AVMA may change mission

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The AVMA may replace its mission and purpose statements with ones that focus more on serving members.

During its regular winter session in January, the AVMA House of Delegates considered changing the mission and purpose statements in the AVMA Bylaws, but delegates voted to delay action to allow further editorial changes.  

The delegates referred the proposed changes to the AVMA Executive Board, asking it to come up with modified language incorporating additional changes suggested during the meeting and to submit a new proposal for the delegates to consider during the HOD session in July. 

The current mission indicates the Association aims to improve animal and human health and advance the veterinary medical profession. In contrast, the proposed new mission statement would indicate that the AVMA is intended to serve, support, and advocate on behalf of members and, by doing so, advance the veterinary medical profession and improve animal and human health. The new statement of purpose would be similar to the existing statement, but would add that the AVMA would act to improve the lives of veterinarians that compose its membership.

Eleven organizations proposed the changes: the Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin VMAs; the American Animal Hospital Association; the American Association of Feline Practitio­ners; and the Ameri­can Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners.

Dr. Frederick W. Baum, alternate delegate for Vermont, said the proponents of the changes to the mission and purpose statements want to ensure the AVMA remains relevant to members and consistent with member values, despite any changes within or outside the veterinary profession. By making the changes, delegates would agree to embrace the values described and use them for guidance.

“It’s the starting point; it’s the line in the sand,” he said.

Dr. Baum said he wants AVMA members to know its leaders are working for them and that the AVMA is a member-driven association.

“It’s a relationship, and we need to earn your trust by showing you that we’re working on your behalf and we’re advocating on your behalf,” he said. “But we can’t work alone. This is a relationship that requires the input and help from all our members.”