During Executive Board discussion of physical, mental, and professional wellness issues, the tenor of comments by board members reflected their recognition that wellness and impairment issues deserve the profession's attention.
According to a spokesman for PCS Health Systems, the pharmacy benefit management firm used by AVMA-GHLIT insured members, from April 1, 1999 through March 31, 2000 psychiatric drugs ranked number one in terms of prescription drug costs and the number of prescription claims paid through the GHLIT. Traditionally, psychiatric drugs rank first or second in these categories among most health plans.
The Committee on Wellness had forwarded four recommendations for the board's April meeting. Although the board's reference committee recommended disapproval of all four, the board approved three of them, at a total cost of $12,500. The newly approved measures provide for the following:
- Production of an informational wellness brochure for distribution to state veterinary medical associations, state wellness committees, veterinary student organizations, veterinary technician organizations, and related entities
- Development of informational bookmarks for distribution at AVMA Annual Conventions
- A second meeting to be held each year by the Committee on Wellness
As an outgrowth of the deliberations, the board approved a motion proposed by Dr. Joan M. Samuels (District X) charging the committee with developing a program for the promotion of wellness for the profession, for possible sponsorship by the insurance carriers for the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust and AVMA PLIT.
The board disapproved a recommendation to appoint a Committee on Wellness member to the new AVMA Member Services Committee.