Dr. John Howe assumed his role as AVMA president this weekend at the AVMA Convention in Washington, D.C., saying he will focus on improving communication among AVMA members, the association, and the general public.
“We must continue communicating to our members what this association can do and is doing,” Dr. Howe said in a speech to the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) on Friday. “This involves, in part, making your constituents feel empowered and engaged by seeking their opinions about important issues.”
He also urged delegates to continue educating AVMA members and others about the many tools, resources, and benefits available through the AVMA. “The personal and professional health and wellbeing of the entire veterinary team during all stages of their careers is of primary concern,” he said.
Another key area of focus for Dr. Howe is the utilization of veterinary technicians. He welcomed the recent creation of an AVMA task force to examine technician usage, their financial and career sustainability, effective task delegation, and the wellbeing of both veterinary technicians and practices.
Dr. Howe also plans to continue raising awareness of One Health and reinforce AVMA’s role as a leader in the movement. It’s critical that veterinary professionals work hand in hand with human physicians and other health professionals to improve the health of all species and the environment, he emphasized.
Another area where veterinarians and veterinary technicians play an essential role is in the U.S. uniformed services, where “we have the best trained military veterinarians in the world, and we are all indebted to them for their service,” he said. Dr. Howe wants to see the general’s star restored to the chief of the U.S. Veterinary Corps, to ensure that person has the authorization and status to carry out critical missions. A change in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 allowed an officer of lesser rank to be appointed corps chief, rather than a brigadier general.
Dr. Howe earned his DVM from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and will serve one year as president. He brings more than 30 years of experience as a leader in the veterinary profession at both the state and national levels. He takes over as president from Dr. John de Jong, who now shifts into a one-year term as immediate past president. Also at the Friday HOD session, Dr. Douglas Kratt was selected as AVMA president-elect.
You can read more about Dr. Howe’s appointment in the 2019 AVMA Convention news.