By: Dr. Gary Brown, Board of Directors Chair; Dr. John de Jong, AVMA President; Dr. Sandra Faeh, House Advisory Committee Chair; Dr. Janet Donlin, AVMA Executive Vice President
It was an inspiring few days when your AVMA Board of Directors recently gathered for their November meeting at AVMA headquarters. This fall meeting is when your volunteer leadership and the AVMA staff focus much of their effort on our strategy and budget process so that we can best meet the needs of our members.
Between the work of our Budget and Financial Review and Strategy Management committees, staff presentations and Board deliberations, we crafted 2019 operational and budget plans that make fiscal sense while also focusing on providing the products and services our members expect.
It was announced during the meeting that the AVMA membership has reached 93,000 strong, our highest membership total ever and the largest percentage growth in one year since 2000. Your association is growing, and we are continuing to work hard every day to meet our members’ needs.
We also took a look back and celebrated what a great year we had in 2018, when we introduced new resources and programs related to member-focused issues such as telehealth, wellbeing, career advancement and leadership development.
In 2019, we will continue to build on our successes by responding to what members have asked for: an improved AVMA.org website, access to more digital continuing education and wellbeing resources, expanded trust services and strategic partnerships, a focus on veterinary student debt, expanded advocacy and “greater good” efforts for veterinary medicine. And these are just a few examples of the tremendous value the AVMA provides directly to our members, and to the veterinary profession as a whole.
We also remain committed to representing you on key issues and advocating for veterinarians, advancing your ability to provide crucial veterinary services to the public. We remain steadfast in supporting all veterinarians in protecting the health and welfare of animals in your care and educating the public on the important role of veterinarians as they advance both animal and human health.
At the same time, the cost of doing business continues to rise. To provide these up-and-coming valuable member resources and to responsibly plan for the future, we need to fund our operations appropriately. That’s why the AVMA Board – in approving the 2019 Action Plan and budget – recommended that the AVMA House of Delegates approve a member dues increase that would take effect for 2020.
The proposal calls for a multi-year dues strategy that allows the flexibility to add enough revenue to cover the added services our members are expecting and the ability to adjust mid-stream. The AVMA Board of Directors has recommended a three-year plan with a modest and responsible dues increase of $30 in 2020, and then – if needed to cover operational expenses – up to $10 in 2021 and up to $10 in 2022.
This request is based on sound financial and strategic business planning for both now and the future, and it provides your association the necessary resources needed to continue to protect, promote and advance the interests of our members and the entire veterinary profession. Your House of Delegates representatives will be considering the dues increase, as well as many other items of AVMA business, when they meet Jan. 11-12 in Chicago. You can learn more about the proposal in a JAVMA News story in the Jan. 1 printed version of the Journal, which will also be posted on our website (avma.org) on Dec. 12.
Resolutions and bylaws amendments
Also on the House of Delegates agenda are several resolutions and bylaws amendments that were referred for action by the Board of Directors. You can learn more about the items up for consideration on the AVMA’s 2019 HOD Resolutions and Bylaws Amendments webpage.
The Board also acted on several policies submitted by many of our volunteer entities. One policy of note is the AVMA’s new policy on Definitions of Antimicrobial Use for Treatment, Control and Prevention. This policy clarifies definitions of the terms prevention, control, and treatment in regard to antimicrobial therapy, and will make it easier for our members to ensure that their use of antibiotics in practice complies with best practices for antimicrobial stewardship.
Supporting veterinary students
The Board approved the allocation of additional funds to enroll up to four students from each of the seven international veterinary schools represented in the Student AVMA House of Delegates in the Purdue Certificate for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine program. This allows students from the international schools to join U.S. students from each of the 30 U.S. veterinary schools whose participation in the program is funded by an existing AVMA grant.
Wrapping things up, we’d like to congratulate the following people who were elected to AVMA volunteer positions. Thank you for your commitment and service to your colleagues and our profession. The entities and those elected are:
- Animal Welfare Committee: Dr. Jessica Quillivan
- Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee: Dr. Scott Driever
- Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities Selection Committee: Drs. Dennis Clark, Kimberly Kratt and George McCommon; Silvia Coviello, and Debbie Whitten
- Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates: Dr. Susan Gogolski
- Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions: Dr. Virginia Corrigan
- Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee: Dr. Lloyd Reitz