21 May AVMA Leadership Conference
In January 2015 I was privileged to attend the AVMA leadership conference in Chi- cago, Illinois as part of the UVMA delega- tion with Dr’s Vaughn Park (UVMA Dele- gate), Neil Moss (UVMA Alternate Dele- gate), Paul Tonioli (UVMA President), Kerry Rood (UVMA President Elect) and Susan Benson (Bear River District Rep- resentative).
I was impressed with the efforts the AVMA is making to involve, encourage and prepare members to participate and contribute, as well as with the numerous ways that members can participate, at all levels of commitment. I was also im- pressed again by the dedication, verve and concern for the wellbeing of our pro- fession as a whole, and individually, dis- played by the leaders of the UVMA I at- tended with.
Association membership and participation is just about the only way veterinarians can make their voice be heard beyond the confines of their practices. If there is an issue affecting veterinary medicine that you feel strongly about please don’t tell yourself there is nothing you can do about it. Through active membership and partici- pation in the UVMA and AVMA there is a lot you can do about it. It may not be easy, or quick, but there is something you can do to make a difference. There are multiple ways you can contribute locally, regionally, statewide and even nationally. It only de- pends on how far you are willing to go. Please volunteer and attend your local association meetings. If local association meetings aren’t happening where you live contact your district representative, or at least get to know your neighbors in prac- tice. Have lunch with them once in a while.
Particularly if you are a recent graduate within the past 10-15 years do not let your voice be lost because you feel you have nothing to contribute compared to your more experienced colleagues. Everyone’s voice matters, indeed everyone’s voice is needed.
Eric K. Hansen DVM
UVMA Central District Representative (Utah, Juab, Sanpete and Millard Coun- ties)