President's reception showcases new Washington office

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On June 27, AVMA President Bonnie V. Beaver hosted the President's Reception at the new AVMA Governmental Relations Division building on Sunderland Place N.W. in Washington, D.C.

The AVMA president has traditionally held twice yearly roundtable discussions in Washington to meet with leading veterinarians in the federal government, uniformed services, and allied veterinary organizations.

This year, however, a reception was held in place of the roundtable discussion, providing a setting for Dr. Beaver to have an informal meeting and unveil the new building. "Having our gathering in the new space allows the AVMA to showcase our presence in Washington, D.C.," Dr. Beaver commented. "We want to show off this investment of our members' dues."

Approximately 70 people filtered in and out of the reception, chatting with Dr. Beaver about the AVMA legislative and regulatory agendas, exploring the beautifully renovated building, and meeting with the AVMA staff and externs.

Attendees came from all over the D.C. area and represented various federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, DHHS National Institutes of Health, Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Other attendees included Dr. Suzan Murray of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, a delegation from the Michigan state veterinarian's office, and representatives of interest groups such as the Humane Society of the United States.

"Having this one-on-one opportunity with the AVMA president ensures ongoing communication between the AVMA and the federal agencies," noted USDA-FSIS veterinarian Dr. Bonnie Buntain. "Dr. Beaver is extremely responsive to the critical need in government for more veterinarians, as well as to other issues that we as veterinarians in public practice face on a daily basis."

AVMA Executive Vice President Bruce W. Little was also in attendance. "I am pleased to be involved with an occasion where so many fellow veterinarians and employees of the federal government can see the GRD's new home in the D.C. area," Dr. Little said. "The purchase of this building illustrates the commitment the AVMA has for addressing issues related to the national regulatory and legislative agenda."

Dr. Beaver was pleased with the turnout as well. "This event was an opportunity to expose people from many different backgrounds to the AVMA," she said. "Not only did we get to hold an open house for our members, but also for other parties strongly connected to animals."