Entries in GAC (6)


3rd Annual WesternU VBMA Symposium

SAVMA's very own Governmental Affairs Committee helped sponsors the Economic Initiatives and Education Integrated Outreach (EIEIO) Grant. Read on to see how SAVMA is helping to empower students in this economic climate. For more information on how to apply for the EIEIO grant and others, click here

 Written by Adrienne Snider, WesternU VBMA Treasurer

January 27th, 2013 saw the latest installment of WesternU’s Veterinary Business Management (VBMA) Symposium.  Originally the brainchild of Brandi Bayliff (’13) and the 2010 board, Symposium is in its third year and continues to grow.

WesternU’s VBMA is a chapter of the National VBMA, which is entirely student-run and is the second largest veterinary student organization (behind SAVMA).  One of the goals of our chapter is to increase business knowledge in students, as this type of education is not included in our normal veterinary curriculum. From left to right are Dr. Paul Gordon-Ross (faculty advisor), Adrienne Snider (treasurer), Alexis Galvez (marketing director), Kendra Bettis-Scheibe (speaker liaison), Jon Silverman (vice president), and Audrey Collinet (president). Missing are Kelsey Gapstur (secretary) and Anthony Carrier (IT director). All students are class of 2015. The club sponsors 10-12 events per school year, with topics covering finance management, practice ownership, interview skills, and more. 

The annual symposium is the premiere event for the club.  This year, 75 students, faculty and local practitioners gathered for the day to listen to three speakers.

 The club was very excited to bring in nationally known veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward.  Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Ward is an owner of two small animal practices, a contributor to the “Rachael Ray Show,” and an author.  Ward gave two talks, “What You Need to Know to Succeed During the Next 20 Years” and “Performing the Perfect Physical Exam:  Communicating Compassion and Expertise.”  

The take-home message for students was how we, as the incoming face of the profession, can grow its reputation and improve public opinion of what we do.  For students entering the work force with massive debt, it’s critical that we innovate, not only to survive in the profession, but to excel as well.

 Mr. Cornel Catrina of GL Advisor provided students with invaluable information on personal finances.  “Managing Student Loan Debt, Personal Finances, and Personal Investing” provided explanation of topics that many students find confusing and intimidating. 

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2013 AVMA Student Legislative Fly-In

The SAVMA Governmental Affairs Committee and Education and Professional Development Committee are offering a grant to veterinary students and veterinary student organizations to provide funding for awareness of the current financial concerns for veterinary students. Read to see how this grant helped send students to the fifth annual student fly-in, hosted by the AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division:

Sarah Fry, Tayler Foshee, and Stef Bolas
Oklahoma State University
Class of 2015 & 2014

On March 4th & 5th, 2013 we had the opportunity to attend the AVMA Student Legislative Fly-In in Washington D.C. This event occurs annually and allows students to learn about the legislative process. It shows the impact constituents can have on the legislative process and how to communicate with your congressmen to make a positive impact on your community and profession. As well as the alternative governmental career paths that veterinarians can pursue.

On the first day of the event, we learned about current legislation impacting veterinary medicine and what role the AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division plays in representing the veterinary profession on Capitol Hill. Two pieces of legislation were our focus for the Fly-in, the Horse Protection Act Amendment and the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act Amendment. Most of the day was spent preparing for our meetings with our congressmen about these amendments. We also had the opportunity to learn about the AVMA Congressional Fellowship by speaking with a current and past fellow. They answered many of our questions about what it is like to work on Capitol Hill.

On the second day of the Student Legislative Fly-In, we each met with our respective congressional members. Walking through the legislative buildings and the Capitol building was an amazing experience. Before our meetings, we spoke with Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL). They are veterinarians who are currently serving in Congress. They offered their guidance for young people entering the veterinary profession and also shared their thoughts on the legislative process.

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Washington D.C. and you

As our profession continues to evolve, the veterinarians role in the political arena becomes increasingly important. How can you best prepare yourself for emerging issues facing veterinary medicine?

The 3rd annual Veterinary Student Legislative Day seeks to initiate your participation in the legislative process! Spending February 7-8, 2011 in Washington D.C., you will learn about current public policy topics, spend time on Capitol Hill visiting with legislators, and have the opportunity to explore D.C.!

If you are interested in learning more about how legislation works and what role you can play, I suggest you consider this opportunity. I attended a couple years ago and had a great experience. You get to meet like-minded students from across the country, talk with legislators about current veterinary issues and learn how to be effective with those communications. And who knows, you might even get a glimpse of someone famous!

Interested students should get in touch with the SAVMA delegate at their school for more information about attending. Registration ends November 1st, so hurry up!


Governmental Affairs Committee Update

Government Affairs CommitteeHowdy!  My name is Joe Pluhar, your Government Affairs Committee Chairperson for the next year.  GAC is excited about the upcoming year.  We seek to inform SAVMA members on a variety of topics and opportunities concerning government and policy and to provide information on a plethora of sources to further independent investigation. Our goal for the year is simple: we want to engage more students in the legislative and policy making process.

As a majority, we embarked on our journey into veterinary medicine because our innate interests did not lie in politics or business.   We chose veterinary medicine so we could follow our passions for animal health, scientific research, and public health.  However, in today’s climate that is simply not enough.  Veterinary medicine is at the forefront of an abundance of policy issues both locally and nationally.  The public is begging for answers and if veterinarians don’t speak up for themselves and animals, someone else will.  There are plenty of organizations and movements who are willing to fill the void left if veterinarians choose not to stand up.  Some of these organizations values and ideals are in line with mainstream veterinary medicine, but some are not.  We need to become more educated and engaged as a profession because it is up to us to tell our story.

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New York Becomes Second State to Propose Bill Banning Tail Docking in Cattle

(This may be a little late on the news front, but still worth knowing)

By: Erin Lashnits

Cornell University, Class of 2012

A bill to prohibit tail docking in cattle was introduced in the New York State Assembly in January. 

     This ban comes on the heals of a recent report by ABC Nightline, in which a video recorded by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals showed tail docking and dehorning, as well as sick and injured cows, excessively dirty living conditions, and improper handling of cattle.  The video was recorded during an undercover investigation of a 5,000 head New York dairy farm.  The segment also included a heavily edited interview with Chris Galen, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) spokesperson, but did not show footage of other farm sources provided to ABC by Dairy Management, Inc.

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