Hello colleagues and happy spring! I am glad that spring is here—and summer is around the corner. A bit of COVID-19 cabin fever has set in and the warmer weather allows me to get outside to ride my bike down to and on the lakefront trial here in Chicago. Maybe a similar type of escapism for you, too?
COVID-19 vaccinations are underway and probably several of you have had at least one dose of vaccine, depending on your state of residence. I received my first dose and am scheduled for my second. I have heard from a few colleagues who have received one or both. Fortunate to have been able to help out at COVID vaccination sites—called POD, point of delivery, in Chicago—through the Chicago Medical Reserve Corps. Helped to schedule residents for their second doses the first time I volunteered and just yesterday helped Rush University pharmacy staff dilute, mix, and withdraw doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Feel like I am doing my small part to help.
You may have heard that the federal government has included veterinarians among the qualified medical professionals to administer COVID-19 vaccine on the basis of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, thanks to the advocacy of the AVMA, including AAIV member Dr. Gail Golab, AVMA Chief Medical Officer. Thank you, Gail! State regulations vary, so veterinarians in every state may not yet have been tapped to be vaccinators. Check out the latest COVID information the AVMA has compiled here: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19.
A second shout-out to AAIV member Dr. Chrissie Schneider, senior equine professional services veterinarian with Merck Animal Health. Based in Columbus, Ohio, Chrissie has volunteered and continues to volunteer through the Ohio Medical Reserve Corps. Chrissie kindly shared her experiences with me and agreed to be highlighted in JAVMA news. Check out her interview in the print April 1 issue of JAVMA or online here: https://www.avma.org/javma-news/veterinarians-help-covid-19-vaccine-delivery. Congratulations, Chrissie!
COVID-19 has dominated nearly every aspect of our lives—and also that of the AAIV. Yet, COVID-19’s affect on the AAIV is a positive one of late—for which I thank you, the membership. Attendance has been high for the January and March virtual networking receptions, as all of us want to connect with others even if virtually. The March reception was on St Patrick’s Day; sponsored by the Vet Recruiter Stacey Pursell, Stacy provided an overview of hiring trends for this year, Bryan Severns of Kansas State University-Olathe prepared an Irish cocktail, Gail provided an update on veterinarians as COVID-19 vaccinators, and Dr. Grace Bransford, candidate for AVMA President-Elect, introduced herself and her candidacy. Plus, the AAIV launched its 2021 webinar series March 9 with “Writing Well for Business and Science,” a topic that I presented. Thank you for the 35+ members that joined live (a record!), your questions, and positive feedback. I—and the AAIV—greatly appreciate your support. Watch for announcements soon on the upcoming webinars and make plans to attend.
Lastly, watch, too, for more news on the development of the AAIV mentoring program. Full launch is expected in mid-summer, likely near the time of the annual AVMA Convention, July 29 through Aug. 2 (https://www.avma.org/events/avma-convention). Speaking of which, the next virtual networking reception will occur near that time, too. As always, feel free to drop a line on this and other topics in this March-April newsletter and on any others for which you have concern or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your spring and hope to see you virtually or in-person again soon!