Executive Board Chair David L. McCrystle presided over an Executive Board meeting April 2-3 that saw modest spending initiatives yet included an agenda that anticipates the future needs of the veterinary profession.
With an eye on the economy, board members passed a balanced budget for 2010 that, among other cuts, reduced the 2009 travel budgets for officers and Executive Board members by 15 percent (see JAVMA, May 1, 2009).
The Task Force on Future Roles and Expectations offered several recommendations on ways the AVMA can increase its outreach to veterinary students. The task force also presented a strategy to most effectively provide attendance of AVMA leadership, including the Association president, at national and international meetings.
In addition, the board green-lighted a privately funded Rural Veterinary Loan Repayment program that will be administered by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation with help from AVMA staff.�Similar to the student debt repayment program established by the National Veterinary Medical Service Act, the AVMA/AVMF initiative would also encourage more veterinarians to work in food supply medicine.
Development and production of a new DVD communicating the value of AVMA benefits and services to members and the veterinary profession was approved by the board.
The AVMA assigned legislative priorities to new bills and also reaffirmed some existing priorities in the 111th Congress. That agenda is relevant to a wide range of veterinary issues, including crane conservation, the private ownership of nonhuman primates, horse slaughter, permanent funding of the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank, and passing a law preventing plaintiff animal owners from recovering noneconomic damages in the event of animal loss or injury.