Success! WSVMA’s HEAL-WA legislation signed by the Governor: Members to have access to extensive online resource library

  |   Legislative

Veterinarians in private practice generally don’t have access to large collections of journals similar to human physicians and as a result, they rely on textbooks, conferences and online discussion forums like VIN for new information. Well, all that’s about to change.

Today at 11 am, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 5000, WSVMA’s legislation to add veterinarians and veterinary technicians to the HEAL-WA online resource library for Washington’s health professionals. HEAL-WA is the affordable online database of current, authoritative clinical information and educational resources for eligible healthcare practitioners in Washington State.

This remarkable resource will be paid for with a $16 addition to your state license renewal fee, so for less than the price of a single journal article, you’ll have an entire medical library at your fingertips.

A unique medical sciences program envied across the U.S., HEAL-WA is managed by the University of Washington (UW) in partnership with the Washington State Dept. of Health and is provided through an annual license surcharge to physicians, osteopaths, physician assistants, naturopaths, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists, and other providers. Available resources include electronic textbooks, evidence-based and reference databases, and full-text journals. The vast majority of current HEAL-WA users report that HEAL-WA contributes to higher quality of care, provides clinical value, results in better-informed clinical decisions, and provides new knowledge.

While several other health professionals have enjoyed access to HEAL-WA for years, it was the dream of Vicki Croft, former animal health librarian at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, to bring it to Washington veterinarians. After Vicki retired, Dr. Suzanne Fricke, who succeeded Croft at the library, carried the torch and brought the idea of seeking access to the WSVMA. She assisted further by developing the comprehensive list of desired veterinary journals and resources that were submitted to HEAL-WA. These journals will be added to the HEAL-WA online database along with over 200 veterinary medical e-books available from publishers.

It’s unclear exactly when access to the online resource will begin. Rulemaking through the Dept. of Health will take place to add the online resource to the list of licensing fees for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Income from the new license fee must also start flowing to fund purchase of the various journals and e-books.

The HEAL-WA administrators will be at the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference in September to begin demonstrating not only the merits of the online resource, but how to sign up and login. Future webinars and CE sessions are also planned.

Special thanks go to Vicki Croft and Dr. Fricke, but especially to Greg Hanon, WSVMA’s legislative advocate, for successfully shepherding SB 5000 through the complex legislative process, which began in 2018. Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-1st) was the Senate bill’s main sponsor this year and Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43rd) sponsored the House bill. Appreciation also goes to the HEAL-WA administrators, Tania Bardyn and Pat Devine at UW, who testified on our behalf and have done so much to make sure we were successfully added to the program.


Posted 4/26/19