Magazine's signature story dedicated to VMAT, AVMA

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The Association Forum of Chicagoland—the "association of associations" for some 1,500 organizations in the Chicagoland area—this past December debuted its newly redesigned FORUM magazine with a cover story about members of the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams helping a Florida community recover from Hurricane Charley last summer.

The story also explains the AVMA's role in creating the VMATs, and how the American Veterinary Medical Foundation helps to underwrite the volunteer teams' disaster relief efforts.

FORUM is published monthly and read by more than 3,500 members of the Association Forum of Chicagoland. As part of the new design, every FORUM cover story will spotlight one association and explain how it has made a difference within its profession and the world at-large.

Anna Ellis, a certified veterinary technician and VMAT-3 member, is featured prominently on the cover of the December FORUM. Ellis, of Clearwater, Fla., is pictured wearing a navy-colored VMAT T-shirt, matching cap, and dog tags, and comforting Daisy, one of numerous pets affected by the hurricane.

"Being on VMAT has meant the world to me," Ellis said later. "Having the opportunity to represent the team is an honor I will never forget."

Featured in the article are photos of VMAT-3 members, along with graphics detailing the AVMA mission statement, protocol for VMAT deployment, VMAT capabilities, and the AVMF vision statement.

Additionally, several members of the AVMA, VMAT, and AVMF are quoted, including VMAT-3 Commander James Hamilton; VMAT-1 Deputy Commander Barry Kellogg; AVMA Executive Vice President Bruce W. Little; Florida resident and former AVMA president, Dr. James H. Brandt; and AVMF Executive Director Paul Amundsen.

Several AVMA officials attended a ceremony Dec. 14 unveiling the redesigned FORUM at the Holiday Showcase Luncheon in Chicago.