President’s Message – Welcome to 2018
Hello and Happy New Year to all! As I reflect on the past year and start to focus on the next, I always have a feeling of nervous excitement. Can I build on the successes while learning from my missteps? I ended last year going cross-country skiing with my family. The muscles were still sore as I started the year grouting a shower.
2017 saw the continuing consolidation of our profession and changes that will most certainly shape our future. We have not yet figured out all the possible forces it will place on our individual lives. It is affecting practice values by bringing in outside investment. It most certainly will affect our business practices and will change some practice cultures. Time will tell what the final implications will be.
2017 also saw the end of the state’s largest local VMA with the closing of the Puget Sound Veterinary Medical Association. Though a few others still exist in our state, it seems the trend keeps going. One thing WSVMA needs is input from our members. The loss of local associations with the networking and sharing of ideas can hinder our information scanning. We remain eager to hear input from everyone so we can stay ahead of trends that may affect us. To the remaining local associations, I urge you to stay together.
With the dawning of 2018, I look at some things the WSVMA does for our profession. Our office team is outstanding and can be reached by phone or email to answer your concerns or questions. We put on the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference in the fall with great speakers, and it continues to attract a large audience. I received the recent notice of the Equine Herpes outbreak in King County. This timely news on events keeps me informed on important topics. The legislative session is underway and I know Greg is working hard watching potential laws that may affect us. I always think of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and how things would be without the WSVMA.
We try to stay ahead of issues that may involve our profession. Telemedicine has arrived and we are in the early stages of forming a taskforce to examine its impact in Washington. We feel it is better to talk about the difficult subjects and not try to ignore them, hoping they go away. This can be difficult, but we need to address them so we can be part of the solution and lessen the impact of outside influence. This led us to look at how difficult it is to retain our trained healthcare teams, and we’re examining it under the lens of changing practice models.
I invite all to attend our VetMed Matters Conference on February 25. This will explore what is happening and allow us to share ideas. It is about our teams and we’ll talk about consolidation. It will also help us understand why unionization has been mentioned. Again it would be easiest to ignore problems retaining employees, but if we are to help find a solution it can’t be ignored. For an added bonus we will hold our monthly board meeting after the event. Come and meet us. See you there.
Dr. Paul R. DeMaris, WSVMA President
Posted January 12, 2018