President's Column: Dr. Mike Topper
The AVMA is privileged to have a long, rich history of supporting veterinarians and the veterinary profession. We can make even greater strides in advancing animal and human health by working together as a community. That’s why we constantly strive to build strong and sustainable partnerships across the profession.
Led by Dr. Mia Cary, our chief of professional development and strategic alliances, we look forward to strengthening our existing partnerships and forming new ones in the future. As such, the AVMA recently formed several new partnerships to help strengthen our voice as an organization and the collective voice of the profession.
On January 1, the AVMA began providing association management services to the Veterinary Medical Association Executives. State and allied executives contribute a tremendous depth of perspective and understanding of the issues facing our profession. They are thought leaders, influencers, and strategic partners who can reach veterinarians in unique and meaningful ways. This relationship is one more way we can work together to protect, promote, and advance the veterinary profession, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead. To help cement this partnership, we are pleased to welcome Ralph Johnson, VMAE chief executive officer, as a member of the AVMA family. He joined the AVMA earlier this year as director of special projects. He continues to lead the VMAE and is overseeing the services we provide to that organization, while assisting the AVMA with initiatives focused on delivering high-quality products and services to our members.
We also are happy to have partnered with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) to enhance and support the entire veterinary health-care team. Under a plan supported last year by the AVMA Board of Directors, the AVMA is providing association management services to NAVTA. While the NAVTA Board of Directors retains control over the technician association’s affairs, we will contribute our professional association management expertise as the group continues to grow and thrive. In return, the partnership will help us enhance support of our members by establishing more open lines of communication with the technicians who are so integral to your veterinary teams.
It is important that we continue our work in bridging the gender gap in the veterinary profession’s leadership. That’s why the AVMA is proud to support the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI). Last year, the AVMA Board voted to continue supporting WVLDI by providing in-kind support for 2018 and funding events that WVLDI will co-host with the AVMA this year. Our relationship with WVLDI strengthens our shared commitment to supporting women in seeking leadership roles, and developing leaders for the benefit of the profession and society.
The AVMA continues to collaborate with the Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association in our collective efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession. In doing so, we support veterinary students and professionals across the country and beyond who identify as LGBT as well as LGBT veterinary clients in our communities.
Finally, two cornerstones of the AVMA family, AVMA Life and AVMA PLIT, are unifying efforts under an umbrella insurance trust. While your current Life and PLIT plans will remain unchanged, members of the AVMA, AVMA Life and AVMA PLIT will experience enhanced services because of this new structure. The umbrella insurance trust will explore opportunities to bundle offerings to provide a suite of services, all supported by quality customer service and value that our members rely on and have come to expect. I am confident that the unified umbrella insurance trust will continually evolve to ensure that your needs are met now and into the future.
We take great pride in our partnerships and strive to nurture new relationships that broaden our perspective, enhance our conversations, and better serve our members and the profession.