March 15, 2012
(The speech below appears as written, and not necessarily as given.)
Thank you, colleagues, friends and guests. It is an honor and a privilege to gather with you today in the Mile High City, host of this wonderful conference and home to the American Animal Hospital Association.My most recent predecessors – Dr. Larry Kornegay and Dr. Larry Corry – appeared before you the last two years with a common concern – that of tough economic times in a very challenging environment. Well, as you all know, we are still facing the same challenges, both as a profession and as a nation. The good news, is that the AVMA and AAHA continue to work together to find solutions to these challenges and to move the profession forward.We have joined forces to tackle these issues head-on and to revitalize veterinary economics and the veterinary profession. We are bringing passion and expertise to the table so that we can help ensure that a career in veterinary medicine is both professionally and personally rewarding, now and well into the future.We all realize that we are in this together, that the challenges we face did not appear overnight, and that our concerted efforts are needed if we are to make a difference for both the veterinary profession and the animals we so love to treat.We are a community, after all. And the ability of a community to prosper, grow and persevere is based firmly in the bonds we forge and in our desire to work together for the benefit of all.We are a dedicated bunch – dedicated to our clients and their cherished pets; dedicated to veterinary medicine on a global and a local scale; dedicated to leaving the profession better off than how we found it. We are – quite simply – dedicated to this community, our community.I once read that a community is like a ship; and that everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm. As people who love to sail, my husband, Mark, and I, are very familiar with what it takes to navigate through all kinds of waters, whether we’re gliding along on calm seas, or fighting to stay on course in gale-force winds.Looking at you – as I stand here today – I would warmly welcome each and every one of you aboard our boat. I have seen that you, too, are willing and more than able to take the helm. I see it every day, as you demonstrate your commitment to improving and advancing the veterinary profession.Proof of your leadership is evident in the bold efforts we have undertaken through the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare. As a community, we have stepped out of our comfort zone and have committed ourselves both financially and organizationally to a new way of doing things that will improve animal health, and infuse economic vitality and viability into companion animal veterinary practices across the country.The Partnership has already accomplished much, and we are well on our way to achieving our goals of enhancing the value of veterinarians and the services we provide, and increasing the publics’ appreciation for preventive pet healthcare.It is just one more example of the long, productive relationship AVMA and AAHA continue to share, a relationship built on common goals and aspirations for the veterinary profession and the clients we serve.In closing, it’s clear to me that being together today – sharing this common space and this common bond – is even greater proof that we are partners, dedicated to the communities we serve and committed to ensuring that our community prospers well into the future.Thank You.