March 2014

AAVMC Annual Conference is Catalyzing Event for One Health

Hundreds of veterinarians, scientists and professors will gather in greater Washington D.C. to focus on One Health initiatives during the 2014 Annual Conference of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). The conference – to be held March 14-16, 2014, at the Westin Alexandria Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia – is structured to help develop a common understanding and vision for One Health and will feature scores of presentations by government, NGO and academic leaders from around the world.

Topics range from controlling zoonotic infectious diseases (transmissible from animals to humans), protecting the global food supply, improving clinical care for people and animals, and strategies for developing academic programs in One Health. All presentations will focus on the benefits of working at the intersection of animal, human and environmental health to solve the complex problems of an interconnected world.

The One Health movement, which unites veterinarians, physicians, other scientific health and environmental professionals in a collaborative approach that recognizes the vast inter-relationships between human, animal and environment health, has been gathering momentum for almost a decade.
 “We live in the age of globalization, and One Health approaches to medicine and wellness are more important than ever before,” said AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew Maccabe. “With its multi-species approach and broad spectrum of biomedical activity, veterinary medicine is uniquely qualified to lead in this area. We hope this meeting will be a catalyzing event in the evolution of this critical initiative.”
Keynote addresses will be provided Dr. Juan Lubroth, chief veterinary officer of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, and the Honorable Catherine Woteki, undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics in the United States Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Juan Lubroth is the chief of  Animal Health Service and chief veterinary officer of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Dr Lubroth previously served for seven years as the senior officer of FAO’s Animal Health Service and head of the Infectious Diseases Group/Emergency Prevention System in charge of worldwide surveillance, capacity building, and progressive control of transboundary animal diseases.
The Honorable Catherine Woteki is undersecretary for the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area, as well as the department's chief scientist. Her responsibilities include oversight of the four agencies that comprise REE, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Economic Research Service (ERS), and National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

More information and registration is available here.

Farm Bill Contains Support for Veterinary Medicine and Academic Veterinary Medicine

“The Farm Bill is not just for farmers; it’s like a Swiss army knife, and it gives more Americans a shot at opportunity,” President Barack Obama said during the recent Farm Bill-signing ceremony at Michigan State University.

President Obama signing the Farm Bill at Michigan State University

(photo credit: MSU Communications and Branding Strategy)

By providing new funding streams for agricultural research in animal health, production and welfare, the new Farm Bill presents multiple opportunities for schools of veterinary medicine and the broader veterinary community.

The Agriculture Act of 2014 (PL 113-79) authorizes nutrition and agriculture programs in the United States for the years of 2014-2018. The new law continues some programs without change, makes modifications to others and establishes new programs that will have an impact on the veterinary profession, academic veterinary medicine, and animal health and welfare.

A recent webinar co-hosted by the AAVMC’s Director of Governmental Affairs Kevin Cain and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA’s) Assistant Director of Governmental Relations Gina Luke outlined key provisions pertaining to veterinary medical stakeholders:
  • A provision to crack down on the abusive practice of animal fighting
  • The establishment of the Veterinary Services Grant Program
  • Authorization of a budget line for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network
  • A modified Animal Health and Disease Research/1433 Formula Funds program to increase research funding for animal health, feed and reproductive efficiency, vaccines, zoonotic diseases and food safety, stewardship of animals and the environment
  • The establishment of a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research – $200 million in mandatory funding will become available for this new venture
  • A continuation of the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank

Added to the priority areas for research under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is:

  • The identification of animal drug needs
  • The generation and dissemination of data for the safe and effective therapeutic uses of animal drugs for minor species (such as sheep, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, zoo animals, fish and shellfish, etc.) and minor uses in major species (i.e. dogs, cats, horses, cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys)
  • The study and development of surveillance methods
  • Vaccines
  • Vaccination delivery systems and diagnostics for pests and diseases, including epizootic diseases in domestic livestock
  • Zoonotic diseases in domestic livestock or wildlife reservoirs that present potential public health concerns

Learn more about the Farm Bill and what it means to academic veterinary medicine.

Learn more about the Farm Bill signing at Michigan State University.

AAVMC Sponsored Webinars Prove Popular

Recruitment and admissions webinars developed by the AAVMC kicked off in February and are in demand. The webinars help advisors and prospective students navigate the veterinary medical school application process and provide other admissions and recruitment-related tools.

The webinars are: The Road to Veterinary School, which helps freshmen and sophomore undergraduates understand what they can do to prepare to apply to veterinary medical school; Applying to Veterinary School, a nuts and bolts guide to the Veterinary Medical Application Service for prospective students (VMCAS); and Advising Veterinary Students, which outlines tools that advisors can use to help students and helps explain the application process.

“We’ve increased our marketing efforts and, so far, we’ve doubled the usual number of webinar registrants from an average of 50 to an average of more than 100 for each webinar,” said AAVMC Director of Admissions & Recruitment Affairs Tony Wynne. “The feedback we’ve received is that these are helpful webinars with good information. We want to make sure that people get all the information that they need as early as possible.”

The webinars began in February and will continue through the end of the 2015 VMCAS application cycle.

In June, the AAVMC plans to add an interactive VMCAS 2015 application workshop that helps walk applicants through the process and answers their questions.

View the lineup of upcoming webinars.

Illinois Veterinary Medical Professor Earns AAVMC Melcher Public Policy Award

Dr. John A. Herrmann from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is the recipient of the 2014 Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award.

At the University of Illinois, Dr. Herrmann directs the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Public Health (DVM/MPH) program as well as the Center for One Health Illinois and serves as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine. He will receive the award during the annual conference on Friday, March 14, before more than 200 conference attendees, including veterinary college deans, faculty and associated dignitaries from throughout the United States and the world.

Learn more. 

Dr. Joe Kornegay from Texas A&M University Named to Deliver AAVMC Recognition Lecture

Dr. Joe Kornegay, a professor of neuroscience in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University (TAMU), has been chosen to deliver the 2014 Recognition Lecture at the annual conference at noon on Saturday, March 15.

The Recognition Lecture is an annual honor given by the AAVMC to an individual whose leadership and vision has made a significant contribution to academic veterinary medicine and the veterinary profession.

The conference, on “One Health in Veterinary Medicine,” is dedicated to the concept that all medicine is inter-related and that veterinary medicine is poised to play a prominent role at the intersection of animal, human and environmental health. Dr. Korengay’s lecture on "One Man's View of One Health" will illustrate this concept by focusing on his research on a canine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and how this relates to the broader concepts of "One Health" and "One Medicine."

Learn more.

Health and Wellness Summit 2.0 Scheduled at OSU

Save the date of Oct. 8-9, 2014, for the Health and Wellness Summit 2.0, convened by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, sponsored by Zoetis and hosted by The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Please email with any questions. Details and registration information will be forthcoming.

Academic Veterinary Medicine in the News

St. Louis Couple Commits $2.5 Million Gift to MU College of Veterinary Medicine

The Missourian
Colorado State, Alaska Start Dual DVM Program
Veterinary Practice News
Breakthrough: U of M Develops PEDV Test

Post Bulletin
Faster Anthrax Detection Could Speed Bioterror Response and Save Millions in Decontamination Costs, MU Study Finds
University of Missouri
Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine announces new dean
Midwestern University Expands Leadership Team
Chicago Tribute Local
TAMU Professor Participant in Study of Gene Mutation that Causes Smooth Movement of Gaited Horses Worldwide

Bio News Texas
LMU Receives SACS Approval for College of Veterinary Medicine
Digital Journal 2.20
Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine Adds Residency Program in Reproductive Medicine


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