The AVMA Executive Board, while meeting Aug. 30-31, approved formation of a new Strategic Planning Task Force to draft the next plan for the Association to address critical issues facing the veterinary profession.
The board also took action in several other areas during the meeting, including approval of one new policy. The policy, "Editorial Independence of the AVMA Journals," states that the AVMA editor-in-chief, not management, has authority over the editorial content of the journals (see story
Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, AVMA president
Dr. Jan K. Strother, AVMA vice president
The Strategic Planning Task Force is starting work on the Association's next strategic plan by examining the current strategic plan alongside input from the AVMA House of Delegates and the general membership.
The HOD—comprising representatives of state VMAs and other veterinary organizations—devoted time during its regular winter session in January to discussing critical issues facing the profession. During the regular annual session in July, the HOD generated statements and goals relevant to critical professional issues. Areas of focus include practice economics, veterinary education, scope of practice, workforce, and animal welfare.
Early this year, the Association asked the general membership to submit comments, via the website, on the three most critical issues facing the profession in the next five years. The AVMA Communications Division posted a summary of comments that nearly 450 members submitted from February to early April—as well as the full text of the comments, minus the names of the commenters.
Economic issues received the most comments, according to the summary, with members' concerns spanning a wide range. Examples include student debt, the cost of veterinary care, low-cost clinics, Internet pharmacies, and scope-of-practice issues.
This fall, the Strategic Planning Task Force will be prioritizing critical professional issues and then developing preliminary goals and subsidiary objectives for the Association's next strategic plan. The task force will present the preliminary information to the board in November for feedback. In January 2011, the HOD and general membership will have an opportunity to provide input.
In April 2011, the task force will present a first draft of a strategic plan to the board for feedback. Also presenting reports in April will be the 20/20 Vision Commission, which is forming a vision for the AVMA through 2020, and the Task Force on AVMA Programs for Students and Recent Graduates. The Strategic Planning Task Force will take these reports into account while developing a final draft for the strategic plan.
The board will vote on the strategic plan in June 2011.
The chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force is Dr. Theodore J. Cohn, vice chair of the board and District IX representative. Also serving on the task force are Drs. René A. Carlson, president-elect; Thomas F. Meyer, District XI representative; Larry G. Dee, District IV representative; and Daniel E. Lafontaine, chair of the House Advisory Committee.
Following up on a previous decision, the board approved submitting a resolution for consideration by the HOD that would institute a modest annual increase in member dues for a three-year period.
At its mid-June meeting, the board had decided to make the proposal (see JAVMA, Aug. 1, 2010).
The AVMA historically has increased member dues on an irregular basis and therefore by larger amounts. Dues last increased in 2004, by $25 for regular members to the current $250. Dues will increase next in 2011, by $50 for regular members, as approved by the HOD in January 2010.
At its Aug. 30-31 meeting, the board approved a resolution for submission to the HOD that would institute a $10 annual increase in dues for regular members from 2013-2015. The HOD will consider the resolution at its regular winter session in January 2011.
According to the statement accompanying the resolution, annual dues increases would enable the AVMA to keep up with the costs of doing business and plan prudently for initiatives to achieve the Association's strategic goals.
Following up on another previous decision, the board approved financial support for the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. The AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges established the NCVEI in 2000.
At its mid-June meeting, the AVMA board had approved continuing financial support for the NCVEI contingent on the approval of proportionate funding from AAHA and AAVMC. The AAVMC approved funding, but AAHA disapproved funding.
At its Aug. 30-31 meeting, the AVMA board considered the NCVEI funding request again and voted to support the NCVEI with $50,000 in 2011.
In other action, the board approved holding its June 2011 meeting in Idaho on days that would allow board members to participate afterward in the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience.
The goal of the VLE is to strengthen the leadership potential of veterinary students via group exercises that emphasize communication and collaboration. The AVMA signed on as the title sponsor in 2005.
The board voted in July 2009 to suspend VLE sponsorship to explore all the options for student programs but then voted in November 2009 to renew VLE sponsorship for two years while continuing to explore student programs.
Another board action resulted in the AVMA president having the option to attend additional state VMA meetings. The board recently had limited the president to attending five strategically important state meetings to emphasize the president's attendance at international, national, and regional meetings.
At its Aug. 30-31 meeting, the board authorized the president to attend additional state meetings on invitation at an annual cost not to exceed $18,000, or about 10 additional state meetings. The district directors on the board will continue to attend meetings in the states they represent.
Also receiving board approval was a recommendation for the AVMA to become an associate member of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition, a coalition of organizations active in animal rescue and sheltering in response to disasters.
The NARSC has engaged the AVMA and other groups as informal partners in the past. Now that the coalition has become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it is able to extend formal invitations for groups to become affiliate or associate members. The AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team program is already in compliance with the requirements for NARSC members.
Members may continue to submit comments on the three most critical issues facing the profession in the next five years by clicking here. A summary of comments from February, March, and early April is available by clicking "About the 'Future Critical Issues Scan.'"