2022-2023 AVMA fellow placed in congressional office

For more information Phone: 202-641-2533 Cell: 202-641-2533
For immediate release: 10/06/2022

(WASHINGTON, DC) October 6, 2022—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced today that Dr. Jacob Merryman, the 2022-2023 AVMA congressional fellow, has secured a yearlong placement as a full-time staff member in U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office.

Dr. Merryman will use his veterinary and public health expertise to provide science-based counsel directly to Sen. Gillibrand and her staff. Most recently, Dr. Merryman worked in patient-centric care with an emphasis on exotic animals, reproduction, and public health for a small animal hospital in Sonoma County, CA. As a former U.S. Department of Agriculture extern, Dr. Merryman brings firsthand public policy experience that will be beneficial during his fellowship.

"The AVMA is thrilled about Dr. Merryman's unique opportunity with Senator Gillibrand's office to help shape legislation that impacts the country," said Dr. Lori Teller, AVMA President. "By extending his scientific expertise to lawmakers and their staffs, a voice from our profession will influence Congress and public policy decision-makers to take an evidence-based approach to legislative problem solving."

"I aspire to learn how policy is made first-hand and how scientists can contribute," said Dr. Merryman. "During my fellowship, I will be promoting One Health and providing a veterinarian's perspective on a broad set of legislative issues. I know my time on Capitol Hill will be invaluable and look forward to working with Congress and seeing what we can accomplish together. Thank you to the AVMA and Senator Gillibrand's office for this exciting opportunity and my mentors at VCA Sequoia Valley Animal Hospital and Western University of Health Sciences for their unwavering support."

Dr. Merryman received a Bachelor of Biological Sciences degree from the University of California, Davis in 2013. In 2019, he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Western University of Health Sciences. In 2020, Dr. Merryman also earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota.

About the AVMA

Serving more than 100,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.