Lemme, Walker, Ylander run for District VII rep on AVMA Board

Electronic and paper voting in March; winner to be announced in April
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Dr. Lemme
Dr. Charles Lemme
Dr. Walker
​Dr. Frank E. Walker
Dr. Ylander
Dr. David M. Ylander

Three candidates are running to succeed Dr. John Howe as District VII representative on the AVMA Board of Directors when his term expires this July.

AVMA members living in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota will elect one of the following candidates to a six-year term on the AVMA Board: Dr. Charles Lemme of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Dr. Frank E. Walker of New Rockford, North Dakota; or Dr. David M. Ylander of Alliance, Nebraska.

AVMA members with valid email addresses have received an email with a link to cast their votes electronically. Voters must respond by March 31 to be included in the electronic tabulation results. Paper ballots were distributed to AVMA members for whom the AVMA does not have valid email addresses, and they must be received back by March 31. The election winner will be announced in early April.

Dr. Lemme has been a small animal practitioner since graduating from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. While working in Illinois, he was active in the Chicago VMA, eventually serving on the CVMA board. In 1985, Dr. Lemme bought a small animal practice in Cedar Rapids, where he continues to practice.

Dr. Lemme has served as president of the Midwest Small Animal Association and as an area director of the American Animal Hospital Association. His volunteer service with the AVMA includes representing the AAHA on the Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee.

While serving on CPAC, Dr. Lemme presented the AVMA's comments at public meetings held by both the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Agriculture's Center for Veterinary Biologics. He also was selected to be the small animal practitioner representative on a working group made up of veterinarians from industry and the USDA that was tasked with developing new, practitioner-friendly labeling for biologics.

Dr. Lemme became involved in the Iowa VMA by serving on the small animal committee, first as a member, and then as chair for several years. He has also served on the legislative and finance committees. Dr. Lemme was elected as a district representative on the IVMA executive board and then elected as vice president, rotated up through the offices, and served as president in 2007.

He currently is in his sixth year representing Iowa in the AVMA House of Delegates, first as the alternate delegate, now as the delegate.

"The AVMA is a great organization but faces many challenges. Staying relevant to our current and future members is going to be a major one. It is going to take leadership that is engaged, experienced, but also forward-thinking to meet those challenges. I think I can provide those skills," said Dr. Lemme.

Dr. Walker is a mixed animal practitioner and owner of Flickertail Veterinary Service in New Rockford, North Dakota. Dr. Walker received his DVM degree from Iowa State University in 1977, then returned to his home state, where he worked as an associate veterinarian for nearly four years. He then built and operated a private mixed animal clinical practice for more than 25 years. At present, he is a consultant.

At Iowa State, Dr. Walker participated in the Student AVMA, and he continues to be involved, in the North Dakota VMA. For several years, he was secretary-treasurer for the NDVMA, and currently he is a member of the continuing education committee and a vice president. In 2002, Dr. Walker was appointed to the state licensure board, where he served for 12 years.

Dr. Walker served on the AVMA Council on Education from 2004-10, during which time he was liaison to the Council on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. Afterward, Dr. Walker served on the resolutions and bylaws committee for the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. He was elected to fill an unfinished term on the AAVSB board of directors, then completed a successful run for a full-term position. He went on to serve as treasurer, president-elect, and president of the AAVSB and currently is the immediate past president.

Dr. Walker stated, "I offer a wealth of experience and knowledge as a mixed animal practitioner, coupled with a breadth of state and national experience focused on regulatory, accreditation and education, and leadership development of volunteers. Based on my experience as a rural veterinarian, I am committed to advocacy for this unique aspect of practice because it contributes significantly to food animal production, food safety, and biosecurity."

Since receiving his DVM degree from Kansas State University in 1983, Dr. Ylander has been in private mixed animal practice with an emphasis on companion animals and equine medicine and surgery. He currently is a partner in a four-doctor mixed animal clinic in Alliance, Nebraska.

Dr. Ylander has been active in organized veterinary medicine since shortly after graduation. He is a past president of the Nebraska VMA and served on the prescription drug monitoring legislative task force that helped reduce the impact of reporting regulations on Nebraska veterinarians by limiting reporting to only schedule 2 to schedule 5 controlled drugs. Dr. Ylander has also served as president and vice president of his local NVMA district and currently serves as NVMA District VII secretary.

Dr. Ylander spent two terms on the Nebraska Board of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and helped draft rules and regulations governing licensed veterinary technicians and unlicensed assistants. He was an advocate for collaborative practice between licensed veterinarians and human health care providers, resulting in a change in the Nebraska practice act allowing for such activity. He was involved in the creation of licensure for animal therapists under board supervision in Nebraska.

Dr. Ylander has been a member of the board of directors for the AAVSB as well as president and chair of its bylaws and resolutions committee.

For the past 12 years, he has served in the AVMA House of Delegates as the alternate delegate or delegate for Nebraska. He chaired the House Advisory Committee from 2016-17, during which time he was a nonvoting member on the AVMA Board of Directors. He has also served on the budget and finance review committee and the Future Leaders selection committee.

"I want to use my experience gained from leadership positions in organized and regulatory veterinary medicine to advocate on behalf of all those members of the veterinary profession—veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and office staff—within District VII by serving their interests as an active and engaged participant on the AVMA Board of Directors," Dr. Ylander said.