AVMA Board manages agenda of diverse topics

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The April 9-11 meeting of the AVMA Board of Directors at Association headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, included an agenda of topics ranging from antimicrobial use and human-animal interactions to veterinary economics and board elections.

Dr. Chip Price chaired the meeting where veterinary specialty organizations received AVMA recognition and a policy was adopted that explicitly states the differences between being certified by an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization and earning a certificate.

Dr. Chip Price, AVMA Board of Directors chair, ends deliberations and calls for a vote. (Photos by R. Scott Nolen)
Dr. Mark Helfat, the District II director on the AVMA Board, explains how an experimental advisory panel will work.

Board members allocated more than $300,000 for the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division to continue its research on the U.S. veterinary workforce.

The Board supported a measure directing Association leadership and staff to work with the current class of AVMA Future Leaders on a plan for a wellness symposium for veterinary professionals. Additionally, the AVMA will host a summit in 2016 focused on veterinary opportunities for building global animal health capacity and enhancing food security.

The Board adopted policies concerning antimicrobial use in dogs, animal-assisted interventions, electronic voting for district directors, and biomedical research training for veterinarians. Also approved were policies advocating for veterinarians to be given priority for vaccinations against novel influenza strains and encouraging veterinarians to be vaccinated against seasonal strains of the flu virus.

AVMA President-elect Joe Kinnarney weighs in on policy proposals concerning antimicrobial use in dogs.
AVMA President Ted Cohn follows the discussion about the AVMA hosting a wellness summit for veterinary professionals.

Proposals referred by the board to the AVMA House of Delegates with recommendations for approval are as follows:

  • “Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing and Education”: Proposed revisions to this policy emphasize the importance of ensuring the welfare of random-source dogs and cats used for research, testing, and education; clearly acknowledge that scientific justification is required to support their use; and encourage options for acquisition beyond class B dealers.
  • “Veterinary Pharmacology Education for Pharmacists”: The proposed new policy addresses the ever-increasing concerns that the AVMA has received from members, and it advocates for three main concepts: (1) encouraging veterinary pharmacology education through professional pharmacy curricula and continuing education, (2) reminding pharmacists to verify the order with the prescribing veterinarian should any questions arise, and to refer the client back to the veterinarian if there are questions about patient care or use of over-the-counter drugs in the patient, and (3) reminding veterinarians to deliver clear prescriptions in line with state rules, to help avoid medication errors.
  • “AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics”: Proposed revisions clarify the section on veterinary testimonials and revise the section on the role of the receiving veterinarian.
  • AVMA Bylaws amendment revising the AVMA Council on Research entity description by expanding the “representing veterinary medical colleges” position to include directors of divisions of comparative medicine and departments of veterinary sciences.
  • AVMA Bylaws amendment restoring the length of service for members of the Board of Directors from four years to six.

Along with making appointments to AVMA committees and trusts, the Board re-elected Dr. Barbara Schmidt as treasurer, Dr. Ron DeHaven as executive vice president, and Dr. Elizabeth Curry-Galvin as assistant executive vice president. Each was elected to a one-year term.