In Short

Published on January 30, 2019

AVMA honored with Pet Hero Award

Dr. de Jong accepts awardThis past October, the AVMA was named Animal Health Organization of the Year at the Pet Hero Awards 6th Anniversary Ceremony at Gotham Hall in New York City.

The Pet Philanthropy Circle Pet Hero Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the health and welfare of animals. AVMA President John de Jong accepted the award on behalf of the association.

"Providing much needed regular, affordable care to animals of all species is part of every veterinarian's DNA," Dr. de Jong said in an AVMA press release. "The AVMA is committed to providing veterinarians with the resources needed to use their skills to save and enhance the quality of animal lives. Organizations such as the Pet Philanthropy Circle and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation's Veterinary Care Charitable Fund help us realize this goal."

Other 2018 winners included Zoetis Inc. as Corporation of the Year and the surviving family of Steve Irwin, who hosted the television show "The Crocodile Hunter," as recipients of the inaugural Humanitarian Family of the Year Award.

VBMA seeks out former members

The Veterinary Business Management Association is endeavoring to start an alumni network.

The VBMA is a veterinary student–run organization aimed at educating members on how to get hired, become a successful associate, and own or buy a practice. Students get a crash course in money matters as diverse as Roth IRAs, exchange-traded funds, and loan repayment and consolidation.

The VBMA currently has over 5,000 active members at 35 universities in the U.S. and Caribbean. The association estimates it has 10,000 alumni.

Former members, now graduated, have expressed interest in staying involved. Some are now working with the association to create a VBMA alumni association. Colleagues are encouraged to fill out a form. It asks for contact information along with veterinary college attended and graduation year.

Ricky Walther, 2019 VBMA president, said, "We are in the process of forming a committee of alumni to head this arm of our organization, and details about member benefits and the dues structure will be determined soon. The primary goal of this endeavor is to create a network of like-minded veterinarians who can share ideas and connect with people at similar stages of their careers. We also hope to find ways to connect our alumni to current students for mentorship and advice as we enter our careers."

V Foundation expands funding for canine cancer studies

Veterinarian examining a dogThe V Foundation announced this past October plans for a grant-making program to accelerate research in the field of canine comparative oncology. The aim is to discover faster and less costly drug therapies for dogs and humans as well as better-informed research designs for both species.

In recent years, the V Foundation has awarded more than $700,000 for canine comparative oncology studies through a collaboration between the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine and Duke Cancer Institute.

"This program will not only provide benefits to the millions of canine and human patients each year that get cancer, it will make the challenging process of identifying new approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment more efficient and effective," said Michael Kastan, MD, executive director of Duke Cancer Institute, in a press release.

The V Foundation is working with advisers from several veterinary colleges and paired cancer centers to evaluate research needs and select the best grant topics.

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