services, Stockbridge, Mich.; -at-large representative
Dr. Sarah A. Wagner (MSU '94), North Dakota State University; representing clinical veterinary medicine, large animal
Dr. Frank E. Walker (ISU '77), Flickertail Veterinary Service, New Rockford, N.D.; representing AVMA Council on Education
Dr. Melvin C. Chambliss (TUS '76), Alfred State College, Alfred, N.Y.; representing education of veterinary technicians
Dr. Helene E. Pazak (MSU '87), Michigan State University; representing faculties of veterinary colleges
Dr. Craig L. Wardrip (PUR '78), University of Chicago; representing laboratory animal medicine
Dr. Geoffrey R. Gardner (FL '85), Lakeland Veterinary Hospital, Lakeland, Fla.; representing private companion animal practice
Dr. Jacob Casper (MSU '59), Maryland Department of Agriculture; representing regulatory veterinary medicine
Catherine K. Fitch, Stetson University College of Law, St. Petersburg, Fla.; representing the public
John Sherman, JD, Massachusetts State Racing Commission; representing the public
Dr. Edward I. Gordon (COR '65), New York State Board for Veterinary Medicine; representing veterinary state boards
Josh L. Clark, RVT, Purdue University; representing veterinary technicians
Niki Riggleman, LVT, Pima Medical Institute, Seattle; representing veterinary technicians
Deborah Danforth, LVT, Vermont Veterinary Surgical Center, Colchester, Vt.; representing veterinary technicians, not program affiliated
Julie Legred, CVT, Rochester Community and Technical College, Byron Pet Clinic, and LSG Healthsystems, Minnesota; representing veterinary technicians, not program affiliated
C. Lynn Reece, RVT, University of Georgia; representing veterinary technicians, not program affiliated
Dr. Glen W. Jackson (ONT '71), Belle River, Ontario; representing the Canadian VMA

What current project(s) are you most excited about?
Julie Horvath, CVTEA coordinator, said the AVMA Education and Research Division has hired two assistant directors, Drs. Karen Martens Brandt and Kenneth A. Clever, to work with the many veterinary technology programs now seeking accreditation.

A recent meaningful accomplishment:
The AVMA has created a logo for veterinary technology programs that complete the CVTEA accreditation process, Drs. Brandt and Clever said.

How are you addressing the profession's pressing issues?
Drs. Brandt and Clever said the CVTEA is discussing methods to improve the field of veterinary technology with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Association of Veterinary Technician Educators, American Association of Veterinary State Boards, and Canadian Association of Animal Health Technologists and Technicians.

How is the entity addressing the strategic or operational goals of the AVMA?
Dr. Anthony J. Rumschlag, CVTEA chair, said, "As the AVMA looks to providing solutions to the critical shortages in the veterinary workforce, the committee recognizes that the appropriate and productive use of graduate veterinary technicians is one way to ease the burdens on current systems of providing service."