October 01, 2009


 AVMF, AVMA work to strengthen strategic partnership

posted September 15, 2009

Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren
Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren

Dr. Clark K. Fobian
Dr. Clark K. Fobian


This July, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation seated its 2009-2010 officers, who, along with the Foundation's board of directors, anticipate a novel strategic partnership with the AVMA in the days ahead.

The new Foundation officers are Drs. Anna M. van Heeckeren, Gates Mills, Ohio, chair; Clark K. Fobian, Sedalia, Mo., vice chair; George W. Bishop, Carmel, Calif., treasurer; Richard P. Streett Jr., Churchville, Md., secretary; and Robert E. Hertzog, Lee's Summit, Mo., immediate past chair.

Dr. van Heeckeren says the strategic relationship with the AVMA will further such Foundation goals as advancing animal health and welfare, reducing veterinary student loan debt, increasing the number of veterinarians treating underserved animals, and providing grants for disaster preparedness.

"With the AVMF working more closely with the AVMA Executive Board, this will reap benefits for the veterinary medical profession, as well as the animals and clients we serve," Dr. van Heeckeren said.

One way the AVMF and AVMA will work to harmonize their efforts is to have each AVMF committee consist of balanced numbers of board members and staff from the Foundation and AVMA, according to Dr. van Heeckeren. The result will be better coordination between the two organizations and more complementary goals.

The new strategy should strengthen existing ties between leadership of the AVMF and the AVMA. Dr. Fobian, the AVMF vice chair, for example, is an AVMA Executive Board member, and Dr. Hertzog, the past AVMF chair, is a former member of the AVMA board. In addition, four of the 13 members of the AVMF board of directors are current or former AVMA officers.

AVMA President Larry R. Corry said the alignment between the AVMA and AVMF toward a common mission and shared goals "underscores the faith we have in that great organization and its potential."

Michael W. Cathey, AVMF executive director, is looking forward to working with the Foundation board with the goal of promoting veterinary medicine and improving animal health and welfare.

"The AVMF leadership, working hand in hand with the AVMA leadership, is an exciting new focus. Working together, we can accomplish so much," Cathey said.