As AAHA president, Moyer will advance association initiatives

Published on June 15, 2011
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 Dr. Moyer
Dr. Michael R. Moyer

Dr. Michael R. Moyer assumed the 2011-2012 American Animal Hospital Association presidency during the joint AAHA/Ontario VMA conference in Toronto this March.

Dr. Moyer is the Rosenthal Director of Shelter Animal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and owner of Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital Inc., in Bensalem, Pa.

After graduating from UPenn in 1990, Dr. Moyer worked in private practice and as executive director of an animal shelter before purchasing the Bridgewater hospital. He returned to teach at the veterinary school in May 2006. In addition to lectures and surgical instruction, Dr. Moyer represents the veterinary school in a variety of local, state, and national collaborative efforts related to animal welfare and sheltering.

Dr. Moyer has extensive professional volunteer leadership experience with alumni and veterinary medical associations. He has held various elected and appointed positions within these organizations, including the presidency of both the Pennsylvania VMA and University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Alumni Society. In 2005 Dr. Moyer was named the PVMA Veterinarian of the Year.

Dr. Moyer plans on dedicating his term as AAHA president to advancing the association's initiatives. "Each of the officers recognizes that our turn in the saddle is pretty fleeting—we don't direct or launch programs individually," he explained. "We work with members, staff, and our fellow board members to focus the organization's priorities over a period of years, rather than veering one way or another from year to year.

"We continue to focus on marketing and branding AAHA with the public, we look to add more value to the membership proposition, and we look to develop more effective tools and programs for team members belonging to our accredited hospitals."

Projects near and dear to Dr. Moyer's heart are those directed at veterinary students and recent graduates. AAHA leaders have reactivated the recent graduate committee to update mentoring guidelines, he noted, and are considering taking a closer look at the economics of the veterinary education system.

"We're broadly interested in the process leading to the veterinary degree and how students procuring those degrees are able to pay back their student loans," Dr. Moyer said, adding that this is one of several issues the AAHA is looking at as a participant in the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium.

Dr. Moyer also observed that the most important task of any AAHA board member or officer is listening to association members.

"They are often our early signals of change and opportunity within the profession," he said. "Making sure that any programs or projects start with, and remain focused on, our members' interests is a fundamental role. I think the composition of our board reinforces that, as most of us are still heavily engaged in our profession."

R. Scott Nolen