Dr. Lori Teller, a clinical associate professor of telehealth at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, was elected to serve as AVMA 2021-2022 president-elect during the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) meeting last week. Dr. Teller joins several other AVMA volunteer leaders who were elected to or announced their candidacies for AVMA officer positions.
Dr. Teller was welcomed to her new position Saturday during an AVMA Board of Directors meeting that followed the HOD’s hybrid meeting that allowed delegates and others to attend either in-person in Chicago or virtually. Also welcomed to the Board were district directors Dr. Sam Miller of Texas, who will serve District 8 members in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, and Dr. Richard Sullivan of California, who will serve District 10 members in California, Hawaii, and Nevada.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion update
HOD members heard updates on the AVMA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
The AVMA Board is expected to consider approval of a full strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion framework plan in September. The Board also is considering several items to include in the 2022 overall AVMA strategic plan and budget. Some of the continued or new activities considered include:
- Creating opportunities for more diverse members to participate in AVMA volunteer leadership. This includes examining methods for removing identified barriers to participation in AVMA at the leadership level, as well as more focused education on how to volunteer with the AVMA and other veterinary associations.
- Expanding DEI content in AVMA programming and events and exploring Spanish-language online education for veterinarians so they can better serve a growingly diverse client base.
- Continuing collaboration with strategic partners, highlighting DEI as a strategic priority for the AVMA during partnership discussions and building partnership models for partners interested in investing in the future DEI strategies with AVMA and the profession.
- Integrating DEI concepts as part of onboarding of AVMA volunteers.
- Improving collection of member and student information, working closely with key partners such as the Student AVMA, American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, and species-specific allied organizations.
- Considering DEI components and impact when developing and updating policy and resources.
- Utilizing an association inclusion index tool to assess AVMA’s internal DEI practices and objectives against DEI best practices.
Veterinary Information Forum
A highlight of the HOD’s meeting is the AVMA’s Veterinary Information Forum (VIF), where delegates address issues of concern in the profession and provide feedback on the way forward. The AVMA thanks the hundreds of members who answered our call for input on the topics addressed during this year’s forum:
- “HOD Delegates as AVMA Brand Advocates: How to Best Communicate AVMA Member Value to our Constituents”
- “Economic Dynamics in the U.S. Veterinary Workforce”
As a result of discussions on the topic of how delegates can best communicate with their constituents, the HOD approved a resolution calling for the HOD’s House Advisory Committee to form a working group to explore and define delegates’ role as AVMA ambassadors in promoting AVMA member value, reporting back to the HOD at the next meeting.
The VIF topic related to economic dynamics in the U.S. veterinary workforce resulted in a resolution conveying a message to the veterinary profession stating, “Your AVMA recognizes the economic, staffing, and morale challenges that currently exist in the U.S. veterinary workforce. Your AVMA is working on these complex problems and will be delivering information to aid in your understanding of these issues, including Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association articles going forward, as well as providing tools to assist you, such as convening the (AVMA Veterinary Business and Economic Forum) in the fall of 2021 with a focus on these issues.”
HOD members also acted on several other resolutions, including:
- Resolution 8 – Reclassifying Ventilation Shutdown Methods as Not Recommended: The HOD voted to refer the resolution to the AVMA Board of Directors for consideration by the AVMA Panel on Depopulation.
- Resolution 9 – Rules for Officer Election Campaigns: The HOD voted to adopt the resolution.
- Resolution 10 – Policy on Veterinary Compounding: The HOD voted to refer the resolution to the AVMA Board of Directors for further clarification by the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents.
- Resolution 11 – Revised Policy on Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing, and Education: The HOD voted to adopt the resolution.
- Resolution 12 – Revised Policy on Veterinary Foresight and Expertise in Antimicrobial Discussions: The HOD voted to adopt the resolution.
- Resolution 13 – Revised Policy on Notification to the Veterinarian of Violative Residues in Foods of Animal Origin: The HOD voted to adopt the resolution.
- Resolution 14 – Policy on Use of Prescription Drugs in Veterinary Medicine: The HOD voted to refer the resolution to the AVMA Board of Directors for referral to the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents for further clarification.
AVMA House Advisory Committee and council elections
Elections to AVMA councils and the House Advisory Committee (HAC) also were held during the HOD meeting.
HOD member Dr. Rex Anderson was elected to a second term on the HAC. The HAC also elected Dr. Anderson as the new HAC chair and Dr. William Grant as vice chair.
Those elected to councils include:
- Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents: Drs. Richard Hill, Stephanie Montgomery, Michael Strobel, Marike Visser, Kenneth Pawlowski
- Council on Public Health: Drs. Douglas Meckes, Sarah Babcock
- Council on Veterinary Service: Drs. Robin Tolmer Paterson, Ronald Kelpe, Kelly Cooper, Tiffany Collins
Recognition of service
Those members retiring from the House of Delegates were also recognized. Those retiring, their affiliation, and years of service include:
- Dr. Gary Ailes, Nevada Veterinary Medical Association; 9 years
- Dr. James Brett, Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association; 12 years
- Dr. Gregg Cutler, American Association of Avian Pathologists; 23 years
- Dr. Morgan Dawkins, Delaware Veterinary Medical Association; 8 years
- Dr. Brian Gerloff, American Association of Bovine Practitioners; 7 years
- Dr. Cheryl Greenacre, Association of Avian Veterinarians; 9 years
- Dr. Allan Holladay, Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association; 13 years
- Dr. Sam Miller, Texas Veterinary Medical Association; 4 years
- Dr. Neil Moss, Utah Veterinary Medical Association; 10 years
- Dr. Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association; 6 year
HOD members also recognized Dr. George Bishop, District 10 representative on the AVMA Board of Directors, for completing his six-year term of service, and Dr. John Howe for completing his term as immediate past-president.