TOOLBOX FOR HEALTHY PETS
Program offers resources to help veterinarians promote preventive care
By Katie Burns
The new Partners for Healthy Pets program offers a free online Practice Resources Toolbox to help veterinarians overcome barriers to preventive care for cats and dogs.
The Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare launched the program Aug. 6 at the AVMA Annual Convention in San Diego with a full-day symposium, a press conference, and a lunchtime session. From Aug. 4–6, the partnership's booth in the exhibit hall provided demonstrations of the comprehensive resources toolbox.
“Where we want to go with the partnership is creating this connection between the pet owner and the veterinarian, where they're working together in partnership to develop a lifelong plan to maximize the health and life of the pet,” said Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA chief executive officer and chairman of the partnership, speaking during the overview session of the symposium.
An online survey tool that allows practices to uncover gaps between what they communicate about preventive care and what pet owners understand
Resources designed to assist practices in implementing the guidelines on canine and feline preventive care from the AVMA and American Animal Hospital Association
PREVENTIVE PET HEALTH CARE PLANS
Resources that start with an overview of package plans for preventive care and continue with an implementation manual and team training materials
INTERNET MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
The Internet Strategy Implementation Series providing instructional video modules on subjects such as veterinary websites, search engines, and reputation management
A series of brief instructional videos covering in-person communication skills to help the practice team ensure client understanding of preventive pet health care
Tools from the American Association of Feline Practitioners, CATalyst Council, and AAHA to help make practices more feline-friendly
The AVMA announced the formation of the partnership at the 2011 convention. Members include the AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, other veterinary associations, and various animal health companies. The mission is “to ensure that pets receive the preventive healthcare they deserve through regular visits to a veterinarian.”
The partnership invested in extensive research and development in the intervening year to create the Partners for Healthy Pets program. The program's toolbox offers an in-depth survey tool as well as resources in five other areas—guidelines for preventive care, package plans for preventive care, Internet marketing, communications, and feline-friendly practice.
The survey tool, The Opportunity, is the flagship tool of the Partners for Healthy Pets program. The Opportunity allows practices to administer an online survey to practice team members and clients to compare perspectives on preventive care. The results can help practices develop strategies to improve delivery of preventive care.
Dr. Diane Eigner, director of The Cat Hospital in Philadelphia, and George Bailey, hospital manager at Stratham-Newfields Veterinary Hospital in Newfields, N.H., spoke in March during the AAHA annual conference about participating in a preliminary test group for the survey tool. At the AVMA Annual Convention, they spoke about that experience and about participating in a larger pilot group.
Dr. Eigner said the survey results for her practice uncovered some gaps in communication about preventive care.
“Things that my staff and I find very, very important, that we think we talk about at every preventative visit, some clients didn't remember it being discussed at all,” Dr. Eigner said. “It was an aha moment, where we recognized that maybe we're messaging, but maybe we're not messaging the right way.”
The Opportunity underlines the importance of preventive care, Bailey said.
“This is to reinforce what we're already doing well, so we can do it better,” Bailey said.
He added, “It didn't disrupt our schedule, and it didn't cost us anything. So to have this really professional survey, that looks good, that enhances the profile of your practice, and to have it for free, it was a win-win.”
The online Practice Resources Toolbox offers a variety of other free resources to help practices improve the delivery of preventive care.
Late last year, the AVMA and AAHA released guidelines for canine and feline preventive care, available through the toolbox. The toolbox provides resources for implementing the guidelines in the form of an inspirational video, a team meeting guide, a practice action plan, a customizable presentation, and webinars.
The recent Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study found that many pet owners have an interest in full-year health plans for their pets and monthly payments for routine veterinary services. The toolbox offers an overview of package plans for preventive care, an implementation manual, and team training materials.
In the area of Internet marketing, the toolbox is providing the Internet Strategy Implementation Series of five instructional video modules with supportive materials. The first module offers an overview of veterinary marketing and online client engagement. The other modules cover veterinary websites, search engines, social media, and reputation management.
To strengthen in-person communication skills, the toolbox will be offering a series of videos that cover communication during elicitation of a patient history, physical examination, and discussion of specific issues in preventive care.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners and CATalyst Council as well as AAHA are providing resources for feline-friendly practice. The toolbox links to relevant webinars, the AAFP Cat Friendly Practice Program, and videos from CATalyst.
Speaking at the press conference, Dr. DeHaven said the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare is reaching out to the profession to improve the delivery of preventive care.
“The partnership exists because we're not delivering optimum care to our pets. We're the best in the world at treating sick and injured animals, but we're not very good at focusing on preventive care,” Dr. DeHaven said. “We need to be intervening earlier.”
AVMA approves $1M for Healthy Pets campaign
The AVMA Executive Board, while meeting Aug. 1 in San Diego, approved $1 million in support of a national multimedia campaign educating pet owners about the importance of routine veterinary care and the role of veterinary professionals in maintaining pet health.
The Association's $1 million contribution to Partners for Healthy Pets, a program of the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare, will support a direct-to-consumer campaign encouraging pet owners to visit their veterinarians regularly.
The AVMA Office of the Executive Vice President proposed the $1 million contribution, which then-Executive Board Chair Ted Cohn said the board approved in response to Association members. “The Member Needs Assessment we received the results of a couple of months ago indicated that about 97 percent of our members wanted the AVMA to do some sort of public outreach program to promote veterinary medicine,” Dr. Cohn explained.
“This is a way of trying to get the public to pay a little more attention to their pets and to make sure they're taken care of, preferably before they get sick,” he added. The campaign is expected to launch in mid-2013.
AVMA: A fine time in San Diego
Vibrant city and CE draw thousands to AVMA convention
By R. Scott Nolen
CONVENTION COVERAGE: OVERVIEW
Veterinary professionals from around the world gathered at the San Diego Convention Center Aug. 3–7 for a variety of educational and entertainment opportunities offered at the 2012 AVMA Annual Convention.
Some 8,750 people attended the convention, including 3,775 veterinarians, according to Kelly Fox, AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division director.
“The 149th annual convention of the AVMA was indeed one for the record books,” Dr. Ron Banks, chair of the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee, said.
Animal advocate and TV personality Joan Embery kicked off the 4 1/2-day meeting as the keynote speaker of The AVMA Show sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition. Sitcom star Jay Thomas emceed the evening, which featured several members of Embery's menagerie joining her on stage.
Several new initiatives and programs were unveiled in San Diego. Supplemental training for veterinarians certified by the Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Accreditation Program was offered for the first time at an AVMA convention. And the new Technician Town Hall meeting was a chance for veterinary technicians to meet with representatives of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and discuss how the organization can provide better continuing education and services for its members.
To help convention attendees select the right CE, sessions were ranked on a knowledge scale ranging from refresher courses on basic knowledge to more advanced.
The AVMA Convention Loyalty Program was introduced to provide discounted registration rates for future conventions. And the Tech Bring a Tech program allows veterinary technicians who have paid the AVMA convention registration fee to bring a colleague for free.
The AVMA's stepped-up attention to veterinary technicians is no accident. Dr. Banks said, “These initiatives reflect the AVMA convention committee's dedication to building partnerships between veterinary and veterinary technical communities.”
More than a thousand CE sessions were offered during the San Diego convention, including the popular Hot Topics sessions that covered late-breaking issues such as compounding medications for non–food-producing animals and results of recent research into trends in pet ownership and spending.
A full day of events hosted by the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare included the debut of tools geared to increase veterinary visits and reverse the rise in prevalence of certain preventable diseases in companion animals (see page 660).
Hundreds of booths showcasing a wide range of veterinary products and services were on display in the exhibit hall. Convention-goers had the chance to earn up to two hours of CE credit by talking with exhibitors about the benefits of their products.
In addition to the CE program, the AVMA convention provided attendees with plenty of entertainment opportunities. California rockers Smash Mouth headlined the sixth annual AVMA Concert, sponsored by Merial. And the iconic aircraft carrier the USS Midway was the venue for evening events hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and the AVMA, sponsored by Bayer.
AVMA convention-goers also supported the San Diego community by volunteering at two area animal shelters as part of the AVMF Our Oath in Action project.
“Yes, the 149th AVMA convention was a success,” Dr. Banks said, “and we are looking forward to an even better convention with more impactful outcomes in Chicago in 2013 when AVMA celebrates its 150-year anniversary.”
Opening session features message of conservation
By Katie Burns
A menagerie of exotic animals accompanied keynote speaker Joan Embery, an advocate of wildlife conservation, as she helped to kick off the AVMA Annual Convention during the Aug. 3 opening session.
The session also featured music, comedy, and awards. Hill's Pet Nutrition sponsored the event.
The show started with a rousing performance by a crew of drummers. Emcee Jay Thomas, who appeared in “Cheers” and “Murphy Brown,” warmed up the crowd with jokes.
The event included recognition of a number of individuals. Dr. René A. Carlson, 2011–2012 AVMA president, spoke about convention events and Association initiatives.
Then, Embery took the stage with a toucan on her shoulder. She discussed her experiences with wildlife conservation while presenting a series of exotic animals.
Embery said she was before her time as a woman who wanted to be a veterinarian. So she went to work at the San Diego Zoo. Her position led to guest spots with exotic animals on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and similar media appearances to educate the public about wildlife.
Today, Embery works with a variety of organizations to promote conservation. She raises exotic animals to be comfortable with humans so that they can serve as ambassadors for their species. Animal handlers brought out the warthog and kangaroo that she currently is raising.
Handlers also brought out an aardvark, African crested porcupine, lemur, sloth, rainbow boa, scarlet macaw, and Burmese python while Embery spoke about those animals specifically and about various conservation efforts.
A California condor demonstrated its 10-foot wing span while Embery discussed the work of the San Diego Zoo to rescue the species from extinction.
The finale was a cheetah and dog duo. The cheetah and dog grew up together, with the dog helping keep the cheetah calm as an animal ambassador to humans. They have been together for more than a decade.
Embery encouraged veterinarians to promote conservation. She said, “Veterinary medicine is going to be critically important in maintaining healthy environments and healthy populations of animals.”
AVMA: Hollywood Vet receives AVMA Award
By Katie Burns
Many know Dr. James F. Peddie for his work with Hollywood animals, but his career has spanned a spectrum of activities.
During the Aug. 3 opening session of the AVMA Annual Convention in San Diego, Dr. Peddie received the AVMA Award for contributions to organized veterinary medicine. He has been treasurer of the AVMA, California delegate to the AVMA, board member and treasurer of the California VMA, and president of the Santa Barbara Ventura VMA. He currently serves as a trustee of the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust and treasurer of the Western Veterinary Conference.
Dr. Peddie and his wife, Linda, graduated from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1965. He served briefly in the Army before they settled in California. Here, he answers some questions about his career.
How did you come to treat exotic species and, eventually, Hollywood animals?
I joined a practice in Thousand Oaks that was truly a practice of all species. Right down the street was a major wildlife importer. There I was, as a brand-new associate, working on baby Asian elephants and baby tigers.
The practice grew from three full-time veterinarians, with my wife working a part-time schedule, to 12 full-time veterinarians when my wife and I sold our interest in the practice and I went to teach at Moorpark College in the Exotic Animal Training and Management program. I had been teaching there part time, and in 1991 became that program's director.
I had no sooner accepted that job than I got a call from Universal Studios. I had cared for animals in the theme park, and I took on the work of caring for all their animals. Within months, my wife and I were contacted by all of the major studios. We ended up working on a total of 70 feature films.
Why did you become so involved in organized veterinary medicine?
I enjoyed the stimulation of the individuals with whom I worked. I was constantly being challenged in every respect professionally. Your business skills and communication skills were challenged. It was just a very exciting environment.
Why did you retire?
I developed an autoimmune problem, and I went to Alaska to fish for what was to be the trip of a lifetime. When I came home, my wife said, “I called all of our clients, and you're no longer working.” She was right. With the pressure off and drug therapy, the problem came under control.
Bustad award goes to practice consultant
Dr. Thomas E. Catanzaro has promoted the importance of the human-animal bond as well as veterinary teamwork for decades as a practice consultant.
In recognition of his efforts to support the human-animal bond, Dr. Catanzaro received the 2012 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Practitioner of the Year Award. The AVMA and Hill's Pet Nutrition co-sponsor the Bustad award with Pet Partners, formerly the Delta Society, which seeks to improve human health through therapy and service animals.
After serving in the Army, Dr. Catanzaro earned a veterinary degree in 1974 from Colorado State University. In accepting his award, he spoke about becoming one of the charter members of the Delta Society more than 30 years ago. He wrote a book back then about his findings that pet owners had deeper feelings for their pets than many veterinarians perceived.
Dr. Catanzaro also has written many other publications that have contributed to a shift in the paradigm of practice management, moving team-based health care delivery to the forefront. He has pursued facility redesign as one way to support team-based health care delivery.
Currently, Dr. Catanzaro lives in Australia and serves as chief executive officer of Veterinary Consulting International. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
I got back involved again with the GHLIT and Western Veterinary Conference. With the GHLIT, one thing I do that is a little unique is I put together a presentation that I took to the student chapters of the AVMA called “The Hollywood Vets.” I tell some funny stories, then I build it around to what I call “bumps in life's road.” My bump was that autoimmune problem.
You continue to work with elephants. How is that going?
We are fortunate in working with a company called Have Trunk Will Travel that has Asian elephants. We got involved with them when they did the film “Dumbo Drop.” Subsequent to that, because of the high level of training of these animals, we have been able to do multiple drug-absorption studies as well as develop new medication administration techniques. We also have successfully birthed four babies.
The Oct. 1 JAVMA News will feature career highlights of the recipients of other awards presented during the AVMA Annual Convention.
San Diego Snapshots
AVMA: The ups and downs of pet demographics
By Susan C. Kahler
Results of the AVMA's 2012 study of pet ownership, veterinary visits, and spending in 2011 were an interesting mixed bag, noted AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven at a press preview attended by 30 media representatives Aug. 4 in San Diego at the AVMA Annual Convention.
The number of pets in the U.S. has decreased since the time of the last study (which was conducted in 2007 and collected data for 2006), for example, but veterinary spending has increased. Total veterinary visits have also increased.
Comparing highlights of the 2011 findings with those from 2006 was Dr. Karen E. Felsted, president of Felsted Veterinary Consultants Inc. and former CEO of the National Council on Veterinary Economic Issues. She said that because of the sample size of more than 50,000 households, the study “is the most robust study of pet ownership and spending.” The AVMA has conducted it every five years since 1983.
Dr. Felsted noted an overall decline of 2.4 percent in the percentage of U.S. households that own a pet, with the percentage of households owning a pet in 2011—56 percent—the same as it was in 2001. The number of households owning cats declined 6.2 percent, but the number owning dogs fell only 1.9 percent. Numbers of households owning horses and birds decreased 16.7 percent and 20.5 percent, respectively.
That means there are fewer potential clients, and practices must work harder to attract and keep them, Dr. Felsted said. “One of the most important aspects is going back to basics, which is more important than wowing clients.” She said although the study did not address reasons for the decline in number of pet-owning households, the economy is certainly one.
The study estimated veterinary expenditures for all household pets at $28 billion, a 14.3 percent increase from 2006 (without adjusting for inflation). Dog owners spent $19.1 billion on veterinary care, an increase of 18.6 percent. Cat expenditures rose only 4.2 percent, to $7.4 billion. Expenditures on specialty and exotic pets climbed by 34.7 percent.
Veterinary visits for dogs increased 9.2 percent to 130.4 million, while cat visits were down 4.4 percent at 60.5 million visits.
The study found that 6 percent of dog owners and 3 percent of cat owners carried pet insurance, indicating to Dr. Felsted that insurance coverage is catching on.
Dr. Felsted did express alarm at a creeping increase in the number of households not seeing a veterinarian within the previous year and by the percentages of dogs (51 percent) and cats (74 percent) that do not receive basic care.
Asked at the press event whether the finding that overall veterinary visits rose slightly conflicts with findings from other studies, specifically the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study, which found veterinary visits had declined, Dr. Felsted said no, that each study was designed differently.
“To me, what I walk away from all these studies and look at is there are a lot of pets out there, there are a lot of pets that need continued care, and there's much that we, the veterinary profession, can do to make that happen,” she said.
Another question was whether the study inquired about income, so that conclusions could be drawn as to how household resources affect pet-related decisions. Allison Shepherd, senior manager of market research in the AVMA Communications Division, responded that the 50,000 households were selected to be statistically balanced to reflect U.S. households collectively. She said the study determined the median household income to be about $50,000, and the full report will provide data breakdowns according to income groups as well as ethnicity, gender, and other demographics.
Educating and communicating better with pet owners, making clear recommendations to clients, narrating the veterinary examination so that owners understand its value, and paying attention to pricing are some things veterinarians can do, Dr. Felsted said.
Shepherd designed the study questionnaire and analyzed the results after the study was conducted by a research vendor, Irwin Broh Research, in spring 2012. Complete results will be published in the 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, due for release this fall.
Krehbiel, Meyer win top AVMA board seats
Meeting Aug. 7 in San Diego on the final day of the AVMA Annual Convention, the Association's Executive Board elected and installed Dr. Janver D. Krehbiel as its chair for the upcoming Association year and Dr. Thomas F. Meyer as its vice chair.
Dr. Krehbiel is the Executive Board's District V representative and a professor in the Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation Department at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He has served as senior associate dean for administration and as associate dean for academic affairs and is currently director of international programs at the college.
Dr. Meyer, the District XI representative on the board, is co-owner with his wife, Dr. Jean Meyer, of an American Animal Hospital Association-certified mixed animal practice in Vancouver, Wash. He established Mountain View Veterinary Hospital in 1979, a year after his graduation from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and today the practice employs three associate veterinarians.
Board appoints liaisons, representatives to committees
The AVMA Executive Board, meeting Aug. 1 in San Diego, named the following individuals to the entities indicated, representing the designated areas. The duration of each term varies.
American Animal Hospital Association alternate—Dr. Jennafer Glaesemann, Beatrice, Neb.
Animal Welfare Committee
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges—Dr. David McKenzie, Tuskegee, Ala.
Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates
Veterinary ecology—Dr. Laurie Harris, Davis, Calif.
Committee on Environmental Issues
American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners alternate—Dr. Michael Rings, Dublin, Ohio; American Association of Bovine Practitioners alternate—Dr. William McBeth, Morgantown, Pa.
Food Safety Advisory Committee
House of Delegates—Dr. Timothy Montgomery, Dacula, Ga.
Governance Performance Review Committee
Private clinical practice, predominantly food animal—Dr. Aaron Gibbons, Lethbridge, Alberta
Member Services Committee
Area 2, Central states—Dr. Daniel Griffiths, Lomira, Wis.; Legislative Advisory Committee—Dr. Rowland Kinkler, East Lyme, Conn.
State Advocacy Committee
AVMA/Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine—Dr. Kendra Stauffer, Gainesville, Fla.
Liaison to the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Riskfrom Animal Contact Compendium
AVMA/Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee—Dr. Roxanna Smolowitz, Bristol, R.I.
Liaison to the National Aquatic Animal Health Task Force
Story and photos by R. Scott Nolen
Charles Dickens' classic “A Tale of Two Cities” offers a good description of the current state of the veterinary profession, according to AVMA President Douglas G. Aspros.
Speaking at the AVMA House of Delegates regular annual session Aug. 3 in San Diego, Dr. Aspros told the assembly that had Dickens also been a veterinarian, he might have penned “A Tale of Two Professions” instead of a book about the French Revolution. “He wrote, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.’ It pretty neatly sums up where we find ourselves today,” said Dr. Aspros, who succeeded Dr. René A. Carlson as AVMA president Aug. 7.
State funding for veterinary colleges is declining. Practitioners are confronted with a stagnant economy and a rapidly evolving world of service delivery. New equine veterinarians face the lowest starting salaries among all private-sector practitioners. Companion animal practices reliant on drug sales, vaccinations, and spays and neuters are seeing greater competition from low-cost providers. Consolidations within the animal agriculture industry have resulted in decreased demand for veterinary services.
These are but a few of the challenges Dr. Aspros said today's veterinary profession must deal with. But does this mean veterinarians are currently living in the worst of times? “Not by a long shot,” he countered.
Veterinary education is more sophisticated and research-driven now than at any other time. Veterinarians are willing to champion animal welfare even when doing so discomforts clients or colleagues. Pain management has been embraced as an ethical obligation. Veterinary specialization has helped raise standards of practice, to the benefit of patients and clients. Veterinarians hold key government positions, including in the departments of Agriculture and Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as demand for veterinary expertise grows. The one-health movement that brings veterinarians and physicians together to enhance our understanding of health and disease is gaining ground.
Taken all together, Dr. Aspros has “great expectations” about the future of the profession. “Veterinary medicine survived its first great dislocation in the last century when the horse stopped being the main source of transport, and many city-based veterinary colleges closed,” Dr. Aspros said. “With the surviving colleges in the land-grant system, we turned to animal agriculture and food production as our primary charge.
“Today, we look to biomedical research and public health to recast our mission for the future. These are important endeavors for which we are uniquely qualified, and society would benefit from our increased participation in these spheres.
“But offer no apologies for treating companion animals, given the importance of pets in the developed countries. This is not a trivial reason for us to exist as a profession. With a growing population in a world where people are rapidly losing physical communities and replacing them with virtual ones, supporting the human-animal bond is both a vital and a noble undertaking. Companion animal veterinary medicine plays an important role in enhancing the emotional, psychological, and physical health of people.”
Dr. Aspros has practiced small animal medicine in New York state since graduating from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. He was the District I representative on the AVMA Executive Board from 2006–2010. Previously, Dr. Aspros served six years on the AVMA Council on Education, including a year as chair. The AVMA House of Delegates elected Dr. Aspros the 2011–2012 AVMA president-elect last year in St. Louis.
Dr. Aspros says he is proud of the Association's rapid evolution from “the slow-moving, deeply conservative, resistant-to-change organization” he encountered when he first joined the Executive Board, to become “the far more dynamic and engaged AVMA of today.”
For instance, the Executive Board recently appointed Dr. Beth Sabin, an assistant director of the AVMA Education and Research Division, to help the Association promote diversity within the veterinary profession. Additionally, the AVMA no longer eschews veterinary business issues, as evidenced by the recent formation of the Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee and Veterinary Economics Division as well as the commissioning of a study of the U.S. veterinary workforce. “By next spring, we should have high-quality data to forecast, more accurately than ever before, the demand for veterinarians and veterinary services in the next decade,” Dr. Aspros said.
The Executive Board has also been collaborating with veterinary college deans to identify strategies for easing the educational debt burden experienced by large numbers of recent graduates, according to Dr. Aspros.
“Regardless of the challenges, I believe that the AVMA of today can face our times—the best and the worst—in a strategic, focused, even visionary way,” he said.
In his speech Dr. Aspros highlighted the ongoing work of the AVMA Task Force on Governance and Member Participation, calling the initiative “this generation's opportunity to remold the Association into a better tool” for now and the future. “I've said before that AVMA is one of veterinary medicine's best tools,” he said. “We can't afford to work like a typical multipurpose tool: doing everything but nothing very well.”
Dr. Aspros addressed the controversy surrounding the AVMA Executive Board's vote this February to support the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (H.R. 3798). Backed by the United Egg Producers and Humane Society of the United States, H.R. 3798 would establish national standards for the treatment of egg-laying hens. The board's action upset many in the animal agriculture community who consider the legislation an unprecedented expansion of government oversight of the nation's farms.
“AVMA needs to remain broadly focused on the needs of all of our constituencies, yet ready to lead even when leadership is painful,” Dr. Aspros said. “AVMA's support for the UEP-HSUS legislation on poultry housing sent shock waves through the profession and right on up to Capitol Hill. With all due respect to those who opposed our stance, it was the right position for AVMA, because it was the right one for the veterinary profession.
“This kind of disagreement will happen again—we're not a monolithic profession—and it's critical that we mitigate the impact on our Association so we can remain the united voice for veterinary medicine.”
To help meet that objective and to promote unity and understanding, Dr. Aspros said the AVMA is planning a summit this year to advance an intraprofessional dialogue on both pet and production animal welfare issues.
“It's important that we respect, and work to understand, the roles and responsibilities of veterinarians across the spectrum of professional activity,” he said. “AVMA needs to remain broadly focused on the needs of all of our constituencies and be the voice for us all, while being ready to lead even when leadership is painful.”
Dr. Aspros said he is honored to serve the veterinary profession and the AVMA as 2012–2013 president and concluded his remarks before the AVMA House of Delegates where he had begun them.
“At the end of ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’ facing the guillotine in Paris, Sydney Carton said this: ‘It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done.’ I hope that's true for me this year and that I can make it true for you all, too. But I hope to keep my head.”
HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Treasurer: AVMA on solid financial footing
By Malinda Larkin
The AVMA remains financially strong and fiscally sound, Treasurer Barbara A. Schmidt told the House of Delegates Aug. 3, as it also advances its strategic goals.
She said contributing to the Association's solid economic foundation has been a collaborative, thoughtful, and efficient budget process that involves staff, Dr. Schmidt, and the Executive Board, which ultimately approved the calendar year 2013 budget in April.
For the 2013 budget, $31,517,375 is anticipated for income and $30,688,809 for expenses, which would result in surplus income of $828,566.
“We worked hard to get almost to $1 million,” Dr. Schmidt told JAVMA News, adding that the budget includes one-time expenses for the AVMA's 150th anniversary celebration in 2013.
The commitment to prudent fiscal management and steady financial growth has been reflected in budgets from the past eight years that have generally shown income over expenses, Dr. Schmidt said.
Beginning next year and continuing through 2015, membership dues will increase by $10 each year. Dues accounted for 71 percent of the 2012 budget's revenue.
And as of June 30, the 2012 reserves were projected to be at 92 percent. The AVMA reserves policy is to maintain 50 percent to 150 percent of the Association's operating budget in the reserves fund.
The AVMA's reserves serve as an asset for emergency needs and long-term stability and are, in part, designated for specific strategic purposes.
Close to $1.24 million from reserves have gone into the strategic goal fund, created in April 2008, to pay for initiatives and programs. That includes $820,000, as of June, designated for the Association's website redevelopment. The strategic goal fund was supplemented with an additional $500,000 in January.
“It truly is an exciting time at AVMA—to be a part of this forward-thinking strategic process to bring value and relevance to our members,” Dr. Schmidt said.
Fobian, Threlfall elected to AVMA leadership
By R. Scott Nolen
Dr. Clark K. Fobian was unanimously elected AVMA president-elect by the House of Delegates Aug. 3 during its regular annual session in San Diego. Delegates also chose Dr. Walter R. Threlfall from among three candidates to serve a two-year term as AVMA vice president
Dr. Fobian is a 1977 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine and has owned and operated a small animal practice in Sedalia, Mo., for the past 30 years. His term as AVMA president will begin next summer at the AVMA's Annual Convention in Chicago, and he will succeed Dr. Douglas G. Aspros.
“I'm proud and excited about being the president-elect of the AVMA,” Dr. Fobian said. “I come to this position from a practitioner's point of view, because that's who I am and that's who a significant number of our members are—they are practitioners. I respect all areas of the veterinary profession, which includes regulatory veterinarians, members of academia, researchers, and food animal practitioners.
“I want to help ensure that the people who own and interact with animals receive excellent care from the veterinary profession. I look to the AVMA mission statement for guidance. It states that the goal of the Association is to ‘improve animal and human health,’ and that's my goal as president.”
Dr. Fobian just recently completed a six-year term as District VII representative on the Executive Board along with his service on the American Veterinary Medical Foundation board of directors, which he chaired for the past two years.
Dr. Threlfall is a theriogenology consultant from Powell, Ohio, who taught for nearly 40 years at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. As AVMA vice president, Dr. Threlfall is a voting member of the Executive Board and the Association's liaison to the Student AVMA and student chapters.
“The function of the vice president is to connect with our future colleagues and explain who we are and what we have to offer—a goal which can only be accomplished by listening to students' concerns and looking for resolutions to meet their needs,” Dr. Threlfall said. “After 39 years working with students at The Ohio State University, I am acutely aware that these students are eager for such a connection, and I am equally eager to provide them with the connection they are looking for.”
Dr. Threlfall is a 1968 graduate of the OSU veterinary college and a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists.
Cohn campaigns for AVMA presidency
By R. Scott Nolen
Former AVMA Executive Board Chair Ted Cohn of Littleton, Colo., is running for the AVMA presidency.
The Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine alum and small animal practitioner announced his candidacy for 2013–2014 AVMA president-elect Aug. 3 at an event held in conjunction with the AVMA House of Delegates' regular annual session in San Diego.
“I have not come to the decision of running for this office lightly or casually,” Dr. Cohn explained. “I fully understand the significance and commitment required of this office.”
Dr. Cohn submitted his background and values as his qualifications for the AVMA presidency. The Little Rock, Ark., native first became involved in organized veterinary medicine as a student at Tuskegee University. After receiving his DVM degree in 1975, Dr. Cohn began participating in veterinary organizations at the local, state, and national levels.
For seven years, Dr. Cohn represented Colorado veterinarians in the AVMA House of Delegates, and he just completed a six-year term on the AVMA Executive Board.
As board chair this past year, he played a key part in developing the Association's veterinary economic strategy.
Also during his Executive Board tenure, Dr. Cohn chaired the Insurance Liaison Committee, Task Force on Strategic Planning, and Economic Vision Steering Committee and served as vice chair of the Task Force on Future Roles and Expectations.
“No matter what organization I've worked for,” he said, “I've tried to do what I felt was in the best interest of animals, our members, and the veterinary medical profession.
“I have gained through that experience a deep and wide-ranging understanding and knowledge of this profession, our association, and I believe a profound appreciation for the needs and desires of our members.”
Dr. Cohn agrees with the AVMA's 20/20 Vision Commission finding that the veterinary profession is at a defining point and that the next decade will likely usher in the most important changes in AVMA history. As president, Dr. Cohn would continue to focus on improving veterinary medicine's economic viability, encouraging innovations in veterinary education, and promoting diversity within the profession.
“I have a burning desire and passion to continue to work for this organization and profession,” he said.
The votes are in for AVMA councils and HAC
In San Diego, the House of Delegates filled vacancies on AVMA councils and the House Advisory Committee. The results are as follows.
Dr. Edward Wakem, Chesterfield, Va., representing members-at-large
Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents
Dr. Mary Beth Leininger, Lawrence, Kan., representing members-at-large; Dr. Patrick Farrell, Russell, Pa., representing private food animal clinical practice; and Dr. Billy Martindale, Denison, Texas, representing private clinical practice
Council on Education
Drs. Joanna Davis, Tifton, Ga., and Stephan Schaefbauer, Raleigh, N.C., representing agricultural agencies
Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Sreenivasa Donapaty, Chamblee, Ga., representing private clinical practice
Council on Research
Dr. Gay Gira, Ada, Mich., representing private practice, exclusively small animal
Council on Veterinary Service
Dr. Beth Thompson, St. Paul, Minn., representing members-at-large
Dr. George Bishop, Carmel, Calif., representing predominantly small animal; Dr. Kenneth Bartels, Stillwater, Okla., representing teaching and research; and Dr. Michael Topper, Harleysville, Pa., representing members-at-large (temporarily reclassified from private practice, predominantly food animal)
House Advisory Committee
AVMA: HOD wants better communication with nonveterinary pharmacies
By Malinda Larkin
The AVMA House of Delegates was nearly unanimous in its vote Aug. 3 for a resolution that calls on the AVMA to communicate with nonveterinary pharmacies to promote best practices in dispensing for pets.
About 90 percent of delegates approved the proposal, which was submitted by the Executive Board. Information in the statement about the resolution states in part: “For years, non-veterinary pharmacies have been dispensing medications for pets, and now these pharmacies fill veterinary drug prescriptions with increasing frequency. The AVMA is concerned about the negative consequences to a pet's health when prescription medications are inappropriately or inaccurately dispensed by a licensed pharmacist who is not adequately trained in veterinary pharmacology. We want to ensure that licensed pharmacists understand their roles and responsibilities for counseling and educating clients when filling a veterinary prescription. These include verification with the prescribing veterinarian should the pharmacist have any question about the medication or dosage.”
Dr. Jon E. Basler, the delegate from Alaska, who voted in favor of the resolution, said, before the vote, that while the proposal is well-intended and needed, it doesn't go far enough.
“As a private practitioner, I constantly get prescriptions that say ‘use as directed.’ I don't know how many of you go to the pharmacy and get a drug that says ‘use as directed,’ “Dr. Basler said. “My clients don't remember five minutes after walking out the door how a drug is to be used. We need to push for a higher standard of those who want to dispense to owners.”
Dr. Arnold L. Goldman, Connecticut delegate, said veterinarians in his state were working to require pharmacists to receive more education about animal drugs.
“A glance at the curriculum of a college of pharmacy shows intensive coursework in human medicine and zero in veterinary or comparative pharmacology,” he said. “How can we work as equal colleagues? The burden shouldn't be on us to educate them on every telephone call. The questions they ask seem so low-level on what they should know.”
The HOD also voted on a proposed revision to the Association bylaws that would eliminate the position of AVMA vice president.
Currently, the AVMA vice president is a voting member of the Executive Board and serves as the Association's liaison with veterinary students. Delegates referred the bylaws amendment to the Task Force on AVMA Governance and Member Participation.
Dr. George W. Bishop, alternate delegate for California, said the HOD reference committee that had reviewed the proposal discussed the matter at length and thought a referral would be appropriate, because the task force is in the process of evaluating the AVMA's governance structure.
Finally, aside from a policy the HOD approved on raw food diets (see page 679), the remaining items were passed by unanimous consent:
• Changes to the definition of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship in the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act to replace all instances of the word “animal” with the word “patient,” a term that includes multiple animals.
• An AVMA Bylaws amendment that gives the AVMA Council on Research a stated focus of advising the AVMA Executive Board on scientific research and discovery as well as a responsibility to advise the board on the direction of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.
• Revisions to the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the AVMA to update and clarify the document.
• A revision to the AVMA Guidelines for Veterinarians and Veterinary Associations Working with Animal Control and Animal Welfare Organizations that encourages veterinarians to contribute their expertise more broadly to animal control and animal welfare organizations.
• A revision to the policy “Animal Fighting” to more clearly encourage veterinarians to educate the public about the harm caused by animal fighting and to collaborate with law enforcement regarding prosecution of pertinent laws.
• A revision to the policy “Physical Restraint of Animals” to add the following line: “Every effort should be made to ensure adequate and ongoing training in animal handling and behavior by all parties involved, so that distress and physical restraint are minimized.”
Practice: Raw food policy draws debate
By Greg Cima
The AVMA now discourages people from feeding raw or unprocessed meat, eggs, and milk to cats and dogs.
A policy approved in August by the AVMA House of Delegates states that feeding such foods to cats and dogs can sicken those pets as well as other animals and people exposed to them. It notes that infection risks are particularly high for children, elderly people, and those who have compromised immune systems.
The policy also recommends that owners restrict cats' and dogs' access to carrion and animal carcasses, give their pets clean and fresh commercially prepared or home-cooked food, dispose of uneaten food at least once daily, and wash their hands before and after handling pet foods, treats, and food dishes. The policy does not apply to milk fed to animals prior to weaning when the milk comes from the same species.
More than 90 percent of delegates voted in favor of the policy, but thousands of people—through a petition at Change.org and comments on the AVMA's website—tried to discourage the HOD from enacting it.
During the HOD deliberations, Dr. Kenneth E. Bartels, delegate for Oklahoma, said a committee of delegates had examined the proposed policy and recommended amending it to suggest that, if pet owners are going to feed their cats or dogs raw or undercooked animal-source protein, veterinarians should tell those clients about ways to reduce pathogen risks. Dr. Brian Gerloff, president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, said raw meat is needed for some animals such as sled dogs, and the change would let veterinarians give advice that fits those animals while remaining in compliance with AVMA policy.
Dr. Robert M. Groskin, alternate delegate for the Association of Avian Veterinarians, argued that such revisions would weaken the intent of the resolution. He likened such a change to a physician telling a patient not to smoke, but if the patient were going to continue smoking, recommending using filtered cigarettes and limiting the number of cigarettes smoked daily.
About two-thirds of delegates voted against the proposed amendment, but about 90 percent voted in favor of changing the language to say people should avoid feeding—rather than never feed—such foods to dogs and cats.
Dr. Laurie S. Coger, a veterinarian at Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital in Rensselaer, N.Y., was among more than 3,800 supporters of the petition at Change.org. She said on the site and in an interview after the delegates approved the policy that she feeds her dogs raw animal protein and counsels clients on doing the same.
Dr. Coger said in the interview that she wants her dogs' food to consist of ingredients that are of high enough quality to be sold for human consumption.
“I want complete control over what goes into my pets, and I want to know that it's clean, safe, fresh, and not processed,” she said.
Dr. Coger also was among those who accused the AVMA of taking the action because of influence by pet food producers. On Change.org, she said the delegates' vote showed AVMA is a “puppet of the pet food industry.”
Dr. David M. Chico, chair of the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, said the AVMA began considering implementing a policy on raw animal protein in pet food after the Delta Society, which was recently renamed as Pet Partners, asked whether the AVMA had any policies against feeding such foods to pets. Pet Partners is a nonprofit organization that operates service animal and animal therapy programs, and, as the Delta Society, it implemented in June 2010 a policy that prohibits pets that eat raw animal protein from participating in its animal therapy program.
Dr. Chico, who is a veterinarian for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, said he and fellow council members all work in state or federal government positions, and they developed and reviewed their draft of the policy without contact with any pet food companies or other groups outside the AVMA.
“Our motive for generating this policy is genuine concern for public health, and while it may be difficult to give a specific number of human cases of illness that are associated with this, really the policy is about mitigating risk,” Dr. Chico said. “And we know that, when animals feed or are fed raw or unprocessed animal protein sources, that there's a risk of infection and shedding of the organism.”
Figures in the 2010 National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System Executive Report, which was published in July 2012, indicate that, in 2010, 64 percent of retail meat samples tested for Escherichia coli were positive for the bacteria, including about 80 percent each of chicken breast and ground turkey samples. About 38 percent of chicken breast samples tested were positive for Campylobacter spp.
Dr. Chico said that while a small percentage of people feed their pets raw or unprocessed animal proteins, their actions present a riskto public health, even though it is difficult to quantify.
Commercial or home-prepared
The Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine planned to consider at its late-August meeting developing a policy connected with concerns related to processed foods. Dr. Chico said he understands people have concerns about disease outbreaks connected with commercially prepared pet foods.
The FDA issued a series of recall notices in April and May for commercial dog foods contaminated or potentially contaminated with Salmonella organisms. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates at least 49 people had reported infections involving S Infantis connected with the recalled foods, and 10 were hospitalized.
Dr. Chico said the council had simply dealt first with issues connected with raw meats, and the policy passed in August is intended to highlight risks connected with certain feeding practices.
“This policy wasn't meant to endorse kibble,” he said. “It wasn't meant to say that people could not prepare their own diets. It was to highlight and mitigate the risks that are associated with raw or underprocessed animal-source proteins.”
Issues: Villagers had rabies antibodies without vaccination
By Greg Cima
Some villagers in Peru have survived exposure to rabies virus and developed antibodies without vaccination, a recently published article states.
Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found rabies virus neutralizing antibodies in six unvaccinated people and one previously vaccinated person after taking sera from 63 residents of the Amazonian villages of Truenocha and Santa Marta, according to an article published in the August 2012 issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
A CDC announcement indicates the six who had antibodies but no known history of vaccination were unlikely to have received medical care following previous bat bites.
“It could not be determined when the virus exposures occurred or which animals were responsible, but the history of repeated bat bites reported among persons in this area strongly suggests vampire bats as the source of rabies virus exposure,” the announcement states.
The report is available at www.ajtmh.org/content/87/2/206.full.
Using an indirect fluorescent antibody assay, the researchers also found rabies virus binding antibodies in four of the 63 people from whom samples were taken, two of whom also had virus neutralizing antibodies. Including the five others who had virus neutralizing antibodies, all nine individuals seropositive for anti-rabies antibodies said they had been exposed to bats, the report states.
Amy Gilbert, PhD, lead author for the report, said in the CDC announcement that the study results support the idea that some populations regularly exposed to rabies virus could have an enhanced immune response that would prevent clinical illness.
In the same issue of the journal, Rodney E. Willoughby, MD, said in an editorial that the CDC officials' article “challenges the orthodoxy that rabies is untreatable and universally fatal.” Dr. Willoughby led the team that improvised the Milwaukee Protocol first used to save a 15-year-old girl infected with rabies in 2004, and he supports medical teams using the protocol to treat patients with rabies. He works as a professor of pediatrics at Medical College of Wisconsin and is a staff member at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
“Careful, respectful genetic study of these genetically unique populations may provide information on which pathways in human biochemistry and physiology promote resistance to human rabies,” Dr. Willoughby wrote.
“Equally important, knowing that there is a continuum of disease, even for infectious diseases like rabies, should push us harder to try for cures when confronted by so-called untreatable infectious diseases or intoxications.”
Dr. Willoughby's article is availalble at www.ajtmh.org/content/87/2/205.full.
Issues: California cow had lone known BSE infection
Federal agriculture authorities found no threat to human health from a California cow discovered in April to have been infected with an atypical form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Department of Agriculture officials announced in July that an epidemiologic investigation by the department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service concluded without finding any additional infected animals or problematic practices among suppliers who sold feed to the dairy where the infected cow lived.
The infected animal was a 10 1/2-year-old Holstein dairy cow, and it had developed hind limb lameness that had been attributed to a fungal infection that was being treated. The cow was euthanized in mid-April after increasing weakness led to recumbency.
Subsequent immunohistochemical and western blot tests on samples from the cow were positive for atypical BSE, and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) laboratories in Canada and England confirmed the findings.
On May 1, the carcass of the infected cow and about 90 other cattle held by the renderer were sealed inside plastic vaults and buried in a landfill.
Atypical BSE is a rare form of the disease, and APHIS officials have said that, unlike most BSE, it is not likely spread through contaminated feed. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates atypical BSE may be a distinct strain of prion disease that rises spontaneously, but it also may be spread through feed or the environment.
Investigators were not able to identify and test any other cattle born on the same premises as the BSE-infected cow within one year of the infected cow's birth. The animal's only living offspring, a 2-year-old cow, was euthanized, and samples from that cow were negative for BSE. That carcass was incinerated.
The Food and Drug Administration and California Department of Food and Agriculture also found no evidence that the infected cow or herd mates on the central California dairy were exposed to contaminated feed, the APHIS announcement states. They also found that the 11 suppliers who sold feed to the dairy where the cow lived and were still in business were complying with state and federal requirements.
Snapshots: Behavior express tour on final leg
Thousands of pet owners are hearing the message of L.O.V.E.—Lean on Veterinary Expertise—for medically sound solutions to their pets' behavior problems. The message is part of the Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour 2012, sponsored by Ceva Animal Health and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. The L.O.V.E. bus is traveling 12,500 miles to spread the word and bring pet fairs to tour cities. Cities visited so far were San Diego for the veterinary profession launch event and then Chicago, New York City, and Kansas City for pet fairs. Pictured here, Dr. Debra Horwitz, an ACVB diplomate and past president, talks with a pet owner at the Kansas City fair. The final stops will be Dallas, Sept. 8; Atlanta, Sept. 15; and Los Angeles, Sept. 30. For more information, visit www.keepthelovealivetour.com.
Community: New Wisconsin dean comes from faculty
Dr. Mark D. Markel, a University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine professor of medical sciences and associate dean for advancement, has been chosen to lead the school.
Dr. Markel assumed his new role as dean Sept. 1. He succeeds Dr. Daryl D. Buss, who led the school for 18 years and retired in June.
Dr. Markel joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor of large animal surgery. He currently chairs the veterinary school's Department of Medical Sciences and is the UW-Madison Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Dr. Markel studied wildlife biology as an undergraduate at the University of California-Davis and received his DVM degree there in 1983. He received his doctorate in physiology and biophysics in 1990 from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.
Since joining the UW-Madison faculty, Dr. Markel has taken on a number of roles on campus. In addition to his faculty appointment and administrative roles at the veterinary school, he holds faculty appointments in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, is an affiliate in the Institute on Aging, and is a member of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Dr. Markel noted in a university press release that as global trade and issues of animal and human health and emerging disease become more prominent, veterinarians will play an increasingly important role internationally. These challenges and others, he argues, will continue to create demands for veterinary medical services, research, and outreach.
Dr. Edward A. Hoover received the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges' 2012 Merial-AAVMC Excellence in Research Award Aug. 4 during the Merial-National Institutes of Health National Veterinary Scholars Symposium at Colorado State University.
Dr. Hoover, whose work led to the development of a vaccine against feline leukemia, is a University Distinguished Professor at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
The AAVMC board of directors established the annual research award in 2010 to recognize outstanding research and scholarly achievements in the field of veterinary medicine. It recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has demonstrated excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine.
For three decades, Dr. Hoover's laboratory focused on the pathogenesis of retrovirus and prion infections—in particular, infection with feline leukemia virus and the feline and simian immunodeficiency viruses, and chronic wasting disease. These diseases also serve as models for human diseases such as aplastic anemia, leukemia, and HIV/AIDS.
Research in Dr. Hoover's laboratory led to development of the first successful and most widely used FeLV vaccine, now used to immunize cats worldwide against leukemia. More recently, Dr. Hoover has performed pioneering research on CWD in deer and elk. His current work focuses on the mechanisms of transmucosal prion infection and excretion, detection of prions in body fluids of live animals, the CWD species barrier in cervid and noncervid species, and experimental vaccines for prion and protein misfolding diseases.
Dr. Hoover received his DVM degree from the University of Illinois as well as master's and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Winners of the 2012 Young Investigator Award co-sponsored by the AVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation also were announced Aug. 4 during the Merial-National Institutes of Health National Veterinary Scholars Symposium.
The Young Investigator Award is given to graduate veterinarians pursuing advanced research training through doctoral or postdoctoral programs. A total of 57 applications were received for the 2012 competition and reviewed by a group of veterinarians and faculty at several veterinary schools. The AVMA and AVMF covered the expenses for five finalists invited to present their research at the Veterinary Scholars Symposium.
Two members of the AVMA Council on Research—Drs. Kent Lloyd and Harm Hogenesch—were part of the panel that judged the presentations according to three criteria: scientific merit, quality of presentation, and responses to audience questions. After the presentations were concluded, the winners of the Young Investigator Award were announced as follows: First place—Dr. Todd Strochlic, postdoctoral trainee at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, for “Ack1 regulates a macromolecular complex involved in nucleotide synthesis.” Second place—Dr. Theresa Alenghat, instructor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, for “Epigenetic regulation of intestinal barrier function and susceptibility to inflammation.” Third place—Dr. Sarah Hamer, assistant professor of epidemiology at Texas A&M University, for “The complex interface among wild bird populations, tick-borne pathogens, and human health.”
In addition to the awarding of plaques, Dr. Strochlic received a cash award of $2,500 for first place, Dr. Alenghat $1,000 for second, and Dr. Hamer $500 for third.
Community: American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology
The American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology certified four new diplomates following the certification examination it conducted June 4–5 in New Orleans. The new diplomates are as follows:
Melissa Clark, Urbana, Ill.
Heather Knych, Davis, Calif.
Nicolas Villarino, Knoxville, Tenn.
Katrina Viviano, Madison, Wis.
Community: Utah VMA
Event: Annual meeting, Moab, June 14–16
Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Neil E.B. Moss, Kaysville. A 1979 graduate of The Royal Veterinary College in England, Dr. Moss owns Kaysville Animal Clinic. Earlier in his career, he practiced in Newfoundland, Canada. Dr. Moss is immediate past president of the UVMA and serves as its alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates.
Officials: Drs. Douglas B. Murphy, Vernal, president; Cliff L. Mitchell, Richmond, president-elect (2011–2013); Paul Nebeker, Clearfield, president-elect (2013–2015); Carl L. Pew, Orem, treasurer; Neil E.B. Moss, Kaysville, immediate past president; and Katie Park, Provo, executive secretary
Community: California VMA
Event: Annual Pacific Veterinary Conference, June 28–July 1, San Francisco
Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award: Drs. Donald J. Klingborg, Davis, and Richard L. Schumacher, Benecia, for their service to California veterinarians, organized veterinary medicine, academic veterinary medicine, and the CVMA. A 1972 graduate of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Klingborg recently retired as associate dean for public programs, director of veterinary medicine extension, and director of the School of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Continuing Professional Education at UC-Davis. He also led the university's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources' strategic advocacy and county partnership programs. Dr. Klingborg is a past chair of the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and CVMA House of Delegates and a past co-chair of the CVMA Animal Welfare Committee. He helped develop the CVMA Mentoring Presentation Kit, its internship/residency program, and the annual Don Low/CVMA Practitioner Fellowship Program. Dr. Schumacher, a 1961 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, served as executive director of the CVMA for 13 years prior to retirement in 2004. Under his directorship, the association achieved financial security, increased membership, and strengthened its legislative position. Dr. Schumacher was instrumental in creating the California Coalition of Companion Animal Advocates and the association's regulatory manual for membership. He also helped establish the Don Low/CVMA Practitioner Fellowship Program, managed a feral cat and low income spay/neuter program, helped build CVMA. net, and molded the association's insurance program. Dr. Schumacher is a past president of the CVMA, serves on the CVMA Legislative Committee, chairs the Physical Therapy Task Force, and is an area disaster coordinator. Earlier in his career, he owned Redwood Veterinary Hospital, a small animal practice in Vallejo. Outstanding RVT of the Year (nonprivate practice): Linda Markland, Yorba Linda. Markland is the senior veterinary education specialist for Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. In 1995, she created the department at VPI that educates and provides services to veterinarians and their teams on pet insurance and the role of veterinary technicians in a successful practice. Markland chairs the CVMA RVT Committee and the practice management track for the Pacific Veterinary Conference and serves on the CVMA Allied Industry Committee. Meritorious Service Award: Nicole Montroy, Napa, won this award, given to those providing special attention to or promoting the human-animal bond in California. Montroy recently retired as chief executive officer of Alley Cat Guardians, a nonprofit organization in Modesto that promotes the humane control of feral cats through trapping/neutering/returning and by finding adoptive homes for tame cats and kittens. As CEO, Montroy oversaw day-to-day operations of Alley Cat Guardians, including fundraising, transportation, and distribution of food donations for feral colonies. She also helped establish the organization's veterinary facility. Distinguished Life Membership Award: Dr. Jon Peek, Grass Valley. A 1966 graduate of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Peek owned a small animal hospital in Grass Valley prior to retirement. He is a past president of the CVMA, is a past chair of the CVMA House of Delegates, and has served on the California Veterinary Medical Foundation and several CVMA committees. Most recently, Dr. Peek chaired the task force that developed the CVMA Certified Veterinary Assistant Program.
Officials: Drs. Chris Cowing, Foster City, president; Ronald Kelpe, Coto de Caza, president-elect; George Bishop, Carmel, treasurer; and Jay Kerr, San Ramon, immediate past president
Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember
Horace T. Barron
Dr. Barron (TEX ′41), 92, Taylor, Texas, died March 5, 2012. From 1974 until retirement in 1989, he was a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, an institution he helped establish. During his tenure at UT, Dr. Barron served as the first head of the college's large animal department for 14 years. Earlier in his career, he owned Taylor Animal Hospital for 17 years and was a professor of veterinary medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University. Dr. Barron served as president of the Texas VMA in 1960. He was also a past president of the Taylor Kiwanis Club and served on the Taylor City Commission. Dr. Barron's daughter and son survive him. Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090.
Russel O. Bieri
Dr. Bieri (KSU ′61), 78, Jamestown, N.D., died April 19, 2012. He practiced mixed animal medicine at Southwood Veterinary Clinic in Jamestown prior to retirement. Dr. Bieri was a past president of the North Dakota VMA. He was active with the Boy Scouts and 4-H Club. Dr. Bieri is survived by his wife, Aloyth; two sons; and two daughters. Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 523 4th Ave. S.E., Jamestown, ND 58401.
Dawn R. Blasczak
Dr. Blasczak (ROS ′11), 27, Clyde, N.Y., died Jan. 19, 2012. She most recently worked for Merrell Dairy Farms in Wolcott, N.Y. Memorials may be made to Humane Society of Wayne County, 1475 County House Road, Lyons, NY 14489.
William C. Burns Jr.
Dr. Burns (AUB ′54), 88, Whiteville, N.C., died May 16, 2012. He practiced in Whiteville for more than 50 years, initially focusing on large animals and later switching to mixed animal medicine. Dr. Burns was a member of the North Carolina VMA and the Christian Veterinary Mission. He was an Army veteran of World War II and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and two Purple Hearts. Active in civic life, Dr. Burns served on the Columbus County Board of Health and the Whiteville City Board of Education. He is survived by his wife, DesBert; two daughters; and three sons. Dr. Burns' granddaughter, Dr. Grace E. Burns (NCU ′11), is an equine veterinarian in Florida. Memorials may be made to the Whiteville United Methodist Church, 902 Pinckney St., Whiteville, NC 28472; Wildlife Action, P.O. Box 1314, Whiteville, NC 28472; or Christian Veterinary Mission, 19303 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133.
Kwai Fong Choy
Dr. Choy (ONT ′60), 81, Honolulu, died July 17, 2012. Retired since 1995, he was a small animal veterinarian and the founder of Kapalama Pet Hospital in Honolulu and Waipio Pet Clinic in Waipio, Hawaii. Dr. Choy was a past president of the Honolulu VMA. His wife, Constance; two sons; and two daughters survive him. Dr. Choy's niece, Dr. Lissa W.G. Kam (COL ′84), practices small animal medicine at Ohana Veterinary Hospital Inc. in Honolulu.
Joe M. Dixon
Dr. Dixon (OKL ′52), 94, Lakeland, Fla., died May 13, 2012. Prior to retirement in 1993, he owned a mobile dairy and beef cattle practice, operating in Louisiana and Mississippi. Following graduation, Dr. Dixon practiced large animal medicine in Tulsa, Okla. In 1955, he joined the Louisiana State University Agricultural Experiment Station's Veterinary Science Department. Dr. Dixon earned a master's degree in animal nutrition from the university in 1958, eventually becoming a professor of veterinary science in the LSU College of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure, he also served as a poultry pathologist and conducted research on avian diseases. Dr. Dixon left the university in 1980 to establish his practice.
He was a past secretary of the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine, served as Louisiana's delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 1981–1994, and was elected to the AVMA House Advisory Committee in 1986. Dr. Dixon was a member of several organizations, including the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Avian Pathologists, Poultry Science Association, and Animal Disease Research Workers in Southern States. In 1970, the LVMA named him Veterinarian of the Year.
Dr. Dixon served as a captain in the Army from 1941–1945 and was in the Oklahoma Reserve from 1945–1952. He is survived by two daughters; two stepdaughters; and a stepson.
Stuart P. Dowling
Dr. Dowling (AUB ′58), 85, Mobile, Ala., died July 23, 2012. He practiced in Mobile and Birmingham, Ala., for more than 40 years. Dr. Dowling was an Army veteran of the Korean War, attaining the rank of captain. He received a Bronze Star Medal for his service. Dr. Dowling is survived by his wife, Ann; a son; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 1900 Dauphin St., Mobile, AL 36606; St. Francis Episcopal Church, Key St., Dauphin Island, AL 36528; Animal Rescue Foundation, 6140 Rangeline Road, Theodore, AL 36582; or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 26 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10004.
Robert E. Ebright
Dr. Ebright (WSU ′45), 88, Bellingham, Wash., died Jan. 24, 2012. A small animal veterinarian, he owned Ebright Animal Hospital in Bellingham for 40 years prior to retirement. Dr. Ebright was a past president of the Washington State VMA. He served as a Whatcom County Public Utility District commissioner for more than 40 years, was a member of the Bellingham City Council, and served on the Horizon Bank board of directors. Dr. Ebright's wife, Donna; three sons; and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Paul's Endowment Fund, 2117 Walnut St., Bellingham, WA 98225.
Dr. Erdheim (COR ′39), 95, Boca Raton, Fla., died May 20, 2012. Prior to retirement in 1982, he worked for Royal Dutch Shell in Canterbury, England, helping to establish its animal nutrition division. Earlier in his career, Dr. Erdheim owned a large animal practice in Grayslake, Ill., and worked for Dawes Laboratories Inc. in Chicago, where he established its animal nutrition division, eventually serving as president of the division. In 1956, he founded what is now known as the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, serving as its first president. Dr. Erdheim was an Army Veterinary Corps veteran of World War II, attaining the rank of captain. He is survived by his wife, Jean; a son; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Box 39, Ithaca, NY 14853.
David L. Erlewein
Dr. Erlewein (MSU ′67), 69, Traverse City, Mich., died July 20, 2012. A small animal veterinarian, he practiced at Grand Traverse Veterinary Hospital in Traverse City. Earlier in his career, Dr. Erlewein worked at Wyoming Animal Hospital in Wyoming, Mich., and Oakwood Veterinary Hospital in Traverse City. He served as a contributing veterinary author for several magazines. Dr. Erlewein was a member of the Michigan VMA.
His wife, Kathy, and two sons survive him. Memorials in his name may be made to Lucky Fund for Needy Animals, Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing, MI 48824; or A.C. Paw, P.O. Box 94, Acme, MI 49610.
Thomas H. Fore Jr.
Dr. Fore (TUS ′83), 55, Powhatan, Va., died June 2, 2012. He owned Claws and Paws Animal Hospital, a small animal practice in Powhatan, since 2004. Earlier in his career, Dr. Fore worked at Ambassador Animal Hospital in Richmond, Va. An avid chess player, he was a life member of the U.S. Chess Federation. Dr. Fore's wife, Jean, and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to Bethany Christian Church, 5400 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond, VA 23225; or Tom Fore DVM Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Virginia Tech, University Development, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
Otto C. Granzin
Dr. Granzin (TEX ′45), 87, Baton Rouge, La., died Jan. 17, 2012. A small animal veterinarian, he was the founder of Sherwood South Animal Hospital in Baton Rouge. Dr. Granzin was a past president of the Louisiana VMA and a member of the Baton Rouge Zoo Advisory Committee. He served in the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of captain. Active in civic life. Dr. Granzin was a member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Health Board. He is survived by his wife, Sue, and two daughters. Dr. Granzin's son-in-law, Dr. Alfred G. Stevens (LSU ′79), is a small animal veterinarian in Baton Rouge.
Karen A. Gunn
Dr. Gunn (TEX ′94), 44, Spring, Texas, died May 28, 2012. A small animal veterinarian, she owned the Veterinary Medical Center of Spring. Early in her career, Dr. Gunn practiced briefly in North Carolina.
She was a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society, American Association of Feline Practitioners, American Animal Hospital Association, and Texas, Harris County, and Montgomery County VMAs. Dr. Gunn was also active with the Woodlands Dog Park Club. Her two children survive her.
Don H. Helfer
Dr. Helfer (WSU ′49), 87, Corvallis, Ore., died May 24, 2012. He was professor emeritus of veterinary medicine and poultry science at Oregon State University since 1986. Following graduation and until 1953, Dr. Helfer practiced in Oregon's Tillamook County, focusing on dairy medicine. He then joined the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University, also working with the university's Department of Poultry Science. During his tenure, Dr. Helfer helped write the proposal for a poultry training and extension project for what was known as North Yemen, eventually serving as the director of staff assigned to the project. He was a veteran of the Navy and a member of the Corvallis Historic Auto Club. Dr. Helfer's wife, Ginger; two daughters; and a son survive him. One daughter, Dr. Carol J. Helfer (WSU ′81), practices in Portland, Ore. Memorials may be made to Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, P.O. Box 1433, Corvallis, OR 97339; or Benton Hospice Service, 2350 Northwest Professional Drive, Corvallis, OR 97330.
Michael L. Herndon
Dr. Herndon (KSU ′75), 63, Cheney, Kan., died June 17, 2012. From 1979 until retirement in 2008, he owned Herndon Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice in Wichita, Kan. Earlier in his career, Dr. Herndon practiced large animal medicine at Cheney Animal Clinic. He was a member of the Kansas VMA. Dr. Herndon is survived by his wife, Peggy; two daughters; and three sons. Memorials in his name may be made to Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Foundation Alumni Division Office, 103 Trotter Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506.
James R. Hundley
Dr. Hundley (GA ′56), 85, Heathsville, Va., died May 18, 2012. A mixed animal practitioner, he founded Heathsville Animal Hospital in 1957, later expanding his practice to include clinics in Virginia at Warsaw and Kilmarnock. Dr. Hundley retired in 1991. In 1999, he received the Northern Neck Humane Society Award. Dr. Hundley was an Army veteran of World War II. A founding member and a past president of the Northern Neck Rose Society, he served as a master consulting rosarian and horticulture judge during retirement. Dr. Hundley's wife, Charlotte, and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Stephen's Anglican Church, P.O. Box 609, Heathsville, VA 22473; Mid-County Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 355, Heathsville, VA 22473; Animal Welfare League, P.O. Box 975, White Stone, VA 22578; or Colonial District of the American Rose Society, 2433 Hemlock St., Norfolk, VA 23513.
Thomas G. Kuhn
Dr. Kuhn (KSU ′66), 74, Carmichael, Calif., died June 7, 2012. Prior to retirement in 2011, he served as a relief veterinarian and volunteered at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kuhn practiced small animal medicine in the Sacramento area for seven years and established the Sacramento Cat Clinic in 1974. His wife, Carolyn, and two daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Melanoma Research Foundation, 1411 K St. N.W., #500, Washington, DC 20005; www.melanoma.org
George D. McCarroll
Dr. McCarroll (TEX ′73), 62, Bridge Creek, Okla., died May 25, 2012. An equine veterinarian, he owned Interstate Equine Services in Goldsby, Okla., a practice he founded in 1993. Following graduation, Dr. McCarroll practiced in Texas before moving to Oklahoma to teach at the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine for two years. He then taught at the University of Tennessee; practiced in Pilot Point, Texas; and worked at Golden Valley Veterinary Clinic in Norman, Okla. Dr. McCarroll was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American and Oklahoma Quarter Horse associations, and Oklahoma VMA. He served as the official veterinarian for the AQHA. Dr. McCarroll is survived by his wife, Trina, and five children. His brother, Dr. John McCarroll (TEX ′77), is a veterinarian in Pilot Point. Memorials may be made to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines, IA 50340.
Arthur J. McCarthy
Dr. McCarthy (MID ′43), 94, Tallahassee, Fla., died May 27, 2012. In 1954, he founded Brookside Animal Hospital in Natick, Mass., where he practiced small animal medicine until retirement in 1983. Earlier in his career, Dr. McCarthy owned a practice in Framingham, Mass. He was an Army veteran of World War II and a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Dr. McCarthy's wife, Dorothy Priscilla, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to Angell Animal Medical Center, 350 S. Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130; or Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahasee, FL 32308.
Karon G. McCreary
Dr. McCreary (TEX ′64), 72, Greenville, Texas, died June 26, 2012. He owned Greenville Animal Hospital, a mixed animal practice, since 1964. Dr. McCreary was active with the National FFA Organization and youth livestock organizations in Greenville and Hunt County. His two sons and two daughters survive him. Dr. McCreary's son, Dr. Clay B. McCreary (TEX ′99), practices small animal medicine in Houston. His grandson, Dr. Juddsen C. McCreary (TEX ′12), is a mixed animal veterinarian in Texas at Hearne and Franklin, and his granddaughter-in-law, Dr. Karri McCreary (TEX ′08), practices small and exotic animal medicine in College Station, Texas. Memorials may be made to the Texas FFA Foundation, 614 E. 12th St., Austin, TX 78701, www.texasffafoundation.org; or Hunt County Junior Livestock Association, P.O. Box 1095, Greenville, TX 75403.
Colleen M. O'Keefe
Dr. O'Keefe (IL ′74), 61, Springfield, Ill., died June 16, 2012. She was a past manager of food safety and animal protection at the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Earlier in her career, Dr. O'Keefe practiced small animal medicine in Illinois. She bred Welsh Springer Spaniels and was a past president of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America. Dr. O'Keefe was also a member of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. Her brother, Dr. John O'Keefe (IL ′80), is a veterinarian in Springfield. Memorials may be made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Attn: Donor Services, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265; or AKC Canine Health Foundation, P.O. Box 900061, Raleigh, NC 27675.
Billie C. Roberson
Dr. Roberson (TEX ′43), 89, Abilene, Texas, died Jan. 23, 2012. A small animal practitioner, he owned Abilene Veterinary Clinic prior to retirement. Early in his career, Dr. Roberson served in the Army for three years. He was a longtime member and a past president of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Active in civic life, Dr. Roberson was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and Rotary Club of Abilene. He is survived by his wife, Ernesteen, and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Rescue the Animals, 5933 S. First, Abilene, TX 79603; Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine, College Station, TX 77843; or First Baptist Church, 1333 N. 3rd St., Abilene, TX 79601.
Craig A. Saveraid
Dr. Saveraid (ISU ′84), 59, Winterset, Iowa, died June 26, 2012. He owned an equine practice in Winterset since 2003. Earlier in his career, Dr. Saveraid practiced mixed animal medicine at DeSoto Veterinary Clinic in DeSoto, Iowa. He was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Iowa VMA. Dr. Saveraid served in the Marine Corps. He is survived by his wife, Marta, and two sons. One son, Dr. Travis C. Saveraid (ISU ′00), is a veterinary radiologist in St. Paul, Minn.
Roger Van Prooien
Dr. Van Prooien (ISU ′58), 81, Sheboygan Falls, Wis., died June 20, 2012. A mixed animal practitioner, he owned Van Prooien Veterinary Clinic in Hazelhurst, Wis., for 50 years prior to retirement. Dr. Van Prooien is survived by his wife, Ginny, and five stepchildren. Memorials in his name may be made to Sheboygan County Humane Society, 3107 N. 20th St., Sheboygan, WI 53083; www.myschs.com
Leonard C. Witt
Dr. Witt (KSU ′40), 94, Fremont, Neb., died March 24, 2012. He practiced in the Scribner area of Nebraska for more than 40 years prior to retirement. Dr. Witt's son and daughter survive him.