Posted Feb. 27, 2014
Updated Oct. 6, 2014
The AVMA has announced that Drs. José V. Arce and Rena Carlson-Lammers will be the next representatives for districts IV and XI, respectively, on the AVMA Executive Board. The sole candidates for their seats, they will begin their six-year terms in July.
||Dr. José V. Arce (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)
|| Dr. Rena Carlson-Lammers (Photo by Craig Lamere)
Dr. Arce will succeed Dr. Larry G. Dee as the board representative for AVMA members residing in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. Dr. Carlson-Lammers will succeed Dr. Thomas F. Meyer as the board representative for AVMA members residing in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
Dr. Arce, a native of Puerto Rico, and his wife, Dr. Anik Puig, graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and moved to Puerto Rico in 1998. He held positions early in his career at several animal hospitals and the San Juan Municipal Shelter. In 2003, he founded Miramar Animal Hospital in San Juan.
Since 2000, Dr. Arce has served on the board of the Puerto Rico VMA. He is secretary of the association’s Legislation Commission and is a member of the association’s Convention Committee. He was elected as Puerto Rico’s alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates in 2000 and as its delegate in 2006.
Dr. Arce might be the first representative from Puerto Rico to serve on the AVMA Executive Board, which dates back to 1916. Dr. Olaguibeet Lopez-Pacheco of Puerto Rico served as an AVMA vice president in the 1949-1950 Association year, but the Association did not add the vice president to the board until 1967.
Current veterinary issues in Puerto Rico are much the same as in the States, Dr. Arce said, except the territory’s economy is worse. He and his wife have a personal tie to the issue of student debt because they are still paying off theirs.
Dr. Arce said he brings a global and diverse perspective to the board as a native of Puerto Rico who is Hispanic. He believes the AVMA must continue to take a leadership role globally—especially in animal welfare, one health, and veterinary education.
After he first attended the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference in 1999, Dr. Arce knew the AVMA was the right place for him. “This is where I wanted to give my two cents and help the future of our profession. I enjoy it. I think if we don’t work for our profession, nobody will,” he said.
Dr. Carlson-Lammers, a native of Idaho, is a 1989 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She returned to Idaho to work as a companion animal practitioner. In 1993, she became co-owner of Alpine Animal Hospital in Pocatello, which has grown into a six-veterinarian, mixed animal practice. She is attending veterinarian for the Idaho State University Animal Care Facility, which handles care of laboratory animals. She also helps on her parents’ cattle ranch.
Dr. Carlson-Lammers served as president of the Eastern Idaho VMA in 1991. She was president of the Idaho VMA in 2000 and has been on the association’s board for 16 years, serving as chair in 2001. She became Idaho’s alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates in 2005 and currently serves as delegate.
Political advocacy is a passion for Dr. Carlson-Lammers. At the state level, she has focused on scope-of-practice issues. She believes advocacy must remain a priority for the AVMA.
Among the other priorities for Dr. Carlson-Lammers are representation for women in veterinary leadership, maintaining the economic viability of the profession, and reform of AVMA governance.
“The profession demographically is changing. Economically, things are changing. We really need to be in position to deal with those changes and stay relevant,” she said. “We need to engage young members. We need to engage women. There are a lot of ways we can structure our Association to make sure it’s reasonable for all of those groups to be involved and play a role.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article gave incorrect years for Dr. Arce’s service in the AVMA House of Delegates.