Two new members were elected to the AVMA Executive Board in February in uncontested elections.
Dr. Jacky R. Horner of Memphis, Tenn, will serve District III, which comprises Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Dr. James O. Cook of Lebanon, Ky, will represent Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia in District IV.
Each candidate was the only nominee from his district. In accordance with AVMA Bylaws, they were declared elected without balloting.
Dr. Jacky R. Horner
Dr. Horner said he is very happy to serve. He has no special issues to address coming on to the board, but said he is eager to learn and "get up to par" with what the other board members already have in progress.
"We've got a lot of great things going on," Dr. Horner said. "I don't think we need to change course of ship; I just think we need to paddle harder."
Economic issues and the preservation of high professional standards top Dr. Cook's list of priorities as a board member. Many veterinarians don't like to increase fees despite the rising costs of running a practice, Dr. Cook said, and he fears that will make it difficult for them to secure qualified staff and updated equipment.
"I hope we don't jeopardize our standards because we are reluctant to increase fees," he said. "That's what we all strive for—our standards of veterinary practice—and we don't want to compromise them."
Price increases are also needed so recent graduates can repay student loans, Dr. Cook said. The board could deal with this issue, he said, by helping veterinarians and the public understand that higher fees are necessary to ensure quality animal care.
Dr. James O. Cook
Dr. Horner will succeed Dr. Jan E. Bartels, Auburn, Ala, current chairman of the Executive Board, as the representative from District III. Dr. Cook will succeed Dr. Leonard M. Tinney of Dayton, Ohio. The new board members will be installed July 14 during the AVMA Annual Convention in Boston.
Dr. Horner has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1982, and is a member of the House Advisory Committee representing private practice, predominantly small animal. He earned his DVM degree from Auburn University in 1966.
A past president of the Tennessee VMA, Dr. Horner helped found the Animal Emergency Clinic in Memphis in 1974 and now serves on its board of directors. He co-owns the Eastgate Animal Clinic and is a member of the Exchange Club of East Memphis.
Dr. Cook also graduated from Auburn University, in 1976. He has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1996, and has served as vice president and president of the Kentucky VMA. Since 1977, Dr. Cook has had a mixed practice in Lebanon, Ky.
He is also involved in public health, serving as chairman of the local board of health and representative of the district health board, and was awarded Kentucky Veterinarian of the Year in 1988.
If the House of Delegates votes this summer to approve the AVMA Bylaws change that would realign the AVMA districts, Dr. Horner's District III will be split into IIIa and IIIb in 2002, and into two districts at the end of Dr. Horner's term in 2006. Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee would be District III, and Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico would be District IV. The proposed redistricting does not affect Dr. Cook's district.