Board acts on ECFVG, research, other proposals

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Drs. Bartels and Beaver
Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver accepts the gavel from her predecessor, Dr. Jan E. Bartels.

The 2000-2001 AVMA Executive Board held its final meeting of the Association year July 11, under the guidance of chair Dr. Jan E. Bartels, and its first meeting of the new Association year July 17, electing Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver as its new chair (see story, page 569).

July 11 board actions
To continue the process of strengthening the AVMA Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) program, the board directed the commission to continue to use the year of postgraduate clinical evaluation as one of two options for completing step 4 of the ECFVG certification process. This officially reverses an action the board took in March 1998 when it approved a commission recommendation to begin a process whereby the Clinical Proficiency Examination would have become the only means of completing step four.

Despite its March 1998 action, the board had, at its June 2001 meeting, approved a recommendation directing the commission to develop a means to ensure standardization and reliability of the year of postgraduate clinical experience.

To assist AVMA leaders in determining the degree to which state issues have the potential for national impact, the board approved a scoring system developed by the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee.

The board approved the report of the AVMA/Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Task Force on Veterinary Research. It provides a vision statement, a definition of veterinary research, a long-term goal, action steps, and assessment needs for the AVMA National Veterinary Research Initiative. Under the initiative, federal funding for veterinary research would double and would be made available for companion animal research for the first time.

In addition, the board approved continuation of the AVMA/AAVMC task force until the National Academy of Sciences closes its review process for its planned study on veterinary research. After the task force is disbanded, administrative responsibility for managing the AVMA National Veterinary Research Initiative will be assigned to the Council on Research.

The board endorsed the National Research Council's recommendations for improvement of the USDA National Research Initiative. The AVMA/AAVMC task force believes the recommendations will have a positive effect on the USDA initiative and the agency's ability to increase funding for veterinary research.

As recommended by the Task Force on Global Accreditation, the board approved $10,000 to fund an individual who will conduct surveillance of national and international education, accreditation, and licensing activities and initiatives. The intent is to protect the high standards of the profession.

The AVMA will also host a meeting between representatives of the accrediting bodies of the Council on Education and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons intended to identify commonalities and differences in their accreditation systems and to explore development of a global accreditation system.

The board authorized the AVMA to sign a revised memorandum of understanding negotiated with the U.S. Public Health Service regarding joint disaster relief operations of the National Disaster Medical System, providing the PHS agrees to an additional modification. That modification would state that in the event of a major disaster or national security emergency, the AVMA would automatically release one or more Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams and their members to the PHS for deployment at the agency's discretion.

The board approved revisions in the AVMA Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan to better describe the Association's efforts to prepare for and mitigate disasters and emergencies, including foreign animal disease outbreaks. The board also approved an AVMA Short-Range Plan for Emergency and Disaster Relief Activities, which complements a corresponding long-range plan.

Up to now, the position of assistant director of emergency preparedness and response in the AVMA Scientific Activities Division has been funded by the AVMF. The board authorized the position to be reclassified as an AVMA-funded employee; however, the AVMF will continue to support the program.

To address an oversight, the board approved amendment of the last paragraph of the AVMA Principles of Vaccination. The new statement reads: "USDA-approved products licensed under the conditional approval process have demonstrated a reasonable expectation of efficacy. Autogenous vaccines have no demonstrated efficacy."

Committee appointments approved by the board were as follows: Animal Welfare Committee—Dr. Diana S. Turner, Barboursville, WVa,; Aquaculture and Seafood Advisory Committee—Dr. Marilyn J. Blair, Kamiah, Idaho; Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee—Dr. Jill Spangenberg, San Francisco; Committee on Environmental Issues—Drs. Chris Dutton, North Troy, Vermont; Joseph F. Connor, Carthage, Ill.; Val Beasley, Dewey, Ill.; Scott R. R. Haskell, River Falls, Wis.; Stanley O. Hewins, San Antonio, Tex.; Donald W. Waldrip, Gainesville, Ga.; Myron Kebus, Madison, Wis.; Dustine Reppuhn, Knoxville, Tenn.; Anne Fairbrother, Corvallis, Ore.; and E. Murl Bailey, College Station, Tex.; Committee on Veterinary Medical Informatics—Dr. Robert Jones, Fort Collins, Colo.; Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities—Dr. Pepi F. Leids, Bath, N.Y.; and Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee—Dr. Henry E. Childers, Cranston, R.I., Dr. Charles E. Stoltenow, Fargo, N.D.; Dr. Grace F. Bransford, Mill Valley, Calif.; Elizabeth K. Monte, Atlanta; Dr. Matthew P. Verbsky, Bellafontaine, Ohio; and Dr. Sandra A. Faeh, Oak Park, Ill.

Dr. William Inskeep, Rockville, Md., was appointed primary liaison representative to the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research.

July 17 board actions At its July 17 meeting, the board built on its July 11 action directing the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates to continue to offer the year of evaluated postgraduate clinical experience as one of two means to complete step 4 of the ECFVG certification process. The board granted up to $13,000 in funding for an ECFVG subcommittee to contract with the Chauncey Group to evaluate and standardize the evaluative clinical year. The Chauncey Group has experience working with the ECFVG, on the Clinical Proficiency Examination.

Relative to step 3 of the ECFVG process, questions have been raised within the profession as to whether the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination is the best measure of foreign graduates' preclinical education. As a result, the board approved a recommendation to direct the ECFVG to evaluate the desirability and feasibility of developing a preclinical certification examination to be used as step 3.

Finally, the board disapproved a recommendation from the ECFVG to change step 4 of the certification process by adding a third means of completing this final step of the certification process. The measure would have allowed ECFVG candidates to fulfill step 4 if they could provide documentation of specialty board certification by a veterinary specialty organization recognized by the AVMA, with clinical competence equivalency to be assessed by the ECFVG on a case-by-case basis. In making its decision, the board was guided by feedback from veterinary state boards and the AVMA membership.

The board approved two new AVMA staff positions. A position of programmer/analyst was added in the Membership and Field Services Division to provide advanced programming and technical support. Over the past year, the Association has implemented new software systems in areas that include association management and accounting. The AVMA is also expanding its electronic communications and information management processes, and implementing new application developments.

In the Publications Division, the board approved a position for a computer graphic artist who will work closely with the staff graphic arts/desktop publishing coordinator. This addition will enable staff to meet more of the graphic needs of AVMA staff outside the Publications Division, reducing expenses associated with outsourcing projects. The addition will also facilitate plans to develop consistent graphic standards—"branding"—for the AVMA.

The board appointed Dr. Florian Ledermann, Alexandria, Minn., to the Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee, and three veterinarians to the World Veterinary Congress 2005 Task Force—Drs. R. Tracy Rhodes, Buffalo, Wyo., chair; Gregory S. Hammer, Dover, Del.; and Leon H. Russell, College Station, Tex. Drs. Rhodes and Hammer are Executive Board members, and Dr. Russell is one of North America's two WVA councilors. The task force will evaluate the feasibility of the AVMA hosting the 2005 World Veterinary Congress, if the previously established site does not work out.

The board approved a recommendation that the AVMA fund the travel expenses (estimated at $1,800) for a member of the Student AVMA to attend the fall and spring meetings of the Council on Education for 2001-2002 as a guest. Board member, Dr. Roger K. Mahr, Geneva, Ill., and AVMA vice president (1999-2001) and student liaison, Dr. Joseph H. Kinnarney, Reidsville, N.C., submitted the recommendation. The Student AVMA has sought the opportunity to represent the student perspective at council members on educational issues such as college accreditation and foreign college approval.

A sum of $10,000 was added to the AVMA contingency fund for 2001. Each year $200,000 is initially put into the contingency fund for projects and expenses approved during the course of the year.