House of Delegates Report
Debra Nickelson DVM, MBA
AAIV Alternate Delegate
Your AVMA has been quite busy lately and here are some highlights from the multitude of activies.
The AVMA remains focused on providing members the resources they need to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. “Veterinary services” should be included in Phase I-b of the vaccine rollout, as veterinary services have been classified as essential and critical. The AVMA's COVID-19 resource center can be found at avma.org/COVIDvaccine.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
The AVMA, along with many other veterinary associations and groups, including AAIV is helping the profession more closely reflect the diversity of the society we have all taken an oath to serve. The Commission for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Veterinary Profession brings together veterinary organizations and individuals committed to increasing diversity and driving change and accountability throughout the profession. The 16-member commission is co-chaired by Dr. Christine Jenkins and Dr. Ruby Perry. Other members bring a variety of perspectives to the commission, including private practitioners, various species practices, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, hospital managers, association executives and affinity organizations, as well as academic institutions and leading corporations in the animal health industry. It is supported by a larger advisory group that will provide critical feedback, support the commission on specific topics and serve on working groups.
Federal Advocacy Efforts
The AVMA worked hard to oppose an unprecedented and unnecessary prescription federal mandate bill that would have created an onerous new regulation on veterinarians and the legislation died in the 116th Congress. The AVMA is lobbying for legislation to tighten dog importation regulations. The AVMA is advocating for legislation that would require federal agencies to work together to develop, publish, and submit to Congress a national One Health framework for coordinated federal activities.
The suicide death of an employee can leave a veterinary workplace faced with grieving employees, clients and industry partners, media attention and a community struggling to understand what happened and why. A veterinary workplace needs reliable information, practical tools and guidance to help respond immediately, help the community heal and return to their primary mission of caring for their patients and community. The AVMA and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in partnership with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association and the Veterinary Medical Association Executives, have released a resource, “After a Suicide: A Guide for Veterinary Workplaces” to help support veterinary workplaces in the aftermath of an employee's death by suicide. To view the guide, please visit afsp.org/veterinarians.