August 2014

New AAVMC Officers Assume Duties at Annual Assembly

Dr. Trevor Ames
Dr. Trevor Ames, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, began his term as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) during the organization’s annual business meeting held on July 28, 2014 in Denver.

“I view this opportunity to serve as a tremendous honor and I’m looking forward to an exciting year,” said Ames. “Our colleges and the profession are dealing with a variety of important issues, but I think our stakeholders share a great sense of common purpose and we’re going to make a lot of progress in creating a better future for veterinary medicine.”

Ames earned his DVM in 1978 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and his M.S. in 1981 from the University of Minnesota. He is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). His academic interests lie in large animal internal medicine and infectious diseases of horses and cattle.

Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, is the association’s new president-elect.

Former president Dr. Kent Hoblet, dean of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, assumes the duties of past-president.

Other recently elected AAVMC officers include:
  • Dr. Michael Lairmore, dean of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: at-large director representing U.S. colleges
  • Dr. David Argyle, professor and head of The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Students at the University of Edinburgh: at-large director representing International colleges
  • Dr. Sandra Bushmich, professor of pathology and veterinary science at the University of Connecticut: at-large director representing departments of veterinary science (reinstated)
Remaining members of the board for the 2014-15 year include:
  • Dr. Lisa Nolan, dean, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine: secretary
  • Dr. Douglas Freeman, dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan: treasurer
  • Dr. Elizabeth Stone, dean of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph: at-large director representing Canadian colleges
  • Dr. Robert Dysko, professor of Laboratory Animal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School: at-large director representing departments of comparative medicine
  • Mr. Tony Nitido, a DVM student at the Western University of Health Sciences: at-large SAVMA liaison
  • A vacancy remains for the at-large APLU liaison position
  • Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, executive director, AAVMC, (non-voting)

World’s Oldest Veterinary College Joins AAVMC

The oldest veterinary college in the world, VetAgro Sup at the University of Lyon in France, has joined the AAVMC.

“VetAgro Sup at the University of Lyon is a wonderful addition to our association,” said AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew Maccabe. “As the first veterinary college in the world, they have a storied and venerable history, as well as a valued international perspective that will bring even more richness and scope to our organization.”

Veterinary colleges and schools must be accredited by the Council on Education (COE) to become voting AAVMC members. VetAgro Sup-Lyon France recently became accredited and, therefore, eligible to join the AAVMC.

As an International member Institution, VetAgro Sup will enjoy the benefits of full voting rights and a voice in the affairs of the association as specified in the association’s bylaws, eligibility to join the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), and the opportunity to participate in many innovative programs and services relevant to academic veterinary medicine.

VetAgro Sup also becomes eligible to use VMCAS, the AAVMC’s application service that aspiring veterinary medical students use to apply to most veterinary medical schools that are accredited by the AVMA. VMCAS collects, processes, and submits application materials to the veterinary medical schools and responds to inquiries about the application process from applicants, advisors, parents, and schools.

The system also has electronic evaluation and submission capability and serves as a social media hub via Facebook where applicants can ask questions, interact, and obtain updates. The VMCAS application cycle for prospective students seeking admission to veterinary college during fall 2015 began June 5.

Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act Becomes Law

A longstanding AAVMC legislative priority came to fruition on Friday, Aug. 1, when President Barack Obama signed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (H.R. 1528) into law.

The law amends a restrictive provision in the Controlled Substances Act and allows veterinarians to transport and dispense controlled substances outside of their DEA-registered locations, across state lines if necessary, in order to provide the best care for their animal patients.
The bill passed both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and on July 16, Congress sent the bill to the president for his signature. It is not yet clear whether or when the Drug Enforcement Agency will issue new drug transport guidelines.

“Our Government Affairs Director Kevin Cain worked tirelessly with the Veterinary Medicine Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and with allied organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to get this bill passed,” said AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew Maccabe. “This initiative is a prime example of what can happen when like-minded organizations advocate for mutually beneficial legislation, in alignment with influential and informed Congressional representatives.”

Altogether, the bill had 185 cosponsors. Cain said he was pleased to see the legislation passed during a Congressional session in which Democrats and Republications have struggled to find common ground.

“In an environment when not very much gets passed at all, this bill was passed unanimously in the House and then twice in the Senate,” Cain said. “We want to thank all Congressional members who supported this bill including members of the House Veterinary Medicine Caucus and the Senate’s sponsors, Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Angus King (I-Maine), as well as caucus leaders Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) who helped to explain why the bill is the right move for veterinarians and their patients.”

NIH Visits Showcase Academic Veterinary Medical Research, Need for Collaboration

On July 21, three AAVMC member representatives joined three staff members to meet with National Institutes of Health (NIH) leaders, including representatives of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Office of the Director.

As part of the meetings with Lisa Kaeser and Dr. Brant Weinstein from NICHD, meeting participants received a tour of the NIH Zebrafish Laboratory. AAVMC representatives also met with Dr. Dinah Singer, director of the NCI Division of Cancer Cell Biology and other members of her team, and Dr. Sally Rockey, deputy director for Extramural Research.

The meetings are part of an ongoing outreach effort to share the AAVMC’s story and educate many high, institute-level NIH officials about research activity at member institutions and the importance of continued funding and collaboration. During these meetings, AAVMC members learned about potential areas where our member schools can better engage, particularly with NCI, and potential opportunities for DVMs as NIH continues to examine its biomedical workforce needs.

NIH Funds Respiratory and Infectious Disease Research at Oklahoma State CVM

Dr. Lin Lui

Thanks to the leadership of an Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor, OSU has earned a $11.3 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence grant from the National Institutes of Health and established a major multi-disciplinary respiratory diseases research center. Dr. Lin Lui, Regents professor, Lundberg-Keinlen Professor in Biomedical Research and director of the Lung Biology and Toxicology lab in the Department of Physiological Sciences at OSU-CVM, has led efforts to establish the Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases. Learn more.

Note: The above story is part of a series of stories that the AAVMC highlights in the Vet-Med Educator on a regular basis from member institutions that demonstrate the many benefits of federal investment in schools and colleges of veterinary medicine.

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