Dr. José Arce became the AVMA's new president this past weekend, saying he aims "to be a strong leader who represents our members, advocates for our profession, and inspires others to do the same."
Speaking to the House of Delegates during its summer meeting, Dr. Arce touched on a wide range of topics, including the challenges and lessons learned from COVID-19.
"The pandemic has given us a greater appreciation for how intertwined veterinary medicine is, and how working together on common issues makes our voices stronger," he said. “We must remain focused on pursuing and strengthening relationships with other global veterinary associations and intergovernmental institutions to support public health, animal health, and welfare around the world.”
Other new officers installed
Dr. Arce, who served as AVMA president-elect last year, succeeds Dr. Douglas Kratt as president. Dr. Kratt moves into the position of AVMA immediate past-president, and Dr. Lori Teller was elected AVMA president-elect. Dr. Karen Bradley was elected as the new Board of Directors chair and Dr. Ronald E. Gill as vice-chair.
Also during the HOD meeting, Drs. Rena Carlson and Grace Bransford announced their candidacies to become the AVMA president-elect in 2022, and Dr. Jennifer Quammen announced she will run for AVMA vice-president. Dr. Bransford ran unsuccessfully against Dr. Teller for 2021-2022 president-elect, and announced shortly after the vote that she would seek the office for 2022-2023. The current AVMA vice-president, Dr. Sandra Faeh, has another year on her term.
Dr. Arce to focus on improving economic, wellbeing outlook for the profession
In his speech to the House of Delegates, Dr. Arce also discussed some of the issues he hopes to focus on and impact as AVMA president, including economic challenges, wellbeing, and ensuring that the profession is welcoming to all.
“As president, I will strive to improve the educational debt-to-income disparities that exist in our profession by advocating in Congress on legislation to make possible low-interest or interest-free student loans and to make veterinary medical education more accessible," Dr. Arce said. “I will foster an environment that promotes the mental health, emotional wellbeing, and personal happiness of veterinarians, veterinary staff, and students both at work and at home.”
First elected to the AVMA Board of Directors in 2014, Dr. Arce is president and co-owner of Miramar Animal Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, and his wife, Dr. Anik Puig, is also a veterinarian.
Read more about Dr. Arce’s plans for the year ahead in the AVMA Virtual Convention Daily News.