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September 01, 2021

Candidates for AVMA offices introduce themselves

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Three candidates spoke during the regular annual session of the AVMA House of Delegates on July 30—one for a second time.

Dr. Rena Carlson, former chair of the AVMA Board of Directors, announced she is running for 2022-23 AVMA president-elect. Dr. Grace Bransford, former AVMA vice president, will also be running for the same position during this next election cycle.

Dr. Jennifer Quammen, co-founder of a veterinary coaching business, is the only candidate for 2022-24 AVMA vice president so far. The AVMA Board recently revamped the office of vice president to build stronger ties with veterinary college deans and faculty as well as veterinary student leadership.

Dr. Carlson
Dr. Rena Carlson (Photos by R. Scott Nolen)

Dr. Carlson is a 1989 veterinary graduate of Washington State University. In 1993, she became co-owner of Alpine Animal Hospital in Pocatello, Idaho, which has grown into a mixed animal practice employing six doctors. Although her primary focus is companion animals, she continues to have an agricultural perspective. A former member of the AVMA HOD and several AVMA councils and committees, Dr. Carlson served on the AVMA Board from 2014-20, spending her final year on the Board as chair.

Speaking to AVMA delegates, Dr. Carlson said her goal as AVMA president would be “to build and strengthen our connections and focus on unity and understanding, which is critical to meet the challenges ahead.” She also hopes to build a more inclusive culture with the veterinary profession while also helping veterinary professionals achieve financial success and practice ownership, if they so chose.

Dr. Bransford
Dr. Grace Bransford

Dr. Bransford is a 1998 graduate of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and a small animal practitioner in Marin County, California. From 2018-20, Dr. Bransford was AVMA vice president. She has been involved in AVMA volunteer leadership for many years, serving on numerous councils and committees.

She declared her candidacy shortly after losing to Dr. Lori Teller in the race for 2021-22 AVMA president-elect. In her brief address to the HOD, Dr. Bransford said it is her dream to serve as AVMA president.

“Leading this organization, being a figurehead, being a lead communicator has been my dream,” she said. “This is my profession, my passion. It’s your profession and your passion. And I promise I will give you every bit of service to all of you in this role.”

Dr. Quammen
Dr. Jennifer Quammen

Dr. Quammen is a 2011 veterinary graduate of The Ohio State University and an alumna of the AVMA Future Leaders Program. She has served on a number of AVMA entities, including the Council on Veterinary Service, the Practice Advisory Panel, and the Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee.

“Well-being and wellness are terms that define me,” Dr. Quammen told the HOD.

“Helping people within our profession understand that failure isn’t failure—failure is simply feedback—that is something we really have to learn in this profession,” as it will go a long way toward promoting personal well-being, she said.