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Vision Statement: Veterinary Innovation Council

Leading Change for a Stronger Tomorrow

Vision Statement: Veterinary Innovation Council

Vision Statements: Industry leaders provide a look behind the curtain to discuss their company values and goals in this first-person sponsored essay series.

Collaboration inspires creativity. Innovation spurs solutions to difficult challenges. Transformation happens when you look at things from a different perspective and embrace change. Three very powerful words — collaboration, innovation and transformation. They are at the heart of why the Veterinary Innovation Council (VIC) was founded in 2016 as the first nonprofit within the veterinary community to tackle the largest challenges facing the profession. VIC is a collaborative, industry-wide initiative focused on leading innovation in global animal health and championing groundbreaking solutions.

VIC selects important issues to address and engages other organizations to contribute as stakeholders in developing initiatives to support a common goal. In our first year, VIC focused on telemedicine. Following presentations at the 2018 Banfield Pet Healthcare Industry Summit, where data was shared regarding the personal and professional wellbeing of veterinary nurses, VIC elected to take charge on effecting positive change. Since then, we have worked internally and with other organizations on elevating the role and supporting the education of veterinary nurses. 

Thus far, our efforts have successfully kick-started conversations, work and input from key stakeholder groups regarding the 2- and 4-year Veterinary Technician/Technology/Nursing degree programs. We have worked with stakeholders to recommend an accreditation process for the 4-year B.S. degree plus a national certification examination (modeled after the VTNE examination provided by AAVSB for A.S. degree holders). VIC has also raised the profile of and driven planning regarding creation of a mid-level professional through master’s degree programs to be offered by accredited veterinary colleges. This position would help bridge the gap between veterinarians and veterinary nurses and offer expanded opportunities for veterinary nurses. VIC has brought this need and opportunity to the attention of AAVMC leadership, and the concept has been shared across a core group of their institutions. Several schools are considering development of pilot programs, and additional discussions across the AAVMC membership are being planned. 

In addition to identifying and acting on key initiatives impacting the veterinary profession, VIC sponsors an annual Veterinary Innovation Summit (VIS). VIS creates a space where some of the most progressive thinkers gather, network and strategize ways to prepare for the future.

Change can — and should — be a powerful force for good. Through collaboration, innovation and transformation, VIC will continue to engage with forward-thinking individuals and groups to address some of the largest issues facing the profession.

 For More Info: navc.com/vic


Marcie Whichard is vice president of professional and community relations for the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and executive director of the Veterinary Innovation Council. Before joining the NAVC, Whichard worked in veterinary retail corporate management for more than three decades, gaining global leadership experience while overseeing multiple divisions at Petco Animal Supplies Inc.