March 01, 2011


 Candidates vie for AVMA Executive Board seat

R. Scott Nolen
Posted Feb. 18, 2011 

Two candidates are running to succeed Dr. John R. Brooks, whose term as District II representative on the AVMA Executive Board expires this July.

AVMA members living in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia will elect either Dr. Charles S. Dunn of Media, Pa., or Dr. Mark P. Helfat of Mount Laurel, N.J., to a six-year term on the board.

On a related note, as the sole nominee to represent Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin on the Executive Board, Dr. Chester L. "Chet" Rawson of Markesan, Wis., was declared to be elected District VI representative in February. He will replace current board representative Dr. John R. Scamahorn this July.

Dr. Dunn, who was nominated for the position on the Executive Board by petition of more than 50 AVMA members, is the Northeast regional medical director for Banfield Pet Hospital. After earning a VMD degree in 1996 from the University of Pennsylvania, he practiced exotic and small animal medicine in the Philadelphia area.

For the past five years with Banfield, Dr. Dunn has helped coach and mentor new veterinarians and hospital staff to deliver high-quality veterinary care.

Serving on the Executive Board is an opportunity for Dr. Dunn to give back to a profession that he says has treated him kindly. "We need to ensure that our profession flourishes despite an ever-changing economy, and I want to make sure that we do our best to help our profession, including current and future veterinarians, succeed and grow," he said.

The New Jersey VMA nominated Dr. Helfat for the District II seat. The 1977 Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine graduate owns a mixed animal practice and is active in his state and local VMAs as well as the AVMA.

With the AVMA Dr. Helfat served in the House of Delegates for nine years, including seven years on the House Advisory Committee, and one year as committee chair. He also contributed in the revision of the AVMA Bylaws and the Manual of the AVMA House of Delegates.

Dr. Helfat wants to assist the AVMA as it addresses veterinary education, diversity, and the scope of practice—issues that will affect the profession for years to come. "I wish to represent District II on the Executive Board and thereby volunteer my time and my best energies toward finding the proper answers to these pressing challenges," he said.

More information on the two candidates will be posted by March 1 in the "About the AVMA" section of the AVMA website, Ballots for the District II election must be returned to the AVMA by April 1. The election winner will be announced that month.