WSVMA president highlights activities to ring in the new year
Welcome to 2019! One of the first events of the year is the opening of the Washington State Legislative Session beginning January 14th 2019. The first bill to be presented is the WSVMA’s HEAL-WA bill. The WSVMA’s Heal-WA legislation grants veterinarians and veterinary technicians access to online medical publications. The 2018 Washington State Legislature adjourned in late March, but the WSVMA bill couldn’t compete with the over 800 bills introduced into the short 60-day session and our bill never made it out of the Senate, despite overwhelming support from legislators. The legislature is expected to continue their support and pass this bill early in the session.
An additional bill being presented this session is the Humane Society for Southwest Washington authored legislation, Senate Bill 5004, that would grant registered animal care and control agencies and humane societies in Washington the ability to provide full veterinary services to low income pet owners who fall below the 80% median income level. The intent of the legislation is to expand the law that currently limits shelter organizations to sterilization, vaccination and electronic identification. The overwhelming problem of veterinary care for low income owners has been a passionate and deeply emotional issue for all involved. Many agencies are coming at this problem from different directions. A strategic plan initiative from your WSVMA for 2019 is to develop a task force of members to take a deep dive into strategies that would help support this underserved community.
January is also the month that the WSVMA Board of Directors and the Power of 10 Leadership Academy descend upon Olympia. There will be a tour of the capital and meetings with available legislators. This is a chance to explore the close ties the WSVMA needs in our state legislature. This unique opportunity to build relationships allows the WSVMA to remain an active and engaged organization within our state political system.
Completing the jam-packed January calendar is the CE “I Have a Headache” January 20th in Renton WA. This afternoon continuing education seminar will take a deep dive into diverse head and neck disorders of the small animal patient. This CE is intended to be very inclusive and interactive.
As always, we appreciate input, questions, and comments. We especially would like participation of our members to be an active part of your WSVMA. We would greatly encourage your participation.
By Dr. Jean M. Gulbransen, WSVMA President
Posted January 4, 2019