Many faces, one profession

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

More than 400 positions exist on AVMA councils, committees, and task forces. To showcase the diverse backgrounds and expertise of the volunteers who serve on them and to inspire even more AVMA members to participate, JAVMA News will feature a few entities each month. To be a candidate for one of the current vacancies, go to, or contact officeevpatavma [dot] org (officeevp[at]avma[dot]org).

Task Force on the Foresight Report
Back row: Drs. René A. Carlson, Janver D. Krehbiel, Carlos E. Bonnot, and Richard M. DeBowes. Front row: Emily Eaton, Dr. Sheila W. Allen, and Dr. Joan M. Samuels.

Task Force on the Foresight Report

Charge/mission: The task force is charged with addressing current and future challenges facing academic veterinary medicine.


Dr. Janver D. Krehbiel (KSU '62), chair, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine; representing the Executive Board
Dr. Sheila W. Allen (COR '81), University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine; representing the Council on Education
Dr. René A. Carlson (MIN '78), Animal Hospital of Chetek, Chetek, Wis.; representing the Council on Education
Dr. Joan M. Samuels (MSU '77), Buellton Veterinary Clinic, Buellton, Calif.; representing the Council on Education
Dr. Carlos E. Bonnot (TEX '76), Wharton Veterinary Clinic, Wharton, Texas; representing the Council on Veterinary Service
Dr. Richard M. DeBowes (IL '79), Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine; representing the House of Delegates
Emily Eaton (IL '09), University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine; representing the Student AVMA

What current project(s) are you most excited about?

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges' Foresight Report, released in early 2007, addresses how veterinary medical education could adapt the educational process to meet the future needs of society. The task force completed a comprehensive review of the Foresight Report and is finishing a final report to the AVMA Executive Board outlining its findings and recommendations. Dr. David E. Granstrom, director of the AVMA Education and Research Division, said these recommendations will help guide AVMA participation in the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium, and ultimately, the direction of veterinary education in the United States.

A recent meaningful accomplishment:

The task force provided strong support for a recommendation to the Executive Board for full AVMA participation in the NAVMEC, which was subsequently approved and funded at a cost of $50,000 to cover the membership fee.

How is your entity addressing the profession's pressing issues?

The task force recommended full participation in the consortium, which is the next step in considering the solutions identified in the Foresight Report to the challenges facing veterinary medical education and the profession as a whole, Dr. Granstrom said.

How is the entity addressing the strategic or operational goals of the AVMA?

Chair Janver D. Krehbiel believes the Foresight Report provides an excellent background for the profession to develop a plan for the future.

"It is critical that the AVMA, American Association of Veterinary State Boards, and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges work together to make those decisions that will best serve our profession as we serve society and the animal kingdom," Dr. Krehbiel said.

He noted that the committee is excited about the upcoming consortium focused on the report, which Dr. Krehbiel said will serve as a proper venue for discussion and planning for the next steps of the profession.

"(NAVMEC) provides an opportunity to talk about licensure, accreditation, and veterinary education, and all of these entities need to come together and focus on the best interests of the profession. It's a major task," Dr. Krehbiel said.

Governance Performance Review Committee
Drs. Craig A. Smith, Laurel A. Kaddatz, Michael J. Topper, and Lawrence D. McGill

Governance Performance Review Committee

Charge/mission: The GPRC reviews and monitors the performance of the AVMA councils, committees, Executive Board, House of Delegates, and liaisons and advises the Executive Board regarding continuance or changes for those entities and recommendations to establish new entities.


Michael J. Topper (GA '80), chair, Merck & Co., West Point, Pa.; representative-at-large
Lawrence D. McGill (OKL '68), ARUP Animal Reference Pathology Laboratory, Salt Lake City; representing AVMA committees
Laurel A. Kaddatz (MIN '77), Pound Ridge Veterinary Center, Pound Ridge, N.Y.; representing AVMA councils
Craig A. Smith (MIN '81), AVMA Publications Division, Schaumburg, Ill.; representing AVMA staff

What current project(s) are you most excited about?

Carole Jordan, AVMA senior staff assistant and staff consultant to the GPRC, said the committee's duties essentially stay the same every year, but the ongoing functions are exciting. The members conduct performance evaluations of liaison relationships in spring and AVMA entities in fall.

The Executive Board recently approved the GPRC's recommendation to amend the AVMA Bylaws and sunset the Council on Communications, but the House of Delegates disapproved the change at its winter session during January's Veterinary Leadership Conference.

"What I'm most excited about is the debate that took place on the House floor regarding the possible sunset of the Council," Jordan said. "I think this will eventually result in a different council than what AVMA members have been used to."

A recent meaningful accomplishment:

Since the GPRC's inception in 2004, its recommendations have resulted in the sunset of several committees, Jordan said.

GPRC members truly gain a "big picture" perspective of the AVMA, and their recommendations help the Association be more nimble and flexible, she said. About 90 percent of what the committee deals with is confidential, making it difficult to disclose the rationale for recommendations.

Provoking thoughtful discussion, as with the House decision on the Council on Communications, is a meaningful accomplishment, Jordan said.

How is your entity addressing the profession's pressing issues?

Most of the AVMA's pressing issues are handled by councils and committees, and performance evaluations help the Executive Board ensure those issues are being addressed, Jordan said. In addition, GPRC members have told her they learned far more about the AVMA than they ever thought possible.

How is the entity addressing the strategic or operational goals of the AVMA?

Chair Michael J. Topper said the GPRC is a critical part of the AVMA's core competency of maintaining the highest standards in association management. He and fellow committee members do so by diligently evaluating each entity "to ensure that they are fulfilling their charge, performing effectively, and remaining integral to the AVMA's goals."