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AVMA, AAVMC form Veterinary Futures Commission

Group will evaluate challenges and opportunities within veterinary profession.

A Veterinary Futures Commission has been established by the American Veterinary Medical Assn. (AVMA) and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).

Comprised of thought leaders from academia, industry, professional practice and other officials, the group will evaluate challenges and opportunities within the veterinary profession, identify priorities guided by societal needs and develop evidence-based recommendations regarding potential courses of action, an announcement said.

“We’re very excited to bring together such a visionary and diverse group of ‘big-picture’ thinkers to participate in these critical discussions,” AVMA president Dr. Michael J. Topper said. “They are just the right folks to participate in the critical strategic discussions we need to be having, asking the right questions and, when need be, challenging assumptions that might be holding us back.”

The AVMA-AAVMC Veterinary Futures Commission, which arose from discussions held through the AVMA/AAVMC Joint Committee, will hold its first meeting April 8-9 in conjunction with the Innovation Summit at Texas A&M University.

“The purpose of this group is to help shape a better future for the profession of veterinary medicine,” AAVMC chief executive officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe said. “I think the diversity of perspective and experience that commission members bring to the table is going to promote some innovative thinking and help generate the kinds of ideas that will create opportunities and foster better decision-making.”

The AVMA/AAVMC Joint Committee is comprised of senior leaders from each organization who meet every six months to collaborate on current issues in veterinary medicine.

Members of the new Veterinary Futures Commission include:

* Eleanor Green (chair), the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University's College Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences;

* Warwick Bayly, professor of equine medicine at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine;

* Steve Curvey, chief operating officer of Veterinary Study Groups Inc.;

* Carla Gartrell, associate dean for academic affairs at Midwestern University;

* Christine Jenkins, chief medical officer and vice president of veterinary medical services and outcomes research at Zoetis;

* Jason Johnson, vice president and dean of Lincoln Memorial University's College of Veterinary Medicine;

* Adam Little, director of veterinary innovation and entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences;

* Shannon Mesenhowski, program officer for the livestock/agriculture development team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;

* Ken Rotondo, president and founding partner of Mind Genomics Advisors, and

* Nancy Turner, independent relief veterinarian from McKinney, Texas.

The commission will meet up to three times per year and will have conference calls, as needed, to identify and evaluate issues of interest and develop evidence-based recommendations from its findings for consideration by the AVMA and AAVMC boards of directors.

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