(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois)—Dr. Mark P. Helfat of Lumberton, N.J., has been elected chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Board of Directors. Helfat, who succeeds Dr. John de Jong, was officially installed at the Board of Directors’ August meeting in San Antonio. As chair, Helfat will preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors, perform such other duties as prescribed by the board and chair the AVMA Board of Governors.
Serving as the new AVMA Board vice chair is Dr. Michael L. Whitehair, who is the District IX representative for AVMA members living in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah. As vice chair, Whitehair will substitute for Helfat in his absence and perform such other duties as prescribed by Helfat or the board.
Helfat looks forward to assuming an expanded role on the AVMA Board.
"I am honored for the opportunity to chair the board of this prestigious organization," said Helfat. "As the organization that protects, promotes and advances veterinarians and the veterinary profession, the AVMA has played a significant role in sparking a national conversation about issues important to veterinary professionals such as wellness and student debt. In the year ahead, I look forward to leading the board in continuing the progress we have made in addressing these and other important issues in veterinary medicine."
Helfat strongly believes in organized veterinary medicine. He serves on the AVMA Board as the District II representative for AVMA members living in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. His service to the AVMA also includes membership on the AVMA Executive Board, a nine-year stint as a New Jersey delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates, membership on the AVMA House Advisory Committee for seven years, which included one year as chair, and chairing seven AVMA House of Delegates Reference Committees.
He is an active member of the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association, Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, New York State Veterinary Medical Society, New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA), South Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.
Helfat is a two-time recipient of the NJVMA President's Award. He also has received the NJVMA Service Award, the South Jersey Veterinarian of the Year Award and the Friend of 4-H Award. In addition, he is a four-time recipient of the AVMA Certificate of Appreciation.
A mixed-animal veterinarian, Helfat is the founder and owner of Larchmont Animal Hospital. He devotes most of his time to medical appointments and has a particular interest in dermatology, renal disorders and cardiology. He also cares for goats and sheep.
Helfat received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.