American Veterinary Medical Association elects new volunteer leaders for 2024-2025 term

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Dr. Sandra Faeh is the AVMA's new president for 2024-2025 term; Dr. Michael Bailey is new president-elect

AVMA President 2024-2025

Dr. Sandra Faeh capped a three-decade journey in organized veterinary medicine, formally becoming the President of the AVMA and pledging to promote, protect and advance the profession, collaborate with colleagues across veterinary medicine, and support young veterinarians through mentorship.

“As I embark on this journey, I hope to visit many of our colleagues in their daily lives, because my work as AVMA president will focus on their needs and the issues facing all of us as veterinarians,” Dr. Faeh said. “My priorities are aligned with those of the AVMA, which is working hard every day to ensure that our members’ interests come first, and that we can continue to make the health and welfare of our patients and the animals we serve our top priority.”

A 1996 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Faeh is chief veterinary officer for National Veterinary Associates, where she is also helping the company build a clinical mentorship program.

Her involvement with organized veterinary medicine began in 1995 as the national Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) president. Since then, she has served as president of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois alternate delegate and delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates, chair of the AVMA House Advisory Committee, and AVMA vice president.

She has served as treasurer of the Chicago VMA and chair of the Illinois State VMA Political Action Committee, Education Committee, and Student Engagement Committee.

Dr. Faeh formerly was part-owner of four small-animal clinics in the Chicago suburbs for more than 20 years. This provided her with insight into the daily challenges faced by practicing veterinarians, and she seeks to assist young doctors with all aspects of their careers in her role as a veterinary mentor.

As 2024-25 AVMA president, Dr. Faeh said she will maintain the priorities set by Association leadership and focus on the needs of AVMA members. That includes protecting the integrity of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) while also advancing the health and welfare of their animal patients.

“Efforts to relax the in-person establishment of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship and the introduction of a proposed midlevel practitioner concern us on many levels,” she told the AVMA House of Delegates. “These are not the right solutions for anyone – not animals, not their owners, not our valued colleagues and not the veterinary teams we work with. And most concerningly, they would seriously jeopardize animal health and safety.”

The AVMA is continuing work across the veterinary profession to address workforce issues, tracking trends and data to find the right solutions, according to Dr. Faeh.
“We are approaching these issues in a collaborative way, and leveraging science and data to ensure that the profession makes the right decisions when it comes to the future practice of veterinary medicine,” Dr. Faeh said.

“I firmly believe that everyone is welcome under the AVMA umbrella,” Dr. Faeh continued. “We are more than 105,000 strong, and this term as your president will be about all of you—our members, our volunteer leaders who work tirelessly to advance veterinary medicine, and our colleagues across the profession.”

AVMA President-Elect 2024-2025: Dr. Michael Bailey

Dr. Michael Q. Bailey, a board-certified veterinary radiologist and researcher, became the AVMA’s first Black President-Elect, pledging to offer “robust, effective, and diverse leadership that inspires innovation.”

Dr. Bailey earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University's College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. He then obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Tuskegee University in Alabama and later completed a comprehensive internship and radiology residency at Michigan State University.

Dr. Bailey has served on the faculties at Tuskegee, Michigan State University and The Ohio State University. He pioneered Ohio's inaugural private practice advanced veterinary CT imaging services and launched referral and emergency imaging facilities in Pittsburgh. As the lead radiologist for a nationwide veterinary practice with more than 1,000 facilities, he was pivotal in nationwide distributed veterinary imaging services and telemedicine. Dr. Bailey currently serves as the director of medical innovations in telemedicine for a global telemedicine consultant business, where he brings his extensive telemedicine expertise to the forefront.  Dr. Bailey also was an AAAS/AVMA Congressional fellow, serving as a full-time scientific legislative advisor in a congressional office.

Dr. Bailey has been engaged in organized veterinary volunteer leadership at the state and national levels. His leadership journey includes serving on the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) board and as PVMA president. He recently completed a six-year term on the AVMA Board of Directors, representing District 2, which encompasses New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

“The AVMA as a member association thrives on our collective efforts,” Dr. Bailey said. “Our esteemed members and colleagues are not just a part of the AVMA but its essence and backbone. Together, we can inspire our colleagues back home to join this journey of service. Their involvement is essential to our collective success.”

Board of Directors Chair 2024-2025: Dr. Robert Knapp

Dr. Robert Knapp, an AVMA Board member since 2019 and vice-chair of the Board for the past year, is a small animal practitioner in Columbus, Ohio, and owner of Knapp Veterinary Hospital, a six-veterinarian practice founded by his grandfather in 1945.

Upon completing his undergraduate and DVM degrees at The Ohio State University in 1986 and 1992 respectively, Dr. Knapp joined his father in the practice and became owner in 2007. He also holds a master's in animal science from Texas A&M University. An active Ohio State alumnus, Dr. Knapp serves as treasurer of the Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and held the position of president in 2008. Dr. Knapp is passionate about supporting veterinary students throughout their schooling, serving as a trusted mentor and adviser to dozens of Ohio State students.

Dr. Knapp also has been active in the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), serving in various capacities over more than two decades. He was a long-time member of the Board of Directors, served as OVMA president in 2007, and was Ohio delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. He volunteered for numerous OVMA initiatives, including participating in or chairing the legislative, finance, and Midwest Veterinary Conference Education committees.

Dr. Knapp's dedication to the profession has been recognized with prestigious awards including the OVMA's Meritorious Service Award in 1999, Ohio Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2014, and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Distinguished Alumni in 2015. He was honored with the National Gamma Award by Omega Tau Sigma, Gamma Chapter in 2018.

Board of Directors Vice Chair 2024-2025: Dr. Sandy Willis

A 1984 graduate of the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Willis completed her residency in small animal internal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and her internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Minnesota.

She is a small animal internist for Zoetis Reference Labs in Mukilteo, Washington, and was named the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year in 2015.

Dr. Willis is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), where she served as chair of the Communications Committee and was a member of the ACVIM Foundation Development Committee. She also has served as Business Management Session chair for the ACVIM Forum. Dr. Willis also has been board president of the Feral Cat Spay and Neuter Project in Lynnwood, Washington.

Before joining the AVMA Board of Directors in 2020, Dr. Willis served as chair of the AVMA House Advisory Committee, and was a member of the Strategic Management Committee, the Budget Finance Review Committee, and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation Board of Directors. She also has served as the Washington delegate and alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. Willis’ service to the AVMA also has included roles as a site visitor for the AVMA Council on Education, a member of the AVMA Governance Performance Review Committee, and chair of both a task force and working group on volunteer engagement.

AVMA Vice President 2024-2026: Dr. Gary Marshall

Dr. Gary Marshall is a 1989 graduate of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has owned two small animal clinics, and is the founder of Island Cats Veterinary Hospital, a feline-exclusive practice on Mercer Island.

Dr. Marshall’s advocacy journey began in veterinary school when he served as SCAVMA President at Washington State CVM. Dr. Marshall is a past president of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association and served on the Board of Directors. He has concluded his regular clinical duties at Island Cats and his service on the WSVMA Board to commit to his role as AVMA Vice President.

His service within the AVMA began in 2016 when he was elected to the AVMF Board of Directors. He held the position of vice chair prior to the Board restructuring. Dr. Marshall was selected to serve as Washington State’s alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates beginning in 2020. He also has served on the Board of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative.

Mentorship has been a key priority for Dr. Marshall in recent years. Besides organic mentorship relationships with dozens of employees who have gone on to pursue their DVM degrees, he connects with veterinary students who seek clinical training at Island Cats.  He has received an American Animal Hospital Association Visionary Award, as well as a Washington State CVM Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 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.