Executive Board approves proposals in Salt Lake City

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The 1999-2000 AVMA Executive Board acted on several recommendations during its final meeting of the Association year, July 19 in Salt Lake City. Chairing the meeting was Dr. Leonard M. Tinney. Dr. Jan E. Bartels was vice chairman.

On July 22 the 2000-2001 Executive Board held its inaugural meeting. Dr. Jan E. Bartels was elected chairman (see previous story) and chaired the meeting. Dr. Harmon A. Rogers is the new vice chairman. The actions reported here were taken at the July 19 meeting, except for the recommendation on distribution of the abridged KPMG LLP study, which was approved July 22.

AVMA, AAVMC join forces on veterinary research
The board approved a recommendation for formation of an eight-member joint Task Force on Veterinary Research. The recommendation was submitted by the AVMA/Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Joint Committee.

The task force is being developed because of the need for a national agenda for veterinary research in the United States and to determine the most effective use of AVMA resources. The AVMA has been involved in a research grant program for a number of years, but does not have a clearly defined national research agenda or visibility in influencing national veterinary research goals.

In the recommendation, the AVMA/AAVMC Joint Committee cited Dr. Tracey McNamara's discovery of the West Nile virus in the United States as an example of the importance of veterinarians' involvement in research.

The task force will meet twice — once in 2000 and once in 2001 — at the AVMA headquarters office, Schaumburg, Ill. The respective groups will nominate individuals for appointment. The AVMA Executive Board chairman will appoint the task force of two AVMA/AAVMC Joint Committee members, two AVMA Council on Research members, two AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee members, and two AAVMC members who are associate deans or directors of research. The AVMA will fund expenses for five members; the AAVMC will fund the other three members. AVMA staff assigned to the Council on Research will support the task force.

Survey says: members' input needed on convention sites
What attracts members to AVMA convention cities? That's what the AVMA would like to know from those who matter most — members. The board approved a recommendation (submitted by the Convention Site Selection Evaluation Committee) to conduct a survey of AVMA members who attended the 2000 Annual Convention and those who didn't. The survey should help AVMA convention planners and officials pick the perfect sites by getting input on interest in and satisfaction with potential sites, and on the benefit or detriment of the rotation of US zones. The cost of implementation is $13,500.

Convention activities and AVMA House of Delegates to overlap again
After a three-year trial of separating the activities of the AVMA House of Delegates, Executive Board, and other annual business activities from convention activities, the board decided to approve a recommendation submitted by the House Advisory Committee to change the Convention Objectives Policy (finalized in 1996) by removing the mandate "To conduct the annual business of the AVMA at a time separate from the Continuing Education Program." The House Advisory Committee is requesting that a Friday/Saturday format be instituted for the annual business sessions.

Program to sharpen community awareness of dog bites
Dog bites and their prevention are the focus of a model program to improve community awareness. It was developed by the AVMA Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions and approved by the board.

The concept of drafting such a program was brought forward after the 1996 AVMA Animal Welfare Forum on canine welfare indicated a need to address the dog bite issue. The Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions looked at three areas from the 1996 forum when they developed the model program: a coordinated public education program on pet selection, responsible pet ownership, and dog safety; a multidisciplinary approach to address public health aspects of dog ownership and dog bite prevention; and draft model dog bite legislation that includes standard definitions and criteria. The model program will be published in an upcoming issue of the JAVMA.

Back to the bayou in 2008
New Orleans was the site of the 1999 AVMA Annual Convention. Nine years is certainly not too soon to ease on back to the Big Easy. The city was selected during this year's convention in Salt Lake City as the site of the 2008 AVMA Annual Convention. The Site Selection Committee recommended that the Executive Board accept New Orleans as the 2008 site, which the board did. Then the House of Delegates approved it.

Members will get service with even more smiles
Two more smiling faces will soon staff the AVMA Division of Membership and Field Services, thanks to board approval of a recommendation submitted by the division director, J. Karl Wise, PhD, for Member Service Center staff. Salary expenses for the two positions are already included in the budget for 2000. AVMA staff plans to launch the new Member Service Center in conjunction with implementation of new association management software, currently in development. The center will answer member queries in a timely, courteous, and accurate manner; process customer transactions; cross-market AVMA products and services; and resolve members' concerns.

Distribution of abridged KPMG LLP study
All members of the AVMA Executive Board and the House of Delegates will receive copies of the abridged version of the "Current and Future Market for Veterinarians and Veterinary Medical Services in the United States" (the KPMG LLP study). On July 22 the board approved the recommendation, made by Dr. James E. Nave, AVMA president. The recommendation explains that all leaders will be instrumental in leading grassroots efforts necessary to achieve the mission and goals of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, so it is critical that they have a clear understanding of the findings contained in the report. The cost of the 152 copies needed is $8,500.

A 2001 veterinary conference to explore leadership and vision for veterinary medicine in the new millennium, co-sponsored by the AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, was approved. The 2½-day conference, which will cost $10,000, is slated for April 2001.

The AVMA/AAVMC Joint Committee made the recommendation to the board. The conference will focus mainly on veterinary trends in the new millennium; opportunities for change; changing expectations in education, clinical medicine, industry, and government; and ideas by veterinary visionaries. Part of the process will include a comparison of AVMA and AAVMC strategic processes and how they align with results of the conference. The total budget will be $50,000, with seed money ($10,000) provided by the AVMA and the AAVMC. Sponsorships will be solicited by a planning group of AVMA and AAVMC members. Both groups will share equally in expenses and any profits.