NAVC covers gamut of issues

Conference deals with veterinary business as well as medical matters
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NAVC interactive lab
Attendees participate in an interactive lab during the 2012 North American Veterinary Conference. (Photos courtesy of the NAVC)

The 2012 North American Veterinary Conference, Jan. 14-18 in Orlando, Fla., featured announcements about new initiatives to increase veterinary visits, a panel discussion on PetMed Express, and sessions on a variety of other subjects ranging from heartworm disease to animal behavior.

The NAVC added 75-minute sessions this year to provide in-depth, hands-on learning. Also new this year was an application for smart phones that allowed attendees to search for sessions, view maps, and build schedules. In addition, starting this year, attendees could download digital proceedings.

2012 NAVC board of directors
Members of the 2012 NAVC board of directors: Dr. Melinda Merck, director; Lynne Johnson-Harris, president-elect; Dr. Colin F. Burrows, executive director; Dr. K. Leann Kuebelbeck, director; and Dr. Gail Gibson, director. Back row: Drs. Earl H. Rippie Jr., secretary-treasurer; Christine Navarre, director; Laurel A. Kaddatz, immediate past president; M. Gatz Riddell Jr., president; David F. Senior, conference coordinator; Charlotte Lacroix, 1st vice president; Mark Crootof, director; and Richard A. LeCouteur, director

During the NAVC, the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare announced it is developing a new program—The Opportunity—that seeks to help veterinary practices increase canine and feline veterinary visits for regular preventive care (see JAVMA, March 1, 2012).

Also during the conference, the American Association of Feline Practitioners launched the Cat Friendly Practice Program to help practices become more accommodating of the distinct needs of cats, another effort to increase feline veterinary visits (see JAVMA, March 1, 2012).

The NAVC offered a panel discussion on PetMed Express, an Internet pharmacy doing business as 1-800-PetMeds (see story). PetMed Express was to be an NAVC exhibitor and sponsor in 2012 for the first time, but the company withdrew in response to concerns from attendees.

The American Heartworm Society presented several sessions and announced updates to its guidelines (see story and sidebar). Canine and feline behavioral problems were the subject of two symposia (see story).

The AVMA, in keeping with a new focus on economics, presented a symposium on economic issues in veterinary medicine. The speakers were Drs. René A. Carlson, AVMA president, and Karen E. Felsted, former chief executive officer of the now-defunct National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.

Dr. Lulich
Dr. Jody P. Lulich

Also during the conference, Hill's Pet Nutrition recognized Dr. Jody P. Lulich (TUS '84) with the 2012 Mark L. Morris Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Lulich received the award for achievements in nephrology, urology, and education.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Dr. Lulich is a professor of internal medicine at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and co-director of the Minnesota Urolith Center at the university. His work in nephrology and urology has earned him an international reputation as a clinical investigator and educator in these fields. Dr. Lulich created the technique of voiding urohydropropulsion as a nonsurgical method to remove uroliths from the urinary bladder.

In recognition of Dr. Lulich, Hill's will donate $20,000 to the Morris Animal Foundation in his name.

The NAVC attracted nearly 16,000 attendees in all—including 6,245 veterinarians, 1,461 veterinary technicians, and 905 veterinary students and veterinary technician students. The international attendees numbered more than 1,000 and hailed from more than 70 countries.