Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Before the surge in COVID-19 cases and declarations of emergency, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges squeezed in what might be the last large veterinary meeting for some time.
The organization’s 2020 annual conference and Iverson Bell Symposium brought more than 300 people to Washington, D.C., over four days in early March for sessions, workshops, high-level meetings and “no handshake” networking.
The coronavirus pandemic was on attendees’ minds, according to the AAVMC.
“COVID-19 awareness and concerns,” the organization reported, “illuminated the importance of the profession and brought special urgency to conversations about targeted programs such as the 2019 Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act, the America Grows Act (for agricultural research) and Section 1433, Formula Funds for Animal Health and Disease Research.”
The AAVMC reported these highlights:
- Deans and other representatives of veterinary medical schools held 156 meetings with congressional members or staffers.
- One keynote speaker, journalist Jeff Selingo, spoke about how technological and societal changes are prompting changes in education and what that might look like long term.
- Another keynote speaker, chemical oceanographer Ashanti Johnson, Ph.D., addressed the benefits of diversity and inclusion.
- Philip Nelson, DVM, Ph.D., discussed how no animals are harmed or die during educational programs at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, where he serves as dean. “The school relies heavily on willed bodies, conducts memorial services for the donated animals and invites donors to write personal stories about their relationships with the donated animals and the impact on their lives,” the AAVMC stated.
- AAVMC president-elect Paul Lunn, dean of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, “talked about the need to constantly study and evaluate the use of animals to ensure that they are only used ethically and with careful, balanced consideration to all factors.”
- 2020 Iverson Bell Awards, sponsored by Banfield Animal Health and Elanco Animal Health, were given to Jaime Gongora, Ph.D., of the University of Sydney’s School of Veterinary Science and to Sandra San Miguel, DVM, MS, Ph.D., of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Glen Hoffsis, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a three-time veterinary college dean, received the 2020 Sen. John Melcher, DVM, Leadership in Public Policy Award, sponsored by the Animal Policy Group.
Did you know a subscription to Today’s Veterinary Business is free to qualified veterinary professionals? All you have to do is sign up here (and renew each year). You also can sign up to receive the Today’s Veterinary Business weekly e-newsletter.