News

Heifer International has moved forward in aiding tsunami-stricken countries of South and Southeast Asia. During July to December 2005, four projects began to take shape in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The AVMA and its constituency funded 50 percent of Heifer's tsunami rebuilding efforts, a $2 million campaign, while Heifer donors provided the remaining amount. This Indonesian family received a pig from Heifer.

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AVMA BOARD EXPEDITES, ANIMAL WELFARE, ADVISORY GROUP

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President-Elect Roger K. Mahr (right) speaks about the proposal for the new advisory committee as District I representative, Dr. Guy L. Pidgeon, listens.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Committee to be visionary in approach to humane treatment of animals

Formation of a new visionary group advising the AVMA Executive Board on animal welfare matters is under way, more than a year ahead of schedule.

Board members green-lighted a plan for immediate implementation of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee during a special meeting held prior to the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference and House of Delegates Informational Assembly in Chicago, Jan. 13-15.

The AWAC will be responsible for drafting overarching animal welfare principles applicable to the veterinary profession. These principles are to serve also as the basis for the AVMA to develop and judge proposed and existing animal welfare policies, resolutions, and actions. The committee will sunset no later than one year after its members have been appointed.

The Executive Board had initially scheduled the AWAC to be implemented in July 2007. But the impression in some welfare circles that the AVMA is failing to adequately address animal welfare prompted the Animal Welfare Governance Task Force to recommend moving forward with a modified version of the committee as soon as possible.

“The perception is we're not acting on animal welfare issues, and we need to pass this (recommendation) to demonstrate we're moving ahead,” explained District X representative and task force chair, Dr. David L. McCrystle.

Just prior to the vote, AVMA President Henry E. Childers spoke in favor of the proposal, noting that “(the AWAC) is almost a perfect way of approaching the problems arising from the profession's wrestling with animal welfare issues. In principle, I feel this is the answer.”

During her tenure as AVMA president, Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver in late 2004 proposed sunsetting the Animal Welfare Committee and creating a smaller, more visionary group that would help the veterinary profession address the broader issue of humane treatment of animals.

Dr. Beaver saw a need for an AVMA committee unlike the AWC, which represents many segments of the veterinary profession and deals with specifics such as induced molting or pregnant sow housing. Rather, she wanted to bring together individuals with a broader view of animal welfare to advise the board as a visionary body.

After the Executive Board approved the plan, however, some of the allied organizations represented on AWC expressed opposition to creating a new committee they saw as excluding their expertise. As a result, Dr. Beaver introduced a recommendation changing the composition of the AWAC allowing for greater food animal representation. In addition, the board reversed its decision to sunset the Animal Welfare Committee (see JAVMA, May 15, 2005, page 1623).

Soon after the January 2006 board meeting, a call for nominations to the AWAC was issued with a March 1, 2006, deadline. The Executive Board chair will appoint the seven AWAC members—veterinarians with broad experience in animal welfare and an understanding that they are to be visionary thinkers—from the following fields: food animal practice/production animal medicine, preferably involved with large agriculture enterprise; companion animal practice; wildlife/exotic animal medicine; a humane/welfare organization (must be employed by an organization); laboratory animal medicine; a commercial food production company (employed by a company to work on animal welfare); and large animal medicine, preferably equine.

—R. SCOTT NOLEN

Government seeks site for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

The Department of Homeland Security is exploring sites for a proposed new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

The Plum Island center, off the coast of Long Island, N.Y., provides the only U.S. research and confirmatory diagnostic capabilities for many high-consequence foreign animal diseases. It is also the only U.S. laboratory equipped with research facilities that permit study of these diseases in livestock. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred ownership of the center from the Department of Agriculture to the DHS.

The proposed NBAF, which is in the planning phase, would replace the Plum Island center and enhance capabilities for defense against disease agents. The new facility would modernize and integrate agriculture biocontainment laboratories for zoonotic diseases, foreign animal diseases, and human pathogens in support of the missions of the DHS, USDA, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The NBAF would be about 500,000 square feet on at least 30 acres. The DHS is requesting expressions of interest for possible locations from federal agencies, state and local governments, industry, academia, and other parties and organizations.

The DHS will evaluate locations on the basis of research capabilities; workforce; acquisition, construction, and operations; and community acceptance. The department will ultimately compile a list of sites to include in an environmental impact statement. The deadline for expressions of interest is March 31. Details are available from a Jan. 19 notice in the Federal Register, which is online at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/. Information is also available at www.dhs.gov/nbaf or from Glynis Fisher by e-mail at glynis.fisher@dhs.govor by fax at (202) 205-3204.

Use of antiviral drug in dogs sparks concern

Veterinarians' reported use of the antiviral drug Tamiflu to prevent canine influenza in dogs has recently caused concerns. Distributed by Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., the U.S. pharmaceuticals branch of the Switzerland-based Roche Group, Tamiflu is marketed as a flu medicine for humans.

“(Tamiflu) is just very controversial to use in dogs because we just don't know that much about it and if it even works in dogs,” said Dr. Cynda Crawford, a veterinary immunologist at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Crawford was among the group of researchers who identified the canine influenza virus (see JAVMA, Nov. 1, 2005, page 1377).

“If you read the human medical literature on Tamiflu, it will tell you that its best efficacy is achieved when treating people within the first 48 hours of infection,” Dr. Crawford said. She reported there is no accurate test available, however, to identify canine influenza in dogs within 48 hours.

Dr. Crawford previously announced that she would launch studies to find how Tamiflu benefits dogs infected with canine influenza virus. She has postponed the project because of the growing demand to stockpile Tamiflu for humans in case of an H5N1 avian influenza pandemic.

In addition to treating dogs for canine influenza, Dr. Crawford said, veterinarians have been known to use Tamiflu as an ancillary treatment for puppies with parvovirus infection and distemper, and for cats with calicivirus infections.

The AVMA recommends that veterinarians who use approved drugs in a manner that is not in accord with approved label directions, such as use of an antiviral drug approved only for use in humans, follow the federal extralabel drug use regulations of the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act. For more information on the act, log on to the Food and Drug Administration's Web site, www.fda.gov/cvm/amducatoc.htm.

Treatment of canine influenza in dogs is largely supportive. According to the AVMA Canine Influenza Backgrounder, good husbandry and nutrition may assist dogs in achieving an effective immune response. In the mild form of the disease, a thick, green nasal discharge most likely represents a secondary bacterial infection that usually resolves quickly after treatment with a broad-spectrum antimicrobial. Pneumonia in more severely affected dogs responds best to a combination of broad-spectrum bactericidal antimicrobials (to combat secondary bacterial infections) and maintenance of hydration from intravenous administration of fluids.

For more on canine influenza, visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/canine_guidelines.asp.

Monograph on macrocyclic lactones released

The U.S. Pharmacopeia has released a free monograph on macrocyclic lactones. The monograph includes information on the avermectins doramectin, eprinomectin, ivermectin, and selamectin, along with milbemycin and moxidectin. The monograph lists information on each drug's indications, adverse effects, regulatory considerations, and environmental impact.

To view the monograph, log on to the USP Web site at www.usp.org/audiences/veterinary. Veterinary monographs on anti-inflammatory drugs, antimicrobial drugs, tetrahydropyrimidines, and bromide are also available at the Web site.

An independent, science-based public health organization, the USP is the official public standards-setting authority for all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, and other health care products manufactured and sold in the United States.

VISION to LEAD

Hammer, Stoltenow in AVMA president-elect race

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When the AVMA House of Delegates assembles in Hawaii this July, one of its responsibilities will be to vote on the next AVMA president-elect. Dr. Gregory S. Hammer of Dover, Del., and Dr. Charles L. Stoltenow of Fargo, N.D., each believes himself to possess the qualities worthy of the office. In the following interviews, the candidates make their case for why they are fit to lead the Association.

Dr. Gregory S. Hammer

Why are you running for AVMA president-elect?

I don't think anybody goes into their interview for vet school thinking, “Boy I'd like to be president of AVMA someday.” You just want to do well and get in. I had the good fortune of having great mentors at Kansas State—Drs. Jake Mosier, Russ Frey, John Noordsy, Larry Wallace, my classmates, and many others. They all preached about contributing to the profession. Along the way, many others have influenced me and taught me the importance of contributing to the community and veterinary medicine, and putting family first. I have been blessed. By using past experiences and future visioning, I believe I can be an effective spokesperson for our membership. I want to do the best job I can representing veterinary medicine to the public and government.

What are your qualifications to lead the Association?

There is no manual or job description to lead AVMA. I was in a mixed practice in Kansas before being stationed at Dover Air Force Base. The Air Force gave me the opportunity to practice public health, food safety, and personnel management. For the last 30 years, I have been an owner/partner in a small animal/equine practice. I have been involved in organized veterinary medicine my entire career. At the state level, I have been active in the Delaware VMA. I represented Delaware in the House of Delegates for 13 years and for the past six years represented the 12,000 veterinarians of District II on the AVMA Executive Board. All of these experiences in public practice, clinical practice, and organized veterinary medicine have provided me with a broad knowledge of veterinary medicine to be an effective spokesperson for our members in the AVMA. I am ready to use my background as president-elect of AVMA.

What would your agenda be if you were elected?

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I have always believed it is wrong for the AVMA president to have an agenda. Issues can change so quickly. Dr. Nave saw the inequities of the Army Veterinary Corps lacking a general officer and corrected it. Dr. Brandt had to deal with September 11. Dr. Beaver realized the need to do more about animal well-being and helped push the new Animal Welfare Division. None of those presidents had an agenda but took on current issues and responded effectively. No one can be sure what new issues will face our profession.

There are, however, five areas I would like to see AVMA continue to improve: animal welfare, communications, legislative impact, relationships with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and professional unity. Animal welfare continues to affect all of us every day in every aspect at all practices. We must continue to be leaders for animal well-being; we cannot let others dictate to us. We need to use the expertise of our allied organizations to answer the concerns of a public raised farther from the farm.

Our Communications Division has been completely overhauled. AVMA is responding quickly. AVMA is helping the state VMAs. AVMA is marshalling a corps of media-savvy veterinarians to speak to the media. Our marketing department is publicizing our profession with new enthusiasm to the public. The Communications Task Force's recommendations are being implemented, and we will do more.

Legislative issues are affecting us at the national and state levels like never before, and we are addressing these concerns. While I was on the AVMA Executive Board, we funded a new department to communicate and facilitate an interaction between state VMAs and state legislation. We are working harder in D.C. to lobby for veterinary medicine on student issues, small business concerns, research, agriculture, and any other matter of concern to our members. We have the opportunity to help our veterinary colleges immediately. Schools are working with 30-year-old or older infrastructures. We must get behind the Veterinary Workforce Expansion Act and get it passed. We will improve our relationship with all veterinary medical colleges and lobby with them.

Finally, we need to improve our professional unity. We are a very small voice nationally—73,000 strong—and we cannot splinter off; we must remain unified.

What are the greatest challenge and opportunity facing the veterinary profession? How would you address each?

The greatest challenge currently facing our profession is animal welfare. We need to be on the front pages of the news, speaking for animals. All media need to ask veterinarians and AVMA first about animal well-being. We have the greatest opportunity to get involved locally and nationally for animal welfare. We must take the opportunity to remind the public that we are the experts on food safety, public health, and pets. I intend to improve our visibility to the press. I intend to have a greater presence in D.C. And I intend to enlist each and every member in making sure veterinarians are the spokespersons for animal welfare.

What qualities are members of the House of Delegates looking for in a president?

I hope they are looking for the qualities I possess: a broad knowledge of, and experience in, many aspects of veterinary practice. I am a strong believer in states' rights. I believe the HOD should have the final say in AVMA matters. The HOD's involvement in our profession is the key to AVMA success.

Why are you a better choice for president-elect than Dr. Stoltenow?

I am not running against Dr. Stoltenow. I am running for AVMA president-elect. Dr. Stoltenow is a good man with many strong attributes. We have shared many stories on the campaign trail. I think I have considerably more experience than my opponent. My 13 years' experience in the HOD and six years on the AVMA Executive Board, with liaisons to more than 20 councils and committees, give me a broad knowledge base to speak from. My experience in mixed practice in Kansas, the United States Air Force, and, currently, private clinical practice, gives me the ability to speak to a majority of AVMA members. I know how to listen, and I know how to get things done at AVMA.

Are competitive elections at this level beneficial to AVMA governance or do they breed animosity and divisiveness?

I hope they do not breed ill feelings. I have seen some ugly politics in my 20 years of involvement in the HOD and Executive Board. That has been unfortunate. We must not lose sight that we are doing this for our members and the profession. We must continue to take the high road and do what is right.

What have you learned since starting your campaign?

I have learned that it is a long year from the Candidates' Introductory Breakfast until the election. I have learned to listen carefully to the concerns of the states and the individual members. That's why all of us do this, to make things better for those who will follow. I have learned that we have a great student population and our future is in good hands. I have learned that we cannot become complacent with our respected position in society—we must work for it.

Dr. Charles L. Stoltenow

Why are you running for AVMA president-elect?

I was asked to run by previous leaders concerned about the future of the AVMA. The profession of veterinary medicine is becoming more and more visible in the public eye. The AVMA needs leaders willing to listen, and able to formulate policy that is inclusive and lead in uncharted territory. I think I have those qualities.

What are your qualifications to lead the Association?

My qualifications are that I have an intimate knowledge of just about every aspect of veterinary medicine. Being the president of the AVMA is more than being involved in the Association; it is being involved in the profession. To serve and relate to our members, I think the president should have some experience living in the members' shoes. My AVMA activities have included serving in the House of Delegates, serving as the chair of the Veterinary Leadership Planning Committee, the chair of the combined Executive Board/House of Delegates Constitution and Bylaws Task Force, and the chair of the House Advisory Committee.

In addition to my AVMA activities, I've served in a multitude of different aspects of our profession. I've worked as a private practitioner and started my own practice. I've served in the Department of Agriculture as a federal veterinarian. I've served as an epidemic intelligence officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I've served in public health as the assistant state epidemiologist for a state health department. I've served as a researcher and published in both the JAVMA and the AJVR. I've served at the pleasure of governors as an appointed horse racing commissioner and as the consulting veterinarian to a state board of animal health. I've served as an international consultant in biologic warfare, specifically anthrax. I've served as a dairy consultant in China. I've served as a consultant to the Department of Defense. I've served industry as a contractor. And now I serve as an extension veterinarian.

I believe that the most qualified person to lead the AVMA is a person fully engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine. Some would say that you should be retired and wealthy to be the president of the AVMA. I disagree, and I am neither. I believe that the best candidate for president is the one who is going to have to live with the decisions they make as president.

What would your agenda be if you were elected?

My agenda is very simple. My agenda is to get the veterinary profession engaged in AVMA. We will need every member engaged in the activities of the Association for AVMA to be successful in facing the upcoming challenges and opportunities. One person cannot figure out the answers to the complex questions facing us. But the 73,000-plus members of the Association can.

What are the greatest challenge and opportunity facing the veterinary profession? How would you address each?

Our greatest challenge is our own success. As a profession we have made huge strides in veterinary medicine, and as a result, are becoming very specialized. This specialization can bring divergence on important issues. These issues include animal rights, shortage of food animal veterinarians, and increased litigation, to name just a few. Our challenge is that as we become more and more specialized, we don't tear ourselves apart as a profession. The AVMA must have policies that create unity and inclusion among our members.

Our opportunity is that through specialization and diversity, we can provide even better service to our clients and their animals. The future of veterinary medicine looks very bright.

The key issue is the status of animals in U.S. society. Are they property, or are they something else? I believe we, as veterinarians, must remain united in this area. I believe we must maintain that, even though a person can be emotionally attached to a piece of property—an animal, car, painting, or heirloom—it is still property. If we cross that line granting animals worth above and beyond that of property, we will lose the battle of animal rights and we will become veterinarians only to the rich who can afford to pay for inflated malpractice insurance.

What qualities are members of the House of Delegates looking for in a president?

The House of Delegates is also looking for a president who inspires confidence and respect. Because of the diverse groups represented in the House, it is looking for a president who can connect with all the different aspects of the profession and bring them together. The House of Delegates is looking for a president with a proven track record of listening to differing viewpoints, developing a strategy of success, communicating a cohesive vision, and leading toward that common goal.

The House of Delegates is looking for leaders with grass stains on their knees. I firmly believe that the leaders of the AVMA should be on their hands and knees studying the veterinary medicine turf at the grassroots level. Leaders must not only study it, they must listen to it, and they must nurture it. The House of Delegates knows me very well. I think I have what they are looking for.

Why are you a better choice for president-elect than Dr. Hammer?

I do not look at this election as a “better” choice. I look at it as choosing a direction. The real choice is this: Does the House of Delegates want a leader to lead the AVMA where it has already been, or does the House of Delegates want a leader able to lead the AVMA where it needs to go? The future promises uncertainty and ambiguity. I will lead in uncertain times with a clear vision of unity and inclusion.

Are competitive elections at this level beneficial to AVMA governance or do they breed animosity and divisiveness?

I think competitive elections are vital for the health of the AVMA. A verse says that as iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another. A competitive election forces the candidates to clearly define who they are, what they stand for, and how they are going to lead. A competitive election allows the House of Delegates a more in-depth knowledge of the candidates. That's why I developed a Web site—so people could find out more about my candidacy: www.VoteDrCharlie.com. The House of Delegates and the AVMA can only benefit from a competitive election. If a competitive election breeds animosity and divisiveness, then the candidates and the House of Delegates are focusing on the wrong issues.

What have you learned since starting your campaign?

I've learned that the AVMA is a grassroots organization. The key to this grassroots organization is the general membership. In the AVMA, we have yet to wake the sleeping giant of our general membership. The depth, breadth, and power of our profession are awe-inspiring. We need to engage the general membership of our profession into the activities of our professional association, the AVMA. If we are successful, the future of the AVMA is exceedingly bright.

—INTERVIEWS BY R. SCOTT NOLEN

Leaders of veterinary profession assemble in Chicago

Diversity and other professional issues discussed

“Leadership is what will sustain, in great part, this profession,” Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Noah said to his colleagues at the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference and House of Delegates Informational Assembly, Jan. 13-15 in Chicago.

Some 400 leaders of the veterinary profession gathered for the event. Representatives from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, veterinary and governmental organizations, and AVMA entities assembled for the event. Constituent organizations brought 62 recent graduates to the meeting.

Although Dr. Noah was one of the event's closing speakers and his topic was bioterrorism preparedness, his insights on leadership and professionalism resonated. A veterinarian with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said, “It's wildly fascinating to be in this profession doing some of the things it has allowed me to do.”

Growing leaders should be one of the profession's first jobs, he said. The profession has been lucky that leaders have voluntarily stepped up to the plate, but Dr. Noah believes the profession could do better with mentoring and completing the “leadership evolution.”

“The AVMA has done a great job of maintaining us as a professional entity,” he said, defining professionalism in terms of veterinarians' knowledge, cohesion, and original motivation to become veterinarians. “But our true professionalism is really bestowed upon us by society.”

Diversity, animal rights, mentoring

Presenter Lisa Greenhill, associate executive director for diversity at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, briefed attendees on the importance of diversity in the veterinary profession. In her role at the AAVMC, Greenhill focuses on the ongoing development and implementation of the association's DVM: DiVersity Matters national initiative.

“Veterinary medicine will always be relevant in the future, but how we are perceived hinges on the profession's collective ability to embrace diversity in all its forms,” Greenhill said.

Increased diversity in the veterinary schools and colleges will lead to greater cultural competence among veterinarians and improved health outcomes in the communities they serve, according to AAVMC. A few of the program's goals are to grow a veterinary medical school applicant pool that mirrors the U.S. population demographic, and foster a welcoming environment for students and faculty of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Greenhill encouraged attendees to support business models that embrace diversity, and explore all issues of cultural competence. “Diversity is not just a clinical issue, we're looking across every area of the veterinary profession,” she pointed out. Greenhill recommended attendees log on to www.diversityinc.com, operated by DiversityInc Media LLC, to learn more about the business benefits of diversity. She also suggested visiting the Health Professionals for Diversity Coalition's Web site at www.hpd-coalition.org to learn more about promoting diversity in the U.S. health care workforce. The AAVMC is a member of the HPD Coalition.

Wes Jamison, PhD, spoke about how veterinarians are the only credible authorities able to mediate the complex human-animal relationship in a culture struggling to understand the moral value of animals.

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Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Noah of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Dr. Jamison, associate professor of agriculture at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, characterized society as “schizophrenic” in its thinking about animals. A moral dissonance exists within a society that deems some animals as companions and others as food and subjects for biomedical research. “Is a pig a pork loin or a life-long companion?” Dr. Jamison asked, summing up the dilemma.

The modern animal rights movement is simply a natural outgrowth of an urbane, rights-centric populace inclined to believe animals are similar to people in many ways, including being capable of determining right from wrong, Dr. Jamison noted.

Veterinarians must help people make sense of these competing attitudes about animals, according to Dr. Jamison, adding that surveys show even die-hard animal rightists see veterinarians as authorities on the subject.

“As veterinarians, you and only you can help bridge the gap between perception and reality,” Dr. Jamison said. “You must reconcile where possible, counsel when necessary, treat when called for, and adjudicate competing perceptions of reality.”

Mentoring matters, according to remarks from Dr. Ronald Cott, associate dean for student and alumni affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Cott began his presentation by telling three fictitious tales, to contrast with a couple of true success stories from the AVMA Mentoring Center.

In the fictitious tales, Dr. Cott envisioned a veterinarian who wanted to own a clinic but graduated with heavy debt and practiced for only six years as an associate. He depicted a practitioner with leadership potential who lost interest in veterinary associations and became active in a humane society. He imagined a veterinarian who planned to practice bovine medicine but went to work in companion animal medicine.

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Lisa Greenhill, associate executive director for diversity with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

In such situations, mentoring matters, Dr. Cott said. He said mentors and mentees help one another professionally and personally by discussing failure as well as success. “We need to tell our stories,” Dr. Cott said. “Our stories are important, and they develop the relationship between mentor and mentee.”

He said the profession needs more mentors, even though some veterinarians protest that they don't have time. Then he talked about real veterinary students who found mentors through the AVMA Mentoring Center.

One student was considering joining the Air Force, and her mentor put her in touch with a veterinarian who had served in that branch of the military. Another student found two mentors, and she said you could never have too many people caring about you and your success. The AVMA Mentor Center is on the Web at http://mentoring.avma.org.

From the AVMA

AVMA President Henry E. Childers began his review of the Association's activities with comments on the profession's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “Never before have our profession and those we care about been so ravaged,” he said, adding that if anything good came out of it, it was the profession's response. The president said that since he took office, the profession has weathered some challenges and celebrated some victories. He touched on Dr. Leon H. Russell's election as World Veterinary Association president, challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his own attendance recently at the first meeting of the AVMA Task Force on Diversity. He called on the assembled leaders to pledge their commitment to and involvement in diversity.

A more detailed picture of the Hurricane Katrina response was painted by Drs. William S. Stokes, Cindy Lovern, and R. Tracy Rhodes. Dr. Stokes, veterinary chief professional officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, focused on the animal issues the profession has confronted with evacuated and rescued pets. He showed visuals of Blackhawk helicopters dropping water and bales of hay for trapped livestock in Louisiana, and noted that not only pets but also research animals were left behind by people thinking they would be back with them in a few days.

Noting how veterinarians from many sources came together under the Incident Command System, Dr. Stokes said the mission of preventing post-hurricane disease outbreaks and reuniting families with healthy pets was accomplished. Dr. Lovern, assistant director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division, elucidated the mission of the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams and the chain of actions that must precede VMAT deployment. Dr. Rhodes, as chair of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, noted the dramatic impact the relief efforts have had on the foundation. He reported that as of mid-January, the AVMF had taken in $1.75 million to the Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund and had given out approximately $765,000 to veterinarians and the VMATs.

In his first address to the leadership conference as AVMA treasurer, Dr. Bret D. Marsh delivered a top 10 list of 2005 fiscal highlights that represented “some challenges and some victories,” ranging from getting hit with a Schaumburg real estate tax bill in 2005 that was 58 percent higher than in 2004, to display and classified ad revenue exceeding three-quarters of a million dollars over projections. He followed that with his top 10 list of financial impacts in the $26.3 million AVMA budget for 2006.

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Wes Jamison, PhD, associate professor of agriculture at Dordt College

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Adrian Hochstadt, JD, CAE, AVMA assistant director of state legislative and regulatory affairs, recounted how his department became operational at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., in March 2005. He described the work already accomplished and the contributions of the State Advocacy Committee. “Your vision—so many of you sitting in this audience made this happen,” he said. Looking at 2006, Hochstadt said his department and constituent associations would be doing “a lot of exciting things together.”

An overview of the Association's federal legislative efforts was provided by Dr. Michael Chaddock, AVMA director of the Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C. Acquiring sufficient funding for the National Veterinary Medical Service Act continues to be a priority, Dr. Chaddock said, as does addressing welfare concerns associated with the nation's unwanted and retired horse populations. The Executive Board recently authorized a bold plan for drafting legislation to do just that, Dr. Chaddock noted.

Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice updated delegates on the initiative to create and implement a national radio frequency identification standard for companion animals, birds, and equids. As director of the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division, Dr. LoGiudice works with the Council on Veterinary Service, which developed objectives and key elements at the behest of the House of Delegates.

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Dr. Charlotte A. LaCroix, a veterinarian and attorney from New Jersey

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

In November 2005, the Executive Board approved the CoVS plan, which identifies the objectives of an effective system of electronic identification of animals as being to accurately identify animals to aid in reuniting them with their owners and to accurately identify animals for regulatory purposes. The four key elements necessary to achieve the objectives of an effective system of electronic identification, the council reported, are the RFID device; the scanner or reader network; database operation and management, including the process of registration of implanted animals; and defined operating procedures.

The presentation was followed by brief remarks from candidates seeking high office in the AVMA. Drs. Gregory S. Hammer of Dover, Del., and Charles L. Stoltenow of Fargo, N.D., are running for 2006 AVMA presidentelect (see page 661). Seeking the office of AVMA vice president is Dr. Charles M. Hendrix of Auburn, Ala.

Leadership matters

The Saturday session of the HOD Informational Assembly began with an announcement by Dr. Richard M. DeBowes, delegate representing the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians, that a half-day Mini Veterinary Leadership Experience is planned for a limited number of interested HOD members July 13 in Honolulu. The VLE is a five-day annual retreat that promotes nontechnical competencies such as personal growth, self-awareness, and leadership qualities among veterinary students. In 2005, the AVMA Executive Board made a major financial commitment to the event for the next four years, and it is now known as the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience. Dr. DeBowes told delegates that at the half-day event, “We can give you a good feel of what we're trying to accomplish with those young colleagues.”

The seventh draft revision of new AVMA Bylaws is being reviewed by AVMA leadership, and at the Informational Assembly, delegates discussed them in reference committees and in general session. The attorney who is working with the AVMA on the new document made a presentation and visited each of the seven reference committees to answer questions. The process began in 2003 when the Executive Board created the Executive Board/House Advisory Committee Constitution and Bylaws Review Task Force. In 2004, an amendment to strike the AVMA Constitution in its entirety was introduced. If adopted, the revised bylaws will supersede the current constitution and bylaws. Each draft, including draft seven, incorporated suggestions submitted by members of the HOD, Executive Board, House Advisory Committee, Judicial Council, and other AVMA entities.

Delegates revisited a topic discussed on previous occasions— whether the HOD or Executive Board, or both, are authorized to set AVMA policy. The focus was on what effect, if any, passage of the new Bylaws as currently drafted would have. Dr. Charles Stoltenow, most recent chair of the now-sunset Executive Board/House Advisory Committee Constitution and Bylaws Review Task Force, said the task force has tried to draft a document that encourages the two bodies to work together. Executive Board Constitution and Bylaws Committee chair, Dr. Jacky Horner, noted that there are two kinds of policy decisions, those involving veterinary medicine and those relating to other matters.

Another issue discussed was whether the HOD envisions the Informational Assembly evolving into an official meeting just as the current Annual Session of the HOD preceding convention is. Hawaii delegate, Dr. Cordell W. Chang, invited delegates to the Honolulu convention, and Louisiana delegate, Dr. V. Hugh Price thanked the assembled leaders and the AVMA and AVMF for their “outpouring” of support in the hurricane response, asking them to carry that message of appreciation to their constituents.

Professional issues

On Sunday, the closing session featured three speakers. Dr. Philip Bushby, chair of the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates, gave a presentation on the role of the ECFVG, how it accomplishes its mission, and how it maintains program quality.

Dr. Noah characterized the existing U.S. bioterrorism preparedness system as a “detect to protect” system that will alert us after a natural or terrorist attack, enabling use of postattack precautions such as vaccines, antimicrobials, and quarantines. The goal is a “detect to warn” system that detects an impending attack.

The veterinary profession has a distinct role in the defense community, he said. He advised practitioners to be curious; participate in continuing education. Engage your local physician or human health care provider community—you can even bethe local public health community. Be familiar with and apply various tenets of epidemiology. Communicate with clients on zoonotic diseases. Volunteer on an AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team. Be an AVMA and state VMA member.

In being vigilant, know the diseases to report, the reporting chain, and who to turn to for help, Dr. Noah said. Engage other medical communities. And apply cowside diagnostics. If you hear hoofbeats, think horses— but don't completely forget zebras.

The final speaker was Dr. Charlotte A. LaCroix, a veterinarian and attorney in Whitehouse Station, N.J. Veterinarians have legal and ethical duties to their patients, clients, and the public welfare. When problems occur, which trumps which? Dr. LaCroix discussed two distinct legal issues: animal guardianship and noneconomic damages in animal-related lawsuits. A person can agree with both concepts, only one of them, or neither, she noted. Dr. LaCroix left some advice for state veterinary medical associations, practice tips for veterinarians—and even some alternative concepts.

—KATIE BURNS, SUSAN KAHLER, R. SCOTT

NOLEN, AND ALLISON REZENDES

CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT

New member classifications

Why is the AVMA changing the classification system for members' professional information?

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Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice, director of the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division, responds:

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Our volunteer leaders initiated the process because they recognized that the former system, which had worked so well for us for years, was inadequate for classifying the diverse segments of the veterinary profession that have developed. The former system had basic categories, and we realized members do broader work in veterinary medicine— whether it be in public practice, private practice, industry, government, military, education, or research.

The new system allows members to describe themselves better. Tell us your story, tell us what you're doing in the profession.

How will members benefit from the changes?

The new classification system will enhance our ability to meet members' individual needs. We can target information to members in certain areas of our profession, instead of sending e-mail or mail out to everyone. We're talking about, for example, public health information that might be affecting certain segments of our profession, information on new techniques or educational programs that might affect particular areas of practice, and updates on new medicines or other information that might affect practitioners. We want to provide information so our members are the best veterinarians that they can be.

E-mail and other electronic media offer great potential for communicating effectively with our members, so we encourage members to give the AVMA permission to communicate with them electronically. Members can choose the information they wish to receive through the online form for professional information, which includes a section for communication preferences—as well as confidentiality preferences.

Did the AVMA ask members for input before implementing the new classification system?

The Member Services Committee canvassed veterinarians in all aspects of veterinary medicine for input. We've also had input from other councils and committees, the Executive Board, the House of Delegates, state VMAs, and specialty organizations.

We asked veterinarians how they would like the AVMA to classify them as far as what they do in veterinary medicine. The staff and volunteer leaders have spent more than a year working on this project.

What is changing within the classification system?

The focus was reworking the species codes. In the past, we had codes such as “mixed practice” and “small animal exclusive.” But what does that mean, precisely? Now we're asking members to tell us approximately what percentage of their practice is spent with various species—for example, canine, feline, porcine, bovine, equine, camelid, cervid, exotic, or reptile. We're asking members in bovine and equine practice for further details because a veterinarian in, say, dairy practice will have some distinctly different interests than a veterinarian in beef practice.

The new classification system adds a category for position type. The position type tells us if the member works full time or part time as an owner, associate, consultant, relief veterinarian, clinician, researcher, professor, instructor, chief executive officer, administrator, dean, section head, or a member of the uniformed services. And we have further broken down the employment type to be more specific.

We upgraded the checklists for disciplines and specialties so that our members can be more specific as to their interests. We're also going to ask members to volunteer information about their ethnicity so we can collect data about ethnic diversity in the veterinary profession.

How is the changeover happening?

We built the new classification system virtually from scratch and then went through a series of refinements, with the staff and leadership reviewing the categories.

One important part of the project was working out a way to map the information we already had in the former system into the new system. So we tried to figure out where members would fit in the new system if the former system said, for example, that they were in “small animal exclusive.” The solution was to map those members—temporarily, at least—to show 50 percent canine, 50 percent feline. But we'll be asking members to break down the species that they see to the nearest 10 percent.

When will the changeover be complete?

We've already updated our internal database. In February, we launched the online portion of the project. We sent a mass mailing to our membership to encourage them to visit the Web site, www.avma.org, to update their professional information. We used to send out paper forms for updating information every year with the membership cards. We would usually get fewer than 2,000 back out of a membership of 73,000.

We've done our best to map members' position type, species code, and everything else from the former system to the new system. But they may say, “I don't do that!” Or maybe they haven't updated their information in a long time. Members who update or verify their information by April 15 can enter a drawing for a free plane ticket, hotel accommodations, and registration for the AVMA Annual Convention in Hawaii.

In a perfect world, all of our 73,000-plus members will update their infor mation online by April 15—and they'll all be eligible for the free trip to the AVMA convention in Hawaii. Then they'll continue to use the Web site to make sure we have the most current information. If necessary, members can call AVMA headquarters at (800) 248-2862 to request a paper form.

What are some of the other benefits of the new system?

The new classification system allows members to tell us what they need more specifically in reference to their roles in the profession. Do they want additional materials to appear on our Web site or in the JAVMA? Are there bulletins that they want to receive?

As a membership organization representing more than 86 percent of all veterinarians in the country, we also want our members' input so we can represent them appropriately. For example, we want to keep an open dialogue with all segments of the profession about legislative, regulatory, and public health matters.

The more we know about our members' interests and involvement in veterinary medicine, the better we'll be able to address their needs by targeting those areas—with scientific publications, legislative activities, and anything else that will help them.

Where will members find the new demographic information?

We post new demographic information on the Web site every year. In early 2007, we'll be able to post demographics from the new system, which will give people within and outside our profession a much clearer view of veterinary medicine in the United States.

Practitioners represent a very important segment of our profession, but our members also cover other aspects of veterinary medicine—whether it be public health, food safety, bioterrorism prevention, or education. We want to capture that diversity of activities in our profession and make sure that people realize how active veterinarians are.

—INTERVIEW BY KATIE BURNS

USDA awards $10 million to sequence swine genome

The Department of Agriculture has awarded $10 million to the University of Illinois to obtain a draft sequence of the swine genome.

A female Duroc pig will be the source of the DNA for the two-year project—which could lead to the development of new genetic tools to identify and select pigs that resist infectious diseases, yield larger litter sizes, and produce leaner cuts of meat.

The swine genome is similar to the human genome in size, complexity, and organization. Because of these similarities, understanding the swine genome could lead to biomedical advances such as pig-to-human organ transplants and treatments for disease in humans.

The USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service administered the grant through the National Research Initiative.

Additional funding for the project came from the National Pork Board, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa State University, North Carolina Pork Council, and North Carolina State University.

Institutions collaborating with the University of Illinois include Iowa State University's Center for Integrated Animal Genomics; University of Nevada, Reno; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom; Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland; the Cellular Genetics Laboratory of France's National Institute for Agricultural Research, Toulouse; and the USDA Agricultural Research Service's Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Neb.

More information about the Swine Genomics Program at the University of Illinois is available at www.swinegenomics.com.

The truth about serum

Equine blood processing runs gamut from “bathtub brew” operations to plasmapheresis

A horse under anesthesia has lost a large volume of blood secondary to removal of a vascular tumor in its sinus. The anesthesia team is transfusing the patient with plasma believed to contain normal to high protein concentrations.

Another veterinarian is giving plasma to a foal born on a farm at which Rhodococcus equi pneumonia is endemic. He assumes the product is free of bacterial contaminants and contains the specific antibodies needed.

Knowing that the Department of Agriculture regulates vaccines and the Food and Drug Administration regulates drugs, these veterinarians are confident that plasma products are subjected to regulatory oversight as well.

The truth about serum and other equine blood products is that some products are actively regulated while others are not. To make informed therapeutic decisions, veterinarians must distinguish between them to understand their inherent risks and benefits.

This message is important for all veterinarians, especially those practicing equine medicine. The equine industry has been at the forefront of plasma production, notes Dr. T. Douglas Byars, who represents the American Association of Equine Practitioners on the AVMA Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee. The AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and CPAC have been advocating for the profession on this issue.

“There is getting to be a menu of products out there, and veterinarians generally don't understand how they're produced and what quality they should be looking for,” Dr. Byars said.

“The range of production can be anything from what we call bathtub brew—which is you just go bleed the horse on the farm, let the blood settle out, and pull the plasma off, which is a very imprecise thing—to plasmapheresis, where the horse is hooked up to a machine the same way a human goes to a plasma blood collection unit in the community.”

Veterinarians commonly use plasma to treat failure of passive transfer of maternal antibodies in newborn foals and to administer immunoglobulin G, but Dr. Byars said the growing product menu includes such products as anti-Rhodococcusinfection plasma, antiendotoxin plasma, and customized plasma—to combat West Nile virus infection, for example.

What is and isn't regulated

Just as with antibody products, the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics regulates blood-derived products that are marketed as treatments for various conditions and that act via immunologic mechanisms. It is authorized to do so under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, using Antibody Product Standards. Immunoglobins, serum, and plasma for passive transfer of immunity are considered veterinary biologics.

Antibody products that are not submitted for the licensure process as required by law may slip under the regulatory radar screen.

The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine has regulatory authority over animal blood products that make no immunologic claim for treatment, but they generally receive little active oversight from the agency, which regards them as a low priority. These products include whole blood and transfusion and clotting products, except serum and plasma products indicated for passive transfer of immunity.

Whether a product is produced and sold for intrastate or interstate commerce has no bearing on licensure regulations overall.

A provision in the Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR 107.2), however, exempts biologic products from the USDA licensure requirement if they are licensed by a state that has its own program to license products for intrastate distribution. Currently, California has the only program that meets the federal requirements.

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Dr. James Hart provides plasma at Oakley Park Stud in Victoria, Australia, to a Thoroughbred with failure of passive transfer.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Why choose a licensed product

When you buy a unit of plasma, how confident are you in its quality? Have you checked how it was processed, what it purports to do, what studies support those claims, and whether the government has overseen the product?

Dr. Byars said the primary concerns over unlicensed products center around production standards, product labeling and licensure, and a veterinarian's potential liability for an unfavorable clinical outcome resulting from administration of an unlicensed product.

Licensure by the USDA provides certain quality assurances to veterinarians.

Michel Carr, PhD, senior staff microbiologist for the USDA-CVB Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing unit, said, “In addition to an individual product being licensed, we license the manufacturer and their products. The protocols they use to immunize those animals and the care the animals receive are known to us. The facilities that are used to hold the animals and to do the plasmapheresis are inspected. Things need to be clean, well-organized; the records need to be up-to-date.

“Once we're satisfied with the facility, then yes, the individual products are evaluated…. We do evaluate them for safety in use, and if they are making a specific therapeutic claim, we will evaluate the product for potency.”

The USDA testing standards also ensure purity—both in the general sense and with respect to being free from contamination with coliforms, salmonellae, and fungi. To ensure that the product has a proven shelf life, the manufacturer must strictly follow an outline of production, a detailed protocol of methods of manufacture for a veterinary biologic product.

A USDA license means that the production animals had no clinical signs of disease and were under veterinary supervision, were maintained on licensed premises, and were quarantined to prevent contact with infected or potentially infected animals. The USDA requires that horses used in production, for example, be tested for such diseases as equine infectious anemia, piroplasmosis, dourine (a chronic venereal disease caused by Trypanosoma equiperdum), glanders (Burkholderia mallei infection), and brucellosis.

Dr. Carr said that licensed establishments cannot make unlicensed products, unless the CVB issues a formal exemption.

The issue of noncompliance

Deciding to choose licensed products is only the first step. A veterinarian should ask when phoning in an order whether the products are licensed and scrutinize the labels once the products have arrived.

By law, any plasma product sold with an immunologic, therapeutic claim must be licensed by the USDA-CVB, and its label must bear an establishment license number. The problem is, manufacturers allegedly don't always comply. Veterinarians may encounter a product that is unlicensed but whose advertising and promotional materials make an immunologic claim.

“Currently it varies from a production company that may be very forward with its labeling to those who will say that the less you put on a label, the better off you are,” Dr. Byars said. “So if you want to hyperimmunize against J5 E(scherichia) coli or Rhodococcus, but (the producer doesn't) measure the amount of antibody or the neutralizing effect of that plasma, then the veterinarian doesn't know what level of quality he or she is buying.”

Dr. Joseph Bertone, a member of COBTA, said manufacturers who undergo the antibody product licensing process and submit to inspection are trying to do the right thing. “Others are selling the product for maybe only $5 or $10 less, and veterinarians in their ignorance are willing to buy it,” he said. “The good guys are getting penalized.”

Costs and risks

A veterinarian might very well pay less for an unlicensed product with a therapeutic claim, but is the savings worth the risk to patient—and practitioner?

Dr. Carr said his agency always recommends that when given a choice, veterinarians use a licensed product. “Just about anybody could hop on the Web right now and find all kinds of things being advertised with a lot of claims that, frankly, we haven't evaluated,” he said.

A strong argument for using licensed products is that a practitioner's potential liability is greatly reduced, Dr. Carr said, adding, “The caveat to all of this also is just because they're not licensed and just because they're not regulated does not automatically mean it's going to hurt your animal, it's a horrible thing, or that you can be locked up for using it.”

The CVB does not have records that would shed light on the prevalence of problems resulting from use of unlicensed products. According to the AVMA-PLIT, the incidence of claims arising out of the use of unlicensed blood products is low, but Dr. Linda Ellis of PLIT said the trust recommends that veterinarians use a licensed product whenever one is available, because it's been tested and proved safe and effective for the labeled use(s). Dr. Bertone points out that plasma products are often used in foals that are already ill, and practitioners have a tendency to blame a patient's death or deterioration on the illness rather than the product.

Dr. Carr urges veterinarians to report unlicensed products that appear to promote specific therapeutic effects as well as difficulties they encounter with licensed products, such as adverse events, failure to work as advertised, or inadequate indications or directions for use. “We do follow up,” he said.

The legalities

Dr. Donna M. Gatewood, CVB section leader for Virology, said, “We have taken action against firms that are marketing unlicensed products with therapeutic claims.”

While acknowledging that the USDA doesn't regulate a blood product that starts out with no therapeutic claim, she said, “When people attach a claim to it with a nod and a wink, we may not hear about that unless they're splashing it all over their Web site.”

Within a valid veterinarian-clientpatient relationship, veterinarians can use unlicensed products in the course of their practice, Dr. Gatewood said. They themselves may keep a donor horse on premise.

But to package, market, and distribute material for which they are making a therapeutic claim, without pursuing licensure, would be in violation of the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, she added.

Blood products with no immunologic claim

Besides choosing a licensed product for blood with a therapeutic claim via an immunologic route, there is a secondary issue—being aware that other products are seldom regulated.

“If you donate to the Red Cross, the FDA monitors the quality of those drug products that have no claim—in other words, just blood,” Dr. Bertone said.

“‘Veterinary FDA’ is supposed to do the same thing, but they most often don't monitor anything that doesn't have a claim.” Dr. Bertone ascribes this to limited resources but adds, “If it's a law, they ought to do it, and if it's not a law, they ought to take it off the books so that people know they're not protected.”

Dr. Bertone, who represents private clinical practice/predominantly equine on COBTA, noted that the council has made that plea to the FDA-CVM—unsuccessfully, prompting the council to shift to an educational approach.

In 2004, the AVMA contacted the USDA-CVB and FDA, asking the agencies to regulate all equine plasma products intended for use in horses, with or without claims, according to the USDA standards for animal blood product quality. The Executive Board had adopted this position on recommendation of COBTA. A response from APHIS and FDA informed AVMA that the FDA and USDA were reviewing the options available for regulating such products.

According to Dr. Vitolis E. Vengris, special assistant to the director of the FDA-CVM Division of Surveillance, the agency evaluates blood products on a case-by-case basis, depending on the product claims. He acknowledged that many indications are allowed under regulatory discretion for reasons that include the agency's limited resources. The CVM has “approved” products for (nonimmunologic) therapeutic indications, such as plasma extenders, though none is currently being marketed.

The term “approved” is the CVM's counterpart of the USDA's term “licensed,” but Dr. Vengris said that a veterinarian would not necessarily be able to identify an approved product from its label. A list of all approved products is available online on the CVM Web site, www.fda.gov/cvm, by clicking on the Green Book link. By selecting the Adverse Drug Reactions link on the main site or calling the agency, veterinarians can report problems.

Animal blood banks fall under FDA's regulatory jurisdiction, but Dr. Vengris said that oversight is “practically nonexistent” because of limited resources and inspection capabilities. Blood banks voluntarily register their establishment with the CVM's sister center, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, but drug listing is not currently required. Voluntary standards are being developed within the animal blood bank community.

Looking ahead

The CVB is considering avenues for simplifying and expediting licensure of equine plasma and serum products, as well as products derived from the other host animal species it oversees—sheep, pigs, dogs, and ducks. This should encourage manufacturers to comply with licensure regulations.

Louise Henderson, PhD, section leader for Biotechnology, Immunology, and Diagnostics within the CVB Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing unit, said, “Current regulations require significant resources to perform the validation studies required to achieve licensure, and the kinds of firms that are interested in producing these products are usually very small and have limited resources.”

This has been in discussion for a long time, but Dr. Henderson said that recently, the agency has begun devoting human and laboratory resources toward developing standardized assays and reagents. “Basically, we would like to provide the kind of reagents and assays that would assure a uniform standard is applied to the product, regardless of the manufacturer.” These reagents would facilitate licensure, since each license applicant would not have to develop and validate the assays and reagents independently.

In the meantime, Dr. Byars called for regulatory standardization for education of veterinarians as to what they're actually buying. “Veterinarians need to be aware for the future, because commercial activity is going to continue to approach veterinarians, and it's going to become more and more intense.”

—SUSAN C. KAHLER; DRS. ELIZABETH

CURRY-GALVIN AND KIM A. SPRAYBERRY

CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT

USDA-CVB: (800) 752-6255 FDA-CVM: (888) FDA-VETS

Not enough hours in the day

Part-time practice is a growing trend in veterinary medicine

Working part time, for reasons that range from caring for children to approaching retirement age, has become a common practice in veterinary medicine—and some say that's not necessarily problematic for the profession or bad for business.

About 40 percent of veterinarians work 40 hours or less per week, according to the 2005 AVMA-Pfizer Business Practices Study, with 10 percent of veterinarians working less than 30 hours per week.

Some practitioners are more likely to work part time than others, though. Veterinarians who worked less than 30 hours per week were highly likely to be women, 77 percent; associates, 74 percent; and in companion animal practice, 88 percent.

The mothers

Most female part-timers choose their hours because of their children, according to preliminary findings from the 2005 AVMA Veterinary Attitudes Study.

Dr. Karen Wheeler began working part time more than 15 years ago when she started having her three children.

“They kind of came boom, boom, boom,” she said. “At one point, I had three kids under the age of 3.”

For a while, she was working part time at three clinics to make time for activities such as her kids' field trips and her own writing.

“It was also important for me to keep practicing,” Dr. Wheeler said. “Being part time, I feel like I'm contributing to veterinary medicine—but at the same time, I can be there for my kids.”

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She now works part time at just one clinic, Companion Animal Hospital in Eagan, Minn. Four female veterinarians run the practice, with only the owner working full time.

Dr. Wheeler's current schedule involves working three weekdays and every other Saturday. She and the other veterinarians make sure to share information with one another and the technicians, as well as to let clients know about their schedules.

“We try to keep our practice practice-driven and not doctor-driven,” she said. “I think women are looking for a balance. And there are some naysayers who say it's bad for the profession, but I think it can work very well.”

Dr. Wheeler thinks the profession must recognize that more and more veterinarians are women and will want to have families.

“People just have to figure out how to get that continuity,” she said. “I think it's a very workable, doable thing.”

Working part time has some tradeoffs for the individual, too. Dr. Wheeler said she wouldn't have the same benefits if her husband weren't working full time. Yet the family saved money on day care when her children were younger.

Female veterinarians

Dr. Wheeler's story is not uncommon among female veterinarians. According to the AVMA-Pfizer study, the percentage of female associates in companion animal medicine working less than 30 hours per week rose from 13 percent to 19 percent between 1998 and 2004.

Dr. Debra Nickelson, president and acting secretary of the Association for Women Veterinarians, has always worked full time. She said the growing ranks of female practice owners work more than full time. However, she thinks the profession is seeing more part-time veterinarians overall. “I think there's a trend toward part-time practice for both men and women,” Dr. Nickelson said.

When she began working in 1985, Dr. Nickelson said, part-time employment wasn't really an option. But she said working full time has been easier because she and her husband don't have kids. For other veterinarians, especially in two-income families, working part time has become an alternative.

“Veterinarians have realized they want more of a work-family balance,” she said. “People want some flexibility.”

Dr. Nickelson said part-time practice might actually help address the shortage of veterinarians because of that flexibility. She added that her association often deals with work-life balance, but the issue crosses gender lines, and her focus is more on promoting female leadership in the profession.

Male veterinarians

According to the AVMA-Pfizer study, the percentage of male associates working less than 30 hours per week rose from 4 percent to 7 percent between 1998 and 2004.

Most male part-timers fall into the category of semiretired, according to the Veterinary Attitudes Study.

Dr. Arthur Freeman, president of the American Association of Retired Veterinarians, said some practitioners transition to retirement by working as relief veterinarians for a day or two every week. Dr. Freeman, who is a former AVMA executive vice president and editor-in-chief, said he knows more veterinarian retirees who stay active by volunteering than by practicing.

Veterinarians work fewer hours on average as they age, according to the Veterinary Attitudes Study, but male veterinarians overall average 50.6 hours per week while female veterinarians average 44.8 hours per week.

Tracy Dowdy, a director on the board of the Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors, said she mostly sees men working part time as they reach retirement. Her father, a veterinarian and practice owner, works three or four days a week.

But she also sees younger men placing more of an emphasis on worklife balance and boundaries, even if they aren't part-time practitioners.

The profession

Dowdy, who also owns Management Resource Group in Dallas, said part-time practitioners tend to work a few days a week and alternating Saturdays. They might also be on call, work nights and weekends, or do relief work. She consults with one emergency clinic that has a staff of female veterinarians who stay home during the day and work at night.

Dowdy said part-time practice doesn't preclude a good work ethic.

“The profession is having a hard time accepting it,” she said. “But some of the research I did shows that when you give people options, and you give them life-work balance options, they're going to be more productive, you're going to have less turnover, and you're going to be more profitable.”

Dowdy said solutions to the pitfalls of part-time practice include job sharing, bonding clients to the practice, and building an excellent team. She also suggested creating standards for care, service, communication, and medical records.

She advises practice owners to insist that part-time practitioners participate in staff meetings and strategic planning.

“I think the big thing is getting a commitment, a mental commitment, from that doctor regarding the overall vision of the hospital and the team,” Dowdy said. “There are a lot of benefits to having highly committed part-time veterinarians on staff.”

One benefit is flexibility for the practice as well as the practitioners. A practice with two part-time associates instead of one full-time veterinarian might be able to offer more convenient hours to clients, for example, or one associate might be able to work when the other is sick.

Companion animal medicine

Dr. Daniel Aja, president of the American Animal Hospital Association, said he thinks companion animal medicine is conducive to part-time practice because the clinic is usually a stationary facility. With an ambulatory practice, he said, veterinarians spend time traveling as well as working.

Dr. Aja and his wife own the Cherry Bend Animal Hospital in Traverse City, Mich., which employs a part-time practitioner and other part-time staff. Some staff come in early, some come in late, and one person works only on Saturdays. The practice previously employed a semiretired veterinarian who worked one day a week.

“You have to be flexible if you're the owner of a small animal facility,” he said. “It's just a different ball game today. You have to tailor the environment to your workers, or you're going to have trouble hiring.”

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Dr. Aja said clinics have difficulty transitioning to part-time practice at first because veterinarians who have been working for 20 years think everyone should work from sunup to sundown. Nevertheless, he thinks that the profession overall has become more accepting of part-timers in the past 15 years.

Dr. Aja said his part-timers give his practice flexibility because he can rearrange the schedule without adding overtime. On the other hand, he said, clients sometimes bond with a veterinarian who isn't available as often.

“It does create sometimes a little bit of a hardship in that the client wants to see somebody, and that person is only available Fridays and Saturdays,” he said. “The key is to be upfront and honest with the client.

“It's really important to bond the client to the entire practice because you have to be more flexible with scheduling.”

The business

Data from the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues suggest that part-time veterinarians are as productive as their full-time peers.

Data from December 2005 showed that owners and associates who worked less than 2,000 hours per year—about 40 hours per week— averaged more transactions and gross revenue per hour than those who worked more than 2,000 hours per year.

Howard Rubin, chief executive officer of the NCVEI, said part-time veterinarians allow a practice to grow without adding a whole employee at a time.

He added that more practices are paying associates on a variable compensation plan instead of the traditional fixed basis to promote productivity.

Practices follow many models for part-time work, Rubin said. A practice might have four or five partners, none of whom works full time. He knows one owner whose practice consists of eight part-timers, equivalent to two full-time veterinarians.

On the other extreme, NCVEI data suggest that a small percentage of associates and as many as a tenth of owners work more than 3,000 hours per year—about 60 hours per week. And the AVMA-Pfizer study shows that companion animal veterinarians actually average 43 hours per work-week, while food animal and equine veterinarians work 50 hours per week.

So, though part-time practice is becoming increasingly common, it's nowhere near the norm in veterinary medicine.

Heifer continues to aid tsunami-affected countries

India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand to benefit from $2 million campaign

Heifer International's efforts to aid families in tsunami-stricken countries of South and Southeast Asia continue to move forward, according to a six-month progress report from the community development organization.

After the tsunami made landfall in December 2004, the AVMA joined forces with Heifer to raise $1 million to help provide long-term development assistance to impoverished families in the affected countries. The AVMA met its $1 million goal June 30, 2005. The AVMA and its constituency funded 50 percent of Heifer's tsunami rebuilding efforts, a $2 million campaign, while Heifer donors provided the remaining amount.

At the end of December 2005, Heifer Headquarters and Heifer Nepal had forwarded $559,364.04 to four tsunami-relief projects located in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

“Since the project activities only began after we sent funding to the partners at the beginning of July, this report reflects many start-up activities,” said Mahendra Lohani, PhD, vice president of the Heifer Asia/South Pacific program. “Subsequent reports will show more results after the families have received training and animals.”

In India, Heifer will work through a national nongovernmental organization to implement a livestock model for the rehabilitation of 2,930 tsunami-affected families. The project will provide 1,465 families with 2,540 goats, 130 rams, and 11,000 breeding chicks. The other 1,465 families will be assisted through the “passing on the gift” strategy where families share their animals' offspring with other families.

From July to December 2005, Heifer identified project partners in India. Other activities include the formation of female-oriented self-help groups and the completion of several project-planning workshops.

The project in Indonesia will help 1,300 farming families and 200 fishing families rebuild their lives by providing them with livestock, fishing tools, and agricultural inputs, such as rice, beans, and maize. Participants will be trained in livestock management, horticulture, and community-based disaster management.

Heifer prepared for the project's implementation from July to December 2005 by recruiting project staff, including a program manager, program officer, and finance and administration officer. The staff collected equipment such as a vehicle for field visits. Heifer also conducted a screening of project partners, among other activities.

In Sri Lanka, Heifer will mobilize affected families to reactivate and improve their livelihoods through integrated farming. The project will initially assist 610 families by providing them with 250 cattle, 20,000 chicken, 164 goats, and 40 fishing boats. Heifer will aid another 610 families using the “passing on the gift” strategy. During the six-month period, the organization collected proposals from NGOs and district consortiums interested in participating in the first cycle of the project.

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In Indonesia, a woman gives attention to a chicken provided by Heifer.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Among other activities in Sri Lanka, the local organizations are participating in a baseline survey designed to capture the socioeconomic conditions prevalent at the beginning of the project.

In Thailand, nearly 300 fishing families need urgent assistance to restore their livelihoods, according to Heifer's report. Using Heifer-provided grants, local government offices and NGOs will provide livestock, mangrove trees, fishing equipment, and training to help revitalize the families' incomes.

Though many NGOs in Thailand have provided temporary relief to the affected families through monetary aid or emergency rehabilitation, Heifer has had difficulty finding organizations that are interested in partnering for long-term, sustainable development projects. As a result, Heifer reported that the project would officially begin in early 2006.

Learning opportunities abound at North American conference

Attendees learned the latest news on avian and canine influenzas, how to market veterinary practices, and more during the North American Veterinary Conference held in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 7-11. More than 14,500 people attended the event, including 5,665 veterinarians, 1,658 veterinary technicians, 740 students, and 3,099 exhibitors.

During a panel on influenzas, Dr. Cynda Crawford from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the recent identification of canine influenza. She discussed the severity of the disease and emphasized confining suspected infected patients. She also talked about veterinarians' questionable use of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, a flu medicine for humans, to prevent or treat canine influenza (see page 660).

Dr. Crawford was joined by Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of the molecular genetics section at the Influenza Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Donis collaborated with Dr. Crawford on the canine influenza study that was published in Science magazine. Dr. Donis' presentation was focused on an increasingly global topic, avian influenza. He talked about the modes of transmission of H5N1 avian influenza virus and the role of migratory birds in spreading the disease.

Other conference highlights included sessions on how veterinarians could better market their practice, a half-day session on managing microbes, seminars on animal welfare in food animal production systems, and a half-day symposium on strategies for treating heartworm disease and other parasitic infections.

New this year was the James A. Jarrett Lecture, sponsored by the NAVC. The lecture is a tribute to Dr. Jarrett, a production medicine pioneer and longtime NAVC board member and past president. He was executive vice president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners when he died in 2005. The lecture featured speaker Dr. Jenks Britt, who gave an overview of the progression of food animal medicine since its inception.

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Members of the 2006 NAVC board of directors: Back row (from left)—Dr. Richard DeBowes, immediate past president; Dr. Don Harris, president-elect; Dr. Ralph Barrett; Dr. Laurel Kaddatz; Dr. Doug Mader; Dr. Gatz Riddell; Dr. Earl Gaughan; and Dr. Aine McCarthy. Front row (from left)—Dr. Philippe Moreau, president; Dr. Ronald Bright; Dr. Jorge Guererro, vice president; Dr. Colin Burrows, executive director; Lynne Johnson, director; Dr. Earl Rippie, secretary-treasurer; and Dr. David Senior

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

The Mark L. Morris Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Alfred M. Legendre (see page 676).

Also of note, the conference's number of international attendees has increased. “While visa restrictions again prevented some registrants from attending, we have finally rebounded to pre-9/11 numbers, with more than 1,000 registrants from 72 countries,” said Dr. Colin Burrows, NAVC executive director.

Newly elected officers for 2006-2007 are Dr. Phillipe Moreau, Limoges, France, who became the first NAVC president from a foreign country; Dr. Don J. Harris, Miami, president-elect; Dr. Jorge Guerrero, Pennington, N.J., vice president; and Dr. Earl H. Rippie Jr., Pennsauken, N.J., secretary-treasurer. Dr. Richard M. DeBowes, Pullman, Wash., serves as immediate past president. Newly elected board members are Drs. Ronald Bright, Loveland, Colo., and Aine McCarthy, Evergreen, Colo.

accolades

Industry

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Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. honored Dr. Alfred M. Legendre with the Mark L. Morris Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award is presented to a veterinarian who has made a lifetime commitment to improving the health and well-being of companion animals. Dr. Legendre received the award at the opening ceremony of the North American Veterinary Conference Jan. 7, 2006, in Orlando, Fla.

A 1966 graduate of Auburn University, Dr. Legendre is a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. He serves as the assistant department chair for the veterinary college's Department of Small Animal Clinical Services.

One of the world's experts in the research of infectious agents, Dr. Legendre has investigated the pathogenesis and prevention of infectious viral diseases in cats and the treatment of mycotic diseases in dogs and cats. He has also developed innovative treatments for cancers and viral infections. His current studies include research into a blastomycosis vaccine, on feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus, and on an antiviral drug.

Dr. Legendre has served as president and chairman of the Board of Regents for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is a founding diplomate of the ACVIM Specialty of Oncology, and was founding editor of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

In recognition of Dr. Legendre's lifetime of service, Hill's donated $20,000 to the Morris Animal Foundation in his name.

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Dr. Gail C. Golab

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

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Kent D. McClure

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

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Dr. Peter J. Pascoe

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

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Lyle P. Vogel

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

The National Academies of Practice recently inducted Drs. Gail C. Golab, Kent D. McClure, Peter J. Pascoe, and Lyle P. Vogel at a banquet following a forum on the topics of pain management and malpractice.

The NAP is an interdisciplinary group that has been addressing problems in health care since 1981. The goals of the group include advising government and serving as a forum for discussions of public policy, education, research, and inquiry.

Drs. Pascoe and McClure were among the speakers at the recent NAP forum, “Pain management gone awry: An interdisciplinary model for preventing malpractice.”

Dr. Pascoe (LIV '75) is a professor at the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences. He spoke on “Physiology, assessment, and management of pain,” particularly on the neurobiology of pain. He described the difficulties with assessing pain, the methods currently in place, and nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic pain management.

Dr. McClure (TEX '88) serves as general counsel for the Animal Health Institute, which represents manufacturers of animal health care products. He spoke on the topic of “Valuing pain in patients and their families: Risk management,” specifically about malpractice suits. He talked about the movement for courts to consider emotional distress of animals and animal owners.

The other inductees in veterinary medicine, Drs. Vogel and Golab, are members of the AVMA staff. Dr. Vogel (MIN '67) is director of the Scientific Activities Division. Dr. Golab (IL '91) is the assistant director for professional and public affairs in the Communications Division.

Academia

The Frey family recently received a 2006 Alumni Recognition Award from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in recognition of the Freys being exemplary role models and of the family's devotion to advancing veterinary medicine.

The Frey family tradition in veterinary medicine at Kansas State began with Dr. Jesse Frey (KSU '14). He established California's first animal pathology laboratory and was instrumental in research eradicating disease outbreaks during the 1920s in California. He died in 1987.

Dr. Jesse Frey's nephew Dr. Russ Frey (KSU '52) taught at the veterinary college for 40 years and was the head of the department of anatomy and physiology for 15 years. He died in 2003.

Dr. Russ Frey's brothers Drs. Merwin and Martin Frey (KSU '56), who are twins, went separate ways after graduation. Dr. Merwin Frey became a professor at the Veterinary Medical Research Institute at Iowa State University and later taught at Oklahoma State University and the University of Nebraska. Dr. Martin Frey and his wife, Dr. Demarious Frey (OKL '63), opened a practice in Padre Island, Texas.

Dr. William Griffing (KSU '44), another nephew of Dr. Jesse Frey, worked as a veterinary pathologist for Eli Lilly and Company Pharmaceuticals in Indiana, where he advanced study in electron microscopy.

And Dr. Robert Hentzler (KSU '43)—a cousin of Drs. Russ, Merwin, and Martin Frey—served as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and as the manager and co-owner of Hentzler Packing Company in Topeka. He died in 2003.

college news

Tuskegee appoints Habtemariam as dean

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Dr. Tsegaye Habtemariam

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Tuskegee University has appointed Dr. Tsegaye Habtemariam as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, effective Jan. 3. He succeeds Dr. Alfonza Atkinson, who died in late 2004. Dr. Elizabeth Graham served as interim dean.

A Tuskegee faculty member since 1979, Dr. Habtemariam had been associate dean for research and graduate studies at the veterinary college since 1999. He has also served as director of the Center for Computational Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, and Risk Analysis; director of Biomedical Information Management Systems; and professor of Epidemiology and Biomedical Informatics.

Dr. Habtemariam is president of the World Association of Veterinary Educators. He was elected a member of the National Academies of Practice and is an honorary member of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society.

Dr. Habtemariam has been a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization. He and his research team have helped coordinate more than a dozen international workshops in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States to train scientists in risk analysis.

The new dean received his certification in risk analysis from the Department of Agriculture's Graduate School. He holds a master's degree in preventive veterinary medicine and a doctorate in epidemiology, both from the University of California-Davis. He earned his veterinary degree from Colorado State University in 1970, after attending college in his native Ethiopia.

NAVTA donates to hurricane relief

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America executive board recently donated $10,000 to the Spirit of Veterinary Medicine Hurricane Animal Relief Fund administered by the Louisiana State University Foundation.

The fund benefits the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and covers costs associated with animal relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina struck last fall, sick and injured animals were treated at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and shelter facility at Parker Coliseum.

Joint pathology meetings

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Dr. Paul Stromberg

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

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Dr. M. Judith Radin

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Event: American College of Veterinary Pathologists, American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, 56th and 40th joint annual meetings, respectively, Dec. 3-7, 2005, Boston

Program: The ACVP program included premeeting symposia, an emerging disease focus seminar, and a joint plenary session and specialty group sessions. The ASVCP, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary, held a premeeting workshop, an education symposium, and clinical pathology scientific sessions.

American College of Veterinary Pathologists

Awards: Young Investigator Award, category of diagnostic pathology, First place: S.M. Birch, Oklahoma State University, for “Correlations between computer-assisted image analysis and histopathology in detecting equine testicular lesions;” Second place: C. Sangster, Western University of Health Sciences, for “Kernicterus in an adult dog;” Third place: G. Gopalakrishnan, Purdue University, for “Esophagitis in camelids: Report of three cases.” Category of toxicologic pathology, First place: H. Yamauchi, University of Tokyo, for “Pathway of P53-dependent trophoblast cell apoptosis in cytosine arabinoside-treated placenta.” Category of natural disease, First place: R. Luong, The Animal Medical Center, for “Prognostic significance of intratumoral microvessel density in canine soft-tissue sarcomas;” Second place: M.M. Sebastian, University of Georgia, for “Mare reproductive loss syndrome: Irradiated eastern tent caterpillars induce abortion in mares;” Third place: A.L. Warren, Cornell University, for “Epithelioid variant of hemangioma and hemangiosarcoma in the dog, horse and cow.” Category of experimental disease, First place: V. K. Newkirk, The Ohio State University, for “Slug-mediated effects of cutaneous UVR exposure;” Second place: K.L. Helke, Johns Hopkins University, for “4-3-3 protein regulates viral-induced neurodegeneration;” Third place: K.A.B. Knostman, The Ohio State University, for ”Sodium/iodide symporter regulation by tRA, forskolin, RAS and PI3K in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.” Christopher T. Starost Memorial Oncology Scholarship, First Place: K.A.B. Knostman, The Ohio State University, for “Sodium/iodide symporter regulation by tRA forskolin, RAS and P13K in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells;” Second Place: D. L. Perry, Wake Forest University, for “The effect of polyunsaturated fatty acids on prostatic adenocarcinoma development in the prostatespecific pten knockout murine model.” Student Poster Awards: Lisa Gooding, The Ohio State University, for “Methylation of the e-cadherin tumor supressor gene in canine mammary cancer;” and Marcia Chien, Cornell University, for “The role of tissue transglutaminase in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-mediated cell motility and invasion.” Harold W. Casey Memorial Scholarship: Dr. Branka Grubor, Iowa State University. Distinguished and honorary members: The ACVP elected Dr. Walter Loeb, Paw Paw, W.Va., as a distinguished member, and Dr. Gordon Hard, Tairua, New Zealand, as an honorary member.

New diplomates: The ACVP recognized 39 new diplomates upon successful completion of the certifying examination in Ames, Iowa, Sept. 14-15, 2005. Certified as veterinary anatomic pathologists were Drs. Jonathan Arzt, Bellvue, Colo.; Melanie A. Breshears, Stillwater, Okla.; Patrick A. Caplazi, Pullman, Wash.; Jennifer L. Chapman, Monrovia, Md.; Kathleen M. Colegrove, Timonium, Md.; Michelle M. Dennis, Laporte, Colo.; Oded Foreman, Davis, Calif.; Kyleigh A. Geissler, Tobaccoville, N.C.; Lucy M. Genovese, Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom; Justin J. Greenlee, Ames, Iowa; Holly M. Kolenda-Roberts, Gainesville, Fla.; Sabu Kuruvilla, Lake Bluff, Ill.; Philippe Labelle, Westbury, N.Y.; Andre-Jean Lambert, Chazy, N.Y.; Malcolm J. Lancaster, Craigieburn, Victoria, Australia; Bridget S. Lewis, Columbia, Md.; Patricia Lin, Everett, Wash.; David K. Meyerholz, Ames, Iowa; James P. Morrison, Durham, N.C.; Robert W. Read, Starkville, Miss.; John F. Roberts, Gainesville, Fla.; Alice D. Roudabush, Dover, N.H.; Ahmed M. Shoieb, Amarillo, Texas; Amy B. Shokek, Elkton, Md.; Taylor Spangler, Davis, Calif.; Thomas J. Steinbach, Sterling, Va.; and Kathleen A. Szabo, Silver Spring, Md.

Certified as veterinary clinical pathologists were Drs. Susan P. Boyd, Hatfield, Herts, United Kingdom; Jennifer L. Brazzell, Stillwater, Minn.; Stephanie C. Corn, Columbus, Ohio; Sonya L. Keller, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Kelley A. Penraat, Lafayette, N.J.; Theresa E. Rizzi, Stillwater, Okla.; Elizabeth Spangler, Auburn, Ala.; Jennifer D. Steinberg, Worcester, Mass.; Heather L. Tarpley, Athens, Ga.; Craig A. Thompson, West Lafayette, Ind.; Leanne Twomey, Gainesville, Fla.; and Tamara B. Wills, Vancouver, Wash. Dr. Adrienne F. French, Philadelphia, already a diplomate of veterinary anatomic pathology, received certification in veterinary clinical pathology.

Officials: Drs. Paul Stromberg, Columbus, Ohio, president; Mary Anna Thrall, Fort Collins, Colo., vice president/president-elect; Derek Mosier, Manhattan, Kan., secretary-treasurer; and R. Keith Harris, Chazy, N.Y., immediate past president

American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Awards: Young Investigator Award: Roberta Di Terlizzi, Kansas State University, for “Comparison of protein concentrations in precolostral and postcolostral bovine sera using spectrophotometric, refractometric, electrophoretic, and radioimmunodiffusion methods.”

Officials: Drs. M. Judith Radin, Columbus, Ohio, president; Christine S. Olver, Fort Collins, Colo., president-elect; Marlyn S. Whitney, Columbia, Mo., secretary; Sonjia M. Shelly, West Sacramento, Calif., treasurer; and Susan J. Tornquist, Corvallis, Ore., immediate past president

Maine VMA

Event: Annual meeting, Jan. 7, Portland

Awards: Veterinary Service Award: Drs. Mike Opitz, Orono; and William Bryant, Mount Vernon. A 1964 graduate of Free University in Berlin, Dr. Opitz served as extension veterinari-an at the University of Maine for 25 years. A poultry specialist, he was known for his expertise in Salmonella, establishing control programs that have been used as models in other states. Dr. Opitz also assisted Maine's salmon farms. A 1991 graduate of North Carolina State University, Dr. Bryant practices at Winthrop Veterinary Hospital. During his tenure as MVMA president in 2005, he was active in legislative affairs, helping to revise Maine's rules governing rabies vaccinations. Dr. Bryant also helped bring Maine's veterinarians and legislators together in agreement on an education program regarding vaccine protocols.

Officials: Drs. John Flowers, Gardiner, president; Anne Del Borgo, Brunswick, vice president; Thomas Ahlers, Portland, treasurer; and William Bryant, Mount Vernon, past president

Utah VMA

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Dr. Roddy Sharp

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

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Dr. Bruce King

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

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Dr. Drew Allen

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 228, 5; 10.2460/javma.228.5.657

Event: Annual meeting, Sept. 17, 2005, Lehi

Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Roddy Sharp, Salt Lake City. A 1975 graduate of Colorado State University, Dr. Sharp owns Brickyard Animal Hospital. He serves as Utah's alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates.

Officials: Drs. Bruce King, Axtell, president; Drew Allen, Salt Lake City, president-elect; and Roger Rees, South Jordan, past president

obituaries

AVMA Honor Roll Member, AVMA Member, AVMA Nonmember

Frank F. Bellar

Dr. Bellar (AUB '57), 80, Lafayette, Tenn., died July 11, 2005. He was in mixed practice in Lafayette. Dr. Bellar was a lifetime member of the Tennessee VMA.

Harold P. Brown

Dr. Brown (MSU '57), 77, Westford, Vt., died Sept. 29, 2005. He worked part time at the Sequist Animal Hospital in Morrisville, Vt. Earlier in his career, Dr. Brown owned Brown Animal Hospital in South Burlington, Vt., for 32 years. He was a past president of the Vermont VMA and the Greater Burlington Humane Society. Dr. Brown served in the Army for two years.

His wife, Anne; a son; and a daughter survive him. Memorials in Dr. Brown's memory may be made to the Class of 1957 Scholarship for Expanding Veterinary Horizons, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, A133 East Feel Hall, East Lansing MI 48824.

Elizabeth D. Chambers

Dr. Chambers (CAL '76), 56, La Habra, Calif., died Sept. 11, 2005. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, she practiced veterinary ophthalmology in La Habra and Australia. Early in her career, Dr. Chambers practiced in Denver. Her husband was the late Dr. Douglas Slatter (see obituary).

Frederick C. Claugus

Dr. Claugus (OSU '77), 53, Barnesville, Ohio, died Dec. 7, 2005. He owned Barnesville Veterinary Services and Woodsfield Veterinary Services. Dr. Claugus' wife, Jean; three sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Frederick W. Claugus Scholarship Fund, 23457 Hideaway Drive, Senecaville, OH 43780.

Richard J. Connell

Dr. Connell (KSU '61), 69, Harper, Kan., died Nov. 18, 2005. He owned Harper Veterinary Clinic/Dry Gulch Veterinary Service in Harper for 40 years. Dr. Connell served in the Army Veterinary Corps for two years, attaining the rank of captain. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; three sons; and five daughters. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Richard Connell Scholarship Fund, c/o Elizabeth Connell, 459 E. Highway 160, Harper, KS 67058.

David J. Ellis

Dr. Ellis (MSU '43), 89, East Lansing, Mich., died Oct. 4, 2005. He was professor emeritus of large animal clinical sciences at Michigan State University since 1986. Following graduation, Dr. Ellis practiced large animal medicine in Memphis, Mich., for eight years. He then served in the Army Veterinary Corps. In 1955, Dr. Ellis worked briefly as public health veterinarian and assistant state veterinarian. He joined the MSU faculty that same year. During his career, Dr. Ellis also served as field service veterinarian and section chief of field investigations at the MSU Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory.

His many honors include the Michigan VMA Service Award in 1968; Michigan County Agents Association's Outstanding Extension Specialist Award in 1982 and 1983; Norden Distinguished Teaching Award in 1983; American Association of Extension Veterinarians' Veterinarian-of-the-Year Award in 1985; Michigan Farm Bureau's Distinguished Service to Michigan Agriculture Award in 1993; a Michigan Department of Agriculture's commendation in 1995; and MSU-CVM Distinguished Faculty Award in 1999. In 1983, the David J. Ellis Professorship in Large Animal Clinic Sciences was established at MSU.

A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Dr. Ellis served as a captain in the Army. His daughter and son survive him. Memorials may be made to Huntington's Disease Society of America Inc., Mid-Michigan Chapter, 4000 N. Michigan Road, Dimondale, MI 48821; David James Ellis Scholarship Fund, c/o Michigan State University, University Development, 4700 S. Hagadorn Road, Suite 220, East Lansing, MI 48823; Edgewood United Church, 469 N. Hagadorn, Lansing, MI 48906; or Sparrow Foundation, Hospice Services, 1322 E. Michigan Ave., P.O. Box 30480, Lansing, MI 48909.

Paul Handler

Dr. Handler (COR '42), 85, West Palm Beach, Fla., died Dec. 26, 2005. He practiced at Middletown Veterinary Hospital in Middletown, Conn., for more than 40 years. Dr. Handler was a member of the Connecticut VMA. His three daughters and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Congregational Adath Israel Synagogue, P.O. Box 337, Middletown, CT 06457; or Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 39, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Glen R. Hendry

Dr. Hendry (ONT '51), 84, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada, died July 13, 2005. Prior to retirement in 1985, he worked for the Canadian federal government in Ontario, primarily in regulatory medicine. Dr. Hendry is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and two sons.

Samuel D. Holland

Dr. Holland (AUB '75), 58, Ocala, Fla., died Nov. 18, 2005. He was the founder of Ocala Square Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Holland's wife, Linda, survives him. Memorials may be made to the Ocala Civic Theater, 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL 34470; or Maricamp Road Church of Christ Building Fund, 2750 S.E. Maricamp Road, Ocala, FL 34471.

Nolan W. Klepinger

Dr. Klepinger (OSU '50), 83, Green Lake, Wis., died Jan. 13, 2006. He was in mixed practice in the Berlin, Wis., area for more than 35 years, with a special interest in equine medicine. From 1956-1962, Dr. Klepinger served as a Department of Agriculture veterinarian in Richfield, Utah. He was a member of the Wisconsin VMA and Northeastern Wisconsin VMA.

A World War II veteran, Dr. Klepinger served in the Air Force, attaining the rank of captain. He received the Distinguished Service Medal and Flying Cross. Dr. Klepinger's wife, Elnora, and a son survive him. His son, Dr. Wayne Klepinger (OSU '72), is a veterinarian in Berlin. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368; or Veterans Foundation of Berlin Inc., Berlin, WI 54923.

Eugene L. Rizek

Dr. Rizek (KSU '55), 75, Hebron, Neb., died Dec. 10, 2005. From 1959 until retirement in 1995, he practiced at Valley View Animal Clinic in Hebron. Prior to that, Dr. Rizek practiced at Seminole Animal Clinic in Seminole, Okla. He served in the Army from 1956-1958, attaining the rank of 2nd lieutenant. Dr. Rizek is survived by his wife, Eleanor, two sons; and three daughters. His granddaughter, Dr. Rachel Fleischacker (KSU '05), is a veterinarian in Linn Creek, Mo.

Memorials may be made to Thayer County Health Services, 120 Park Ave., Hebron, NE 68370; Hebron Country Club, RR 2, Hebron, NE 68370; Hebron Volunteer Fire Department, 5 & Jefferson, Hebron, NE 68370; or Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 436 N. 3rd St., Hebron, NE 68370.

Jacqueline Rost

Dr. Rost (TEX '91), 48, Baltimore, died Dec. 9, 2005. She practiced at Westview Animal Hospital in Catonsville, Md., for the past four years. Earlier in her career, Dr. Rost worked at veterinary clinics in Towson, Rosedale, Columbia, and Locust Point, all in Maryland. Her husband, Robert Meisenhelder, survives her. Memorials may be made to Gilchrist Hospice (Attention: Memorial Contributions), 6601 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21237; or Weinburg Cancer Institute at Franklin Square, Baltimore, MD 21237.

Kathleen M. Sande

Dr. Sande (WSU '97), 37, Chattaroy, Wash., died July 9, 2005. She practiced at North Division Animal Medical Center in Spokane, Wash. Dr. Sande was a member of the Washington State VMA. Her husband, B.J., and two daughters survive her. Dr. Sande's father-in-law, Dr. Ronald D. Sande (WSU '66), is a veterinarian in Pullman, Wash.

Douglas Slatter

Dr. Slatter (QLD '70), 57, La Habra, Calif., died Sept. 11, 2005. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, he practiced veterinary ophthalmology in La Habra and Australia. During his career, Dr. Slatter also served as associate professor of ophthalmology and surgery at Murdoch University in Western Australia; was a visiting professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania's Scheie Eye Institute; and served as adjunct professor of veterinary ophthalmology at the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton.

He was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and recognized by the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. Slatter was also a fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. He authored “Fundamentals of Veterinary Ophthalmology” and “Textbook of Veterinary Surgery.”

Dr. Slatter's wife was the late Dr. Elizabeth D. Chambers (see obituary). His two daughters survive him.

D. Benton Williams

Dr. Williams (LSU '90), 44, Greenwood, Wis., died Dec. 18, 2005. He practiced large animal medicine, focusing on dairy cows, at Loyal Veterinary Service in Loyal, Wis., since 1992. Earlier in his career, Dr. Williams was in mixed practice in Little Falls, Minn. He was a member of the Wisconsin VMA and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

Dr. Williams' wife, Paula, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to Heifer Project International, P.O. Box 727, Little Rock, AR 72203; or University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital and Clinics, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (in memory of Benton Williams), 600 Highland Ave., Madison, WI 53792.

  • President-Elect Roger K. Mahr (right) speaks about the proposal for the new advisory committee as District I representative, Dr. Guy L. Pidgeon, listens.

  • Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Noah of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Lisa Greenhill, associate executive director for diversity with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

  • Wes Jamison, PhD, associate professor of agriculture at Dordt College

  • Dr. Charlotte A. LaCroix, a veterinarian and attorney from New Jersey

  • Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice, director of the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division, responds:

  • Dr. James Hart provides plasma at Oakley Park Stud in Victoria, Australia, to a Thoroughbred with failure of passive transfer.

  • In Indonesia, a woman gives attention to a chicken provided by Heifer.

  • Members of the 2006 NAVC board of directors: Back row (from left)—Dr. Richard DeBowes, immediate past president; Dr. Don Harris, president-elect; Dr. Ralph Barrett; Dr. Laurel Kaddatz; Dr. Doug Mader; Dr. Gatz Riddell; Dr. Earl Gaughan; and Dr. Aine McCarthy. Front row (from left)—Dr. Philippe Moreau, president; Dr. Ronald Bright; Dr. Jorge Guererro, vice president; Dr. Colin Burrows, executive director; Lynne Johnson, director; Dr. Earl Rippie, secretary-treasurer; and Dr. David Senior

  • Dr. Gail C. Golab

  • Kent D. McClure

  • Dr. Peter J. Pascoe

  • Lyle P. Vogel

  • Dr. Tsegaye Habtemariam

  • Dr. Paul Stromberg

  • Dr. M. Judith Radin

  • Dr. Roddy Sharp

  • Dr. Bruce King

  • Dr. Drew Allen

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