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CONVENTION COVERAGE: AVMA Annual Convention spotlights one-health concent

From Opening Session to a series of special meetings, the one-health concept was an overarching theme throughout the 144th AVMA Annual Convention, held July 14–18 in Washington, D.C.

The event attracted 10,339 attendees, breaking the previous record of 10,191 that was set at the 2006 convention in Honolulu. Included in the total were 4,215 veterinarians, 400 veterinary students, and 462 veterinary technicians and technician students.

The one-health concept was echoed during the Opening Session (see page 674) when Julie L. Gerberding, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, gave her keynote presentation. Dr. Gerberding said that veterinarians and physicians must present a seamless front to protect human and animal health in a small world.

Two special sessions on the one-health concept were held July 16 (see page 675). One session focused on emerging global animal health threats and included a presentation by U.S. Ambassador John E. Lange, who is the nation's representative on avian and pandemic influenza and heads the State Department's Avian Influenza Action Group.

During the other session, organized veterinary and human medical professionals discussed the need for the two groups to work together to more effectively prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases affecting people and animals.

Key presenters were Dr. Roger K. Mahr, 2006-2007 AVMA president, who made the one-health initiative his top priority during his presidency, and Ronald M. Davis, MD, president of the American Medical Association. The AMA recently adopted a policy supporting the AVMA's one-health initiative. Also presenting was Jarbas Barbosa, MD, head of infectious diseases at the Pan American Health Organization.

“I was extremely pleased that this year's convention provided a venue at our nation's capital for the culmination of a multitude of actions and presentations which not only supported the one-health concept, but created further momentum for the one-health initiative,” Dr. Mahr said.

“Many of our international guests communicated their support for the one-health initiative and expressed their desire to engage their associations and countries in the initiative,” he added.

Another highlight at the Opening Session, sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition, came when Major Scott Willens, a veterinarian serving with the U.S. Army, sang “God Bless the USA” live from Iraq via satellite link, and his family was in the audience. Also, a tribute was paid to Dr. Bruce W. Little, AVMA executive vice president, who retired from his post Aug. 8.

A well-attended event was the AVMA-arranged expert panel that reviewed the massive recalls of pet food (see page 681). Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, was included on the panel.

Sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, the third annual Veterinary Diversity Symposium featured sessions on understanding cultural competence and how it can help veterinarians better serve African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic clientele; dispelling disability myths; and how to make practices more attractive to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

Overall, attendees chose from more than 1,000 continuing education sessions with 600-plus speakers. Topics covered included advances in veterinary medicine, species-specific medicine; complementary/alternative medicine, personal/professional development, food safety, and public health practice. Thirty-two interactive laboratories were available.


Comedian Frank Caliendo was the star of the Final Fling

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

More than 300 exhibitors were featured in the exhibit hall. The AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams and the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps each had large tents on display. The VMAT tent included a set-up for responding to animals during a disaster, while the Army display offered visitors a chance to visit with Army veterinarians about joining.

The convention offered a wide-ranging mix of entertainment, including the first AVMA/Merial Concert Series, featuring the Goo Goo Dolls, and AVMA Family Night, sponsored by Bayer Animal Health, at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Also, on July 17, attendees got their kicks during the Final Fling, sponsored by Fort Dodge Animal Health and starring comedian Frank Caliendo.

The AVMA Welcome Center, sponsored by Novartis Animal Health, was staffed by volunteers from the District of Columbia VMA and the U.S. Army to supply information on Washington, D.C.

Convention news was dispersed to area hotels through the AVMA Convention News Network, sponsored by Fort Dodge Animal Health and co-sponsored by Subaru of North America. The 30-minute TV shows included segments on military veterinarians, the National Zoo, D.C. neighborhoods, and plenty more.

Dr. Gregory S. Hammer assumed the AVMA presidency, succeeding Dr. Roger K. Mahr. The AVMA House of Delegates elected Dr. James O. Cook as president-elect and re-elected Dr. Charles M. Hendrix as vice president. Drs. Larry R. Corry and Gary S. Brown declared their candidacies for 2008-2009 AVMA president-elect and vice president, respectively. Meanwhile, Dr. Corry was elected the new Executive Board chair.


Conventioneers work with a cadaver in one of 32 interactive labs

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

During its session, the AVMA House of Delegates took no position on foie gras production, by disapproving resolutions condemning or supporting the controversial practice. The HOD did approve a resolution stating the AVMA's opposition to using information from companion animal microchip databases for purposes of marketing or referral. Turn to page 669 for full coverage of the HOD.

Dr. Dennis M. McCurnin, chair of the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee, said the CMPC section managers and AVMA staff worked hard to put together a program that would be as good as, or better than, the 2006 program.

“They were successful in that we drew more attendees in Washington, D.C., than we did in Honolulu,” Dr. McCurnin said. “This is a very difficult meeting to keep building on and improving each year, but the committee has done an outstanding job. All in all, we were very pleased with the convention and the responses we received from attendees.”

FDA issues final rule on designating new animal drugs for MUMS

In the July 26 Federal Register, the Food and Drug Administration issued final regulations to implement the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2004. These regulations describe the procedures for designating a new animal drug as a minor use or minor species drug. Such designation establishes eligibility for the incentives provided by the MUMS act (Public Law 108-282).

This final rule, which will take effect Oct. 9, 2007, can be viewed online at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.

The MUMS act amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish new regulatory procedures that provide incentives to make more drugs legally available to veterinarians and animal owners for the treatment of minor animal species and for uncommon diseases in major animal species. These incentives include exclusive marketing rights associated with the conditional approval or approval of designated new animal drugs.

Designation of a new animal drug as a MUMS drug also provides eligibility for grants to support designated new animal drug development. The 2004 act authorized the grant money, and now that the final rule was published July 26, the agency can start to seek the actual funding. The agency intends to publish an update when it acquires the new funds.

The July 26 Federal Register notice details the public comments received in response to the regulations when they were first proposed and the FDA's response to them. The notice describes several changes made to the proposed rule for clarity or in response to the comments. The proposed regulations had been published in the Sept. 27, 2005, Federal Register, and an extension of the comment period was announced Dec. 28 of that year.

For further information, contact Dr. Bernadette Dunham, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-50), Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855; Bernadette.Dunham@fda.hhs.gov; or phone, (240) 276-9090.

Comments sought on animal importation regulations

In the July 31 Federal Register, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to begin revising regulations that cover the importation of dogs and cats, possibly extending regulations to cover domesticated ferrets. The advance notice addresses the importation of African rodents into the United States. The CDC is also considering the need for additional regulations to prevent the introduction of zoonotic diseases into the country.

Along with whether the regulations should cover domesticated ferrets, the CDC seeks comments from stakeholders on issues such as whether to establish a minimal age for the importation of dogs, cats, and ferrets into the United States, and whether rabies vaccination should be a requirement for entry into the country.

The CDC also requests feedback on whether all dogs, cats, and ferrets imported into the United States should have a unique identifier, such as a tattoo or microchip, to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent vaccination claims and health certificates.

An electronic version of the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available at www.regulations.gov. The advance notice will lead to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, with the aim of improving the Department of Health and Human Services' ability to prevent importation of communicable diseases into the United States.

Submit written comments on or before Oct. 1 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, ATTN: Animal Importation Regulations, 1600 Clifton Road N.E., (E03), Atlanta, GA 30333.

Written comments may also be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov or via e-mail to animalimportcomments@cdc.gov. The CDC has posted related materials online at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq.

APHIS proposes to increase user fees for diagnostics

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced a proposal to increase user fees for veterinary diagnostic services.

The APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories and other authorized sites perform identification, serology, and other laboratory tests and provide diagnostic reagents and other diagnostic materials and services. During fiscal years 2008 to 2012, APHIS proposes to increase user fees incrementally to reflect the costs of providing these diagnostic services.

The APHIS proposal is to base the fees on direct labor, administrative support, premium costs, agency overhead, and departmental charges. About 76 percent of the fees would change in total by $10 or less. In addition, APHIS does not charge fees for tests in the context of disease control or eradication programs.

The full proposal with a list of fees appears in the July 23 Federal Register, available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.

Parties may submit comments until Sept. 21 by visiting www.regulations.gov, selecting APHIS from the agency drop-down menu, clicking Submit, and then selecting APHIS-2006-0161; or by mailing an original and three copies to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0161, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

AVMA releases foie gras production backgrounder

The AVMA has released a backgrounder on the welfare implications of foie gras production, available in the reference section of the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org/reference.

The backgrounder reviews foie gras production in the United States and other countries; welfare concerns, including science, risks, and severity of the risks; alternatives to force-feeding for producing foie gras; a summary; and references.

The information was prepared by the AVMA Animal Welfare Division.

HOUSE OF DELEGATES: AVMA takes no position on foie gras, opposes database mining

The AVMA House of Delegates declined to take a position on foie gras July 14 at its annual session in Washington, D.C., with a majority of delegates disapproving competing resolutions opposing or supporting the controversial production practice banned in Chicago and being phased out in California.

Delegates did approve a resolution stating the AVMA's opposition to using information from companion animal microchip databases for purposes of marketing or referral.

The HOD has been disapproving anti-foie gras resolutions since 2004. The latest unsuccessful resolution, submitted by petition, called for the AVMA to oppose artificially force-feeding ducks and geese to produce the fatty liver “because of the adverse effects on the birds' health and welfare associated with this practice.”

The Executive Board, House Advisory Committee, and Reference Committee 2 all recommended disapproval of the measure. During HOD deliberations, Dr. Thomas L. Munschauer, the Vermont delegate, spoke in favor of the resolution, saying “I have a problem, as a veterinarian, endorsing any practice that creates disease in an animal.”

Although the resolution was voted down, delegates then had to decide whether to consider a resolution from the Connecticut VMA that stated the following:

“Resolved, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approves that the production of foie gras, in accordance with AVMA welfare committee guidelines, is an acceptable agriculture practice.”

Because the resolution was submitted after the May deadline, delegates voted to waive the prior notice provision and waive consideration by the reference committee. Delegates then took a break to allow the HAC to conduct an impromptu appraisal of the resolution and deliver its recommendation, which was a recommendation to disapprove.

Dr. Michael L. Whitehair, HAC chair, explained that the AVMA has no welfare guidelines concerning the production of foie gras, as the resolution incorrectly states. Moreover, it was the committee's feeling that the HOD should avoid species-specific resolutions in favor of more general policies.

Connecticut delegate, Dr. Ned S. Schankman, explained that his state VMA submitted the resolution so that the HOD would go on record as supporting foie gras as a humane practice. “It's time to take a proactive, definitive stand,” Dr. Schankman said.

Dr. William E. De Witt, the Alabama delegate, agreed, saying it was time the AVMA took control of foie gras and other welfare issues rather than reacting to them.

Other delegates saw the matter differently. “I think this is a PR nightmare. It would be a mistake for us to go on record supporting this,” observed Dr. Ernest C. Godfrey, the Florida delegate. No matter how humane the production of foie gras is, the public won't get past images of ducks and geese being force-fed, Dr. Godfrey said.

Most delegates agreed with Dr. Godfrey, and the resolution was disapproved.

The microchip resolution approved by delegates was an amended version of the proposal submitted by eight state veterinary medical associations. The amended resolution states the following:

Resolved, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) endorses the use of companion animal microchip registration databases strictly for reuniting animals and owners and opposes their use as a source for marketing or referrals of other products and services.

The intention of the resolution is to protect the privacy of information provided by companion animal owners when registering their animals' microchip numbers. “Companion animal” was added to the resolution so as not to hamper the use of microchip databases by livestock producers and animal health officials.


HOUSE OF DELEGATES: HOD to begin holding two regular sessions

The House of Delegates has approved three amendments to the AVMA Bylaws.

The first provides that the HOD will hold a regular winter session in conjunction with the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, in addition to its current regular annual session held in conjunction with the AVMA Annual Convention. Approval means that the HOD will hold its first winter session in January 2008, in Schaumburg, Ill., near AVMA headquarters.

The second amended bylaw restores information on the seven current AVMA councils to the AVMA Bylaws. During preparation of the new AVMA Bylaws—which were approved last year—the detailed information on each council had been removed and included in the HOD Manual.

The third amendment clarifies that the Executive Board does not approve policies and procedures used by the Council on Education when accrediting schools and colleges of veterinary medicine.

HOUSE OF DELEGATES: Passing workforce expansion bill Hammer's top priority

Profession-wide support key to success

As 2007-2008 AVMA president, Dr. Gregory S. Hammer will work for the passage and funding of a bill before Congress that would increase the number of veterinarians working in food safety, food systems, biomedical research, and other public health-related areas of practice.

Dr. Hammer announced his presidential agenda to the AVMA House of Delegates July 13 in Washington, D.C. The practitioner from Dover, Del., won the race for AVMA president-elect during the HOD meeting in Hawaii this past year. Dr. Hammer succeeded Dr. Roger K. Mahr as president on July 17 at the conclusion of the AVMA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

The Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act is vital to solving a “crisis” in the veterinary workforce, according to Dr. Hammer. The veterinary shortage has reached critical levels in public health practice, including areas that ensure food safety, combat bioterrorism, and oversee environmental health and regulatory medicine. This is in addition to the dearth of rural and food supply veterinarians, he said.

“Together, these (shortages) threaten our country's ability to protect our nation's wholesome food supply from farm to fork,” he said. “The good news is that we have both the capacity and the opportunity to fix this problem while it still can be solved.”

The workforce expansion act (H.R. 1232/S. 746), introduced earlier this year in the House and Senate, would establish a 10-year, $1.5 billion competitive federal grants program to build research, diagnostic, and training capacity in U.S. veterinary schools and colleges. The Senate passed a modified version of the legislation July 23 as an amendment to the Higher Education Reauthorization Bill.

The bill directs the secretary of Health and Human Services to award the grants on the basis of applicants' ability to improve the supply and training of veterinarians working in public health practice areas. Increasing capacity in research involving high-priority disease agents is also a consideration for grant approval.


Dr. Gregory S. Hammer

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Preference would be given to applicants demonstrating a comprehensive approach by involving more than one veterinary school or college, department of comparative medicine, or school of medicine, or by offering veterinarians a postgraduate residency training program in various public health areas.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges is supporting the bill, and the AVMA has made its passage a priority.

“At a time when more and more emerging diseases are zoonotic and the potential for bioterrorism and food safety disasters is increasing, our capacity to respond is decreasing,” Dr. Hammer observed. “There is nothing we can do to change the past, but we can, as a profession, control our future.”

Dr. Hammer directed AVMA councils and committees to develop plans of action at their fall 2007 meetings that will support passage of the workforce expansion bill during this 110th Congress. He asked all state VMAs and allied organization to contribute to the effort by creating their own plans of action and grassroots activities.

Officers and executive directors of those organizations should present action plans to their membership that will support the involvement of members and their clients, he added.

“President Kennedy once said, ‘There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.' I am pleading with you to take his advice to heart and let our nation's leaders know that public health veterinarians are an important key to our country's health, safety, and security,” Dr. Hammer said.

And finally, Dr. Hammer made delegates promise not to discourage people from careers in veterinary medicine. “How many times, when you've talked to someone that wants to be a veterinarian, have you used phrases like ‘too many hours' or ‘too much debt' or ‘too low of a salary?'”

Veterinarians must stop advocating against their profession, he admonished.

“Colleagues, we must use our limitless passion to plead our case for passage of the Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act,” Dr. Hammer said. “We must channel our infinite enthusiasm for our profession into encouraging young people to become veterinarians. And, we must sustain our hope that the future is bright for the next generation of veterinarians and, most of all, for the well-being of our nation.”


HOUSE OF DELEGATES: AVMA budget impacts halls of Congress to clinical practices

$28.8 million budget for '08 will support diverse areas

AVMA Treasurer Bret D. Marsh began his treasurer's report to the House of Delegates July 13 in Washington, D.C., on a light note, quoting French author Jules Renard: “I know at last what distinguishes man from animals: financial worry.”

But there's no need for worry, he said—the AVMA is financially strong.

At the end of 2006, AVMA membership had surpassed 75,000, mutual and managed funds returned 15.28 percent, the 2006 convention in Honolulu posted a record attendance of 10,000, and total AVMA net income exceeded expenses by $2 million.

Dr. Marsh said the AVMA's current financial position lists cash and government funds at $1 million, receivables at $1.2 million, prepaid expenses at $400,000—and investments at $27 million.

The AVMA investment strategy was adjusted in late 2004 when a long-term fund was established, and this past April, the Executive Board increased the principal limit for this fund.

“Clearly, the impact of these changes has resulted in enhanced investment earnings that contribute to the overall fiscal health of the Association,” Dr. Marsh said. “The additional revenues have grown to the extent that dues increases have not been necessary the last few years.”

Last year's investment earnings reached a record $2.3 million, and this year's budget projects $1.5 million. As of June 30, the earnings were already 72 percent of this projection, with six months remaining in the fiscal year.

Member dues have not increased since 2004, but dues income has grown steadily with the expanding membership and represents 60 percent of the AVMA's income. In the FY 2008 budget, dues revenue is projected at $16.6 million. With income projected at $118,140 over expenses, a dues increase is not needed.

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The AVMA's fixed assets include AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., with a current market value of $5.5 million and the Governmental Relations Division offices in Washington, D.C., valued at $3.5 million. Adding the value of computer and office equipment to those property values brings the total fixed assets to $10 million. Both buildings underwent major remodeling during the past year.

On the expense side, salaries and benefits represent the largest expense to the AVMA. Currently the AVMA has 139 full-time positions, including nine in Washington, D.C. About 23 percent of AVMA staff are veterinarians. Publications and the annual convention, important membership services, are also major expenses.

Dr. Marsh outlined the diverse areas that the $28.8 million, 2008 budget supports—notably, the staff, the work of all the AVMA entities, the scientific journals, the veterinary accreditation program, the pursuit of scientific answers to issues, communications and marketing initiatives, member services, and attunement with legislative issues.

“Therefore,” Dr. Marsh said, “this budget will have an impact from the halls of Congress to the classrooms and libraries of veterinary schools the world over; from the research facilities in pursuit of science in all of its disciplines, to the clinical practices in each of our states; from the maintenance of buildings to the retention and recruitment of a high-quality staff … it's all in there.”

Dr. Marsh said the budget provides realistically for the 2008 AVMA Annual Convention in New Orleans.

“I believe it is very important that each of us carry the message to the membership and to the many contributors to our annual convention that New Orleans is definitely open for business,” he said.

“Although we have all seen images of the challenges in a post-Katrina New Orleans, the areas that will host our convention have been fully restored, and our full participation is needed for the continuing recovery of that unique city.”


HOUSE OF DELEGATES: AVMA delegates elect Cook, Hendrix to key posts

Meeting in Washington, D.C., July 14, the AVMA House of Delegates elected Dr. James O. Cook of Lebanon, Ky., the 2007-2008 president-elect. Delegates also gave Dr. Charles M. Hendrix of Auburn, Ala., a second term as vice president. Both candidates ran unopposed and were elected by unanimous consent.


Dr. James O. Cook

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664


Dr. Charles M. Hendrix

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Dr. Cook represented Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia on the Executive Board for six years, starting in 2001, and served the final year of his term as board chair. Since declaring his candidacy for president-elect, Dr. Cook campaigned with the message that the AVMA belongs to its members, who have the power to effect major changes not only in their profession but society as well.

Dr. Cook was nominated for AVMA president-elect by the Kentucky VMA and seconded by the West Virginia VMA and American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. You don't know what an honor this is,” Dr. Cook said after his election.

Dr. Cook graduated from Auburn University in 1976 and started a mixed practice in Lebanon, Ky., that he owns today. He was Kentucky Veterinarian of the Year in 1988 and president of the Kentucky VMA in 1993. Dr. Cook was Kentucky's delegate to the AVMA HOD from 1996 until his election to the Executive Board.

As a board member, Dr. Cook has served in a variety of roles, including vice chair of the board and chair of the Legal Status of Animals and Legal Remedies task forces.

Dr. Hendrix teaches parasitology at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. As AVMA vice president for the past year, Dr. Hendrix has been the Association's liaison to the Student AVMA and student chapters of the AVMA. He is also a voting member of the Executive Board.

The Alabama VMA's nomination of Dr. Hendrix to a second term as vice president was seconded by the Illinois and Georgia VMAs.

Following his election, Dr. Hendrix acknowledged Jon Nielsen and Rachel Friedrich—veterinary students at Iowa State University and ambassadors of the Veterinary Student Mixed Animal Recruitment Team. The purpose of VSMART is recruiting and mentoring mostly high school students across Iowa for careers in food animal medicine.

“They are touching the future for us,” Dr. Hendrix said.

A 1974 graduate of the University of Georgia, Dr. Hendrix has served as chair of the AVMA Committee on Wellness. As an AVMA Congressional Science Fellow, he worked for two U.S. representatives and in the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress.

HOUSE OF DELEGATES: The votes are in for AVMA councils and HAC

The House of Delegates elected 17 AVMA members to fill vacancies on AVMA councils.

Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents

Dr. John T. Waddell, Sutton, Neb., representing private clinical practice, predominantly food animal

Council on Communications

Dr. Helen K. McShane, Austin, Texas, representing private practice, predominantly small animal; and Dr. Suzanne L. Craig, Houston, representing members at large

Council on Education

Dr. Herbert E. Whiteley, Urbana, Ill., representing veterinary medical research; Dr. Nathan D. Voris, Columbia, Mo., representing private equine clinical practice; Dr. William S. Swecker, Blacksburg, Va., representing large animal clinical science; and Dr. Robert B. Cherenson, Turlock, Calif., representing private food animal clinical practice

Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine

Drs. Tracy S. DuVernoy, Silver Spring, Md., and Bhushan M. Jayarao, University Park, Pa., representing public health agencies or the armed forces; and Dr. Donald E. Hoenig, Belfast, Maine, representing agricultural agencies

Council on Research

Dr. G. David McCarroll, Goldsby, Okla., representing private clinical practice; and Drs. Don Reynolds, Ames, Iowa, and Kent Lloyd, Davis, Calif., representing veterinary medical research

Council on Veterinary Service

Dr. Carlos E. Bonnot, Wharton, Texas, representing private mixed practice, predominantly food animal or equine; Dr. Cheri A. Johnson, Williamston, Mich., representing academic clinical science; and Dr. Elysia Schaefer, Savoy, Ill., representing recent graduates

Judicial Council

Dr. David G. Beauchamp, Leland, N.C.


The HOD also elected three of its members to fill vacancies on the House Advisory Committee. Dr. Mark P. Helfat, alternate delegate from New Jersey, was re-elected to the position representing private practice, mixed. Dr. Barbara A. Schmidt, delegate from Kentucky, was elected to the position representing private practice, predominantly equine. Dr. C. Gary Bullard, delegate from Georgia, was elected to the position representing members at large.

Corry and Brown throw hats into ring

Drs. Larry R. Corry and Gary S. Brown are running for 2008-2009 AVMA president-elect and vice president, respectively. They kicked off their campaigns at the Candidates' Introductory Breakfast, held July 13 in Washington, D.C.


Dr. Larry R. Corry

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664


Dr. Gary S. Brown

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Dr. Corry of Buford, Ga., is District IV representative and chair of the AVMA Executive Board. Dr. Brown of Princeton, W.Va., is his state's delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates.

In addition to the candidates' participation in the AVMA, they are also highly engaged in organized veterinary medicine within their states, each having been elected president of his state VMA.

Dr. Corry spoke about the needs of veterinary education and the importance of the AVMA's participation in the political process at the federal and state levels.

Veterinary schools and colleges must increase applicant pools to improve their chances of recruiting the best and brightest students, Dr. Corry said. He advocated for introducing students to veterinary medicine as early as the fourth grade.

“We need to show them that veterinary medicine is not only exciting but also a very rewarding vocation,” he said.

Curriculums need to change as veterinary medicine evolves, said Dr. Corry, who noted that college graduation is not the end of a veterinarian's learning experience. Veterinarians need access to high-quality continuing education, he explained, to keep pace with advances in technology and treatments.

Determination is a chief value to Dr. Corry. He recounted how, as chair of the now sunset Task Force on State Legislative Advocacy, he presented a number of the group's recommendations to the Executive Board, but each one was subsequently disapproved.

“I was devastated, but it was then that the real work began,” he said. Eventually, the proposals were approved, including a recommendation establishing the AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department, which state VMAs have hailed as an important resource. It is part of the Communications Division.

“If you have a dream, and you don't get it moved forward, just keep coming back with it,” Dr. Corry advised.

Dr. Brown spoke about the dual responsibilities of the AVMA vice president, as a voting member of the Executive Board and as the liaison between the AVMA and Student AVMA and student chapters. “These students are remarkable,” he noted.

The vice president has a duty to play a role in maintaining the board's fiscal responsibilities while also being a bridge to the profession's future, according to Dr. Brown. He also stressed the necessity for accurate communication with members, calling it a critical component of the AVMA's success and influence.

CONVENTION COVERAGE: Opening Session illustrates global health interconnections

Event features a U.S. Army veterinarian serving in Iraq and the director of the CDC

The Opening Session of the AVMA Annual Convention, with sponsorship from Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., started with a display of national pride and concluded with a message of global health from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The surgeon general's honor cadre began the ceremony by presenting the flag. Then the audience turned to the ballroom screens for a recording of Major Scott Willens (MIN '96), an Army veterinarian overseas in Iraq, singing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” while holding his son.

Later, via a live satellite link, Dr. Willens gave a moving rendition of “God Bless the USA.” He said a few words to recognize the work of his military colleagues. He also greeted members of his family who were in the audience in Washington, D.C.

“Thank you all for yesterday's highest honor,” Dr. Willens wrote to AVMA the next day. “The AVMA convention was great public relations for the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, at Kalsu; the North Babil Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team; the Army Veterinary Corps; and Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was also a great honor for my family and a day they will never forget. They deserve it for all the support they have given me. And for the folks attending the conference, it represented all the service members in theater and their families. Enjoy the conference; sorry I could not be there.”

Dr. Roger K. Mahr, 2006-2007 president of the AVMA, presented the 2007 AVMA Award to Dr. William McEniry during the Opening Session. Other veterinarians also received awards. Complete coverage of these honors will follow in the Sept. 15 issue of the JAVMA.

After the award presentations, the CDC director delivered her keynote speech. Julie L. Gerberding, MD, said she grew up across the street from a veterinar-ian. She baby-sat his kids, and he treated the sick animals that she brought to him. He also taught her about good bedside manner.


Julie L. Gerberding, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, delivers the keynote speech during the Opening Session of the AVMA Annual Convention.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664


Major Scott Willens holds his son, Matthew, at home before departing for Iraq. The Army veterinarian performed the national anthem and “God Bless the USA” for the Opening Session of the convention.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Dr. Gerberding went on to paint a picture of the current system for health care. The CDC is responsible for urgent threats, she said, and the problems are getting bigger. The U.S. population faces challenges of age, weight, and disease. The world faces challenges of poverty, global warming, and conflict.

“We're dealing in a world that has very high expectations,” Dr. Gerberding said.

People expect flawless performance and complete transparency, and the CDC must deliver information at the speed of the Internet. The health care system competes for resources with other government priorities.

“When you're trying to be cheaper, better, faster, you're putting a system under enormous pressure,” Dr. Gerberding said.

Solutions include technology, prevention, and preparedness. People need information about how to spend health dollars wisely, and the links need to be stronger between programs for public health and programs for delivering health care.

The CDC must work with the AVMA, Dr. Gerberding said, to improve the health of humans and animals. She noted the interactions between human and animal health in food safety and in the relationship between people and animals.

Since 2001, Dr. Gerberding added, many of the CDC's challenges have been zoonotic diseases—including anthrax, monkeypox, SARS, and avian influenza. In fact, most recent emerging diseases have been zoonotic. Many of these challenges are global.

Dr. Gerberding said the CDC looks at the three dimensions of human, animal, and ecology health.

“We have many veterinarians at the CDC,” Dr. Gerberding said. “Their work is all over our organization.”

The CDC and other agencies need more veterinarians, though. The CDC is trying to strengthen veterinary training and recruitment.

The CDC also is creating public outreach programs relevant to animal health and building multidisciplinary networks of health professionals around the world.

Dr. Gerberding concluded by saying veterinarians and physicians must present a seamless front to protect human and animal health in a small world.


CONVENTION COVERAGE: Veterinarian, physician collaboration focus of AVMA convention

One-health initiative would strengthen ties between the professions

The one-health initiative was front-and-center at the 144th AVMA Annual Convention as veterinarians, physicians, and public health officials spoke at a number of sessions about the importance of the two health care professions working together for the betterment of human and animal lives. Also, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, headlined the convention's Opening Session.

Under the leadership of Dr. Roger K. Mahr, 2006-2007 AVMA president, the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force was established. In addition, the American Medical Association recently adopted a policy calling for greater collaboration with veterinarians as well as dialogue with the AVMA (see JAVMA, Aug. 1, 2007, page 357).

One health is not a new concept. It has long been known that cancer research in dogs can have human health benefits. After a veterinarian reported in the 1980s that muramyl tripeptide increased the longevity of dogs with osteosarcoma, the National Cancer Institute began drug trials in people. Late last year, IDM Pharma filed for approval with the Food and Drug Administration to market the medication, Junovan, for human cancer patients.

There are even earlier examples of the human-animal health connection, according to Laura Kahn, MD, who has written extensively about one health. In the late 1700s, British physician Edward Jenner inoculated a young boy with cowpox virus after observing that milkmaids were immune to the deadlier smallpox strain. As a result, the child developed immunity to smallpox—the first smallpox vaccination.

“(One health) is a holistic systems approach to understanding health across all species,” explained Dr. Lonnie J. King, director of the CDC's National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases and chair of the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force.


Ronald M. Davis, MD, president of the American Medical Association, speaking at the AVMA Annual Convention

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

“It's a recognition that human and animal health are inextricably linked, and one health is about how to promote, improve, and defend the health and wellbeing of all species, with the cooperation of physicians and veterinarians,” Dr. King said.

At the AVMA convention in Washington, D.C., three educational tracks focusing on one health were held.

Global animal health threats

U.S. Ambassador John E. Lange led off a daylong one-medicine track focusing on emerging global animal health threats, July 16. The track also featured a dozen other authorities.

Ambassador Lange is the nation's special representative on avian and pandemic influenza and also heads the State Department's Avian Influenza Action Group.

Lange said that the potential for a human pandemic persists.

“To be frank … this animal disease may result in a mutation someday and cause a human pandemic,” he said.

“This is why collaboration is necessary—because what's going on in the animal health area has great importance for us all.”

In September 2005, President Bush announced the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza. Its goal is to elevate the issue on national agendas and to coordinate efforts among donor and affected nations. All partners have endorsed a core set of principles focused on enhancing preparedness, prevention, response, and containment activities.

The partnership first convened in Washington, D.C., in October 2005. In June 2006, 93 countries attended the partnership meeting in Vienna, Austria.

“We've really reached out in many, many ways to countries around the world to deal with the animal health aspects (and human health),” Lange said.

In December 2006, the U.S. increased its international assistance to address the threat of avian and pandemic influenza by $100 million, for a total of $434 million.

The international partnership has supported the training of 129,000 animal health workers. That has required engagement with governments and regional and international organizations such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and World Bank.

Enormous stakes are involved, Lange said. “We need to prepare for the worst, especially those who are veterinary officials. That would require an engagement not just of governments but of international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and animal and public health professionals like yourselves, to resolve the challenges that remain.”

In late June he attended an international technical meeting in Rome on highly pathogenic avian influenza and human H5N1 infection. Lange said it was clear that much progress has been made, but that the virus is spreading.

The ambassador said that more programs are under development to assist foreign countries in dealing with emerging and re-emerging threats.

Lange said, “The U.S. government and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization are looking to deploy veterinarians for temporary assignments abroad.

“I really congratulate you for your dedication to this and many other potential emerging diseases. I urge you to support all efforts to build a stronger bond between human and animal health professionals.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development, for example, is seeking veterinarians and other animal health experts for its project Stamping Out Pandemic and Avian Influenza. An independent federal government agency, USAID receives foreign policy guidance from the secretary of state and arranges missions that are usually bilateral. The agency is funding the STOP AI Expert Resource Network to seek consultants with international expertise for short- and long-term assignments that may include providing technical assistance to national governments. The focus will be on the animal health aspects of highly pathogenic avian influenza, but the project will also address human health. Veterinarians interested in being considered should send their curriculum vitae to STOPAI@ DAI.com.

The Department of Agriculture is the lead technical and regulatory agency for the U.S. government's international efforts to combat the spread of HPAI. The department's International Coordination Group for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza recruits and deploys veterinary emergency management subject matter experts for temporary assignments. Usually, these USDA specialists support activities directly implemented by the ICG and by host countries. In some cases, however, the ICG loans experts to the FAO to support its multilateral activities. Gordon Cleveland is designated as the initial point of contact for AVMA members who wish to participate in ICG activities; e-mail him at Gordon.S.Cleveland@ aphis.usda.gov.

“One medicine: fly under one flag”

Speaking July 16 during the “One medicine: fly under one flag” session, Dr. Mahr noted that three-quarters of the emerging diseases during the past 25 years are zoonotic. Also, 38,000 animals cross U.S. borders every day, and 21 billion animals were used for food and fiber worldwide last year.

Three recent studies, including two by the National Academy of Sciences, stress society's need for more public health and food supply veterinarians. The top recommendation of these studies, Dr. Mahr said, was for improved communication, collaboration, and cooperation among professional associations, colleges, government agencies, and industry.

“I truly believe animal health is at a crossroads,” Dr. Mahr said. “The convergence of human and ecosystem health dictates that the one world, one health, one medicine concept must be embraced.”

Veterinarians have a responsibility to work with their counterparts in human medicine, public health, and environmental science, according to Dr. Mahr. “Together, we can certainly accomplish more to improve health worldwide than we can alone,” he said.

Dr. Mahr believes the veterinary profession must assume a major leadership role in the one-health effort, which is why he proposed the One Health Initiative Task Force. This initiative will, he said, lead to an action plan for expanding the veterinary workforce as well as establishing a national commission on one health.

AMA President Ronald M. Davis, MD, also spoke during the session about other areas of veterinarian-physician collaboration. People and animals don't have just infectious diseases in common—they also are susceptible to the same chronic diseases. According to Dr. Davis, dogs whose owners smoke, for instance, are more likely to develop lung cancer and nasal sinus cancer, and cats are more likely to develop lymphoma.

Preliminary results from a national online survey suggest that informing pet owners who smoke about the risks of secondhand smoke to their animals would cause them to consider quitting, Dr. Davis said.

“This suggests that getting the word out could get a lot of smokers to quit or to at least not smoke around their pets,” he said.

Public health practice

On July 17, a final track of one-health sessions was offered under the section Public Health Practice. Among the presenters were Rear Adm. William Stokes, chief professional officer for the Veterinary Category of the U.S. Public Health Service; Dr. Michael Blackwell, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, who was stepping down as administrator for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to become AVMA executive vice president.


EXECUTIVE BOARD COVERAGE: Members of one-health task force named

Executive Board convenes twice in D.C.

At the final meeting of the 2006-2007 Executive Board, held July 12 in Washington, D.C., prior to the House of Delegates session and AVMA Annual Convention, board members approved proposals addressing a range of issues, from rabies awareness to global accreditation.

When the 2007-2008 board convened on July 18, the final day of convention, the board elected new officers and tackled a small agenda comprising such matters as the Association's investment policy and the AVMA Political Action Committee Constitution.

2006-2007 Executive Board

Dr. James O. Cook, then District IV representative and board chair, announced members of the One Health Initiative Task Force, July 12.

Veterinarians on the task force are Drs. Lonnie J. King (chair), director of the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Carina G. Blackmore, Florida state public health veterinarian; Michael J. Blackwell, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine; Elizabeth A. Lautner, director of the National Veterinary Services Laboratories; Leonard C. Marcus (who, in addition to being a veterinarian, is also a physician) of Travelers' Health and Immunization Services; James E. Nave, AVMA globalization monitoring agent; Marguerite Pappaioanou, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health; and Rear Adm. William S. Stokes, assistant surgeon general. 2006-2007 AVMA President Roger K. Mahr, who proposed the formation of the task force, will be its Executive Board liaison.


Newly elected Executive Board Chair Larry Corry (right) confers with Executive Vice President Bruce W. Little (now retired).

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Nonveterinarian members are Student AVMA President Justin Sobota; Thomas P. Monath, MD, of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers; medical student Travis E. Meyer; and Jöerg Ohle, president and general manager of Bayer HealthCare LLC's Animal Health Division. The American Medical Association's representative to the task force is Larry Anderson, MD. The AMA liaison is Ronald M. Davis, MD, the association's president; Jay H. Glasser, PhD, is the American Public Health Association liaison.

Board members approved a recommendation from Dr. James E. Nave, the AVMA globalization monitoring agent, to host a working group of international veterinary college and school accreditors for a one-day meeting, at a cost of $3,500.

The working group will consist of two representatives each from the AVMA, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Australasian Veterinary Boards Council, and South African Veterinary Council, in addition to one observer from the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education.

Their job will be examining what changes are necessary to the respective accreditation policies and procedures to make it feasible to conduct cooperative/joint accreditation site visits to veterinary colleges and/or schools, and discussing other matters of mutual interest. The group will report its findings to the AVMA Council on Education and Executive Board for consideration.

There are currently eight AVMAaccredited foreign veterinary colleges, and in recent years, the COE has granted permission to conduct joint visits with other accrediting agencies.

At a recent meeting on global accreditation, representatives determined that it would be appropriate to continue exploring the means for conducting cooperative/joint accreditation site visits. They believed this could eliminate the need for each college to complete separate self-study reports for each accrediting body and schedule independent site visits. Board members also voted in favor of increasing AVMA sponsorship of the 2008 Student AVMA Educational Symposium by $22,500, bringing the total AVMA sponsorship to $25,000.

According to the Membership and Field Services Division, SAVMA symposium budgets have steadily increased over the years, and corporate sponsorship has risen to offset budget costs. The AVMA, however, has sponsored the symposium in the amount of $2,500 a year since 2000.

By approving the recommendation, the board elevated the AVMA to the Gold sponsorship level, meaning the Association will enjoy special recognition throughout the SAVMA symposium.

A recommendation by the Education and Research Division for Dr. Elizabeth A. Sabin, an assistant division director, to participate in the 1st Annual Afghan Veterinary Association Congress in Kabul, Afghanistan, this September at a cost of $2,000 was approved by the board. Favorable security conditions in Kabul must be ensured for Dr. Sabin to travel to the region.

Dr. Sabin was invited to attend the meeting by Dr. Said Gul Safi, president of the fledgling Afghan Veterinary Association.

An AVMA/Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges task force suggested that the AVMA continue dialogue with the Afghan VA to promote organizational development, capacity building, and member services. Accepting the AVA invitation is a step in that direction, according to the recommendation.

The Executive Board approved a one-day meeting for Drs. J. Edward Branam and Joseph J. Bertone of the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and Dr. Charles A. Lemme of the Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee to explore with invited stakeholders the feasibility of establishing a system to validate the efficacy claims of therapeutic pet diets.

The meeting will take place in October one day prior to the fall CPAC/COBTA meeting at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg.

The COBTA recommendation noted that the council believes veterinarians bear some responsibility for ensuring the efficacy of therapeutic products they recommend, despite the insufficient availability of information to do so.

The AVMA is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote World Rabies Day on Sept. 8, 2007. The event raises awareness of rabies as an ongoing public health issue and is a time to educate the public, both domestic and global, about the continued need for rabies prevention programs (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2007, page 513).

The Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine recommended collaborating with the CDC on the project, which the Executive Board approved.

The board approved a proposal from the Communications Division to provide select information on veterinarians from the AVMA member record database to the National Academy of Sciences on a one-time basis for its analysis as part of the project “Assessing the current and future workforce needs in veterinary medicine.”


At the July 18 AVMA Executive Board meeting, Student AVMA President Justin Sobota (FL '08) and President-Elect Emi Eaton (IL '09) enjoy a moment with Dr. Charles M. Hendrix, AVMA vice president and liaison to SAVMA and the student chapters.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

At its June 2006 meeting, the board approved $200,000 to partly fund an NAS study on veterinary workforce issues. Earlier this year, a committee was empanelled that has begun gathering data that will be used to develop the study.

Because the AVMA has the most complete data on U.S. veterinarians, the NAS is seeking access to the AVMA member record database. Information will include such areas as membership status, gender, and employment types.

Board members approved a recommendation by Dr. Cook to create a four-member task force to review policies regarding stipends and reimbursements for AVMA officers and Executive Board members, at a cost of $6,000. (Task force members were named at the July 18 meeting.)

In his recommendation, Dr. Cook stated that the board wanted the matter looked into, since a notable period of time had elapsed since it was last reviewed.

The board approved attendance of Dr. H. Fred Troutt, the former chair of the Council on Education, at the fall 2007, spring 2008, and fall 2008 COE meetings as a consultant, at a total cost of $2,000 for travel expenses. Board members Drs. Jacky R. Horner and Douglas G. Aspros made the recommendation, noting that Dr. Troutt has extensive experience with issues the COE will be addressing in the coming year.

A new accounts payable clerk position in the AVMA Business Division has been created. The board approved the recommendation from Business Division Director Daniel H. Murawski, who explained that the workload in the area of accounts payable accounting has doubled in the past decade, with expenses totaling $14 million in 1997 and increasing to $26 million in 2007.

2007-2008 Executive Board

On July 18, the final day of the convention, the 2007-2008 Executive Board conducted its first meeting of the new Association year.

Two new board members were welcomed: Drs. Joseph H. Kinnarney of Reidsville, N.C., and (in absentia) Janver D. Krehbiel of Mason, Mich. A mixed animal practitioner, Dr. Kinnarney succeeded Dr. Horner as representative of District III, which comprises Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Dr. Krehbiel is the new District V representative, succeeding Dr. Cook. He is a professor in the Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation Department at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. District V comprises Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

The board elected Dr. Larry Corry of District IV as its 2007-2008 chair. The outgoing chair, Dr. Cook, passed the gavel to Dr. Corry. After casting five ballots for vice chair that were tied between Drs. Larry Kornegay, District VIII, and David McCrystle, District X, the tie was broken by a coin toss and Dr. Kornegay was elected.

Dr. Bruce W. Little, three weeks away from his retirement as AVMA executive vice president, received a standing ovation from the board for his leadership and contributions. Dr. John Drake, president of the Canadian VMA, addressed the board.

One of the actions Dr. Cook completed while he was board chair was to name the members of a task force authorized at the July 12 board meeting to review policies regarding stipends and reimbursements for AVMA officers and Executive Board members. At the July 18 meeting, he announced these task force members: Dr. Richard Coon, Executive Board representative (chair); Dr. Sal Cirone, House Advisory Committee representative; Dr. Bret D. Marsh, AVMA treasurer; and Dr. René A. Carlson, representing former volunteer officers.

The board revised the AVMA Investment Policy to permit an investment consultant to adjust asset allocation and investment managers as necessary, and to add foreign real estate investment trusts as a permissible investment. AVMA Treasurer Bret D. Marsh, who made the recommendation, assured the board that the Association has well-prescribed investment parameters, and within that framework, this action will reduce the time required to make tactical adjustments.

As recommended by Dr. Clark Fobian, District VII representative, the board authorized the establishment of a Property Review Task Force to explore the feasibility and desirability of purchasing the 2.7-acre parcel of property located adjacent to AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. The background to the recommendation states that purchase of the land would add to the fixed assets of the Association and provide another investment with the good possibility of appreciation over time. Dr. Corry appointed Treasurer Marsh and two other board members to the task force: Drs. Fobian (as chair) and Aspros, District I. Expenses up to $1,800 were approved, and the task force will report its findings to the board this November.

The board approved inviting liaison representatives from the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association to attend meetings of the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force, at their own expense. The AMA liaison is Ronald M. Davis, MD, the association's president; Jay H. Glasser, PhD, will represent the APHA.

AVMA co-sponsorship of A Day at CDC for Veterinary Students, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was approved at a cost to AVMA of $3,000. The seminar is designed to introduce veterinary students to the CDC mission and to the fields of public health and epidemiology. The 2008 event is scheduled for Jan. 28 in Atlanta.

The board authorized the Tufts University Veterinary Business Management Association to use the AVMA name and logo in its promotional efforts to encourage practitioners to use the practice tools of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. As with similar programs, Tufts veterinary students will train veterinarians how to implement the tools.

Amendments to the constitution of the AVMA Political Action Committee were approved to bring the document up to date.

International travel from funds in the budget was authorized for two events. One trip will be to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for Dr. and Mrs. Little to attend the British Veterinary Association's annual congress this September as invited guests. Also in September, AVMA immediate past president, Dr. Mahr, will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, to make a presentation on the AVMA One Health Initiative at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners conference.

The board appointed board Dr. John Scamahorn, District VI, to fill a one-year vacancy on the Legislative Advisory Committee, Dr. Ted Cohn, District IX, to serve on the Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee.

At one point, the Executive Board recessed briefly to convene a meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation members and elected Dr. Little as an at-large member of the AVMF directors. AVMA Executive Board members constitute the “members” of the AVMF as a corporate body. As such, they elect the AVMF directors.

During the Executive Board meeting, members and guests viewed the AVMA's new career DVD “Veterinary medicine: More than you think.”


EXECUTIVE BOARD COVERAGE: Board makes appointments

The Executive Board named the following individuals to the positions indicated. These veterinarians began serving in their roles at the conclusion of the AVMA House of Delegates session in July 2007. The duration of each term varies.

Animal Welfare Committee

American Animal Hospital Association—Dr. Kate Hurley, Davis, Calif.; American Association of Equine Practitioners—Dr. Midge Leitch, Cochranville, Pa.; American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians—Dr. Hilton Klein, West Point, Pa.; American Association of Bovine Practitioners— Dr. Max Irsik, Gainesville, Fla.; American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners—Dr. Peregrine Wolff, Corvallis, Ore.; American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners—Dr. Wendy Underwood, Carthage, Ind.; Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges—Dr. Alicia Karas, North Grafton, Mass.; American Association of Swine Veterinarians— Dr. Jerome Geiger, Hendersonville, Tenn.; aquatic animal medicine—Dr. Stephen Smith, Blacksburg, Va.; State VMAs—Dr. Richard Goldston, St. Petersburg, Fla.; and American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives—Dr. Glenn Kolb, Salem, Ore.

Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee

State/federal regulatory veterinary medicine—Dr. Jennifer Strasser, South Bend, Ind.

AVMA/ASVMAE Joint Committee

American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives executive board— Charlene Wandzilak, Hershey, Pa.; Dr. Ted Cohn, Lone Tree, Colo.; and Dr. Larry Kornegay, Houston

Committee on International Veterinary Affairs

AVMA Executive Board—Dr. David McCrystle, Healdsburg, Calif.; Council on Education—Drs. James Brace, Knoxville, Tenn., and Joan Samuels, Buellton, Calif.; Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges—Dr. Prema Arasu, Raleigh, N.C.

Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities

Education of veterinary technicians—Dr. Melvin Chambliss, Alfred Station, N.Y.

Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee

American Association of Feline Practitioners—Dr. Lorraine Jarboe, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Disaster and Emergency Issues Committee

Uniformed Services—Dr. Stephanie Ostrowski, Whitesburg, Ga.

Food Safety Advisory Committee

American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners—Dr. Joan Bowen, Wellington, Colo.

Member Services Committee

Nonacademic public sector veterinarians—Dr. Marianne Ross, Elkridge, Md.

Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee

American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives— Mollie Rasor, Raleigh, N.C.

Liaisons representatives

Alliance for bovine food system health—Dr. Christine Navarre, Baton Rouge, La.; National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy—Dr. Julie Dinnage, Newburyport, Mass.

AVMF announces scholarship recipients

During its July board meeting, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation announced the 2007 recipients of the Mildred C. Sylvester Scholarship. The Foundation received more than 94 applications from veterinary students interested in the fund. While an overwhelming number of deserving students demonstrated stellar academic achievements and noble volunteer activities, the Foundation reported, only 13 were presented with the $2,000 award.

The winners are as follows:

  • • Kaitlyn Bender—a second-year veterinary student at Oklahoma State University who aims to focus on small animal and equine emergency medicine

  • • Kate E. Breyer—a second-year student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who is working on a master's degree in public health in addition to her veterinary degree, and is seeking a career in regulatory veterinary medicine and disaster preparedness

  • • Holly Brown—a second-year veterinary student at Louisiana State University who seeks a career in shelter medicine that will allow her to establish and improve disaster preparedness programs

  • • Elisa Ermilio—a second-year veterinary student at Cornell University who is interested in food production and small animal medicine

  • • Maureen Carolyn Gates—a first-year veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania who seeks a career in public health and epidemiology

  • • Tanya Giannantonio—a first-year veterinary student at Iowa State University who seeks a career in shelter medicine

  • • William F. Gilsenan III—a third-year veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania who seeks a career in rural area medicine, specifically dairy production medicine and food safety

  • • Katharine Ho—a second-year veterinary student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who seeks a career in animal emergency medicine

  • • Marcy MacMillan—a third-year veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania who seeks a career in small animal medicine

  • • Katherine M. Murphy—a third-year veterinary student at Cornell University who seeks a career in public health, food safety, and regulatory veterinary medicine

  • • Zenithson Ng—a third-year veterinary student at Cornell University who wishes to pursue a career in shelter medicine that will allow him to promote responsible pet ownership and disaster preparedness

  • • Laura M. Rath—a second-year veterinary student at Cornell University who seeks a career in food animal medicine, particularly involving food safety and biosecurity

  • • Kevin Simmons—a second-year veterinary student at Tuskegee University who wishes to pursue a career in animal health studies

The mission of the AVMF is to advance the care of animals, with an emphasis on disaster preparedness and response and animal health studies. To learn more, visit www.avmf.org.

Lands' End plus AVMA equal savings for members

The AVMA and Lands' End Business Outfitters are bringing quality apparel to AVMA members at discount prices.

Under the newest AVMA Member Benefit Affinity Program, AVMA members can purchase logoed clothing from Lands' End—either their own logo or the AVMA member emblem—at a 10 percent discount when they shop through the AVMA Member E-Store (ces.landsend.com/AVMA) or call (800) 374-5395.

Catalogs will be sent periodically to AVMA members with references to the AVMA program and how members can order Lands' End items and receive the 10 percent discount. No minimal purchases are required.

“The AVMA is very pleased to enter the member benefit affinity relationship with Lands' End,” said Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice, director of the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division.

“Lands' End has a strong reputation for excellent quality and outstanding customer service,” Dr. LoGiudice continued. “This interacts well with the AVMA's long history of a strong commitment to supporting the veterinary profession and striving to provide outstanding member service.”

The new affinity program launched this July at the AVMA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

“We thought this was a really good fit,” said Jim Kennedy, director of integrated marketing for Lands' End. “We share the same values in terms of hard work, honesty, and a high quality product that's a really good value. To us, it was a very easy partnership to enter into, one that just felt right for both parties involved.”

CONVENTION COVERAGE: Panels reflect on recalls of pet food

AVMA, ACVIM offer opportunities to review the situation


Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof (center), director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, discusses the recalls of pet food during a panel at the AVMA convention. Fellow panelists included Dr. Kimberly May, AVMA assistant director of professional and public affairs, and Rick Weiss, a Washington Post reporter who covered the story.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Successes and failures in responding to the recalls of pet food were the subject of a panel at the AVMA Annual Convention in July. The recalls also were the topic of a panel during the June forum of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Earlier in the year, ingredients from China that contained adulterants went into pet food in the United States. The manufacturers of the pet food, starting with Menu Foods, issued recalls after finding an association with renal disease. The situation has contributed to calls for more resources to ensure the safety of foods and imports.

The AVMA panel began with Marc Ullman, JD, discussing crisis communication. He said the foremost rule is to tell the truth. One of Ullman's clients is ChemNutra, which imported some of the ingredients containing adulterants.

Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, said the FDA is no stranger to controversy—but this situation caught everybody off guard.

Menu Foods called the FDA on a Thursday evening. The agency sent inspectors the next day and began tracing the ingredients. Laboratories could not immediately find the adulterants, and soon everyone was asking how many animals had died.

“We tried to be as open to the media as possible,” Dr. Sundlof said. He added, “People were very upset and panicky.”

Dr. Kimberly May, AVMA assistant director of professional and public affairs, described how the AVMA Communications Division responded to the recalls.

“We went out of our way to make sure that anything that went on our Web site was verified,” Dr. May said.

The AVMA faced logistic issues because Menu Foods announced the first recalls on a Friday evening. The AVMA couldn't reach affiliate organizations quickly. Later, when the AVMA e-mailed members, it couldn't reach some members because of a lack of e-mail addresses.

Rick Weiss, a Washington Post reporter, described how the newspaper slowly realized the magnitude of the story. Steve Dale, a columnist and radio host who reports about pets, decried the misinformation on some Web sites.

Duane Ekedahl, executive director of the Pet Food Institute, said the recalls were complex. Menu Foods manufactures many brands, and the FDA found that other U.S. manufacturers also received ingredients from China that contained adulterants.

The effects of the adulteration might be long-lasting, for better and for worse.

“We are seeing some chronic renal disease with this,” said Dr. Saundra Willis of the ACVIM and the AVMA Council on Communications. She added, “I think we're going to benefit from this in all of our food being safer.”

Dr. Barbara Powers, president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, said veterinary laboratories need more funding in the future. No funds were available for some of the tissue analyses.

Dr. Robert Poppenga of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory described how his laboratory helped develop tests for the adulterants. He said his is the only veterinary toxicology laboratory in the Food Emergency Response Network.

Panelists at the ACVIM forum also discussed their knowledge of the recalls and how the situation has affected the veterinary community. The panelists were Drs. May, Cathy Brown of the University of Georgia, Denise Elliot of Royal Canin, Dru Forrestor of Hill's Pet Nutrition, Claudia Kirk of the University of Tennessee, Paul Pion of Veterinary Information Network, Linda Ross of Tufts University, and Shelly Vaden of North Carolina State University.

The ACVIM has posted slides and the transcript of its panel at www.acvim.org. The AVMA is posting the audio version and transcript of its panel at www.avmamedia.org/library.asp.


CONVENTION COVERAGE: Windows on Washington

  1. 1) Record numbers register for the convention

  2. 2) Participants hone their skills while practicing on a cadaver in one of the many interactive labs

  3. 3) A potential future veterinarian gathers her materials during AVMA Family Night

  4. 4) John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls performs during the first AVMA/Merial Concert Series

  5. 5) An attendee investigates a product in the exhibit hall

  6. 6) Onlookers watch sea lions perform at AVMA Family Night

  7. 7) A student relaxes in the Nestlé Purina Veterinary Student Lounge

  8. 8) An exhibitor chats with a conventioneer

  9. 9) Trumpets sound off during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, signaling the exhibit hall opening

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Who's who at the 144th AVMA Annual Convention

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FDA warns about risk of botulinum toxin in dog food

The Food and Drug Administration is warning pet owners that certain canned dog foods from Castleberry's Food Company of Augusta, Ga., could contain botulinum toxin.

Castleberry's initially recalled several types of chili sauce after two children in Texas and an Indiana couple who ate chili sauce from the company became seriously ill with botulism poisoning. The company has now recalled additional types of chili sauce, various meat products for human consumption, and four kinds of dog food.

Castleberry's recalled these Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs canned foods:

  • •Irish Stew with Beef, Potatoes, and Carrots; 15 ounces; bar code, 23633-59860

  • •Chinese Take-Out with Sauce, with Vegetables and Chicken; 15 ounces; bar code, 23633-59861 •Hobo Chili with Chicken and Pasta; 15 ounces; bar code, 23633-59863

  • •Southern Style Dumplings with Chicken and Vegetables; 15 ounces; bar code, 23634-59862

Exposure to botulinum toxin can be fatal in humans, but botulism poisoning has occurred only occasionally in dogs. The FDA is not aware of pet illnesses in association with Natural Balance Eatables, but the agency recommends discarding canned dog foods subject to the recall.

Study describes pathology of feline heartworm disease

Researchers at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine recently released a study that shows that heartworms do not need to reach maturity to cause pathologic conditions in cats.

The study, which builds on previous research, was conducted by Dr. A. Ray Dillon and Byron Blagburn, PhD, and was published in a special Parasitology Supplement to the journal Veterinary Medicine. The goal of the study was to document in detail the progression of feline heartworm disease and to better understand the origin of lung lesions. The study was also designed to assess the efficacy of a preventive product.

Dr. Tom Nelson, immediate past president of the American Heartworm Society, said the work by Drs. Dillon and Blagburn should help defeat lingering skepticism in the veterinary community about pathogenicity of infections with juvenile heartworms in cats.

“If you're not able to see something and not able to diagnose it, you're inclined to believe it isn't there,” Dr. Nelson said. “But you very quickly become a believer when you fully understand what has been demonstrated in these recent studies. It's like smoking. You can't necessarily see it, but the damage is being done.”

The AHS works to raise awareness about heartworm disease. Earlier this year, the group released the 2007 Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Prevention and Management of Heartworm Infection in Cats, which included information on the recently defined heartworm-associated respiratory disease (see JAVMA, Feb. 15, 2007, page 474).

Since releasing the updated guidelines, the AHS has embarked on a public awareness campaign called KNOW Heartworms, in partnership with the American Association of Feline Practitioners and underwritten by a grant from Pfizer Animal Health. Information on the campaign is available at www.knowheartworms.org.

APHIS names acting administrator

The Department of Agriculture has appointed Cindy Smith as acting administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Smith is acting as a replacement for Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, who retired from APHIS Aug. 3 after 28 years with the service. He had served as the administrator since 2004. On Aug. 9, Dr. DeHaven joined the AVMA staff as the new executive vice president.

Smith began her career with APHIS in 1979. Later, she earned her bachelor's degree in microbiology and a master's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.

Smith has held positions in APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine and APHIS Wildlife Services, including associate deputy administrator for the latter.

More recently, Smith was deputy administrator for APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services. She helped shape the APHIS biotechnology regulatory structure, establishing more rigorous requirements for field tests of genetically engineered crops and initiating efforts to review and strengthen overarching biotechnology regulations.

Smith had been an associate administrator of APHIS since April.

Reminder: prescribing within veterinarian-client-patient relationship

The AVMA has recently received reports that certain Internet pharmacies have offered to dispense prescription drugs without valid prescriptions.

Clients who wish to purchase their prescription drugs from a pharmacy rather than a veterinarian should obtain a prescription from their veterinarian before contacting a pharmacy. Certain Internet pharmacies require that a medical questionnaire be completed, but if a client completes the form, it does not constitute as a valid prescription.

“A valid prescription is one in which there is a bona fide patient-prescriber relationship,” said Carmen A. Catizone, executive director for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. “NABP and the state boards of pharmacy maintain that an online questionnaire or cyberspace consultation alone does not constitute a bona fide patient-prescriber relationship.”

For veterinarians who come across Internet pharmacies that offer to dispense drugs without valid prescriptions, the AVMA recommends completing and submitting the Prescribing and Dispensing Complaint Form to the appropriate state pharmacy board.

A copy of the complaint form is available to AVMA members online at www.avma.org/issues/prescrib ing/drug_regulation.asp. The AVMA recommends also submitting the completed form to the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, and copying the AVMA. Instructions on contacting these groups are included within the form.

Concerning Internet pharmacies, the AVMA offers a policy online at www.avma.org/issues/policy/inter net_pharmacies.asp. The policy states that drug treatment, when medically indicated, should be initiated by the attending veterinarian in the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

Also related to prescription drugs, the AVMA has received reports of suppliers soliciting veterinarians to sell quantities of prescription animal medications outside a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

Veterinarians are licensed to prescribe, administer, and dispense prescription drugs in the course of their professional practice within a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Veterinarians who wish to become commercial suppliers of prescription drugs should determine the requirements for registration as a wholesaler or distributor.

Veterinarians approached by suppliers to resell drugs should report their concerns to their state pharmacy board and the pharmacy board where the company is located, using the AVMA Prescribing and Dispensing Complaint Form.

For more information on prescribing and dispensing, visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org/issues/prescribing/prescribing_faq.asp for answers to frequently asked questions.

Tyson raising chickens without antimicrobials

Tyson Foods is now raising its brand-label chickens without using antimicrobials.

The company will continue using antimicrobials in a small percentage of its poultry flocks to treat or prevent disease, when necessary, but will not include products from those birds under the new brand label.

Tyson started selling Raised Without Antibiotics chicken in response to broad consumer demand, according to the company. Tyson is distributing the product in new packaging to highlight that the company raises chickens without antimicrobial use.

Tyson's market research shows that the higher price of the product is below the additional cost that consumers say they are willing to pay for such products. According to the company, the price increase is less than the premium of most competing niche brands.

college news

University of Missouri names new dean

The University of Missouri-Columbia has appointed Dr. Neil Olson as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, effective Sept. 1. Dr. Cecil Moore had been serving as interim dean since the departure of Dr. Joe Kornegay last October.


Dr. Neil Olson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Dr. Olson said the strengths of the MU veterinary college include expertise in infectious diseases, outreach programs to the state and region, and collaborations throughout the campus and the country.

Previously, Dr. Olson had been associate dean for research and graduate studies at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine since 1998. He also had served as director of graduate programs, the Summer Research Internship Program, and the Biomedical Imaging Center. He joined the college faculty in 1982.

Dr. Olson's research has focused on cardiopulmonary health and disease. He was a member of the national board of directors for the Comparative Respiratory Society in 1985 and 1991. He has been a chairperson at annual meetings of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases and the Comparative Respiratory Society.

Dr. Olson graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1975 and earned a doctorate in physiology from Michigan State University in 1982.

Cornell opens $55 million animal care facility

In June, Cornell University celebrated the opening of the East Campus Research Facility, a 79,000-square-foot animal research building five years in the making. The ECRF is expected to be fully operational by this fall.

Located at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, the ECRF will be a key part of Cornell's New Life Sciences Initiative, a $600 million, university-wide campaign to enhance and support life sciences research and education.

“Though veterinarians and biomedical scientists in our college will comprise a substantial contingent of (the ECRF) users, the collaboration among these individuals will ensure that this is truly a building for all of Cornell's life sciences,” said Dr. Donald F. Smith, who completed his 10-year deanship with the veterinary college in June.

Together with the animal facilities in Cornell's Life Sciences Technology Building, the ECRF will enable researchers to help advance human and animal health through the safe, humane, and judicious use of animals in research and teaching.

The ECRF features state-of-the-art cage washing and storage rooms with strict safety protocols for preventing cross-contamination of approximately 45,000 mice and other animals, including chickens, woodchucks, rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters.

industry initiative

Oregon student granted one year's tuition

Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. has named Brianna Beechler, a fourth-year veterinary student at Oregon State University, the winner of the 2007 Hill's Big Win Scholarship Challenge. The announcement came in June during the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum in Seattle.

Beechler will receive a scholarship for one year's tuition, up to a maximum of $25,000, to Oregon State. In addition, Oregon State's student chapter of the AVMA will receive $5,000 and the Hill's Big Win Challenge traveling trophy.

“Many of us are in the process of acquiring more student loans each year during veterinary school; however, receiving the Hill's Big Win scholarship is a great help because it will take care of paying for my last year of school,” Beechler said.

To register for the challenge, veterinary students at each school or college attended a Hill's-sponsored Big Win meeting, and each selected one winner. Hill's provided the winners with an expense-paid trip to the ACVIM Forum. Then, online at www.HillsVet.com, students had the opportunity to cast votes for their own school. Oregon State received the most votes, resulting in Beechler's win.

“This is the second year for the Hill's Big Win, and it was great to see even more students go online and get involved,” said Dr. Hein Meyer, director of Hill's academic affairs.

Centennial celebrations for Alabama VMA


Dr. C. Mark Russell

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664


Dr. Lewis McCurdy

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

More than 350 veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and guests gathered in Alabama's Orange Beach, June 28-July 1, to celebrate the Alabama VMA's 100th Annual Convention. Festivities opened with a beach party, complete with a firework display, disc jockey, and dance contests. Celebrations during the convention also featured a centennial cake party, a concert, and a special showing of the association's centennial DVD, highlighting veterinary medicine in Alabama.


Attendees enjoy the fireworks display at the centennial beach party.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Dr. George Woods of Selma talked about missionary work and the role Alabama veterinarians have played in third-world countries. As always, several hours of continuing education were offered to attendees.

Awards were given and officials were installed at the annual President's Awards Dinner. Dr. Lewis McCurdy of Huntsville was named Veterinarian of the Year. A past president of both the association and its foundation, Dr. McCurdy owns McCurdy Animal Hospital. He has served as liaison to the Huntsville Humane Association. Dr. Wayne Roberts of Enterprise received the Distinguished Service Award. A 1967 graduate of Auburn University and a past president of the ALVMA, Dr. Roberts owned Westgate Veterinary Hospital for 30 years. Dennis McDonough of Birmingham was recognized as Lay Person of the Year. In 1993, McDonough established the Alabama Pet Registry, helping to reunite people with their lost pets. The APR also serves as a support system for organizations devoted to animal welfare and the human-animal bond.

Special awards were given to Drs. Mark Russell, Huntsville, and Jacky R. Horner, Memphis, Tenn. Dr. Russell was honored for his efforts in organizing the centennial celebrations, including publishing a 100-year commemorative book, given to all members. Dr. Horner was recognized for his six years of service as District III representative for Alabama (and four other states) on the AVMA Executive Board. Service awards were presented to Drs. Charles Ashwander of Decatur and Babette Authement of Fairhope, for their years of service to the association and their continuing efforts in promoting veterinary medicine and the human-animal bond within their local associations.

Newly installed officials were Drs. C. Mark Russell, Huntsville, president; Michael Newman, Decatur, president-elect; Larry Chasteen, Pell City, vice president; and Aaron H. Groth Jr., treasurer


California VMA

Event: Annual Pacific Veterinary Conference, June 21-24, Anaheim


Dr. George Bishop

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664


Dr. Jeff Smith

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664


Dr. Bill Grant II

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231, 5; 10.2460/javma.231.5.664

Awards: Distinguished Life Membership Award: Drs. George Bishop, Carmel, and Richard Sullivan, Palos Verdes. A 1965 graduate of The Ohio State University, Dr. Bishop founded the Animal Hospital at the Crossroads in 1969. He is a past president of the association and serves as its delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. Bishop co-chaired one of the country's early symposiums on dog and cat population control. A 1972 graduate of Purdue University, Dr. Sullivan owns the Bay Cities Pet Hospital. A past president of the association, he serves as its alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. Sullivan led successful legislative opposition to a state bill that would have allowed laypeople to perform dental procedures on animals. Outstanding Registered Veterinary Technician of the Year: Gene Rukavina, Los Angeles. Rukavina is a veterinary technician in the Department of Corrective Medicine at the Cedars-Sinai Health System. He constructed a behavioral enrichment program for animals at Cedar-Sinai and created the Web site and newsletter for the Southern California branch of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Meritorious Service Award: Forget Me Not Farm in Santa Rosa, Calif., Carol Rathmann, and Nathan Rathmann. Run by the Humane Society of Sonoma County, the farm offers a program, founded by Carol Rathmann and coordinated by Nathan Rathmann, which teaches gentleness and empathy to abused and neglected children and at-risk youth, through interaction with animals and plants.

Officials: Drs. Jeff Smith, Middletown, president; Bill Grant II, Anaheim, president-elect; George Bishop, Carmel, treasurer; and Ron Faoro, Santa Barbara, immediate past president

AVMA Honor Roll Member, AVMA Member, Nonmember

Harold L. Decker

Dr. Decker (MSU '36), 92, Sebring, Fla., died March 4, 2007. He was track veterinarian at Suffolk Downs Racetrack in Massachusetts from 1978-1988. Following graduation, Dr. Decker served in the Army for 30 years, attaining the rank of colonel. He also practiced in Florida during his career.

A member of the American Legion and the Reserve Officers Association, Dr. Decker received a Bronze Star for his Army service. His wife, Adeline; two sons; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to Spring Lake Presbyterian Church Lets Be Alive Fund, 5887 US Highway 98, Sebring, FL 33876.

Roger F. Hagedorn

Dr. Hagedorn (ISU '53), 77, St. Charles, Mo., died July 14, 2007. During his 50-year career, he owned practices in Iowa and Florida, and served as a relief veterinarian in Arkansas and Missouri. Dr. Hagedorn's son and three daughters survive him. His son, Dr. James Hagedorn (ISU '79), practices in Evanston, Ill. Memorials may be made to the Companion Animal Fund, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 1600 S. 16th St., Ames, IA 50011.

Elizabeth K. Jemelka

Dr. Jemelka (TEX '00), 34, Madisonville, Texas, died June 6, 2007. She owned Rafter J Veterinary Clinic in Madisonville. Dr. Jemelka was a member of the Texas VMA. Her four daughters survive her. Dr. Jemelka's father, Dr. E.D. Jemelka (TEX '67), is a veterinarian in Centralia, Wash.

Arthur H. McArthur

Dr. McArthur (AUB '69), 64, Kingston, Tenn., died Jan. 4, 2007. He practiced in Oak Ridge, Tenn., for 33 years. Dr. McArthur was a member of the Tennessee VMA and past president of the East Tennessee VMA. His wife, Anne, and three children survive him.

Vaughn W. Morrison

Dr. Morrison (OSU '52), 94, Greensburg, Ind., died April 1, 2007. Prior to retirement, he worked for the Department of Agriculture. Earlier in his career, Dr. Morrison practiced in Ohio and Indiana. His son survives him.

Norman O. Olson

Dr. Olson (WSU '38), 93, Oxford, N.C., died June 29, 2007. He was professor emeritus of animal pathology at West Virginia University since 1981. Following graduation, Dr. Olson worked for the Department of Agriculture in Idaho, Washington D.C., and Maryland. During that time, he was involved with brucellosis eradication, drug testing, and disease identification and eradication, particularly in poultry.

In 1948, Dr. Olson joined the faculty of WVU, where he developed a control program for Newcastle disease in the state. He played a vital role in discovering and helping to eradicate avian diseases such as quail bronchitis, infectious synovitis, and avian viral arthritis. Dr. Olson also conducted research on infectious agents of cattle and sheep. From 1958-1965, he consulted with the Poultry Inspection Service in Washington, D.C. Dr. Olson served as a visiting professor at Louisiana State University from 1979-1981.

A past president of the West Virginia VMA, he was a member of the United States Animal Health Association, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, American Association of Avian Pathologists, and World Veterinary Poultry Association. In 1972, Dr. Olson received the American Feed Manufacturers Association Award, in recognition of his research contributions. He was the recipient of the 1976 AAAP Upjohn Achievement Award for his research accomplishments.

Dr. Olson's two sons and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60601; or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368.

Chester W. Paulus III

Dr. Paulus (OSU '79), 53, North Brunswick, N.J., died Jan. 12, 2007. He was a partner at Paulus Animal Hospital in North Brunswick. Dr. Paulus was a member of the New Jersey VMA. His father, Dr. Chester W. Paulus Jr. (OSU '51), owns Paulus Animal Hospital.

Vincent G. Pedroia

Dr. Pedroia (CAL '71), 60, Occidental, Calif., died May 29, 2007. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (neurology), he was a veterinary neurologist at Animal Care Center of Sonomo County in Rohnert Park, Calif., since 1988. Dr. Pedroia also served as medical director of the center and a member of the board of directors for several years, and was a founding director of the Animal Care Center Foundation.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Pedroia practiced small animal medicine in Sebastopol, Calif.; served as an adjunct instructor in anatomy at the University of California-Davis; and owned a neurology referral practice in California at Sacramento and Berkeley. His wife, Trisha; a son; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Animal Care Center Foundation & Community Foundation Sonoma County, 250 D St., Suite 205, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

Philip K. St. John

Dr. St. John (ONT '79), 53, Welland, Ontario, Canada, died Jan. 12, 2007.

Willard M. Strawn

Dr. Strawn (OSU '39), 92, Denham Springs, La., died June 15, 2007. Retired since 1998, he owned a practice in Walker, La. During his career, Dr. Strawn also practiced in Toledo, Ohio. He was an honorary member of the Louisiana VMA and a member of the Florida Parishes Veterinary Association.

A veteran of World War II, Dr. Strawn served as a major in the Army Veterinary Corps. He later served as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. Dr. Strawn was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His wife, Laura, and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Allan L. Trapp

Dr. Trapp (MSU '56), 74, Lansing, Mich., died May 15, 2007. He was a professor of veterinary pathology at Michigan State University's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, retiring as professor emeritus in 1992. Dr. Trapp served as a member of the board of directors of the Detroit Zoo. In 1972, he chaired the North Central Poultry Disease Conference.

Dr. Trapp's wife, Joyce; two sons; and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI 48824.

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