AVMA, AAVMC form Veterinary Futures Commission

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A Veterinary Futures Commission established by the AVMA and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges will evaluate challenges and opportunities within the veterinary profession and identify priorities guided by societal needs.

The group, comprising creative thinkers from academia, industry, professional practice and other officials, will then develop evidence-based recommendations regarding potential courses of action for consideration by the AVMA and AAVMC boards of directors, according to an April 4 joint press release.

"We're very excited to bring together such a visionary and diverse group of ‘big-picture' thinkers to participate in these critical discussions," Dr. Michael Topper, president of the AVMA, was quoted as saying in the release. "They are just the right folks to participate in the critical strategic discussions we need to be having, asking the right questions, and, when need be, challenging assumptions that might be holding us back."

The AVMA-AAVMC Veterinary Futures Commission, which arose from discussions held through the AVMA-AAVMC Joint Committee, held its first meeting April 8-9 in conjunction with the Innovation Summit at Texas A&M University. From there, the plan is to meet up to three times a year along with conference calls as needed.

"The purpose of this group is to help shape a better future for the profession of veterinary medicine," AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe said in the release. "I think the diversity of perspective and experience that commission members bring to the table is going to promote some innovative thinking and help generate the kinds of ideas that will create opportunities and foster better decision-making."

Members of the Veterinary Futures Commission are as follows:

  • Dr. Eleanor Green, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University College Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (chair).
  • Dr. Warwick Bayly, professor of equine medicine, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Steve Curvey, chief operating officer, Veterinary Study Groups Inc.
  • Dr. Carla Gartrell, associate dean for academic affairs, Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Christine Jenkins, chief medical officer and vice president of veterinary medical services and outcomes research at Zoetis.
  • Dr. Jason Johnson, vice president and dean, Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Dr. Adam Little, director of veterinary innovation and entrepreneurship, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
  • Shannon Mesenhowski, program officer, livestock/agriculture development team, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Ken Rotondo, president and founding partner, Mind Genomics Advisors.
  • Dr. Nancy Turner, independent relief veterinarian, McKinney, Texas.