The AVMA continues to take its Internet activities in new directions with the hiring of Dr. Althea A. Jones as online managing editor.
In this Centers for Information Management position, Dr. Jones will be responsible for overseeing the plans and programs for the AVMA Web site and online initiatives, including expanding the AVMA's efforts to understand the online needs of members, finding more and better ways to meet those needs, managing online content and services, and exploring alliance opportunities.
But her overall goal is much broader—Dr. Jones said she hopes to make the Web site a simple way for members to access the Association and its benefits, and "to bring as much value as possible to being a member of the AVMA." More big changes—such as last year's decision to make NOAH a free service for members—are in the wings, she said.
"We've only just begun to look at all the things we can offer to our members on the Web. Our members are going to find it a much more dynamic and useful site as time goes on."
Dr. Jones comes to the AVMA from New Jersey-based Veterinary Learning Systems, where as Internet services manager she planned Web strategies, sales and training opportunities, and wrote a monthly column called "The Wired Vet."
She worked at Apple Computer Inc for seven years prior to earning her DVM degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. After veterinary school, Dr. Jones worked as an associate veterinarian at clinics in Maine and Ohio. In 1998, she joined Veterinary Learning Services, where she combined her scientific knowledge with her computer programming skills, passion for cutting-edge technology, and training in communications. The same skills and interests she used there will help her at the AVMA, she said.
"What's especially fun for me is being able to help bring the advantages of the Internet to this profession," she said. "This position is a golden opportunity to bring those things together, and I'm really excited about it.
"There's nowhere else I would rather be right now than here, helping the AVMA find its Web 'direction.' It's just what I love to do, and it's helping the group of people that I care about—veterinarians."
The Centers for Information Management, part of the AVMA's business division, has a staff of eight and is responsible for managing the Association's information and computer system needs.