Board update: AVMA establishes veterinary technician task force

Published on April 18, 2019

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

Veterinary technicians are critically important members of the veterinary health care team. Their skills and expertise help both the patient and the practice, and improving veterinary technician utilization would only enhance that level of service and boost job satisfaction.

The AVMA Board of Directors recently approved the formation and composition of the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Technician Utilization.

That’s why the AVMA Board of Directors approved the formation and composition of the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Technician Utilization. Gathered for their spring meeting April 12-13, the Board voted to approve a task force charged with developing a plan to improve vet tech use while recognizing the importance of financial and career sustainability, effective task delegation, and the wellbeing of both the veterinary technician and the practice.

The task force comes after the AVMA House of Delegates discussed technician utilization and ways to enhance it during its January meeting. It was clear during the discussion that the value of veterinary technicians is unquestioned and that efforts need to be made across the profession to increase technician use. This consensus among House members led them to recommend that the AVMA Board convene a task force to design a plan to improve veterinary technician utilization and that a progress report be shared with the HOD within a year.

The AVMA-National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America Leadership Committee and the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities proposed the formation of the task force. The task force will provide ideas on actions to be taken to promote enhancing the utilization of veterinary technicians as part of the veterinary heath care team.

The task force, which will consist of 10 voting members representing veterinary technicians, technician educators, veterinarians, and veterinary hospital managers, plans to provide a report to the AVMA Board by Dec. 31, 2019, in time to distribute it to the House of Delegates prior to its 2020 winter meeting. The task force will complete its work upon submitting the report, unless otherwise directed by the AVMA Board.

Adoption of research dogs and cats: Policy approved

The AVMA Board also approved a new policy on Research Dogs and Cats Adoption. Proposed by the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee, the policy meets an important need to support best practices in laboratory animal retirement and adoption. The policy aligns the AVMA and the broader veterinary profession with the efforts of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners and the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, both of which expressed their support for the policy.

Guiding the profession: Other policy actions

Many AVMA councils and committees worked hard in reviewing more than 40 AVMA policies prior to the Board meeting that were subsequently submitted for reaffirmation, revision and approval. Some highlights include the Board voting to:

  • Reaffirm the AVMA Policy on Transport, Sale Yard Practices and Humane Slaughter of Hoofstock and Poultry
  • Approve the revised Policy on Animal Abuse and Neglect
  • Approve the revised Policy on Veterinary End-of-Life Care
  • Refer the revised Policy on Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials to the AVMA House of Delegates with a recommendation to approve
  • Refer the revised Joint American Association of Bovine Practitioners-AVMA Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials in Cattle Policy to the House of Delegates with a recommendation to approve
  • Refer the revised Model Veterinary Practice Act to the House of Delegates with a recommendation to approve

Entity appointments: Service and support

Wrapping things up, we’d like to congratulate the following people who were appointed to AVMA volunteer positions. Thank you for your commitment and service to your colleagues and our profession. The entities and those appointed are:

  • Animal Welfare Committee: Drs. Johann Coetzee, Wendy Weirich, J. Larry Goelz, Michelle Kutzler, Sathy Chinnadurai, Jennifer Graham and Stephanie Janeczko
  • Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee: Drs. Patricia Gaunt, Myron Kebus, Lester Khoo, Grace Karreman and Sonia Mumford
  • Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee: Drs. Sarah Giebel, Dale Roberts, Fairfield Bain, James Hamilton, Tammy Sadek, Kimberly Brinton, Eric Gordon and Todd Williams
  • Committee on Antimicrobials: Drs. Terry Lehenbauer, David Smith, Joni Scheftel, Michele Jay-Russell, Tina Parker and Cooper Brookshire
  • Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues: Drs. Dee Ellis and Nicole Chevalier
  • Committee on Environmental Issues: Dr. Sherry Kasper
  • Convention Education Program Committee: Drs. Seth Wexler and Charlotte Thompson; Melissa Supernor
  • Council on Education Selection Committee: Drs. Nicola Perry and John Pascoe
  • Early Career Development Committee: Drs. Allison Joe, Kristin Wuellner and Heather Case
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates: Drs. Beverly Baxter, Andrei Tarassov and Mary Grace Stobierski
  • Food Safety Advisory Committee: Drs. Carla Huston and Larry Thompson
  • Legislative Advisory Committee: Drs. Cary Christensen, Michael Karle, Bonnie Buntain and Steven Hansen
  • Political Action Committee: Drs. Bernadine Cruz and Stephen Dullard
  • State Advocacy Committee: Dr. Dayna Wiedenkeller; Emily Kane
  • Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions: Phil Arkow
  • Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee: Drs. Kipp Magnusen and Julie Smith; Chris Ragland


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