March 01, 2015

 

 AVMA mission expanded to include member advocacy

Posted Feb. 11, 2015

The AVMA House of Delegates has amended the AVMA Bylaws to underscore the Association’s renewed commitment to meeting the professional needs of its​ more than 86,500 members.

The AVMA Board of Directors proposed a revised mission statement as part of the Strategy Management Process, through which the Association’s work and resources are aligned to better support the Association membership (see story).

The new AVMA mission, adopted Jan. 10 during the HOD’s regular winter session in Chicago, reads as follows: “Consistent with the object of the Association, as set forth in the Association’s Articles of Incorporation, the mission of the Association is to lead the profession by advocating for its members and advancing the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health.”

The mission of the Association is to lead the profession by advocating for its members and advancing the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health."

The AVMA instituted its first mission statement in 2006. Improving animal and human health and advancing the profession were listed in earlier iterations, but this is the first time that meeting member needs has been made explicit in the AVMA mission.

The bylaws amendment approved by the HOD was one of two that proposed amending the AVMA Bylaws to emphasize member support in the Association’s mission.

Eleven organizational members of the HOD introduced in 2014 a proposed bylaws amendment to make the membership an Association priority in light of the profession facing “a period of unprecedented uncertainty” characterized by rising veterinary student debt and declining veterinary income.

Last year, while the proposed amendment was under review, the Board of Directors formed an ad hoc committee comprising members of the Board, HOD, and AVMA staff to review the current mission statement. The new draft statement they sent to the Board was based on input from some 21,000 AVMA and Student AVMA members, and ultimately was approved by the Board with a recommendation for House approval.

When the competing amendments came up for a vote this January, Dr. Mark P. Helfat asked delegates to vote against the 2014 amendment and in favor of the version recommended by the Board. 

“You see that this bylaws amendment is submitted by the Board of Directors. That’s not right, really. It’s been submitted by the entire membership of the AVMA,” said Dr. Helfat, a member of both the Board and ad hoc committee.

“The number one goal of (the Strategy Management Process) is to grow AVMA member value,” Dr. Helfat added. “If we want an association whose mission clearly addresses member value, then we need to adopt this mission statement.”

Delegates voted down the initial proposed bylaws amendment and approved the Board’s version by nearly an 87 percent margin.