Eia is new preparedness, response coordinator for AVMA

Will oversee VMAT program, other disaster-related activities
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Dr. Eia
Dr. Cheryl L. Eia

Dr. Cheryl L. Eia joined the AVMA in April as an assistant director in the Scientific Activities Division to oversee the Association’s emergency preparedness and response activities.

As the AVMA emergency preparedness and response coordinator, Dr. Eia supervises the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team program, provides staff support to the AVMA Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues, and engages in policy coordination, outreach, and educational activities.

Dr. Eia comes to the AVMA from the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, where she worked since 2008. There, she developed an animal emergency management course for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to train personnel about their roles during a disaster. She also devised guidelines and other materials for the USDA to use during animal disease emergencies and worked with the National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs and its best practice working groups.

Dr. Eia was an attorney prior to joining the veterinary profession. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Law in 1989, she spent the next several years practicing law in St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Fargo, N.D.

Eventually, Dr. Eia enrolled at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine and would graduate with a DVM degree in 2008. She also earned a master’s in public health that year from the University of Minnesota.

During her studies, Dr. Eia served externships with the AVMA Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C., and the USDA Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health’s National Animal Health Monitoring System in Fort Collins, Colo.

“I am honored to be selected to work for the AVMA and its members as coordinator of emergency preparedness and response,” Dr. Eia said. “I am excited by the opportunity to utilize my background and experience while representing the AVMA on issues of national importance related to animal emergency management.

“I look forward to working with the CDEI, VMAT teams, and other stakeholders to enhance our nation’s emergency preparedness and response.”