AVMA House of Delegates January 2021 Summary

  |   Professional News

The AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) met virtually January 7-9, 2021 in conjunction with the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference (VLC).  The HOD tackled 8 resolutions as well as two timely topics during the Veterinary Information Forum.

Dr. Diana Thome’ at the HOD meeting January 2021

Resolution 1 – This resolution was presented following a HOD working group on AVMA officer elections.  The proposed document gives further guidance on timing of campaigns, campaign finance, influence, and endorsements, as well as violations of campaign/election professional ethical standards.  The resolution was referred to the House Advisory Committee for further review.

Resolution 2 – This resolution proposed changes to the dues structures for recent graduate AVMA members. This resolution was referred to the Strategy Management and Budget and Finance Review Committees.

Resolution 3 – This policy addressed concerns regarding the withholding of antimicrobials, but also other medications, in the face of illness, primarily due to food animal production marketing programs that restrict use. This policy was approved.

Resolution 4 – This resolution updated the policy on exempt biologics.  The House of Delegates approved this resolution.

Resolution 5 – This resolution revised the Guidelines for Use of Autogenous Biologics. This resolution was approved as amended by the House of Delegates.

Resolution 6 – This resolution updated the policy on veterinary dentistry.  The revised policy addressed concerns regarding the role of veterinary technicians in dentistry while retaining language to help protect against scope of practice encroachment by lay equine dentists. This resolution was approved by the House of Delegates.

Resolution 7 – This resolution revised the wording of the Model Veterinary Practice Act (MVPA) section 15 regarding impaired professionals. This resolution was approved by the House of Delegates.

Resolution 8 – This resolution was presented late and failed to receive the necessary waiver of prior notice to be heard before the House of Delegates at this meeting.  Discussion for this resolution is expected at the summer meeting of the House of Delegates.  This policy seeks to revise the AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals: 2019 Edition.

Dr. Gary Marshall at HOD meeting January 2021

The topics for the Veterinary Information Forum were as follows:

Veterinary medicine in the aftermath of COVID 19, Part 2. In July, we shared creative solutions that veterinarians have implemented in various practice settings in response to challenges posed by COVID-19. In this follow-up session, we discussed how our profession is dealing with the continuing public health crisis, including protecting the veterinary team while providing needed patient care. Topics included strategies for social distancing within staff and with clients; a renewed focus on client communication; and increased use of telehealth services. We also covered the latest legislation and relief programs, state by state access to vaccinations for veterinary professionals, business impacts of the pandemic, and support for personal wellbeing in this time of uncertainty and stress.

Time of canine spay/neuter. This topic garnered many electronic responses as practitioners face questions from clients and changing recommendations. Recent studies have generated questions about long-held recommendations regarding spaying/neutering companion animals, specifically dogs. Among issues to be considered are the importance of spay/neuter for population management and the impact of such procedures on joint disease, some cancers, and urinary incontinence. As the risks and benefits of spay/neuter are continuously evaluated, a renewed conversation about if and when to sterilize dogs is emerging among veterinarians. Based on the discussion, what is clear is that as new scientific information becomes available, it should be integrated into case-by-case assessments for each patient.

Washington was represented by Dr. Diana Thomé and Dr. Gary Marshall in the House of Delegates, as well as Dr. Sandy Willis on the AVMA Board of Directors.

The following members attended the virtual AVMA VLC:

  • Dr. Rick DeBowes, WSVMA President
  • Dr. Lindsey Hornickel, WSVMA VP
  • Dr. Kathy Hickey, WSVMA Leadership Development Committee
  • Dr. Sally Thompson-Iritani, WSVMA Leadership Development Committee
  • Dr. Annie Norling, WSVMA Rising Leader
  • Rebecca Hall, WSU/CVM Student
  • Dr. Sonja Olson, Blue Pearl, Vancouver
  • Dr. Christiana Leong, associate veterinarian, Spokane
  • Candace Joy, WSVMA CEO

January 2021 HOD Zoom meeting


By Dr. Diana Thomé, AVMA Delegate from Washington


Posted January 15, 2021