The American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA’s) 2019 Convention in Washington, D.C., saw a change in the association’s senior staff.
John Howe, DVM, of Grand Rapids, Minn., has officially begun his term as AVMA president. In his new role, Dr. Howe, who previously served as executive board member, vice president, and president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), says he will focus on the best interests of AVMA members.
“Of course, our members’ needs come first,” Howe says. “The personal and professional health and well-being of the entire veterinary team during all stages of their careers is of primary concern. We have tools that enable you to develop a well-being plan for your entire team, a 24/7 cyberbullying hotline, and economic tools to improve your practice’s bottom line and so much more.”
Veterinary technicians also are top of mind for Howe.
“I have witnessed firsthand the importance of veterinary technicians and the key role they play in preserving animal health and welfare in every aspect of veterinary medicine,” he says. “Our profession would not be what it is today without the support of veterinary technicians.”
During his term, Howe also aims to raise awareness of the One Health approach to medicine among health-care professionals and the general public.
“In my conversations with physicians, I find they are always amazed at our diagnostic capabilities and how ahead of the game we are on issues like tick-borne illnesses,” he says. “We need to retain our leadership role in the One Health arena, promoting the health of all species and the environment.”
The convention also saw the appointment of Douglas Kratt, DVM, as AVMA president-elect. A small-animal practitioner from La Crosse, Wisc., Dr. Kratt previously served as Wisconsin’s delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) and president of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA). He was also a member of AVMA’s house advisory committee, strategic management committee, and its task force on volunteer engagement.
“A leader listens to the members and follows the strategic plan of the organization and does not push a personal agenda; they are a steward of the organization,” Kratt says. “A leader may assist in the big vision of the design, but they also play one of the Lego blocks in that design.”