WSVMA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee gets to work

  |   DEI, WSVMA News

The Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA) Board of Directors identified diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as an area for growth and added it to their strategic plan three years ago. More recently, in order to maintain momentum in this area, a standing committee was formed to take this work on and move it forward.

Committee members come from across the state and diverse types of practice, and we wish to introduce ourselves and outline what to expect from us moving forward. Our members include:

  • Carrie La Jeunesse, DVM, CT, CFE (Co-Chair)
  • Jade Velasquez, LVT (Co-Chair)
  • Jennifer Bennett, DVM (WSVMA Board of Directors Liaison)
  • Mike Bellinghausen, DVM
  • Andrew Burich, DVM, MS, DACLAM, CPIA
  • Jane Jenkins, PhD, LMHCA
  • Candace Joy (Staff Consultant)
  • Brita Kiffney, DVM, DABVP
  • Laura Neal, DVM
  • Kenneth Norris, DVM
  • Irene Yen, DVM

Between us, we bring a love of the profession and the honest realization that veterinary medicine remains the least diverse health profession in North America.

We are currently meeting virtually and have identified a number of areas that we will be working on. Our first steps are centered on developing a work plan that aligns with the goals and objectives of the Committee. This will include efforts such as organizational assessments, education, training opportunities, resource development, advocacy, and opportunities for collaboration to advance DEI in the veterinary realm in Washington State and beyond. We will keep you updated on our committee’s work.

We welcome your input and feedback; if you want to offer resources and or ideas for our group, please connect with us on the WSVMA online community. You may also reach out by contacting Candace Joy at [email protected].

Let’s work together to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Posted April 30, 2021