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BIRDS OF A feather

Few in number, avian veterinarians are a dedicated lot

Story and photos by R. Scott Nolen

Stuart Blackman can't imagine life without Rufus, his pet scarlet macaw. “I grew up with Rufus. I don't know what life would be like without him, God forbid,” said Blackman of the spectacular red bird he's owned for nearly 31 years.

Rufus was Blackman's first pet bird and is just one of his four exotic avian companions, housed in separate expansive cages lining the windows of Blackman's Chicago loft. There's Zoey, 24, a rose-breasted cockatoo; Gainsborough, 8, a hyacinth macaw; and Quebe, 4, a Queen of Bavaria conure.

Over the years, Blackman has spent tens of thousands of dollars on specially made cages, imported vitamins, feed, and veterinary care for his birds, which he sees as his children. And like any good father, Blackman is highly protective of his brood. “Birds are not for everyone,” he stressed. “They require a lot of training on the owner's part. They are very smart and have sensitive feelings.”

The pet-owning public seems to share Blackman's sentiment about bird ownership. The AVMA's 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographic Sourcebook estimated the size of the nation's pet bird population to be 8.3 million animals at year end 2011—a 20.5 percent decline since 2006 when the previous study was published. Approximately 3.7 million U.S. households owned a bird in 2011, down from 4.5 million in 2006. Bird ownership has dropped nearly 46 percent over the past two decades, the survey found.

By comparison, the AVMA survey estimated the number of pet cats and dogs at year end 2011 to be 74 million and 69.9 million, respectively. Additionally, 36.5 percent of U.S households owned dogs and 30.4 percent owned cats.


Gainsborough, a hyacinth macaw, is one of Stuart Blackman's four pet exotic birds. He considers the birds to be his children, and spares no expense to ensure their health and well-being.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Not surprisingly, the number of U.S. veterinary practices catering to bird owners is dwarfed by the abundance of small animal clinics. Of the more than 14,000 practices listed in MyVeterinarian.com, 3,527 offer avian medical services, AVMA records show.

The Association of Avian Veterinarians, established in 1980 for the purpose of educating small animal practitioners in avian medicine, today has approximately 1,714 members, according to AAV Executive Director Robert Groskin. Around 1,400 of them are practitioners, and of these, only about 10 percent are in an exclusively or almost exclusively avian practice, while the remainder have an avian caseload of 30 percent or less.

“The majority of our members do not see birds exclusively. They have a mix of birds, exotic small mammals and reptiles, and dogs and cats,” Dr. Groskin said.

The field of avian medicine has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Safer anesthetics, a better understanding of avian pharmacology, increasing availability of sophisticated diagnostic tests, and greater insights into bird physiology have yielded important health care advances.

“The AAV just had its annual conference, where one of the sessions was surgery on the avian skull. That was unthinkable two decades ago,” Dr. Groskin said.

“Everything we've learned on pet birds has benefited the avian population overall,” he added. “We have a greater capacity to protect the health of the remaining birds of an endangered species.”

Bird doctors

Small in number, veterinarians who practice avian medicine are a different breed, motivated by a love of the species and a passion for the bird's unique medical needs.

Dr. Peter Sakas has practiced at Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center in suburban Chicago for more than three decades. In 1985, two years after receiving his DVM degree from the University of Illinois, Dr. Sakas bought the hospital from his mentor, Dr. T.J. Lafeber, a leading authority on pet bird care and medicine at the time.

Having previously earned a master's degree in parasitology, Dr. Sakas enrolled in veterinary college with plans for a career in research and academia. He spent his summer breaks working for Dr. Lafeber, who ultimately steered him into avian medicine. Now, Dr. Sakas is himself an authority on avian medicine. A frequent lecturer for veterinary colleges and associations, he is author of “Essentials of avian medicine: A guide for practitioners,” published by the American Animal Hospital Association.

Dr. Sakas estimates pet birds account for more than 30 percent of his hospital's caseload, noting that many clients also own dogs, cats, and varieties of exotic pets. He sees birds ranging from finches to macaws as well as wild birds, including raptors. Cockatiels and parakeets are the most frequently seen patients, however.

He says a person chooses a bird as a pet for personal reasons ranging from the aesthetic (the colorful plumage) to the practical (cats and dogs make them sneeze) to the desire for a loving pet. People sometimes inherit birds that have outlived their owners. Dr. Sakas believes many pet owners are alike in their willingness to do anything to care for an animal companion.

“We do some pretty involved surgeries,” Dr. Sakas said. “We remove the reproductive tract of birds that have tumors or an egg that will not pass. Some people balk at the expense of such a surgery, but most people say, ‘Do whatever you can to save my bird.’”

Dr. Anthony Pilny is one of two veterinarians board certified in avian medicine on staff at The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine in New York City. Birds make up more than half the practice's caseload, Dr. Pilny said, and range from finches and macaws to pigeons and other wild birds.

The most common avian health problems Dr. Pilny sees are related to reproduction. Obesity can also be an issue, particularly for Amazon parrots, which are predisposed to weight gain, he said. Pet birds typically live sedentary lives; they may be unable to fly as a result of trimmed wings—a procedure The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine offers but doesn't recommend—and owners don't always understand their pet's dietary needs. As a result, they become overweight.

“Obese birds can develop similar diseases to humans such as atherosclerosis, elevated triglyceride levels, and heart disease,” he said.


Pet birds make up more than 30 percent of the patient caseload at Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center in suburban Chicago. The practice was started by Dr. T.J. Lafeber, a leading authority on pet bird care and medicine, and has been run by Dr. Peter Sakas since 1985.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


The most valuable service the avian practice offers, in addition to health care, is client education. “It's vitally important. It's what we spend so much time doing,” Dr. Pilny explained. “We always educate clients as to our recommendations on feeding, exercise, lighting, behavior, training, travel, boarding, and so on.”

No welfare issue currently facing the pet bird community is more serious than pet relinquishment. “It's a huge problem. Birds have become one of the most surrendered pets,” Dr. Pilny acknowledged. “Because most shelters don't take them, they wind up in sanctuaries, of which more and more are popping up all over. It's very sad.”

Dr. Sakas agrees. “People buy these birds, and they don't know their needs, and they don't know how to handle them,” he explained. “Maybe the bird's a screamer, a feather picker, or aggressive. Owners get frustrated, the relationship is not what they expected, and they just want to get rid of the bird. We see a lot of unwanted birds, because people make poor choices. They don't do the research beforehand to learn what's involved in caring for a particular variety of bird.

“Birds are highly intelligent animals, and they get bored quickly. People who want them as an ornament keep them in a cage because they're beautiful. However, when they don't interact with them, not meeting the bird's emotional needs, the bird will become frustrated and engage in unwanted behavior. Birds are flock animals, and they need activity outside the cage.”

The endangered patient?

The avian patient is indeed a rare bird. According to the AVMA pet ownership and demographics survey, 12.4 percent of bird-owning households had at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, a decrease of 10.8 percent since 2006. Further, 6 percent of them had one visit, 2.4 percent had two visits, 1.2 percent had three visits, 2.8 percent had four or more visits, and 87.6 percent had no visits to the veterinarian in 2011.

“Do birds see veterinarians enough?” Dr. Groskin of the AAV asked. “They don't. Birds will benefit most by routine annual health exams. As avian veterinarians, we are constantly improving our abilities to provide better care for our patients. Having a regular conversation with our clients about their birds benefits both the health of their pet as well as the relationship they have with their bird.” The AAV is exploring options for raising awareness among bird owners about the importance of regular veterinary visits similar to what the Partnership for Healthy Pets initiative is doing for cats and dogs.


Dr. Peter Sakas examines a patient during a checkup. Unfortunately, far too few pet owners see the value of such routine preventive health care, according to the Association of Avian Veterinarians.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Both Drs. Pilny and Sakas say their practices were largely unaffected by the recent recession. “We were fine,” Dr. Pilny said, “mostly because we see sick or injured patients regardless of the economic climate. Bird owners don't tend to do a lot of wellness visits, and owners choosing to skip elective visits or optional diagnostic testing doesn't affect us, because our avian patients don't need vaccines, heartworm tests, or flea products.”

“We did see people tighten their belts,” Dr. Sakas said, “but our practice is diverse enough it didn't hurt us.”

Learn more about pet bird medicine by visiting the Association of Avian Veterinarians website at www.aav.org.


(Source: 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

AVMA Trust introduces private insurance exchange

GHLIT CARE offers personal guidance as Oct. 1 open enrollment nears

By Susan C. Kahler

AVMA members now have a private exchange to help them find medical insurance coverage customized to their personal needs, just as additional provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act begin to take effect.

The AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust opened phase 2 of its private exchange, AVMA GHLIT CARE, in July during the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago. Phase 1, which offered options for those currently 65 or turning 65, opened in March; phase 2 applies to all other AVMA members and to members of the Student AVMA. The tool is located on the Trust's website, www.avmaghlit.org.

Under the new law, most individuals who are not otherwise covered must purchase health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty. Beginning Oct. 1, these individuals can purchase insurance through new public exchanges offered by their state, depending on the state, or the federal government. Private exchanges such as GHLIT CARE provide another avenue for exploring insurance options and enrolling.

GHLIT Chairman Dwight King of Wharton, Texas, says in a video message on the Trust website, “(The GHLIT) private exchange will be exclusively for veterinarians to use along with the (insurance) agents that you're used to.”

The law also mandates that businesses with 50 or more full-time–equivalent employees provide coverage for those who work 30 hours a week or more, or face a heavy fine. On July 2, however, President Barack Obama announced a one-year delay, until 2015, for the business mandate.

GHLIT medical coverage will end for some 17,500 AVMA members and their dependents at year's end because of New York Life Insurance Co.'s earlier decision to discontinue underwriting major medical coverage for bona fide association plans after 2013. The underwriter and other carriers GHLIT contacted cited the challenges involved in complying with provisions of the new federal health care regulations as the reason they are exiting the bona fide association health insurance market.

AVMA members covered by GHLIT's term life, disability income, and other nonmedical insurance policies will not be affected. These policies will continue to be underwritten by New York Life.

The initial enrollment period for purchasing health insurance for 2014 will run from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014. However, for coverage to take effect Jan. 1, 2014, carriers must receive completed applications by Dec. 15, 2013.

Although medical plans for 2014 will not be available to view until the Oct. 1 date mandated by law, GHLIT CARE encourages AVMA members to “practice shopping,” so that they will be better prepared when the plans do become accessible. They can do this by using a 2013 plan effective date, since there are plans available to purchase this year, but actually purchasing them would require medical underwriting.

Using the online tool, AVMA and SAVMA members can compare the benefits, costs, and features of various plans and receive personalized quotes. An array of insurance options are available from a growing list of top carriers chosen specifically for veterinarians.

The Trust has adopted a consultative approach for AVMA members by providing live customer support from a team of licensed insurance advisers via a toll-free call to (877) 473-6017 or by going to the GHLIT website and choosing “Click to quote” and then “Click to chat with advisor.”

An extensive FAQ page on the exchange answers many potential questions about health care reform, its impact on GHLIT insurance coverages, the nature of insurance exchanges, and implications for users ranging from veterinary students on up through individuals older than 65.

The GHLIT CARE exchange is also a communication tool to keep AVMA members apprised of ongoing developments with health care reform.

At the AVMA convention, GHLIT CEO Libby Wallace presented a health care reform update, and Trust representative Dr. Jody Johnson conducted a session on Medicare.

$2 million scholarship program announced

AVMF, Auxiliary partner to benefit students


AVMF Chair Richard P. Streett Jr. receives a check for $2 million from Auxiliary to the AVMA President Greg Mooney to create the Auxiliary Legacy Endowed Scholarship Program. (Photo by Malinda Larkin)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation received quite a gift for its 50th anniversary: a $2 million deposit from the Auxiliary to the AVMA to create the new Auxiliary Legacy Endowed Scholarship Program.

The announcement was made July 20 during the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago.

The Auxiliary created its student loan fund in 1917 to help veterinary students with the cost of their education by providing low-interest loans.

Auxiliary President Greg Mooney said, “With the rising cost of education and the changing dynamics of college financial aid, we saw the need for a change and voted to convert a large part of the student loan fund into a scholarship fund.”

Auxiliary funds were transferred by July 1; a memorandum of understanding was signed by both sides in June following approval by the Illinois attorney general.

The money will be placed in a restricted account managed by the AVMF. The scholarships will be funded from interest on the account and the first scholarships may be awarded as early as this time next year. The number and amount of the awards will be based on the income generated by the account.

Meanwhile, the Auxiliary student loan fund will continue to exist for another four or five years, until 60-some outstanding loans are repaid. The Auxiliary wants to allow those students the contracted time; forgiving those loans would bring immediate tax impacts, Mooney said, so they opted not to do that. The Auxiliary had more than $250,000 in outstanding loans as of late last year.

AVMF Executive Director Mike Cathey said the AVMF was extremely happy to partner with the Auxiliary to create the scholarship program “that will build upon the hundred-plus year legacy of the Auxiliary's commitment to veterinary student education.”

Other initiatives

The AVMF announced the winner of its first “America's Favorite Veterinarian” contest (see page 741) during its fundraiser “A Taste of Chicago at the Shedd Aquarium” July 19. Also making a debut at the event was its Programs on Wheels, featuring a 2006 Ford E540 Super Duty Van. The van is a complete mobile veterinary clinic and was a gift from National Veterinary Associates. The mobile clinic will be used to promote education and awareness for AVMF programs such as “Our Oath in Action,” an initiative that has been retooled recently. It began in 2007 at the AVMA Annual Convention in New Orleans as a way to help animal shelters affected by Hurricane Katrina. The program continued in following years as a voluntourism event whereby convention-goers could donate their time toward rehabilitating local animal shelters.

Now, the Foundation is taking “Our Oath in Action” nationwide starting Oct. 26 in five states: Alabama, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas.

Cathey explained, “This newly refocused program will be all about the education and awareness at the local level of important animal well-being topics, and, at the same time, engaging the veterinary community with animal owners outside of the traditional clinic settings.”

Our Oath in Action Day will coincide with worldwide Make a Difference Day. The focus will be on educating the public on a variety of animal health care topics and will involve pet owner education in connection with a shelter, educational event, disaster preparedness event, or community project.

Project directors, selected by their state VMAs, met July 19 to train and prepare for hosting their events. They, along with about 100 other volunteers, helped put together blankets, toys, and disaster preparedness kits for the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago July 20 as part of the theme day. A representative for the nonprofit had said they can use the materials because they are running low on supplies after helping another shelter that was partially destroyed by fire.


Attendees of the Foundation's fundraiser, “A Taste of Chicago at the Shedd Aquarium,” enjoyed views of the city outdoors and marine life indoors. (Photo by Malinda Larkin)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

And the winner is …

Dr. Carlos Campos is the first America's Favorite Veterinarian.

He was one of hundreds of veterinarians nominated in the contest that was run through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation's Facebook page, which received more than 1,100 submissions. The contest was meant to engage animal owners and recognize the special relationship they have with their veterinarian.

“It's very humbling to know clients think of me that highly,” Dr. Campos said. “I do what I do because that's what I like to do. I'm not trying to win any award.”

Client Joan Spitrey nominated Dr. Campos. She cited his affordable prices, empathetic nature, and willingness to go the extra mile for clients among reasons he should receive the title.

“To sum up my admiration of Dr. Campos (and I tell him each time), ‘Are you sure you won't start seeing humans?’” Spitrey wrote.

Owner of San Francis Veterinary Hospital in Spring Hill, Fla., Dr. Campos graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.

He started the practice on his own, 3 1/2 years ago. It now has 5,700 clients, and he has hired three other veterinarians.

“We try to take care of clients as much as we can,” Dr. Campos said. “The philosophy for this practice has been providing the ability for clients to take care of their pets regardless of their socioeconomic standing.”

He credits his family for making his dream to own his own clinic possible. His mom is the bookkeeper, and his dad helps when he can. Dr. Campos also has a 5-year-old adopted daughter and 8- and 11-year-old boys. He's been married to his wife, Lisa, for 16 years. Dr. Campos is originally from Guatemala and came to Miami with his family when he was 14.

He has wanted to be a veterinarian since he was 6 and began talking about taking care of pets. He used to tell his grandfather he wanted to have a big house so he could have all the animals he could.

Today, he has a fair number: two German Shepherd Dogs, three cats, up to 18 chickens, seven goats, and two rabbits.

Dr. Campos also keeps involved in organized veterinary medicine and his community. He is president of the Suncoast Veterinary Association and a member of the AVMA and Florida VMA. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and has participated on the Animal Control Advisory Committee of Pasco County since 2004.

Dr. Campos says when his kids are older, he'd like to serve at the state or national level in organized veterinary medicine.

“I'd rather make decisions and impact what the future things are. If you're not involved, others are making decisions for you,” he said.


Dr. Carlos Campos (Courtesy of AVMF)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Happy anniversary

Now, 50 years after its founding, the Foundation is bearing new fruit, AVMF Chair Richard P. Streett Jr. told the AVMA House of Delegates on July 19. The recent focus has been on five strategic programs: “America's Favorite Veterinarian”; the Animal Health Network, which seeks to build awareness of the need for greater companion animal research funding; “Ensuring our Food—from Farm to the Family,” which highlights veterinarians’ role in food safety, security, and defense; “Our Oath in Action”; and “Saving the Whole Family,” a grassroots disaster-related program focused on education.

Overall, the AVMF had one of its best years in 2012 and continues to build on its success.

The AVMF annual report, released during the AVMA convention, showed total revenue was $6,836,832, with $5,826,012 of that (or 85 percent) coming from donations. Total expenses were $4,757,417, and of that, $4,188,714 was spent on programs. The remaining $2,079,415 was held for future programs. Looking at funding by strategic goals, 61.5 percent accounted for education and public awareness and 27.5 percent for student enhancement.


Volunteers participate in the AVMF “Our Oath in Action” project by compiling supplies for the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Furthermore, the Foundation has increased the amount of donations it has received by 83 percent since 2009 when it collected $940,128 in charitable giving. In 2012, 88 percent of spending was on programs, including the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams, Veterinary Leadership Experience, AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship Program, and National Veterinary Scholars Program.

“We are very proud of the results of our 49th year of impacting the medical care and well-being of animals. As we enter our 50th year, it seems only fitting that we believe that we have now also passed $50 million in cash and services distributed—all in support of animals,” Cathey said.

“As we enter our 50th year, we have many great programs and activities on the horizon,” he continued. “During the next 50 years in partnership with our donors, partners, and others, we plan to make an even greater impact.”

New AVMA Future Leaders class announced

Members of the 2013–2014 class of the AVMA Future Leaders Program were announced July 21 at the Association's Annual Convention in Chicago.

It is the third class of the yearlong program created by the AVMA to develop volunteer leaders for the Association and other organized veterinary groups. Each Future Leaders class takes self-assessments, identifies short- and long-term goals for personal leadership, fosters individual relationships with leadership advisers, and develops helpful resources for veterinarians to use.

The current Future Leaders class comprises Drs. Heather Fowler, St. Paul, Minn.; Suzanne Young Dougherty, Madison, Ala.; Stic Harris, Gaithersburg, Md.; Nina Kieves, Ames, Iowa; Kristy Pabilonia, Fort Collins, Colo.; Sarah Reuss, Gainesville, Fla.; Shanna Siegel, Raleigh, N.C.; Christina Tran, North Plains, Ore.; Callie Willingham, Chandler, Ariz.; and Eric Willingham, Rogers, Ariz.

Participants were chosen from among some 60 AVMA member nominees who had graduated from veterinary school within the past 15 years.

“Selecting only 10 Future Leaders from the nominations received was exceedingly difficult, as it was last year,” Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA CEO, said. “Many of these Future Leaders are already leaders, taking leadership roles at the state and local levels, so we're excited by not only what we can teach them but how much they'll be able to teach us.”

From training to response: 20 years of VMAT

Educational program VMAT U launched at convention


AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams gather to celebrate the program's 20th anniversary during the AVMA Annual Convention. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

The AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams have reached a milestone this year with their 20th anniversary.

Practically all the current VMAT volunteer members were on hand for a presentation during the AVMA Annual Convention July 21 in Chicago, where they were honored for their service.

Outgoing AVMA President Douglas G. Aspros lauded them for their commitment and for “taking the Veterinarian's Oath to another level.”

Those who have served more than 15 years on a VMAT or who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, hurricanes Katrina or Rita in 2005, or Hurricane Sandy this past year were recognized. VMAT members also are members of national, state, and local animal response organizations.

On July 20, Dr. Cheryl L. Eia, an assistant director in the AVMA Scientific Activities Division and coordinator of emergency preparedness and response, and VMAT members unveiled the new VMAT U program during a daylong symposium.

“VMAT U is the result of the success of our training program,” Dr. Eia said. “This is formalizing and standardizing our training, and expanding it, too.”

Topics covered by VMAT U include hazardous materials, occupational safety, risk communication, leadership, critical incident stress management, veterinary assessment, and triage.

This year, VMATs hosted a decontamination training session at the Student AVMA Symposium at Louisiana State University and a program on caring for oil-covered waterfowl at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. A few members hosted decontamination training sessions in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., a few weeks after convention.

James Aiello of Southwest Ranches, Fla., is one of the animal decontamination specialists on VMAT 2. He's responded to numerous hurricanes in Florida in the past decade or so.

Aiello says his work is important, because even many of the HAZMAT experts he encounters during disasters do not have a policy on how to treat animals, let alone know how to work with them in the first place. This is critical, because, for example, working dogs each cost about $35,000 to train “and there's no one there to take care of them during disasters. … A pillar's been left out of the response efforts,” Aiello said.

A number of the VMAT U training modules are a direct result of collaboration with the National Veterinary Response Team program of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System.

VMAT members developed the courses a few years ago, but they hadn't been updated in some time.

Dr. Ty J. Vannieuwenhoven, chief veterinary officer for the National Disaster Medical System, secured funding to refresh and update older modules as well as create additional ones when he came on board two years ago.


Dr. Cheryl L. Eia, an assistant director in the AVMA Scientific Activities Division and coordinator of emergency preparedness and response, addresses VMAT members during the launch of VMAT U. (Photo by Malinda Larkin)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

“My vision was to make this training available broadly and for it to capture national animal response standards to not only make NVRT better but to strengthen the capabilities of the communities that we support as well as our response partners,” such as the VMATs, he told JAVMA News.

The VMATs originated in the wake of Hurricane Andrew when the AVMA and DHHS entered into a memorandum of understanding, making VMATs part of the federal response plan.

A year later, the AVMA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, engaging VMATs to assist with outbreaks of foreign animal diseases and emerging animal diseases.

Since then, VMAT members have deployed to numerous emergencies, including Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the World Trade Center in 2001, and hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The program evolved in 2008 after changes in federal law that created two complementary programs: AVMA VMATs and the DHHS National Veterinary Response Teams. This was also when the VMATs began to focus on state assistance and strengthening their training component.

From the beginning, the AVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation have supported VMAT efforts. The AVMF alone has donated more than $1 million to the VMAT program.

Dr. John R. Brooks, AVMF vice chair, said he sees VMAT members becoming more involved with the AVMF's “Saving the Whole Family” disaster preparedness efforts as the VMAT program starts its next 20 years.

Resurrecting the past

Historians showcase postcards, antiquated texts

By Malinda Larkin

The history of veterinary medicine is long and complex, evolving in fits and starts. Members of the American Veterinary Medical History Society attempting to capture snapshots of the profession's transformation hosted the Smithcors History of Veterinary Medicine Symposium at the AVMA Annual Convention July 21 in Chicago. Eleven sessions covered topics ranging from presidential pets to the pasteurization of milk.

A man of letters

The symposium kicked off with the presentation “From Craft to Profession, the Transition from Horse Farrier to Professional Veterinarian,” by Michael North, head of Rare Books and Early Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Division.

He focused on early literature from the preprofessional era, as this is one of the strength of the NLM's collection.

In that time—that is, before the 18th century—a number of so-called professionals cared for animals. Farriers occupied a large role in this field. Farriers, similar to surgeons as opposed to physicians, would give horses purgatives or do bloodlettings or help with foaling. They also addressed hoof health, but they did a lot more than that. They were the primary caregivers.

It also wasn't uncommon for farmers, their family members, or their neighbors to look after animals. North said there's little evidence that medical doctors or surgeons treated animals, but that doesn't mean it never happened.

During this time, there was a rich and varied veterinary literature in vernacular languages such as German and Italian, as opposed to texts in Greek or Latin, which were used by those wealthy enough to afford a classical education.

One book, “Rossarzneibuch” by Walter Von Nitzschwitz, described treatments for wounds a horse might sustain during battle and was published in 1583.

Astrological charts were big at that time—used for determining the timing of treatment—as was the humoral theory of disease.

Interesting enough, the more ancient a text was, the more likely it was to believed to be true, North said, so even the vernacular literature written in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries referred back to ancient times or claimed that it was ancient so people would read it.

Early (pre-1907) postcard depicting a dog and cat ambulance operated by Dr. J.J. Mamer, “the P.T. Barnum of the veterinary world.” The postcard also shows he was running a kennel and is one of the earliest documentations of such.

Origins of an association

In honor of the AVMA's 150th anniversary, Dr. Howard Erickson, emeritus professor of physiology and the history of veterinary medicine at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, gave a talk titled “The History of the AVMA: A Slow, Shaky Beginning.”

Dr. Erickson related that the first veterinary associations in the U.S. were the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (1805) and the American Veterinary Association (1854). Both were founded in Philadelphia, which was the medical capital of the colonies. The AVA was established by Dr. Robert Jennings, who was a pioneer of veterinary education as well. He started potentially the first veterinary school in the U.S. with the Veterinary College of Philadelphia, which was chartered in 1852; however, few students applied, and fewer graduated. The AVA eventually morphed into the U.S. Veterinary Medical Association when Dr. Jennings and other Philadelphia veterinarians resolved to form a national veterinary association, resulting in a fateful meeting June 9 and 10, 1863, at the Astor House in New York City. (The USVMA became the AVMA in 1898.)

What's in a name?

In attendance at the symposium was Ann Smithcors, the widow of acclaimed veterinary historian, educator, publisher, and editor Dr. J. Frederick Smithcors, for whom the event was named.

He wrote “The American Veterinary Profession” in 1963 to celebrate the AVMA's 100th anniversary. Dr. Smithcors also founded the American Veterinary Medical History Society and was its first president. Plus, he taught the first course on the history of veterinary medicine in the United States at Michigan State University and donated his 1,200-volume library of historical veterinary texts to the Washington State University Libraries in 1978.

Dr. Erickson said the Association grew very slowly during its first 30 to 40 years of existence, gaining few members annually and expelling some or removing them from the roster for nonpayment of dues. The Keystone Veterinary Association in Pennsylvania (1882) and the Missouri Valley Veterinary Association (1894) were actually larger than the AVMA for many years.

Send me a postcard

Another presentation, “What Veterinarians Did: Proven in Postcards,” by C. Trenton Boyd, librarian curator of medical and veterinary historical collections at the University of Missouri, delved into the everyday depictions of veterinarians at work around the turn of the 20th century.

Boyd has the largest collection of veterinary-related postcards, approximately 8,000. About 300 of his postcards feature U.S. veterinary clinics, which, most often, didn't appear to be much more than shacks. (One featured not only an arena and clinic but also an ice skating rink.) There are also many postcards that show mobile veterinary clinics with hand-cranked centrifuges, and horse-drawn ambulances.


Two veterinarians wait for cowboys to cast a horse. The postcard is from Nebraska and was printed circa 1908–1911.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

The time frame when postcards were popular happened to coincide with the transition from horses to cars for transportation, and thus, the accompanying paradigm shift in veterinary medicine. A Model T and a horse could be seen in one postcard depicting a veterinary practice. Also back then, practitioners typically advertised themselves as veterinarians and dentists.

Then again, not much has changed in some aspects of practice. Boyd showed a reminder card from a clinic in San Antonio in 1931 that told clients to bring in their dog to get preventive treatment for hydrophobia (rabies). And then there are the postcard advertisements, which comprise the largest category of his collection. Boyd has everything from a postcard featuring “Dr. Salsbury's Fowl Pox Vaccine” to one for a “one-spot flea killer” in 1940 that also had a ruler on it to ensure that clients kept it.

History from the eyes of the future

By Susan C. Kahler

In celebration of the AVMA's 150th anniversary and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation's 50th, 10 veterinary students were awarded scholarships by the AVMF for their reports on the history of the veterinary profession. The students presented their reports at a symposium July 20 during the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago.

Shira Rubin began her history of feline medicine in America with the horse, the most valuable animal at the turn of the 20th century. The advent of cars forced the veterinary profession to reimagine its focus, she said. Rubin (COR ‘13), now a veterinarian, cited Dr. Susan D. Jones’ book “Valuing Animals: Veterinarians and Their Patients in Modern America” for eloquently capturing the way the profession made the shift toward valuing animals not just for their practical value but also for their emotional worth. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's treatment of their pets as family members and the rise of the animal protection and antivivisection movements contributed to this new view.

The shift in focus was from horses to dogs, rather than cats, which Dr. Rubin hypothesized was, in part, because dogs, like horses, were seen as having functional value as police and hunting dogs, among other roles. Cats were seen as mousers or nuisance animals. The invention of clay litter was instrumental to cats becoming valued pets and was compared to the invention of the light bulb by Dr. Jean Holzworth, one of several veterinarians Dr. Rubin profiled for championing the therapeutic value of cats and their health and welfare. “We still have a very dog-centered curriculum,” Dr. Rubin said, also noting the need for a cat anatomy textbook on par with “Miller's Anatomy of the Dog.” Moreover, she urged veterinarians to take an active role in helping to shape people's attitudes toward cats and in improving the quality of life for indoor cats. As an example, she proposed that veterinarians encourage clients to find ways their cats can spend time outdoors without harming wildlife, such as teaching them to be walked on a leash.

For her presentation, Cynthia Wise (WIS ‘15) picked the brains of dairy cattle veterinarians about how they balance animal welfare and production. She also interviewed dairy producers and veterinary students. One question she asked has arisen often in discussions among her classmates: whether they agree with the late Dr. Stanley Curtis’ performance axiom that productivity and other measurable behaviors equate to animal welfare. Some subjects Wise interviewed disagreed with the principle. Some veterinarians pointed to an overemphasis on the economic welfare of clients. Some sources suggested that in the past, welfare has been defined as a focus on health and has been constrained by tradition and poorly defined facilities.

Animal welfare wasn't traditionally taught in veterinary school, Wise noted, citing a study as recent as 2005 that found fewer than 20 percent of the schools were teaching it. One veterinarian told her that welfare once meant keeping cattle dry and out of drafts, but that a shift toward watching how cattle walk and act could help prevent problems. Another source said the greatest improvements in dairy cattle welfare will come when the marketplace demands them. Wise said the take-away lessons included the need for veterinarians to be more vocal in promoting a culture of animal welfare and the importance of paying attention to details on the farm and not letting things slide.

Rebecca Donnelly (COR ‘16) and David Seader (COR ‘16) interviewed 15 veterinarians for their companion animal medicine history. Pets have moved from the backyard to the kitchen to the bedroom because of innovations such as flea and tick control, they noted. Their historical perspective focused on the development of specialties, veterinary medical breakthroughs, and the one-health movement. They said development of specialties, vaccines, radiography, improved anesthesia methods, and, over the past decade, pain management has elevated companion animal care. Seader said, “In the development of companion animal medicine, remarkable breakthroughs have emerged when veterinarians recognized a need and then capitalized on it.”

Donnelly said, “It is imperative that more women become practice owners to reflect the changing demographics of the profession and that women become more involved in leadership positions within the AVMA.” One of their interview subjects, Dr. Lonnie King, thinks the next 10 years will see new jobs for companion animal practitioners on the “community health care team.” Another, Dr. Kate Hodgson, suggested that “zooeyia” has untapped potential in veterinary medicine, with its focus on the benefits to humans from interacting with animals. Several sources emphasized the need for renewed focus on primary care, especially since the cost of specialty services prevents some pet owners from seeking them. And Elaine Ostrander, PhD, told them that more communication and collaboration between practicing veterinarians and genetics researchers could advance both the human and veterinary medical fields.

See page 748 for a list of all the winning students.

Students benefit from AVMF support


Award-winning presenters at the student veterinary history symposium: Melissa Fenn, Nikhita Parandekar, David Seader, Mee-La Lee, Shira Rubin, and Cynthia Wise. Not pictured are Rebecca Donnelly, Sarah Khatibzadeh, Danielle Lindquist, and Susan Blunck. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation announced July 21 during its board of directors meeting in Chicago the 12 recipients of scholarships it awarded this year through its 2013 Veterinary Student Scholarship program.

A scholarship the AVMF debuted this year is the $500 Elinor McGrath Scholarship for a female veterinary student who has overcome an obstacle in her life to pursue a veterinary career. Dr. McGrath, who graduated from Chicago Veterinary College in 1910, is recognized as America's first practicing female veterinarian. She has been quoted as saying, “I had a goal to reach, so I overcame the obstacles.”

Jaimi Goodman (LSU ‘14) was selected to receive the scholarship. According to her application, she is legally blind and deaf, but was valedictorian in high school, was first in her class at undergraduate school, and currently has a 3.521 GPA.

The Foundation partnered with Juliette Fassett for this award. She is founder of Dr. McGrath's, a brand of animal grooming products named in honor of the pioneering veterinarian. A portion of sales from Dr. McGrath's Conditioning Animal Shampoo funded this award.

Another special scholarship opportunity was offered this year in celebration of the AVMA's 150th anniversary and the AVMF's 50th anniversary. Students were invited to research and prepare a report on a topic of interest in the history of veterinary medicine for the competition “Understanding Our Past to Transform our Future.” Ten students were chosen to each receive a $2,000 scholarship prize and travel expenses for the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago. There, the winners presented their entries at a special symposium (see page 747).

The presentations and awardees are as follows:

  • “History of feline medicine in America” by Shira Rubin (COR ‘13).

  • “Welfare and production in dairy cattle veterinary practice” by Cynthia Wise (WIS ‘15).

  • “Making strides through history: a look into the past, present, and future of equine veterinary medicine” by Melissa Fenn (COR ‘15) and Nikhita Parandekar (COR ‘15).

  • “The past, present, and future of veterinary medicine in wildlife and ecosystem health” by Mee-La Lee (WIS ‘15).

  • “The evolution of the equine surgery specialty in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries” by Sarah Khatibzadeh (COR ‘14).

  • “Wildlife and ecosystem health” by Susan Blunck (WIS ‘14).

  • “The past, present, and future of companion animal medicine” by Rebecca Donnelly (COR ‘16) and David Seader (COR ‘16).

  • “History of veterinary education/academia” by Danielle Lindquist (NCU ‘16).

Thomas Caltabilota (TUS ‘14) received the $1,000 Mildred C. Sylvester Scholarship.

In October, the AVMF will launch the fourth annual Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health)/AVMF Student Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $3.12 million to some 850 first-, second- and third-year veterinary students.

For more information about the AVMF scholarship programs, visit www.avmf.org.

Connection is object of cultural competency

By Susan C. Kahler

First, picture a pack of African wild dogs. Next, visualize a lone orangutan.

Which are veterinarians most like?

Dr. Jenifer Chatfield's question was met with amusement at the Symposium on Cultural Competency, held July 21 during the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago.

“African wild dogs are the most socially complex of all the canids, but you don't necessarily see it unless you're one of them,” said the zoo veterinarian, whereas orangutans, one of the least social of the great apes, are quite content living alone.

“We are part of a significantly complex profession. We must all interact well with each other in order to achieve great things for our patients and our clients, would you agree?” asked Dr. Chatfield, a member of the 2012–2013 class of AVMA Future Leaders, who presented the symposium.

The event dovetailed with the afternoon AVMA Symposium on Veterinary Diversity, the ninth and final one. In the future, diversity and cultural competency themes will be integrated into existing programming at the convention and other venues to benefit more AVMA members.

Zoetis sponsored the symposiums and has provided funding for the Future Leaders Program since its inception.

Cultural differences relate not only to geographic backgrounds but even to medical styles and cultures within veterinary schools, Dr. Chatfield noted. By engaging with other cultures, you will find “some piece you can take away that can help you become a better vet.”

The cultural competency symposium began with Future Leader Dr. William A. Hill's presentation, “Connecting for More.” The concept of connection surfaced throughout the day.

Why is cultural competency important to veterinarians? Dr. Hill said, “I would submit that the demographics are changing. If veterinary medicine is to remain relevant and to serve all segments of the population, we must change.”

Cultural competency doesn't require a mastery of the norms, values, and practices of all cultures, he said, but instead, recognition of one's own biases, consciousness of cultural dynamics, and a willingness to adapt.

Dr. Jennafer Glaesemann, whose community around her Nebraska mixed animal practice is 96 percent Caucasian, grudgingly admitted she was a bit offended when her fellow Future Leaders decided on the cultural competency project. She wondered what was in it for her clinic and other practitioners in her area. She found out when, after presenting a cultural competency module for her clinic staff in April, the clinic gained 51 clients and increased revenue by 15 percent—by May.

“Clients as diverse as their pets” was her clinic's theme in applying the module. Dr. Glaesemann said, “Our clinic sees everything from alpacas to snakes.”

Her clinic emphasizes the consistent offering of best medical practices to all clients, aided in great part, she said, by the AVMA/American Animal Hospital Association companion animal health care guidelines developed through the Partnership for Preventive Pet Health Care and supplemented by clinic standards Dr. Glaesemann developed.

The clinic adopted practical ideas from staff, from naming a bilingual team member as primary service liaison to updating the clinic website and Facebook page with more visuals. The staff continue to watch for subtle biases and unintended voice cues.

Florida clinic owner Dr. Ana D. Ortiz gave a lively talk about connecting with minority clients, particularly Hispanics like herself. At the same time, she and others noted that the Asian-American community is one with even more economic potential.

“For many years, we've concentrated on diversity as a problem. Today, I want to celebrate it as an asset,” Dr. Ortiz said. She said cultural competency enhances team quality, offers a better understanding of clientele—and makes practice more fun. Cultural connections through other local businesspeople and community events enhance one's reputation and increase referrals, said Dr. Ortiz, whose practice area has 12 competing clinics.

Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, former AVMA president, gave an update on AVMA involvement in advancing diversity and cultural competency within the profession, as did Dr. Ted Cohn, former Executive Board chairman and 2013–2014 AVMA president-elect, in the afternoon diversity symposium.

Dr. Kornegay posed the question: Are you competent to practice in a multicultural, multilingual environment? “As a culturally competent veterinarian, you'd tailor the delivery of medical services in a fashion that would be understood by the client and result in the best possible outcome for the well-being of the animal,” he said.

Although veterinarians do not reflect the diversity of the U.S. population, Dr. Kornegay said veterinarians can embrace many things to make their practices more attractive to minorities.

Dr. Kornegay noted that some universities, such as Texas A&M, offer a certification program in cultural competency and Spanish communication.

He also highly recommended the book “Navigating Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine,” edited by Lisa M. Greenhill; Kauline Cipriani Davis, PhD; Patricia M. Lowrie; and Dr. Sandra F. Amass. The book was launched this past March at the Iverson Bell Symposium (see JAVMA, May 1, 2013, page 1183).

Several speakers encouraged veterinarians to visit the U.S. Census Bureau website to check on race, gender, income, and household makeup within their region and become knowledgeable about demographics.

Dr. Evan M. Morse, diversity symposium moderator and co-organizer, said, “Increasingly, the faces of our clients are transforming into faces of color; faces of women; faces of individuals with disabilities; faces of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals; and faces of older workers.

“As the demographics in this country continue to shift, veterinary hospitals that have put compelling diversity initiatives in place will reap the benefits. Those benefits can be significant, from tapping emerging markets to attracting and retaining better talent to saving money to increasing profits and creativity.”


Dr. Ana D. Ortiz greets a client (Photo by Jose Berrios)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Presentations by Michael Dicks, PhD, director of the AVMA's new Veterinary Economics Division, and Dr. Dan Thomson of Kansas State University illustrated the move toward integrating cultural competency into other programming. Addressing the role of diversity in veterinary workforce issues, Dr. Dicks presented workforce data that can help veterinarians better market their business.

“Understand the structure of the market and the demographics of your market, and develop a strategy for each segment of the market,” Dr. Dicks said.

Dr. Thomson spoke about how understanding cultures has increased compliance by clients with food animals. Collaborating with the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and Livestock Marketing Association, he developed an online training site, www.animalcaretraining.org, with modules in English and Spanish on animal husbandry, animal welfare, environmental stewardship, and food safety practices.

Dr. Cohn challenged practitioners to reach out to untapped client populations. “Diversity is not about lowering standards. It's about providing opportunities,” he said.

LGBT veterinarians’ visibility rising

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community has a place in veterinary medicine and should continue to work to be a more visible part of it.

That was the message delivered during the keynote lecture “LGVMA and AVMA—Partnering for the Future,” given by Roosevelt University President Charles Middleton, PhD, during the Lesbian and Gay VMA 20th anniversary reception July 21 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. The AVMA and Zoetis were sponsors.

Dr. Middleton's stance is that “you already live a stressful life within your profession, it's hardly right for you to have to deal with being closeted as an add-on to that.”

His own career began in 1969 not long after the Stonewall Riots, a series of demonstrations in New York City that gave birth to the LGBT movement.

The suggestion of coming out chilled him, as he had a family to support and didn't want to jeopardize that. He never considered the loss of personal integrity he was perpetrating by doing that.

Dr. Middleton added, “Nothing is wrong with me or you. I had to learn that, first personally and then professionally.”

He encountered many obstacles and setbacks along the way as well as victories as he transformed himself from a closeted man to one who is outspoken about his sexuality.

He saw numerous friends die, at one point attending a funeral a month in the ‘80s because of the devastation AIDS had on the LGBT community. He also saw his rights taken away when voters in Colorado, where he lived, approved a state constitutional amendment in 1993 that excluded gays and lesbians from antidiscrimination laws and policies.


Roosevelt University President Charles Middleton, PhD, addresses attendees of the Lesbian and Gay VMA 20th anniversary reception July 21. He was one of the first openly gay presidents of a higher education institution. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

“I grew up in the South, and never until that moment had I understood viscerally the blind hatred against people merely based on who they are, and it woke me up,” Dr. Middleton said. “Being ‘out’ at work was not something someone did, but it was deceitful to yourself and others. I started to follow the pattern where, if you need to know, I'd tell you.”

With every job he's had since—each with increasing authority—he has been out of the closet.

Coming out is a never-ending process, he said, and doing so not only helps effect change but also helps change people in the workplace.

He's also helped many LGBT individuals in various professions pursue their career goals.

“I say the best thing to be is to be very good at what you do, and to be reliable, and to live up to your promise. People will respect you for your professionalism. And they will cherish—in time—your different perspective and how you view things,” Dr. Middleton said. “Be the best veterinarian you can be. If you're that, doors open and you have opportunities.”

Dr. Middleton finished his talk by commending the LGVMA for the work it's done so far.

“That you've been here 20 years, that's very progressive. That was forward-thinking, though, I'm sure it was scary as hell (at first),” he said.

LGVMA President Sandra Hazanow of San Francisco echoed Dr. Middleton's sentiments when she told JAVMA News that her organization's presence was important, as it puts the profession in better alignment with society.

She added, “We're veterinarians first. We just want to be ourselves in the profession and contribute a lot. … Especially in small animal medicine, being able to allow owners and veterinarians to be who they are enhances the experience.”

Dr. Hazanow also said the LGVMA felt honored to collaborate with the AVMA for the event. In attendance were a number of AVMA leaders, including Drs. Douglas G. Aspros, 2012–2013 president; Ted Cohn, 2013–2014 president-elect; Joseph H. Kinnarney, presidential candidate and outgoing Executive Board member; and Larry M. Kornegay, former AVMA president; along with Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges immediate past president, Dr. Deborah Kochevar and other AAVMC representatives.

SAVMA strengthening international relationships

Membership benefits, AVMA governance also at forefront

By Kyle Donnelly, Vet Gazette Editor


The Student AVMA House of Delegates meeting July 21–22 in Chicago heavily featured international engagement. (Photos by Chase Crawford/SAVMA information technology officer)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Veterinary students are often taught that veterinary medicine is becoming an increasingly global profession, and from July 21–22 in Chicago, the Student AVMA House of Delegates took tangible actions to advance its international impact. The SAVMA House held its second meeting of the year during the AVMA Annual

Convention; SAVMA President Elise Ackley (LSU ‘14) presided. She stressed SAVMA's role as an increasingly international organization and highlighted the need for students to proactively address problems facing the student body. Steps taken by Ackley and the student delegates to achieve this goal include fostering interorganizational dialogue with other national associations and identifying ways to increase public awareness of SAVMA.

It's a small world, after all

One of the themes during the meeting was SAVMA's growing presence as a member of the global community. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, SAVMA continued to work through its Task Force on International Membership to outline ways that international students can have a voice in the SAVMA House of Delegates and contribute to the work undertaken there.

In addition, the International Veterinary Exchange Committee prepared to launch a position that will allow a SAVMA general student body member to attend the International Veterinary Students’ Association's annual meetings. SAVMA already sends its international exchange officer and IEO-elect to these meetings, so the creation of the new position—IVSA Symposium and Congress SAVMA delegate—is an effort to increase SAVMA's presence at the IVSA meeting and contribute to the global conversation. The delegate position is also meant to help better spread the word about what happens at IVSA events. The application for the delegate position is set to release this fall.

The president of the IVSA, Frederic Lohr, joined the SAVMA HOD to describe how American students can become more involved in this international organization, reminding those present that all SAVMA members are automatically a part of the IVSA. After the SAVMA HOD meeting concluded, Lohr and SAVMA Executive Board members flew to Utrecht, The Netherlands, to attended the IVSA meeting July 28-Aug. 7.

SAVMA House guests

Representatives of several other national organizations attended the SAVMA House meeting, including members of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, the AVMA Congressional Science Fellows Program, the AVMA Political Action Committee, and the AVMA Governance Engagement Team.

A consistent presence during the SAVMA meeting was AVMA Vice President Walter Threlfall. Dr. Threlfall addressed the SAVMA delegates during the meeting and offered himself as a student resource. During his term as 2012–2014 AVMA vice president, Dr. Threlfall has served as a mentor to SAVMA, and the SAVMA House was receptive to the lessons he shared regarding his career as a theriogenologist and his work with the AVMA. During his talk, he encouraged students to challenge the accepted norms of governance and to always ask, “Why?”

Other points of discussion centered on improving member benefits and how to best serve and represent the general student body.

Dr. Bridget Heilsberg discussed recommendations from the AVMA Task Force on Governance and Member Participation regarding potential changes to the AVMA governance structure. In its report to the AVMA, the task force pointed out that 43 percent of AVMA members are millennials. The task force, which having submitted its final report, was sunset in July, recommended a new AVMA governance structure based on 4 pillars: a veterinary issues forum, board of directors, advisory councils, and volunteer resource committee. Dr. Heilsberg focused on relaying how the proposed AVMA restructuring would give more power back to the AVMA membership. The purpose of the proposed restructure is to increase member participation, she emphasized. The newly formed AVMA Governance Engagement Team then joined the SAVMA House for a question-and-answer period, during which GET members stressed that increased representation in a new governance system could help help address some of the current student issues.

Students asked how restructuring the entire AVMA governance would provide a better approach to controversial issues such as increasing class size, increasing tuition rates, and the establishment of more veterinary schools. The GET responded that the proposed restructuring would allow both students and members to have an increased voice in AVMA policies and decisions.

Looking ahead

SAVMA's push to improve member benefits is kicking off with the establishment of the Task Force for Member Benefits. This task force will report back during the SAVMA Symposium in March 2014 at Colorado State University with data on how each student chapter of the AVMA functions, what current member benefits are, and what SAVMA can be doing better for members.


Committees convene during the SAVMA House of Delegates meeting.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

One current benefit includes the many scholarship opportunities available to SAVMA members across the country. The varied committees of SAVMA awarded several scholarships and grants to students at this meeting, including the Cultural Awareness and Diversity Grant, the SAVMA North American Veterinary Licensing Examination Student Testing Preparation Report Survey contest, and the One Health Project Awards. Many other awards are decided in the spring.

The SAVMA Executive Board welcomed newly elected members Hannah Leventhal (KSU ‘15), secretary-elect; Christopher Thomson (MIN ‘15), treasurer-elect; Matthew Seller (OKL ‘15), information technology officer-elect; and Amanda DiMascio (GA ‘15), The Vet Gazette editor-elect.

The SAVMA House of Delegates will reconvene in March at the 2014 SAVMA Symposium at Colorado State. Outgoing AVMA President Douglas G. Aspros reminded the SAVMA House during the last moments of the meeting, “Don't be complacent; make noise.” If history has any bearing on how veterinary students occupy their time until the SAVMA Symposium, this shouldn't be a problem.

AVMA honors

Association recognizes contributions to profession

During the AVMA Annual Convention this July in Chicago, the AVMA conferred awards on several individuals for their efforts in advancing veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and public health.

Dr. James H. Brandt received the AVMA Award, and Dr. Benjamin L. Hart received the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award (see JAVMA, Sept. 1, 2013, pages 589 and 588). Following are some key achievements of the other award recipients.

AVMA Animal Welfare Award

This award recognizes an AVMA member for achievements in advancing the welfare of animals.

Dr. Leslie D. Appel

Dr. Leslie D. Appel

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Appel (COR ‘94) is founder and executive director of Shelter Outreach Services, a high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter program in New York state. Since its inception in 2003, the program has neutered more than 82,000 companion animals. Students from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine rotate through SOS every week. Dr. Appel also is founder of the annual Shelter Medicine Conference at Cornell. Previously, she was director of shelter veterinary outreach at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and an instructor in small animal surgery at Cornell. While at Cornell, Dr. Appel started the Cornell Animal Sterilization Assistance Program and was director of Cornell Companions, a pet visitation program. She has served on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee and on the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ board of directors.

AVMA Humane Award

This award recognizes a nonveterinarian for achievements in advancing the welfare of animals.

Mark Tinsman

Mark Tinsman

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

During his 28 years as a Red Cross volunteer or employee, Tinsman developed an appreciation for the importance of household pets in the lives of disaster victims. Since he joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a mass care specialist in 2006, one of his primary roles has been facilitating support for household pets and service animals. He has worked with the AVMA, National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition, National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs, and federal partners to develop and promote humane options so that disaster survivors can evacuate and shelter with pets before or following a disaster. Tinsman said, “Whether working with partners on planning activities or deployed to the field following a disaster, the chance to assist people and their pets has made my work life all the more satisfying.”

AVMA Public Service Award

This award recognizes an AVMA member for outstanding public service or contributions to public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.

Dr. Millicent Eidson

Dr. Millicent Eidson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Eidson (COL ‘83) is a research scientist with the New York State Department of Health, serving as a co-leader for climate change and health studies. After joining the department in 1997, she established a system for reporting dead birds as an early indicator of human risk of West Nile virus. She is associate chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University at Albany School of Public Health. Previously, she was New Mexico's state public health veterinarian. Her proudest accomplishment was an investigation in that position that found an association between certain L-tryptophan supplements and a new disease, eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. Dr. Eidson has been a leader with the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, the epidemiology specialty of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, and the American Association of Public Health Veterinarians.

AVMA Meritorious Service Award

This award recognizes a veterinarian who has contributed to the profession through activities outside organized veterinary medicine and research.

Dr. Cathy King

Dr. Cathy King

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. King (WSU ‘97) is founder and CEO of World Vets, an international veterinary aid organization. After earning her veterinary degree, Dr. King earned a doctorate in animal physiology from the University of Idaho. Early in her career, she was a mixed animal practitioner, and then she started a small animal hospital in Deer Park, Wash. She sold the practice in 2008 to provide full-time leadership for World Vets. The organization provides veterinary aid in 36 developing countries with programs focusing on small animals, horses, livestock, and public health. World Vets supplies civilian veterinarians for U.S. military humanitarian aid missions and offers international disaster relief services. It runs the International Veterinary Medicine Program for veterinary and veterinary technician students and the Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Nicaragua for veterinarians and veterinary students from Central and South America.

XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize

This award recognizes an AVMA member who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Corrie Brown

Dr. Corrie Brown

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Brown (ONT ‘81) has worked internationally building animal health infrastructure for more than 25 years. After earning her veterinary degree, she completed a combined residency and doctorate in comparative pathology at the University of California-Davis. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Dr. Brown served as an assistant professor of pathology at Louisiana State University briefly before joining the Department of Agriculture's Plum Island Animal Disease Center, where she focused on the diagnosis and pathogenesis of transboundary animal diseases. In 1996, she joined the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine as a professor of veterinary pathology. She has conducted workshops on basic field necropsy and diagnostic techniques in 30 countries. She also has served on many national and international expert panels about animal health.

AVMA President's Award

Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, 2012–2013 AVMA president, chose, as recipients of this award, individuals or groups who have made a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, and the profession.

Dr. Link Welborn

Dr. Link Welborn

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Welborn (FL ‘82) owns four small animal hospitals in Florida and is a past president of the American Animal Hospital Association. He was chairman of AAHA task forces that produced revisions to the AAHA standards of accreditation for small animal practices, the first AAHA standards of accreditation for specialty practices, and the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines. He was a member of the AAHA-AVMA task force that developed guidelines for canine and feline preventive care. He has been active with veterinary economic groups. He is chair of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee and was chair of the AVMA Workforce Advisory Group, responsible for the 2013 Veterinary Workforce Study. He is the AAHA delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Canine and Feline practice.

Dr. Donald F. Smith

Dr. Donald F. Smith

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Smith (ONT ‘74) was dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine from 1997–2007. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, he focused early in his career on food animal and equine surgery at Cornell and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Returning to Cornell as department chair and associate dean in 1987, he led the development of a new veterinary curriculum. As dean, he established academic priorities in cancer biology and oncology, genomics and medical genetics, and pathogenic bacteriology. His tenure saw reconfiguration of the departmental structure, an increase in extramural research funding, completion of a $55 million life sciences building, funding for a new diagnostic laboratory, expansion of clinical residency and graduate programs, and establishment of a DVM-PhD program. As dean emeritus, Dr. Smith devotes his time to teaching and to researching the history of veterinary medicine.

AVMA President's Award continued

Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, 2012–2013 AVMA president, chose, as recipients of this award, individuals or groups who have made a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, and the profession.

American Association of Equine Practitioners

The AAEP is the world's largest professional organization dedicated to equine veterinary medicine. Founded in 1954, the association comprises nearly 10,000 veterinarians and veterinary students who dedicate themselves to caring for horses. The AAEP brings together members from private practice, academia, regulatory medicine, and research in the pursuit of one mission—to improve the health and welfare of horses. Through this mission, the AAEP serves as a respected source of information for the equine industry. From animal welfare to uniform medication rules in equine competition, the AAEP dedicates resources to provide a consistent veterinary perspective to contemporary issues affecting horse health. The professional development of equine veterinarians also is a primary goal of the association. The AAEP Annual Convention and ancillary educational events attract veterinarians from around the world.

AVMA PAC recognizes board member


Dr. Howard R. Moore

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

The AVMA Political Action Committee presented Dr. Howard R. Moore (ISU ‘74) with the Russell Anthony Award for his commitment to the AVMA PAC during a July 18 reception in Chicago.

Dr. Moore was a member of the AVMA PAC Policy Board from 2006–2012, serving as 2010–2011 chair. His strong interest in the organizational and political aspects of veterinary medicine also led him to serve as a director, officer, and, eventually, president of the Southern Arizona VMA (1988), Arizona Academy of Veterinary Practice (1991), and Arizona VMA (1994). He represented Arizona in the AVMA House of Delegates as alternate delegate from 2000–2004 and as delegate from 2004–2009.

Arizona's 1996 Small Animal Practitioner of the Year, Dr. Moore started his career in a mixed animal practice in Minnesota from 1974–1977. He has practiced at Tucson Small Animal Hospital in Tucson, Ariz., since 1977.

Cohn elected, candidacies announced

Dr. Ted Cohn was elected 2013–2014 AVMA president-elect during the House of Delegates’ regular annual session July 19 in Chicago.

Earlier that morning, at an event held in conjunction with the HOD meeting, Drs. Larry Dee and Joseph Kinnarney launched their campaigns for the office of 2014–2015 AVMA president-elect.

In addition, Drs. Mark Russak and Rebecca Stinson announced their candidacies for 2014–2016 AVMA vice president. The vice president is a voting member of the Executive Board and the Association's liaison to the Student AVMA and student chapters. The current vice president, Dr. Walter Threlfall, is serving the last of a two-year term.


Dr. Ted Cohn (Photos by R. Scott Nolen)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Cohn was unopposed in his bid for president-elect and was declared unanimously elected to the office.

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 recently completed a six-year term on the AVMA Executive Board. As board chair, he played a key role in developing the Association's veterinary economic strategy.

While serving on the Executive Board, Dr. Cohn also 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.

Dr. Dee (AUB ‘69) is co-owner of a companion animal hospital in Hollywood, Fla., and has served veterinary medicine as both a leader and an educator. He has been a delegate and alternate delegate for Florida to the AVMA House of Delegates, and he has also worked as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Florida since 1983. Dr. Dee has represented Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico on the Executive Board since 2008.

Dr. Kinnarney (COR ‘80) is a mixed animal practitioner in Reidsville, N.C., and president of four small animal hospitals and an equine hospital. He was the president of the Cornell student chapter of the AVMA and president of the national Student AVMA. Within the AVMA, Dr. Kinnarney has served as vice president and was a member of the HOD for 17 years. In 2008 he was elected to the Executive Board as the representative of veterinarians in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Dr. Kinnarney completed his six-year term on the board this July.


Dr. Larry Dee

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Joseph Kinnarney

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Mark Russak

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Rebecca Stinson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Russak (COL ‘76) is a former American Animal Hospital Association president and a current member of its board of directors. The Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences alum has delivered more than 50 presentations at veterinary colleges throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean on such topics as business management and communication.

Dr. Stinson received her DVM degree from the University of Georgia in 2002 and was a participant in the AVMA Future Leaders Program. She has served on the AVMA Member Services Committee, the Council on Veterinary Service, and Model Practice Act Task Force. In addition, Dr. Stinson is a former SAVMA president and chair of the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Student Relations Committee.

Adapting to global changes

Dr. Gregg W. BeVier, citing data from the World Bank and other sources, said about 80 percent of the world's population lives on less than $10 per person per day.

That 80 percent of the population likely spends little on veterinary services, he said, and the U.S. veterinary profession as a result has largely catered to a wealthy minority.

Dr. BeVier, who has worked as an executive for animal technology companies and managed the livestock portfolio for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, delivered a keynote speech on globalization, economics, and societies July 20 during the Global Health Summit at the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago. Currently, he is with Sexing Technologies Swine Business. He said veterinarians will need to adapt to serve a population that is growing, particularly in developing nations.

“There needs to be more access to services,” Dr. BeVier said. “Veterinarians aren't going to go out in these areas and do some of the things that need to be done. I've talked to them; they won't move their families there. They don't make enough money. They don't want their kids living like that.”

Dr. BeVier said such adaptation could involve reducing restrictions on who can perform veterinary services, as economics, demand, and development push for more services by paraprofessionals. Those paraprofessionals could vaccinate and spay animals, for example, and veterinarians could train, work with, and make money in conjunction with them.


Dr. Gregg W. BeVier (Photo by Matt Alexandre/Robb Cohen Photography)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. David M. Sherman, a member of Tufts University's international veterinary faculty, said in a subsequent presentation on global warming, biodiversity, and emerging diseases that changes in the world's climate will have effects on human, animal, and ecosystem health.

“As the planet heats up, it has impacts on all of those areas,” Dr. Sherman said.

The effects of global warming will be particularly negative for people who live in regions without the resources to react, he said.

Milder and shorter winters can help disease vectors survive in greater numbers or in new territories, including higher altitudes, Dr. Sherman said. Changes in grass quality similarly can help parasites survive and force changes in livestock management.

Dr. Sherman also noted that blue-tongue, a disease that can kill sheep and is spread by midges, had appeared only sporadically in Europe before the late 1990s but recently has been found as far north as Denmark.

Dr. BeVier said veterinarians’ future roles in pet care could shift toward increased use of video communication with clients to provide home-based care. Veterinarians could also gain larger roles in food production, with work on genetics, animal health, processing, and regulation.

“The veterinarian could emerge as the integrated food value chain leader, because the veterinarian has the education to think about all that,” he said.

FDA creates guide on Salmonella in pet food

Pet food cannot be sold if it contains any Salmonella serotype, and neither can horse or livestock feed containing certain serotypes.

The Food and Drug Administration published in July the policy guide “Salmonella in Food for Animals,” which replaces a guide that only forbade the presence of Salmonella in dry dog food and a 1967 FDA opinion that indicated the agency would not tolerate the presence of any strain of Salmonella in certain animal feed ingredients.

The guide states, in part, that the bacteria's presence in pet food poses a substantial risk to human health. Such food will be considered to be adulterated if it will not be processed further to eliminate Salmonella.

“FDA believes regulatory action is warranted in cases involving pet foods contaminated with any Salmonella serotype, due to the heightened human health risk given the high likelihood of direct human contact with such food,” the guide states.

Horse and livestock feed containing certain serotypes that can cause illness in these animals will similarly be considered to be adulterated if the feed will not go through further processing to eliminate the bacteria. Examples of adulterated feeds listed in the guide are cattle feed contaminated with Salmonella Newport or Salmonella Dublin and poultry feed contaminated with Salmonella Pullorum, Salmonella Gallinarum, or Salmonella Enteritidis.

More information is available at www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm360834.htm.

Court acts on farm with 10 residue violations

A dairy that sold 10 cows found to have illegal drug residues over the course of 10 years must change its practices or pay thousands of dollars in fines.

Lawson Farms, which is near Irasburg, Vt., also must submit to, and pay for, inspections and laboratory and analytic testing anytime the Food and Drug Administration deems necessary for at least five years, according to a federal judge's order.

FDA tests detected illegal residues of penicillin, neomycin, tilmicosin, sulfamethazine, flunixin, and oxytetracycline in cows and veal calves sold by the farm for slaughter 10 times from October 2002 to November 2012, according to a complaint filed by the agency in the U.S. District Court of Vermont.

In court documents, the FDA states that the farm's operators administered medicine to animals contrary to the drug labels and without prescriptions, failed to hold animals long enough to meet withdrawal times, and failed to keep complete records of drug administration.

Tamara Ward, an FDA spokeswoman, said the agency's law enforcement process can be lengthy, involving citations, warning letters, and time allowed for a company to comply.

“We saw some improvement, but not enough,” she said.

On July 8, U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha ordered the farm to implement systems to identify cattle on the farm, ensure cattle do not leave with illegal residues in their system, administer drugs in an FDA-approved manner, separate medicated and unmedicated animals, keep more complete records, let the FDA inspect those records, and give copies of the order to all who work on the farm.

The farm also must let the FDA inspect the facilities used to house animals or store animal drugs whenever the agency deems necessary, as well as reimburse the FDA for the costs of inspections and laboratory and analytic work.

The order indicates the FDA would not contest an effort by the farm for release from the conditions of the order after five years of continuous compliance.

The order imposes a $1,000 fine against the farm for each day it doesn't comply and an additional $1,000 fine for each animal found to have an illegal residue.

Study shows virus spread through bird migration

Foreign animal diseases could enter North America through an area of Alaska where waterfowl migration paths converge, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey researchers.

“The significance of this study is that it demonstrates that viruses with genes of Eurasian origin can enter North America via migratory birds,” a USGS announcement states.

From 2006–2009, USGS researchers tested for avian influenza in wild birds in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of western Alaska, where birds converge from the Pacific side of the Americas, Central Pacific, and East Asian-Australasian fly-ways, according to the announcement. The study results were published in July in the scientific article “Genomic analysis of avian influenza viruses from waterfowl in western Alaska, USA” (J. Wildl. Dis. 2013;49:600–610).

The study characterized 90 low-pathogenic avian influenza isolates from 11 waterfowl species and found 35 of those isolates had one to four gene segments of Eurasian origin. Although the sampling was part of a surveillance program for detection of highly pathogenic strains of H5N1 influenza, no highly pathogenic strains were found in any of 24,000 samples from 82 bird species.

“The detection of highly similar genomes in our study indicates viruses are shared within, and to a lesser degree, among species groups on the Y-K Delta,” the article states.


An emperor goose (Courtesy of Andrew B. Reeves)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

The article notes that avian influenza viruses with entirely Eurasian-origin genomes have not been documented in North America, even though gene segments from Eurasian ancestor viruses have been documented. The USGS announcement notes that the study provided evidence that avian influenza viruses found in Alaska more often have Eurasian genes than do such viruses found in the 48 contiguous states.

The Journal of Wildlife Diseases is available at www.jwildlifedis.org.

Novel virus related to neurologic signs in cattle

A recently discovered astrovirus has been connected with neurologic disease in infected cattle.

The virus was detected in four cattle that had lived in California and had unexplained neurologic signs.

“While this particular new virus is unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the food supply, the new findings are critically important because they provide researchers with a relatively simple diagnostic tool that can reassure both ranchers and consumers by ruling out bovine spongiform encephalopathy—mad cow disease—as the cause of neurologic symptoms when they appear in cattle,” according to an announcement from the University of California-Davis.

The effects of the virus are described in a scientific article, “Divergent astrovirus associated with neurologic disease in cattle” (Emerg Infect Dis 2013;19:1385–1392), which was published in September. The researchers are or were affiliated with the Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco; University of California in Davis and San Francisco; Bishop Veterinary Hospital in Bishop, Calif.; University of South Florida in St. Petersburg; and Stanford University.

The article abstract indicates the astrovirus first was discovered in a crossbred yearling steer with an acute onset of lateral recumbency that included opisthotonus and extensor rigidity. A retrospective analysis of 32 cattle that had died with encephalitis revealed three others that had also been infected with the astrovirus.

The astrovirus RNA was limited to the nervous system and was found in the cytoplasm of affected neurons of the spinal cord, brainstem, and cerebellum, the article states. All infected cattle had lesions of widespread neuronal necrosis, microgliosis, and perivascular cuffing.

The article indicates that tests for the astrovirus RNA could be used to more rapidly exclude bovine spongiform encephalopathy as the cause of neurologic disease.

The affected cattle were of various ages and breeds, but the article states: “Further research will be required to determine whether development of the neurologic signs seen here required other factors, including co-infections and/or a genetic or acquired immunodeficiency. PCR testing and genomic analysis of bovine fecal isolates also may provide information about the incidence and duration of virus shedding, which—as for other asymptomatic intestinal astrovirus infections—is expected to be short.”

The article is available at wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid.

FDA proposes more oversight of food importers

The Food and Drug Administration is accepting comments on a plan to increase oversight of food importers.

The agency will accept comments through Dec. 26 on the proposal to create verification programs for those who import food for humans or animals.

A July 26 Federal Register notice states that 15 percent of the U.S. food supply—particularly produce—is imported. In creating the verification programs, the agency is trying to prevent problems among foreign suppliers, rather than react once problems are discovered.

“These new import authorities will help FDA transition from its historical focus on catching food safety problems at the border to one that builds safety in throughout the supply chain, from foreign producers to U.S. consumers,” the FDA announced.

Importers would have to verify that food they bring into the U.S. is produced in ways that provide the same safety as required for domestic producers, according to the FDA. The Federal Register notice indicates that this would involve reviewing relevant FDA warning letters, import alerts, or certification requirements; analyzing hazards for each food; verifying suppliers are adequately controlling risks; maintaining lists of foreign suppliers; taking corrective action when needed; obtaining identification numbers; and keeping adequate records.

The verification program requirements would not apply to importation of juice and seafood from facilities complying with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points regulations, foods intended for research or evaluation, foods for personal consumption, alcoholic beverages, or foods intended for further processing and export.

The regulations also would have modified requirements for importation of dietary supplements, low-acid canned foods, foods from suppliers with less than $500,000 in annual food sales, or foods from countries recognized as having food safety systems equivalent to those in the U.S.

In a separate but related notice, the FDA proposed creating a program to accredit third-party auditors who could certify the safety of foreign facilities and the foods they produce for human or animal consumption. The FDA is accepting comments on that rule through Nov. 26.

The Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in January 2011, directs the FDA to increase inspections of foreign food facilities but gives the FDA authority to develop regulations requiring shared accountability and responsibility by industry. The law also directs the FDA to establish a program for accrediting third-party auditors of foreign food facilities.

Information on the proposals is available at www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA.

Academic clinician becomes Illinois’ new dean

Dr. Peter D. Constable, a Purdue University professor of veterinary clinical sciences and head of that department, will become the dean of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in January.

Dr. Herbert E. Whiteley, dean of the veterinary college since 2001, is stepping down and will take a sabbatical in preparation for developing collaborations between the veterinary college and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, according to an Aug. 2 U of I press release.

Illinois’ Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Ilesanmi Adesida said Dr. Constable's broad knowledge of the field and commitment to the highest academic principles made him an ideal person for the job.

He began his academic career at U of I in 1993 as an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and served as the interim head of the department from 2004–2005 before leaving for Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine.


Dr. Peter D. Constable

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Constable's clinical and research interests include acid-base physiology, fluid therapy, shock, calf diarrhea, surgical conditions of the bovine abdomen, biostatistics, pharmacokinetic modeling, and the cardiovascular response to endurance training. He has worked as an agricultural animal veterinarian in Australia and as a mixed animal practitioner in England.

He is the editor, co-editor, or coauthor of three books, including the 10th edition of “Veterinary Medicine: A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs, and Goats.”

Dr. Constable earned his veterinary degree in 1982 from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He completed an ambulatory internship and food animal medicine and surgery residency at The Ohio State University, where he earned his master's (1989) and doctorate (1992). He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.

Veterinary schools work across international borders

A program meant to reduce the gap in scientific expertise between developed and developing countries by engaging veterinary colleges has announced its first project.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) announced July 9 that the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and Chiang Mai University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Thailand will participate in the inaugural Veterinary Education Twinning project.

According to the OIE, this program involves “creating and supporting a link that facilitates the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between two veterinary education establishments.” Twinning has been adopted by the OIE as a method for improving institutional capacity and expertise in developing and in-transition countries.

The twinning program, therefore, is expected to create opportunities for these countries to develop modern educational facilities and methods based on accepted international standards. The eventual aim is to create more centers of excellence for veterinary education in geographic areas that are currently underrepresented and to achieve a better balance in the global distribution of well-educated veterinarians, according to the OIE.

Dr. Trevor Ames, dean of Minnesota's veterinary college, said in the OIE press release that the project will benefit both institutions as they strive to enhance the capacity of their veterinary graduates to support the control of transboundary diseases and zoonoses and strengthen the veterinary services of both countries.

The two-year Chiang Mai-Minnesota Veterinary Education Twinning Project aims to ensure that graduates from these veterinary colleges meet the OIE “day-one competencies” developed by OIE's ad hoc Group on Veterinary Education. AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven chairs this group comprising nine other international veterinary authorities (see JAVMA, Aug. 1, 2011, page 272).

This group will meet next during the third annual OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Education, to be held Dec. 4–6 in Foz do Iguazu, Brazil. The conference will address the need for better global harmonization of veterinary education worldwide, based on OIE guidelines. It will also focus on strengthening the role of veterinary statutory bodies in regulating veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals, ensuring their qualifications and ethics.

Renovations in store for Tufts hospitals

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is taking on a $60 million project to extensively renovate and expand its small and large animal hospitals.

The first phase of the project, which will cost $8 million, will renovate sections of the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals and a small portion of the Large Animal Hospital, according to an Aug. 1 article in “Tufts Now.”

New elements will include larger reception areas with separate spaces for different species, to help reduce the stress on patients and their families waiting to see their caregivers; four additional examination rooms to accommodate the growing number of clients, from 16 to 20; new, larger treatment rooms for specialty services in ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology, and dermatology that will reduce client and patient wait times; and a reflection room offering hospital clients a quiet space to consider important decisions regarding their animals’ care.

Construction of the first phase will begin once the first $8 million is raised from donations and gifts.

Dean Deborah Kochevar said the project was necessary to continue to provide high-level service as well as attract the best students and faculty.


An artist's rendering of the expansion of Tufts University's Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals (Courtesy of Tufts University)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

When the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals opened in 1985, veterinarians anticipated providing care to 12,000 cats, dogs, and other companion animals each year. Now, more than 26,000 pets come to the hospital annually, representing one of the highest patient caseloads of any veterinary academic teaching hospital in the country, according to the article. The 30-year-old building is at capacity, with 100 veterinarians who work in the small animal hospital and 2,300 students, interns, and residents who have trained in the hospital in the past three decades. About 86 fourth-year veterinary students do clinical rotations in the hospital each year, and that number will increase to 100 once the renovations are completed.

Another veterinary education partnership out West

A 1+3 program between Montana State University and Washington State University is ready to launch.

Montana students can apply online through Oct. 2 via the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ Veterinary Medical College Application Service at https://portal.vmcas.org. Classes will begin in August 2014 (see JAVMA, Nov. 1, 2012, page 1135).

The Montana Legislature and Gov. Steve Bullock approved the creation of, and funding for, the program during the 2013 legislative session.

Ten Montanans will be chosen for the new Montana Cooperative Veterinary Medicine Program, according to an Aug. 4 MSU release.

Dr. Rebecca Mattix, a Montana State University teaching professor and preveterinary adviser, said in the release that the admissions committee—made up of Montana State and Washington State faculty, and representatives from the Montana veterinary and livestock industries—will identify students who have strong ties to the state and want to work in food animal medicine and other areas of emphasis across the veterinary profession.

Students will take their first year of classes in Bozeman, Mont., and then go to Pullman, Wash., to study for three years at WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Montana State boasts new facilities, including the university's Animal Bioscience Building and containment laboratories that offer training in biosafety-related issues associated with infection in livestock, wildlife, and other animals.

The co-op program is modeled after the WWAMI Medical Education Program, which allows students from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho to enroll in the University of Washington Medical School and take their first year of classes in their home state.

Montana has more than 29,000 family farms and ranches covering 66 percent of the state's land mass, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Montana has 2.5 million cattle and calves with roughly $1.4 billion in annual livestock sales, and the livestock industry accounts for half the state's agricultural economy.

Livestock veterinarians play a crucial role in that industry, but Montana has a shortage of 278 livestock veterinarians, according to the Montana VMA. Besides that, a majority of the 125 Montana food animal veterinarians are nearing retirement.

The hope is the new program will provide affordable access to a veterinary medical education and help rebuild the veterinary workforce in rural Montana, Dr. Mattix said in the release, by supporting rural communities and family ranches with new veterinarians in underserved areas.

WSU benefits, too, by educating more large animal students and having a greater reach in the Western region.

Veterinary students wanted for NIH program

By Greg Cima

Dr. Guy H. Palmer said a National Institutes of Health student research program is helping the veterinary profession remain connected with other biomedical sciences.

“It's an opportunity for the profession to stay very engaged and very much at the center of biomedical research,” he said. “And without that kind of engagement, there's a siloing that occurs to the point where, the concern is, the biomedical community no longer looks to veterinarians as an essential part of that biomedical workforce.”


The NIH Clinical Center (Courtesy of the NIH)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Dr. Palmer, director of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University, hopes that students and faculty members at U.S. veterinary schools will see the benefits of the yearlong NIH Medical Research Scholars Program and that students interested in research careers will apply to participate in the program's 2014–2015 term.

“I'm optimistic students will respond to this,” Dr. Palmer said. He said it is imperative that faculty and mentors encourage students in this and explain how it will allow them to integrate into the broader biomedical community.

The program is intended to attract “the most creative, research-oriented medical, dental, and veterinary students,” NIH information states. Each participant works on a mentored basic, clinical, or translational research project at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md., or a nearby NIH facility.

The NIH further states, “Collectively, MRSP student scholars will experience the full continuum of biomedical research—the bench, the bedside, between both and beyond—from crystallography to molecular biology, from computational biology to clinical trials and epidemiology, i.e., all areas of contemporary biomedical science.”

Bruce J. Baum, DMD, PhD, MRSP director, said the program evolved from two yearlong intramural NIH training programs that ran in parallel: the Clinical Research Training Program, which existed for 15 years, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-NIH Research Scholars Program, which lasted 25 years. When they ended in 2012, the MSRP emerged.

The program is accepting applications for the 2014–2015 term starting Oct. 1. Application information is available at www.cc.nih.gov/training/mrsp.

In an April 8 letter signed by Dr. Palmer; Dr. Lonnie J. King, dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Michael D. Lairmore, dean of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. Baum, the administrators asked veterinary school deans, as well as the research and academic affairs committees of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, to encourage outstanding veterinary students to apply. The letter noted that no veterinary students will participate in the 2013–2014 class. Only two applied to participate, and the one who was accepted deferred participation until the 2014–2015 year.

“At a critical time when the veterinary profession needs to reinvigorate its biomedical and public health missions and develop future leaders in these missions, this is a missed opportunity,” the letter states.

The program is designed for students who have completed their core clinical rotations, but others with research interests can apply before completing their rotations. The 2012–2013 class had 45 participants, including a third-year veterinary student at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

That student, Jacob R. Cawley, worked with the National Cancer Institute to investigate molecular mechanisms of castration-resistant prostate cancer in mice. His term in the program ended July 31.

Cawley wants to work as an oncologist after graduation, and he said he entered the program to learn more about cancer and will put that knowledge to work in comparative medicine. He described the work at the NIH as the “pinnacle” of medicine, and he was inspired by the passion and hope NIH scientists showed through their work.

“To carry the torch and to further our aspect of medicine, I think it's important that we get exposed to what the best type of medicine is—how it's done, how it's advanced,” he told JAVMA.

Dr. Palmer said the program not only helps veterinarians enter biomedical research but also ensures that biomedical sciences use veterinarians’ comparative medicine skills.

“It's a great benefit to the nation in terms of human health and biomedical research, and it's also simultaneously exactly what the profession needs to do in order to make sure their future employment opportunities are as diverse as possible,” he said.


U.S. Public Health Service

The U.S. Public Health Service gave three awards in June during the 2013 Public Health Service Veterinary Category's All Hands Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Jeff McCollum, a USPHS lieutenant commander who works for the Department of Defense Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in Silver Spring, Md., received the 2012 Commissioned Corps Junior Veterinarian Officer of the Year Award. As a deputy division director and head of febrile and vector-borne infections surveillance in the surveillance center's Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response Division, he oversees, evaluates, and prioritizes surveillance and research initiatives and manages more than 60 projects in 30 countries. Among them is a planned Plasmodium falciparum malaria drug resistance clinical trial in Asia, Africa, and South America.

Dr. McCollum also is the GEIS liaison to the U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Sean F. Altekruse, a captain in the Commissioned Corps and senior epidemiologist for the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, received the Rear Admiral James H. Steele One Health Outstanding PHS Veterinary Career Award for contributions in veterinary public health and one health. He has contributed to cancer surveillance research through published studies on liver, childhood, and cervical cancer; initiated collaborative cancer studies; and served as an editor of the NCI's Cancer Trends and Progress Report.

Dr. Altekruse helped implement Salmonella standards for meat and poultry when he was with the Department of Agriculture and was the Food and Drug Administration's first liaison for foodborne diseases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He helped develop agreements and drafted protocols that became the CDC's FoodNet program.

Drs. Carey B. Quisenberry, Jaspreet K. Gill, and Renee L. Shibukawa-Kent jointly received the 2012 Commissioned Corps Veterinary Responder of the Year Award for delivering exceptional veterinary care in one of the world's most challenging operating environments.

All are lieutenant commanders for the corps and members of a team that supported U.S. Coast Guard deployments in the North Slope Borough of Alaska. In those remote villages, they promoted public health by spaying and neutering pets; vaccinating 526 pets against rabies; and educating people about rabies, dog bite prevention, and parasite control.


Dr. Renee L. Shibukawa-Kent

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Jeff McCollum

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Sean F. Altekruse

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Jaspreet K. Gill

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Carey B. Quisenberry

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame

Dr. James E. Nave joined legendary fighters Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, and Sugar Ray Leonard in the inaugural class of 19 inductees into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Aug. 10. The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame honors boxers and those associated with the sport who have contributed to the advancement of boxing in Nevada.

In addition to owning several practices in the Las Vegas area, Dr. Nave was a state boxing commissioner from 1988–1999 and an advocate for fighter health and safety. The inaugural class was broken into eight categories. Dr. Nave was one of two inductees in the Executives category.

The former AVMA president and Executive Board chair most recently served as the AVMA director of international veterinary affairs. He was also North American councilor to the World Veterinary Association.


Dr. James E. Nave

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Event: 2013 ACVIM forum, June 12–15, Seattle

Program: Of the registered attendees at the meeting, 2,647 were veterinarians, 351 were veterinary technicians, and 134 were veterinary students.

Awards: Robert W. Kirk Award for Professional Excellence: Dr. Virginia Reef, Kennett Square, Pa., for outstanding achievements and dedicated service to the veterinary profession. An ACVIM-certified specialist in large animal internal medicine, Dr. Reef is the Mark Whittier and Lila Griswold Allam Professor of Medicine and director of large animal cardiology and diagnostic ultrasonography at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center. Her career focus is equine cardiology and ultrasonography. Dr. Reef has coordinated clinical laboratories for the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the ACVIM. Distinguished Service Award: Dr. David C. Twedt, Fort Collins, Colo., for outstanding and dedicated service to the college in a volunteer capacity. An ACVIM-certified specialist in small animal internal medicine, Dr. Twedt is a professor of small animal internal medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences and director of the Veterinary Endoscopy Teaching Center at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Twedt is a past chair of the ACVIM Board of Regents and a past president of the ACVIM Specialty of Small Animal Internal Medicine. He is known for his expertise in liver disease, gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and antioxidants. ACVIM Foundation Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Joseph Taboada, Baton Rouge, La., received this award, given in recognition of an ACVIM diplomate who has supported the foundation's efforts both monetarily and by raising awareness of its activities. An ACVIM-certified specialist in small animal internal medicine, Dr. Taboada is a professor of small animal internal medicine and associate dean for student and academic affairs at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a past chair of the ACVIM Board of Regents, a past president of the ACVIM and ACVIM Speciality of Small Internal Medicine, a past president of the ACVIM Foundation, and a past associate editor of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Resident Research Award ($500): Dr. Elizabeth Boudreau, neurology, University of California-Davis, for “Investigation of molecular signaling pathways in canine primary gliomas”; Dr. Fred Brewer, cardiology, Cornell University, for “The role of acetylcholine and the sinoatrial voltage and calcium clocks in the beat-to-beat distribution of the canine sinus node”; Dr. Fernanda Cesar, equine medicine, Auburn University, for “Disposition of levetiracetam in healthy adult horses”; Dr. Bérénice Conversy, hematology, University of Montreal, for “Rivaroxaban is an efficient anticoagulant in healthy dogs: Time course of haemostatic parameters”; Dr. Marcio C. Costa, equine medicine, University of Guelph, for “Intestinal colonization of newborn foals characterized by next generation sequencing”; Dr. Joanna Fry, hepatology, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, for “Evaluation of cobalamin status in dogs with hepatic disease”; Dr. Ashley Jones, cardiology, University of Florida, for “Atrial septal pacing in small dogs: A pilot study”; Dr. Daniel Langlois, pharmacology, Michigan State University, for “Pharmacokinetics and relative bioavailability of D-Penicillamine in fasted and non-fasted dogs”; Dr. Jennifer Reinhart, endocrinology, Kansas State University, for “In Vitro elevation of mean corpuscular volume as a marker for serum hyperosmolality in dogs”; Dr. Amber Stiller, hematology, University of Minnesota, for “Effect of low-dose aspirin or heparin on platelet-derived urinary thromboxane metabolite in dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia”


Dr. Virginia Reef

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. David C. Twedt

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Joseph Taboada

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Virginia Buechner-Maxwell

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734


Dr. Joe Kornegay

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 6; 10.2460/javma.243.6.734

New diplomates: The ACVIM certified 126 new diplomates in 2013:


Marisa Ames, Fort Collins, Colo.

Bryan Bottorff, Kirkland, Wash.

Tai Casagrande, Manchester, Conn.

Ryan Fries, Cincinnati

Laura Hatton, Leewood, Kan.

Seungwoo Jung, Auburn, Ala.

Stacey Leach, Columbia, Mo.

Pamela Lee, Pullman, Wash.

Damon Leeder, Richman, Va.

Megan McLane, Cincinnati

Brandon Pogue, Atlanta

Carly Saelinger, Venice, Calif.

Maggie Schuckman, Cincinnati

Julia Simak, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Gretchen Singletary, New York

Bethany Smouther, Westerville, Ohio

Joshua Stern, Davis, Calif.

Large animal internal medicine

Andrew Allen, Pullman, Wash.

Fiona Anderson, Murdoch, Australia

Francois-Rene Bertin, Montreal

Mark Bowen, Loughborough, United Kingdom

Jacqueline Bowser, Mississippi State, Miss.

Anne-Claire Brisville, Laurier-Station, Quebec

Claudia Cruz Villagran, Knoxville, Tenn.

Katarzyna Dembek, Columbus, Ohio

Elizabeth Finding, Hatfield, United Kingdom

Linda Frellstedt, Liege, Belgium

William Gilsenan, Blacksburg, Va.

Kristina Gran, Dover, N.H.

Michelle Harris, Kennett Square, Pa.

Jonna Jokisalo, Koisjarvi, Finland

Karin Kruger, Kayalami, South Africa

Martha Mallicote, Gainesville, Fla,

Katherine McGovern, Newbury, United Kingdom

Toby Pinn, Milton, Vt.

Anna Renier, Murrysville, Pa.

Philippa Sprake, College Station, Texas

Raffaella Teixeira, St. Paul, Minn.

Federica ter Woort, Kennett Square, Pa.

Laramie Winfield, Salinas, Calif.


Ashley Bensfield, Waukesha, Wis.

James Campbell, Springfield, Va.

Jocelyn Cooper, San Antonio

William Draper, Chapin, S.C.

Amy Fauber, West Lafayette, Ind.

A.C. Freeman, Miami

Evelyn Galban, Philadelphia

Ryan Gallagher, Columbia, Md.

Allison Haley, Athens, Ga.

Jonathan Huska, Scarborough, Ontario

Heather Jones, Manakin-Sabot, Va.

Lauren Marini, East Greenwich, R.I.

Kendra Mikoloski, Pittsburgh

Sarita Miles, Gainesville, Fla.

Alix Partnow, Lynnwood, Wash.

Lauren Talarico, Falls Church, Va.


Christine Anderson, Oregon City, Ore.

Cheryl Balkman, Ithaca, N.Y.

Alison Book, Tualatin, Ore.

Juan Borrego, Valencia, Spain

Brooke Britton, New York

Claire Cannon, St. Paul, Minn.

Esther Chon, Madison, Wis.

Virginia Coyle, Urbana, Ill.

Seth Glasser, Fairfield, N.J.

Matthew Hamilton, Malvern, Pa.

Trina Hazzah, Los Angeles

Jason Kidd, Berkeley, Calif.

Sarah Lyles, Baton Rouge, La.

Jennifer Mahoney, Auburndale, Mass.

Danielle O'Brien, Davis, Calif.

William Ratterree, Baton Rouge, La.

Kimberly Reeds, Stillwater, Okla.

Diane Schrempp, Lenexa, Kan.

Evan Sones, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Rachel Sternberg, Downers Grove, Ill.

Christine Swanson, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Birgitte Tan-Coleman, Culver City, Calif.

Bridget Urie, Pittsburgh

Angharad Waite, Richmond, Va.

Small animal internal medicine

Robert Armentano, Chicago

Julia Bates, Madison, Wis.

Allison Bradley, Fort Collins, Colo.

Simona Buoncompagni, Stillwater, Okla.

Todd Carter, Pittsburgh

Jennifer Chang, Austin, Texas

Mickila Collins, Los Angeles

Marc Dhumeaux, Derby, United Kingdom

Karen Eiler, Los Angeles

Christian Eriksson de Rezende, New York

Jonathan Foster, Philadelphia

Ryan Garcia, Aptos, Calif.

Ruth Gostelow, Hatfield, United Kingdom

Caroline Goutal-Landry, Abita Springs, La.

Bradley Green, Poulsbo, Wash.

Emily Harison, Chicago

Cara Horowitz, Philadelphia

Rae Hutchins, Raleigh, N.C.

Andrea Johnston, Ithaca, N.Y.

Katherine Jones, Charlottesville, Va.

Rebecca Kessler, East Greenwich, R.I.

Christine Kim, Pleasant Hill, Calif.

Emily Klosterman, Pittsburgh

Amy Kubier, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

Kevin Kumrow, North Grafton, Mass.

Kristin Lewis, San Antonio

Paul Manino, Houston

Jessica Markovich, North Grafton, Mass.

Stephen Martinez, Worthington, Ohio

Alison Mazepa, Raleigh, N.C.

Amber McAlister, Berkeley, Calif.

Kelly Monaghan, Broomfield, Colo.

Whitney Nelson, Middletown, Conn.

Alice Nentwig, Bremgarten, Switzerland

Allison O'Kell, Gainesville, Fla.

Siobhan O'Neill, Culver City, Calif.

Kristin Olson, Maitland, Fla.

Scott Owens, Carmel, Ind.

Fiona Park, Sydney

Fabio Procoli, North Mymms, United Kingdom

Kristin Schafgans, Spokane, Wash.

Stephen Shadwick, Oakdale, Minn.

Jennifer Stafford, Gaithersburg, Md.

Sarah Stewart, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto, Japan

Sean Surman, Columbus, Ohio

Victoria Vorathavorn, Tustin, Calif.

Officials: Drs. Leah Cohn, Columbia, Mo., chair, Board of Regents; Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, Blacksburg, Va., president; Debra Zoran, College Station, Texas, president-elect; Joe Kornegay, College Station, Texas, vice president; Jonathan Abbott, Blacksburg, Va, Specialty of Cardiology president; Simon Platt, Athens, Ga., Specialty of Neurology president; Chand Khanna, Chevy Chase, Md., Specialty of Oncology president; Jane Sykes, Davis, Calif., Specialty of Small Animal Internal Medicine president; and Allen Roussel, College Station, Texas, Specialty of Large Animal Internal Medicine president

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

The American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine certified 58 new diplomates following the certification examination it held June 30 in Bethesda, Md. The new diplomates are as follows:

Jose Aguirre, Gainesville, Fla.

Christine Alvarado, Cambridge, Mass.

Punya Kumari Andarwewa, Charlottesville, Va.

Jill Ascher, Bethesda, Md.

Jessica Ayers, Atlanta

Enoka Bandularatne, Singapore

Carrie Benton, Fort Detrick, Md.

Danielle Bornstein-Elbrit, Cambridge, Mass.

Tiffanie Brooks, Lubbock, Texas

Marla Brunell, Bethesda, Md.

Amy Cassano, New York

Krista Cornwell, San Francisco

Dorian Culmer, Pearl River, N.Y.

Adrienne Dardenne, Orangeburg, N.Y.

John David, Los Angeles

Marie Debrue, San Diego

Louis DiVincenti, Rochester, N.Y.

Cynthia Doane, Tucson, Ariz.

Paula Ezell, Charleston, S.C.

Jennifer-Marie Garofalo, Buffalo, N.Y.

Neera Gopee, Jefferson, Ark.

Stanton Gray, Beaverton, Ore.

Kristina Grove, Princeton, N.J.

Jatinder Gulani, Bethesda, Md.

Robert Hawley, Fort Detrick, Md.

Nancy Hitt, Bethesda, Md.

Andrea Hubbard, New York

Matthew Johnson, Silver Spring, Md.

Mahesh Jonnalagadda, Calgary, Alberta

Doty Kempf, Atlanta

Vijay Koya, St. Paul, Minn.

Mathais LeBlanc, LaJolla, Calif.

Betty Ma, Davis, Calif.

Elizabeth Magden, Bastrop, Texas

Lisa McNair, Los Angeles

Emily Miedel, Philadelphia

Lee Nagy, Hamilton, Mont.

Kathleen Patterson, Mattawan, Mich.

Brigitte Raabe, Madison, Wis.

Rohan Rajapaske, Charlottesville, Va.

Kelly Rice, Dickerson, Md.

Lucia Rosas, Columbus, Ohio

Joseph Royal, Bethesda, Md.

Rebecca Sammak, Davis, Calif.

Rosemary Santos, Southborough, Mass.

Sara Savage, Framingham, Mass.

Sandra Sexton, Buffalo, N.Y.

Lisa Shientag, Worcester, Mass.

Katherine Shuster, Kenilworth, N.J.

Rajagopal Sriperumbudur, Frederick, Md.

Jeffrey Stanton, Beaverton, Ore.

Diane Stockinger, Sacramento, Calif.

Anita Trichel, Pittsburgh

Ai Tsuiki, Atlanta

Deborah Vanderford, Durham, N.C.

Maria von Chamier, Gainesville, Fla.

Cristina Weiner, Rensselaer, N.Y.

Jennifer Wood, Atlanta

Obituaries: AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

Robert E. Bartlett

Dr. Bartlett (COL ‘55), 87, Canyon Lake, Texas, died April 27, 2013. He owned a mobile practice in Canyon Lake for 15 years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Bartlett owned a ranch practice outside Denver and worked for the Department of Agriculture in Kansas. He was a member of the Comal County VMA and the Masonic Lodge. Dr. Bartlett served in the Marine Corps during World War II. He is survived by his wife, Ann; a daughter; and three sons. Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 815 Ave. D, Galveston, TX 77550.

Douglas C. Blood

Dr. Blood (SYD ‘42), 93, Werribee, Australia, died June 6, 2013. He was founding dean of the University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science, past chair of its Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and a professor of clinical veterinary medicine on the faculty prior to retirement in 1985. As dean, Dr. Blood helped establish a teaching hospital, an ambulatory farm clinic, and herd health programs. He also used computers to facilitate the diagnosis of diseases, co-writing programs for the diagnosis of diseases of dairy cattle and dogs and programs for herd health management.

Following graduation from the University of Sydney in 1942, Dr. Blood joined the Australian Army Veterinary Corps as a captain during World War II. In 1945, he was appointed a lecturer in large animal medicine at the University of Sydney. Dr. Blood moved to the University of Guelph in 1957 as a professor of large animal medicine. He returned to Australia in 1962 to assume the positions of founding dean and professor of clinical veterinary clinical medicine at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science.

Known for his expertise in large animal medicine and herd health, Dr. Blood co-wrote “Veterinary Medicine: A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs, and Goats.” He was a founding fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, a past president of the Victorian Veterinary Association and Australian Association of Cattle Veterinarians, and a past member of the council of the Australian Veterinary Association. Dr. Blood served on the veterinary board of the state of Victoria from 1963–1990.

In 1981, he was honored with the Order of the British Empire for outstanding service in veterinary science and was named an honorary associate in the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. That same year, Dr. Blood also received an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan and was recognized with the University of Guelph's Schofield Medal. In 1983, The AVA awarded him its Gilruth Prize for meritorious service to veterinary science, and he was named chairman of the World Veterinary Congress in Perth, Australia. Dr. Blood received another honorary Doctor of Laws, this time from the University of Guelph, in 1987. In retirement, he co-authored a comprehensive veterinary dictionary.

Dr. Blood is survived by his partner, Shirley; five daughters; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Richard D. Brenner

Dr. Brenner (MSU ‘67), 70, St. Johns, Mich., died Jan. 30, 2013. A mixed animal practitioner, he was the co-founder of Ovid-Elsie Animal Clinic in Ovid, Mich. Dr. Brenner was a member of the Michigan VMA. He was also a member of the Ovid Lions Club and was active with the Chief Okemos Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In retirement, Dr. Brenner served as a counselor at the Northwoods Scout Reservation. His wife, Suzanne; a son; and a daughter survive him. Memorials may be made to the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 784 Wilson Road Room G-100, East Lansing, MI 48824; or Friends of the Northwoods, P.O. Box 356, Leslie, MI 49251.

Roy L. Donaldson

Dr. Donaldson (AUB ‘54), 90, Carthage, Tenn., died April 23, 2013. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Carthage prior to retirement. Early in his career, Dr. Donaldson worked in Gallatin, Tenn. He was an Army veteran of World War II, earning two Bronze Stars. Dr. Donaldson was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Masonic Lodge. His five children; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123; or Carthage United Methodist Church, 608 Main St. N., Carthage, TN 37030.

Richard A. Hill

Dr. Hill (WSU ‘69), 78, Ashland, Ore., died March 22, 2013. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Ashland prior to retirement in 2006. Early in his career, Dr. Hill worked in Hillsboro, Ore., for a year. His wife, Joan; two daughters and a son; and four grandchildren survive him. Memorials in his name may be sent to Ashland High School Booster Club, P.O. Box 121, Ashland, OR 97520.

Victor E. Humm

Dr. Humm (OSU ‘52), 90, Plain City, Ohio, died May 18, 2013. He began his career practicing mostly large animal medicine in Ohio's Union, Madison, and Franklin counties. Dr. Humm later served as a veterinary supervisor with the Ohio Department of Agriculture and practiced small animal medicine. He retired in 1998. During his career, Dr. Humm also served as veterinarian for the Plain City Fair for 20 years, was track veterinarian at Franklin County Race Track for one season, and was active in veterinary education programs at The Ohio State University. He was a lifetime member of the Ohio VMA and a member of the Ohio Historical Society. Dr. Humm served in the Army during World War II and was a member of the American Legion. He is survived by three sons and a daughter; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Dr. Humm's niece, Dr. Luann Geib-Garner (OSU ‘87), is a mixed animal veterinarian in Hamilton, Ohio. Memorials may be made to Kobacker/HomeReach Hospice, 800 McConnell Drive, Columbus, OH 43214.

Joel D. Locketz

Dr. Locketz (MIN ‘69), 70, Minnetonka, Minn., died May 12, 2013. A small animal practitioner, he founded Animal Medical Clinic in Minneapolis in 1970. Dr. Locketz volunteered with several animal-related organizations, including Can Do Canines, and was a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. His wife, Sheila; two daughters; and two sons survive him.

Thomas R. Nero

Dr. Nero (FBV ‘84), 57, Danbury, Conn., died April 4, 2013. A graduate of the Francisco Balagtas Veterinary College in the Philippines, Dr. Nero owned Cat Clinic Feline Health Center in Danbury since 1993. Earlier in his career, he practiced mixed animal medicine at Bethel Veterinary Hospital in Bethel, Conn. Dr. Nero was a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and Connecticut VMA. His wife, Betty, survives him.

Elaine J. Ness

Dr. Ness (MIN ‘98), 47, Marshfield, Wis., died April 18, 2013. She most recently practiced small animal medicine at Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic in Marshfield. Earlier in her career, Dr. Ness practiced large animal medicine in south central-Wisconsin.

Donald O. Olson

Dr. Olson (WSU ‘65), 76, New Westminster, British Columbia, died Feb. 28, 2013. From 1984 until retirement in 2001, he worked for Agriculture Canada. During that time, Dr. Olson served as regulatory veterinarian at the Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver. Following graduation, he moved to Canada, where he began his career at the Kamloops Veterinary Clinic in Kamloops, British Columbia. In 1968, Dr. Olson bought the practice, eventually expanding it to five locations. He taught at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975 while on a sabbatical and was honored as Instructor of the Year.

A past president of the British Columbia VMA and the British Columbia High School Rodeo Association, Dr. Olson was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Canadian VMA. In 1979, he served as chair of the Canadian VMA Large Animal Practice Committee. Dr. Olson was also a member of the Rotary Club of New Westminster. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; three children; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

John C. Smith

Dr. Smith (KSU ‘88), 57, Honolulu, died April 30, 2013. A colonel in the Army Veterinary Corps, he was deputy commander for veterinary services of the Public Health Command Region-Pacific at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. During his military service, which began following graduation, Dr. Smith served in various capacities worldwide, including assignments in Honduras, Germany, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. He received the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and U.S. Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. Dr. Smith was also honored with the National Defense Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 3, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Expert Field Medical Badge, The Order of Military Medical Merit.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, he was a member of the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, American Association of Public Health Veterinarians, and Kansas VMA. Dr. Smith was also a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars. His wife, Tatianna Levasheva; a son; two stepsons and a stepdaughter; and three step-grandchildren survive him.

Memorials toward a scholarship in Dr. Smith's name at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine may be sent to Timmons Funeral Home, P.O. Box 168, Fredonia, KS 66736.

Leslie E. Smith Jr.

Dr. Smith (GUZ ‘80), 59, Edison, N.J., died May 17, 2013. A graduate of the University of Guadalajara, he was a partner at St. George's Veterinary Hospital, a small animal practice in Woodbridge, N.J., for 30 years. Dr. Smith's wife, Sylvia, and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Best Friends, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741.

William J. Young

Dr. Young (MSU ‘62), 74, Fremont, Calif., died April 20, 2013. He was a small animal practitioner.

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