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Puerto Rico Veterinarian Is New AVMA President

Dr. José Arce will serve a one-year term and make way in 2022 for Dr. Lori Teller.

Puerto Rico Veterinarian Is New AVMA President
From left, AVMA President Dr. José V. Arce and president-elect Dr. Lori Teller.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has installed its first Latino president and next year will welcome the fourth woman to hold the position.

San Jose, Puerto Rico, practice owner José Arce, DVM, took the reins during the AVMA’s 2021 convention, replacing Doug Kratt, DVM, for a one-year term.

Dr. Arce, a 1997 graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, said diversity, equity and inclusion were among the issues he addressed during the year he served as president-elect.

“I will strive to be a strong leader who represents our members and advocates for our profession well, and inspire others to do the same,” he said. “I want to leave behind an AVMA that is better prepared to meet the needs of society while protecting, promoting and advancing a unified veterinary profession.”

Dr. Arce is the co-owner and founder of Miramar Animal Hospital. Puerto Rico’s governor in May appointed him the island’s animal health and well-being affairs officer.

Next summer, his successor as president will be Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP, a clinical associate professor of telehealth at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, her alma mater.

Dr. Teller was elected by the House of Delegates, defeating Grace Bransford, DVM, in what the AVMA called “the first women-only race for the office in the association’s 158-year history.” The previous female presidents were Drs. Mary Beth Leininger, Bonnie Beaver and René Carlson.

Dr. Teller most recently served as chair of the AVMA board of directors.

“There are many issues that our profession is grappling with,” she told the delegates. “I stand ready to work with you, the board and staff to address these issues.”

Replacing Dr. Teller as board chair was Karen Bradley, DVM, who owns Onion River Animal Hospital in Montpelier, Vermont. Ronald Gill, DVM, a mixed-animal practitioner at Three Rivers Veterinary Clinic in West Salem, Illinois, was elected vice chair.

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