AVMA fellows educating congress members

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Three AVMA-supported veterinarians will spend a year giving scientific advice to members of Congress.

The participants in the AVMA Fellowship Program will work in congressional offices until August 2016, according to an AVMA announcement.

Drs. Lauren Stump, Honorata “Kuki” Hansen, and Rachel Cumberbatch (Photo by Molly Riley)

Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch of Lebanon, Indiana, will work with Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota on health care issues; Dr. Honorata “Kuki” Hansen of Edinburgh, Scotland, will work with Rep. Sam Farr of California on climate, endangered species, and marine mammal and fisheries issues; and Dr. Lauren Stump of DeRidder, Louisiana, will work with Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona on energy, natural resources, and endangered species issues, according to the announcement.

The AVMA sponsors its fellowship program through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which manages and administers fellowship programs that provide science and technology expertise in congressional offices, according to both organizations. The fellows work as staff members in congressional offices and not as AVMA employees or lobbyists, according to the AVMA.

The AVMA president, Dr. Joe Kinnarney, said in the announcement that lawmakers need to hear from scientific experts who can help them make informed decisions affecting the veterinary profession and human and animal health.