Journey is the reward for world veterinary award winner
Dr. Mo Salman is the third winner of the 2010 Penn Vet World Leadership in Animal Health Award, a prize that comes with $100,000 in unrestricted funding. The award is underwritten by the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation.
It is presented annually to a veterinarian who has dramatically changed the practice and image of the profession and substantially influenced the lives and careers of others.
Two veterinary students—Nikkita Patel and Brittany Gross—also received $100,000 each through the annual Penn Vet Inspiration Award competition, which is also funded by the Hill Foundation. All three gave presentations at the Sept. 28 award ceremony on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Dr. Salman, who founded Colorado State University's Animal Population Health Institute in 2002, has made a name for himself conducting research that benefits both people and animals globally. Just this year, he helped the institute and CSU's Institute for Livestock and the Environment win a $15 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to study the impact climate change has on livestock around the globe, particularly in developing countries.
Dr. Salman was raised in Baghdad and received his veterinary degree from the University of Baghdad in 1973. He later attended the University of California-Davis and earned a master's in preventive veterinary medicine in 1980.
Since then, Dr. Salman has found that using established, scientific epidemiologic tools and approaches works best to build the infrastructure of national animal health programs, particularly in countries recovering from war or just becoming established. The approaches focus on assessing available resources and building a priority list for major animal health issues.
Dr. Joan C. Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, said, “What I love about Dr. Salman is not only his field of study (the kind of field where he has a broad impact) but also the kind of work he's done has had a global presence. He embodies the kind of impact we want our students to see that you can do as a veterinarian, and he's a perfect role model for that.”
ACVIM honors researchers
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine honored several researchers at its annual convention, June 9-12 in Anaheim, Calif. Dr. George E. Lees, an ACVIM diplomate in the Specialty of Small Animal Internal Medicine, received the Robert W. Kirk Award for Professional Excellence. Dr. Lees is a professor of veterinary internal medicine at Texas A&M University.
Individuals receiving the Resident Research Award included the following: Drs. Rosa Barsnick, The Ohio State University, for “Hormones of energy metabolism in septic foals: Associations between insulin, glucagon, leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin and growth hormone”; Jessica Clemans, Iowa State University, for “Development of a high performance liquid chromatography serum vitamin B6 assay in canines with calcium oxalate urolithiasis”; Eva Furrow, University of Minnesota, for “Atypical collapse in exercising labrador retrievers unaffected by the dynamin-1 mutation”; Lucie Goodwin, Royal Veterinary College, for “Evaluation of hypercoagulability using thromboelastography (TEG) in dogs with protein losing enteropathy”; Emily Klosterman, Purdue University, for “A case-control study of nephrotic syndrome in dogs: 78 cases”; Brian Maran, Washington State University, for “Identification of beta-1 adrenergic receptor polymorphisms in cats”; Jason Reeder, North Carolina State University, for “Gross and histologic quality of bone marrow core specimens obtained from the same site by a combined aspiration and biopsy technique in dogs”; Davin Ringen, University of Missouri, for “Utility of pre-partum parameters for predicting intramammary infection at calving in first calf heifers on a grazing dairy”; Laura Vasquez, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, for “Effects of aspirin and clopidogrel on platelet function in normal dogs”; and Dorothy Whelchel, University of Georgia, for “Effects of clopidogrel on platelet function in the horse.”
One hundred twenty-four veterinarians completed the requirements for board certification by the ACVIM in 2010. Of the 124, 17 were certified in cardiology, 16 in neurology, 15 in oncology, 19 in internal medicine (large animal), and 57 in internal medicine (small animal).
Task force starts on next strategic plan
The AVMA Executive Board, while meeting Aug. 30-31, approved formation of a new Strategic Planning Task Force to draft the next plan for the Association to address critical issues facing the veterinary profession.
The Strategic Planning Task Force will start work on the Association's next strategic plan by examining the current strategic plan alongside input from the AVMA House of Delegates and the general membership.
Early this year, the AVMA asked members to submit comments on the three most critical issues facing the profession in the next five years. Members may continue to submit comments and view a summary of earlier comments at www.avma.org/about avma/governance/strategic planning by clicking on “About the ‘Future Critical Issues Scan’”
This fall, the Strategic Planning Task Force will be prioritizing critical professional issues and then developing preliminary goals and subsidiary objectives for the Association's next strategic plan. The task force will present the preliminary information to the board in late November for feedback. In January 2011, the HOD and general membership will have an opportunity to provide input.
In other action, the board approved submitting a resolution for consideration by the HOD that would institute a $10 annual increase in dues for regular members from 2013-2015. The board had decided at its mid-June meeting to make the proposal.
The HOD will consider the resolution at its regular winter session in January 2011. According to the statement accompanying the resolution, annual dues increases would enable the AVMA to keep up with the costs of doing business and plan prudently for initiatives to achieve the Association's strategic goals.
Board adopts policy on independence of AVMA journals
A policy recognizing the editorial independence of the AVMA journals received approval during the Aug. 30-31 meeting of the AVMA Executive Board.
The philosophy of editorial independence is that publications are more credible sources of information if the editor-in-chief, rather than the parent organization, controls the content.
The new policy reads as follows:
Editorial Independence of the AVMA Journals
The AVMA recognizes and fully accepts the need for editorial independence of the AVMA journals and grants the editor-in-chief full authority over the editorial content of the journals, including the selection of content for publication and the timing of publication of that content. For these purposes, editorial content is understood to include research articles, other types of scientific reports, opinion articles, news, and advertising. Opinions and statements expressed in the AVMA journals are those of the contributors and do not represent the official policy of the AVMA, unless so stated. AVMA management does not interfere in the evaluation, selection, or editing of individual articles published in the AVMA journals, either directly or by creating an environment that strongly influences decisions of the editor-in-chief.
Nominate or run for a seat at the AVMA table
One way that AVMA members can make their voices heard is through service on one of the Association's councils, committees, or other entities. Members who serve on these AVMA entities contribute toward decisions involving veterinary-related issues by providing their expertise and expressing their views on matters ranging from veterinary education and animal welfare to legislation and food safety.
Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, AVMA CEO and executive vice president, said, “If AVMA is going to maintain relevance to its members, it is critical that we continue to have strong member participation on our various councils, committees, and task forces. It is our members who have made AVMA a great organization for the profession, and it is continued member participation that will keep us a strong voice for veterinary medicine into the future.
“The time commitment does not have to be significant, and yet, virtually every council and committee member I have spoken with feels they have benefited personally from the experience.”
Nominations are being sought for 73 vacancies on AVMA entities.
Council nominations may be made by organizations represented in the AVMA House of Delegates or by petition of 10 voting members. Committee nominations, unless otherwise noted, may be made by local or state veterinary associations, by allied groups represented in the HOD, or by AVMA members on their own or another's behalf.
The HOD will fill all council vacancies when it convenes in July 2011 in St. Louis. Council nominations must be submitted by April 1, 2011, to the AVMA Office of the Executive Vice President. Nominations for the Council on Education, however, must be submitted by Feb 1, 2011, so that the Council on Education Candidate Qualification Review Committee may review the nomination materials prior to the HOD election.
Nominations are being sought for eight previously unfilled committee vacancies so that the Executive Board can appoint members in November 2010. The deadline for those nominations is Oct. 20. The eight vacancies are on the Animal Welfare Committee, Committee on the Human-Animal Bond, Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee, Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues, Convention Management and Program Committee (two positions), Food Safety Advisory Committee, and Legislative Advisory Committee.
The Executive Board will fill all the other committee and trust vacancies at its April 2011 meeting. Nominations are also invited for one Political Action Committee Policy Board member to be appointed by the House Advisory Committee at its March 2011 meeting. Committee and trust nominations should be submitted to the AVMA Office of the Executive Vice President no later than March 7, 2011.
Council, committee, and trust nomination materials, including descriptions of the various entities and vacancies, are available on the AVMA website at www.avma.org/about avma/governance/volunteering/vacancies.asp. These materials can also be obtained by calling AVMA headquarters at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6605, or e-mailing OfficeEVP@avma.org.
AVMA seeks award nominations
The AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation are accepting nominations for their 2011 awards for veterinarians and some nonveterinarians who have made key contributions to veterinary medicine or animal welfare.
The Associations will present the awards at the 148th AVMA Annual Convention, July 16-19 in St. Louis. Many awards include a monetary award, travel expenses, or both.
The deadline is Feb. 1, 2011, for award nominations, except the nomination deadline is March 1 for the Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award.
Information about the awards and nomination forms are available by visiting www.avma.org/awards or by contacting AVMA staff as follows:
AVMA Award, AVMA Meritorious Service Award, Charles River Prize, Royal Canin Award, XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize—Julie Granstrom, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6605, or email@example.com
AVMA Advocacy Award—Dr. Mark T. Lutschaunig, (800) 321-1473, Ext. 3205, or firstname.lastname@example.org
AVMA Animal Welfare Award, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal of the Year Veterinarian Award, AVMA Humane Award—Kathy Sikora, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6635, or email@example.com
AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award, AVMA Practitioner Research Award, AVMF/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research, AVMF/Winn Feline Foundation Research Award—Eileen Hoblit, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6778, or firstname.lastname@example.org
AVMA Public Service Award—Jennifer McBride, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6712, or email@example.com
Student scholarship deadline approaches
Pfizer Animal Health and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation are inviting veterinary students to apply for the second Veterinary Student Scholarship Program.
Up to 250 scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded to assist students in paying for their professional education. The program was developed to help address the issue of rising school debt and its impact on the veterinary profession.
During this second year of the program, up to $625,000 in student scholarships will go to eligible second-and third-year students studying at U.S.-based, AVMA Council on Education-accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in 2010-2011.
In addition to traditional selection criteria—academic excellence and financial need—these scholarships will focus on the sustainable needs of the profession, specifically in diversity and food animal medicine.
Applications will be initially reviewed by the Foundation with consideration to the stated criteria. Qualifying student applications will then be forwarded to each college's representative, who will make the final determination on which students receive scholarships. The final decisions will be made on the basis of the total amount of scholarship dollars available for disbursement and the college's enrollment.
In 2010—the program's launch year—Pfizer Animal Health awarded 222 U.S. veterinary students with a total of $555,000 in scholarships.
The scholarship program is part of Pfizer Animal Health's Commitment to Veterinarians, which supports veterinarians through training and education, research and development, and investment in the future of the veterinary profession.
To apply for the Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, students can visit www.avmf.org/pfizer. The deadline for applications is Nov. 15.
AVMA/AVMF loan repayment recipients announced
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation and AVMA announced the first recipients of the 2010 Food Animal Veterinarian Recruitment and Retention Program awards Oct. 4.
FAVRRP, which launched in April, is an economic assistance program that provides student loan debt forgiveness for veterinarians in food animal practice.
The Department of Agriculture currently projects a shortage of 600 veterinarians and anticipates demand for food animal veterinarians will increase 12 to 13 percent by 2016. Over the past few years, about 2,600 veterinarians have graduated from U.S. veterinary schools. The average debt a veterinary student incurs by graduation is approximately $130,000.
The selection committee of the pilot program chose five individuals to receive up to $100,000 each over a four-year period. They are Drs. Shaw Perrin (OSU ‘10) of Goshen, Ind.; Austin Ayars (OSU ‘07) of Phoenix; Conrad Spangler (MIN ‘09) of Dalhart, Texas; Kay Russo (COR ‘10) of Stephenville, Texas; and Scott Morey (KSU ‘10) of Concordia, Kan.
The AVMF administered the application process and payments. The Foundation also assisted the selection committee in choosing recipients.
In all, the program received more than 100 applications from veterinarians whose scholarly and career focus was in food animal medicine.
Each winner has agreed to work in a qualified U.S. food animal practice—i.e., a practice that derives half or more of its revenue from food animal services—for a four-year period.
The recipients will receive payments that can be applied to their student loan debt for every 12 months of continuous practice during the four years, assuming they remain in a qualifying practice. Payments will be on a graduated basis.
The program's sponsors are Pfizer Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., Elanco Animal Health, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, Phibro Animal Health, AVMF, and AVMA.
Sponsors have yet to decide whether to extend the program another year.
AVMA, AVMF advance causes together
Dr. Clark K. Fobian became the new leader of the AVMF board of directors during the AVMA Annual Convention Aug. 1. Dr. Fobian spoke recently about the charity's past, recent efforts to strengthen its relationship with the Association, and plans to ensure the Foundation's future success.
Dr. Fobian is one of the few who have been an AVMA Executive Board member and chair of the AVMF board of directors concurrently. He feels he's been given this opportunity to further the integration process between the AVMA and AVMF.
Already there has been progress. The two staff leaders of the Association and Foundation signed an agreement in early August called “Integration Planning: A Framework for Success.” It outlines a vision and framework for integrating the strategic and operational goals of the Association and Foundation. The document had previously been accepted by the AVMF and AVMA boards and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Dr. Fobian said the Foundation will succeed only to the extent that it becomes integral to the Association and integrated with it. The AVMF has been criticized in the past for having high overhead costs relative to its programmatic expenses. He said that's attributable in part to the AVMA's past inexperience in working with the Foundation, which kept the charity from operating in a way that would have demonstrated its usefulness to the Association.
The Foundation is currently doing well relative to its finances. The AVMF projected as of mid-September that income for 2010 will surpass this past year by 500 percent. Programmatic spending is anticipated to account for 74 percent of the AVMF's expenses, a projection that would beat 2009's programmatic spending—59 percent—by 15 percentage points.
Dr. Fobian is excited about similar possibilities between the Association and Foundation. He said even though the two entities have distinct strategic plans, they can help each other accomplish their goals because of overlapping priorities.
The AVMA, for example, has long supported the Veterinary Leadership Experience as part of its goal to reach out to veterinary students, which is also part of the AVMF's strategic plan.
Potentially, Dr. Fobian said, the Association could contribute the funds now going to the VLE instead to, or through, the Foundation for it to augment and send to the VLE. Under this scenario, both entities would be supporting their goals.
Already, the AVMF plans to designate $417,500 for the Association next year so the charity may support Association-related causes including the Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams emergency and preparedness response program, the creation of a model animal welfare curriculum, the congressional fellowship program, and Vet2011, a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the world's first veterinary school in 1761 in Lyon, France.
Joining Dr. Fobian as a leader on the AVMF board of directors is Ginger Brainard, PhD, who will serve as vice chair for 2010-2011. Dr. Brainard became a member of the board of directors in summer 2008 as the designee from the Auxiliary to the AVMA. She said she's learned a lot watching the Foundation strengthen its collaboration with the AVMA. She hopes to create a similar relationship between the Auxiliary and the Foundation.
Nutritional assessment guidelines, consortium introduced
Only 7 percent of pets that could benefit from a therapeutic food are receiving such a regimen, the American Animal Hospital Association learned through its compliance study. AAHA announced the first steps toward turning that around, Aug. 1 at the AVMA Annual Convention in Atlanta.
The association has published nutritional assessment guidelines, the latest in a series of guidelines designed to help achieve client compliance with veterinary medical recommendations. The AAHA Nutritional Assessment Guidelines for Dogs and Cats were published in the July/August issue of JAAHA and the September/October issue of Trends Magazine.
Funded through an educational grant from Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., the guidelines are available online at www.aahanet.org.
In tandem with the guidelines, AAHA has founded the Veterinary Companion Animal Nutritional Consortium to take the message of the impact of nutrition on health to a global level and empower veterinary health care teams to serve as the experts on nutrition for their patients.
Initial members of the consortium with AAHA are the AVMA, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Canadian VMA, World Small Animal Veterinary Association, and Hill's.
AAHA Executive Director Michael Cavanaugh said the purpose of the guidelines is to help veterinary health care teams develop nutritional assessment protocols. Dr. C. A. “Tony” Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, chaired the committee that prepared the guidelines.
The guidelines break nutritional assessment into basic screening and extended evaluations. Screening evaluations are meant to be performed on every animal at every veterinary visit. If one or more nutrition-related risk factors are found or suspected, the pet would undergo the extended evaluation.
The basic evaluation tool, which includes body-and muscle-condition scoring, and the extended evaluation tool are now available to veterinarians at www.aahanet.org/nutrition.
To help practices put the guidelines to use, AAHA offered three progressive web events and began holding regional workshops in October.
The three web events are now available on the AAHA website. The first, given Sept. 9, was an overview of the guidelines presented by Dr. Buffington; the second, Sept. 23, was a webinar featuring Drs. Kate Knutson and Susan Thorson on implementation of the guidelines in practice; and the third was a prerecorded webcast on nutrition communication that was available Oct. 4-17, hosted by veterinary technician Laurie Miller and Dr. Paul Cleland.
The workshop “Nutrifluent: Speak the Clients’ Language” is being presented in 14 cities in the U.S. and Canada. The first was held Oct. 19 in Denver and the last will be May 19, 2011, in Boston.
Visit www.aahanet.org/nutrition to access the web events or to register for a workshop, or e-mail the AAHA Member Services Center at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Studies to pinpoint how, when resistance spreads
Genetic analysis could help identify how drug resistance spreads among bacteria and what humans can do to reduce that spread.
Microbiologists with the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service have developed methods to detect more than 700 genes found in pathogens such as Salmonella spp and Escherichia coli and connected with resistance to one or more antimicrobials. Studies published in 2010 include examinations of Salmonella Newport in dairy cattle, Salmonella Javiana in humans, and E coli in chicken.
Jonathan G. Frye, PhD, a microbiologist for the USDA ARS, has studied genes connected with antimicrobial resistance since he was hired by the agency in 2003, and the development of DNA microarray techniques to find those genes is the fruition of his work. He and collaborators published a proof-of-concept paper on the technique in 2006.
Dr. Frye is among researchers with the ARS and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego who searched GenBank, a database administered by the National Center for Biotechnology with the National Institutes of Health, for information on published genetic sequences connected with antimicrobial resistance. That information was used to design nucleotide probes capable of detecting those genes.
Dr. Frye said the development can help to identify how genes connected with resistance are spread among bacteria and factors that amplify or select for resistance in various environments and within animals. A long-term goal of his studies is to find points during animal production when antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are more prevalent in the animals and in their environments.
Although he does not perform clinical work, Dr. Frye said some researchers in academia are developing clinical assays to use for diagnosis and tailored treatment of antimicrobial-resistant disease in animals and people.
Genetic links to resistance recently gained increased attention owing to publications about a gene identified as NDM-1, which has been associated with multidrug-resistant bacterial infections in humans. Dr. Frye said he had begun work on developing a probe for the gene, and he and colleagues at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research will collaborate on research into the gene.
The World Health Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), citing an article in Lancet Infectious Diseases about NDM-1, released a statement Aug. 20 that urges countries to be ready to implement hospital infection control measures and reinforce national policies on prudent antimicrobial use.
EPA seeking comments on pharmaceutical disposal guide
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comments on a draft guide intended to reduce the presence of pharmaceuticals in the nation's waterways.
The document, “Best Management Practices for Unused Pharmaceuticals at Health Care Facilities,” and a Sept. 8 Federal Register notice about the document are available at http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/unusedpharms index.cfm. The agency is accepting comments through Nov. 8.
The guide is intended for use at veterinary clinics, hospitals, medical clinics, physicians’ offices, and long-term health care facilities. A final version of the document is expected to be available in late 2010, the Federal Register notice states.
EPA officials have previously expressed concerns that large amounts of pharmaceuticals were being flushed down drains at health care facilities. In August 2008, the agency proposed surveying medical facilities regarding their pharmaceutical disposal practices, but the effort was canceled in December 2009.
Instead, EPA officials indicated that data from site visits and outreach were sufficient to begin developing best practices for managing unused drugs.
The AVMA had stated that the veterinary profession is a minimal contributor to pharmaceutical pollution in water and urged that the profession be exempted from the proposed survey. The AVMA also developed and published a guide for pharmaceutical disposal, which is available at www.avma.org/drugdisposal.
Senate passes World Veterinary Year resolution
The Senate passed a resolution Sept. 23 marking the upcoming 250th anniversary of veterinary medicine by proclaiming 2011 as World Veterinary Year.
Dr. John Ensign of Nevada introduced the Senate resolution, which acknowledges the important role veterinarians have played in society since the world's first veterinary school was established in Lyon, France, in 1761.
“From taking care of our beloved pets to ensuring the safety of the food we eat and working with our Armed Forces to help countries establish healthy productive agricultural systems, American veterinarians here and abroad serve the American public,” said AVMA President Larry R. Kornegay. “I would like to thank the United States Senate for recognizing this important link and passing this resolution.”
A similar measure has been proposed in the House of Representatives by another veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Schrader of Oregon.
The slogan for World Veterinary Year is “Vet for health, Vet for food, Vet for the Planet!” suggested by Dr. Jacques Bruhlet of the General Council of Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas within the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing.
The AVMA is working with foreign colleagues on plans to commemorate the anniversary. Veterinary organizations in 78 countries are expected to observe the 2011 milestone with special events throughout the year.
To learn more about Vet2011, visit www.avma.org/Vet2011/default.asp and www.vet2011.org/index.php.
Europe adopts new animal testing regulations
Legislation passed by the European Parliament this September will prohibit member states from using great apes in nearly all research starting in 2013. The mandate also requires a reduction in the number of animals used in research and establishes a central laboratory responsible for coordinating and promoting the development and use of alternatives to animal testing.
The new law follows two years of contentious debate over how best to balance the interests of animals with the needs of society. Janez Potonik, the European Environment commissioner, says the vote concluded a long negotiation process that illustrated the importance of, and sensitivities surrounding, animal research.
Under the law, great apes such as chimpanzees and orangutans can be used in research only in instances in which the survival of the species itself is at stake or unexpected disease outbreaks threaten human life.
Researchers wanting to conduct research involving animals will first have to conduct ethical evaluations to receive approval and will have to provide the animals better housing and care than they have in the past. Facilities wanting to breed, supply, or use animals for education, training, and basic research will have to receive authorization.
Additionally, staff working with research animals must not only be adequately trained but also demonstrate their competence before working with the animals unsupervised.
The new law replaces the nearly 25-year-old European Union directive regulating more than 12 million animals used in EU laboratories annually.
Former dean honored by alma mater
The University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies awarded its highest honor to Dr. Peter Eyre during a graduation ceremony held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in July.
The professor and dean emeritus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine received a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery honoris causa for his contributions to veterinary medicine.
Dr. Eyre presented the graduation address and was invited to sign the University of Edinburgh's Sponsio Academica (registry), joining a small number of individuals who received similar distinctions since the university's founding more than 400 years ago.
He received his bachelor's in veterinary medicine and surgery from the university in 1960, followed by a bachelor's in pharmacology in 1962 and a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology in 1965.
As a biomedical researcher, Dr. Eyre was responsible for obtaining more than $1.2 million in sponsored grants and contracts, and he has authored more than 350 scientific publications.
He served as dean of the Virginia-Maryland veterinary college from 1985-2003 and is credited with leading a series of initiatives that consolidated the operating partnership between Virginia and Maryland, fortified the college's political and economic foundations, and developed its programs.