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Michael San Filippo
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 AVMA Fellowship Program provides veterinary expertise, input on Capitol Hill

(Washington, D.C.) October 30, 2012 – Today, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced the appointment of its 2012-2013 fellows, Drs. Tristan Colonius, Donald Hoenig and Kaylee Myhre, with the offices of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and in the minority staff office of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, respectively

During their year-long assignments, the fellows will provide science-based expertise and knowledge on a variety of policy issues related to agriculture, appropriations, food safety, bio-security and health care.

“AVMA fellows are respected on Capitol Hill because of the knowledge, experience and leadership abilities that these veterinarians bring with them,” says Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, AVMA Governmental Relations Division director. “Our fellows provide vital and necessary veterinary expertise that assists policy makers to make informed and scientifically-based decisions.”

Individual placements are:

• Tristan Colonius, DVM accepted a position in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) where he is working on agriculture, food safety and public health issues. Dr. Colonius is a 2011 graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a former AVMA Governmental Relations Division extern and prior to accepting the AVMA fellowship, worked for the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service.

• Donald Hoenig, VMD is working in the office of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) primarily on agriculture, food safety and public health as well as homeland security and fisheries.  Dr. Hoenig is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to accepting the AVMA fellowship, Dr. Hoenig was the state veterinarian for Maine. He also served as the state’s public health veterinarian.

• Kaylee Myhre, DVM is spending her fellowship year in the minority staff office of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs working on a global health portfolio with an emphasis on foreign assistance in food safety and security.  She will be working closely with various governmental and non-governmental organizations assisting their capacity to aid foreign countries in the detection and response to bio-security threats. Dr. Myhre is a 2012 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. 

The AVMA Fellowship Program receives funding from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. For more information about AVMA, visit

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