DVM, MS, DACVS
DVM, MS, DACVS
Through over 38 years of both academic and private practice, I have been a committed champion for organized veterinary medicine.
Beginning with my involvement as a member of the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association through the 80’s and 90’s and carrying on to my experience with the WSVMA after my return to Washington, I have repeatedly seen organized veterinary medicine as our one best step forward in protecting, enhancing and strengthening our beloved profession. The needs of the practitioner, the researcher, the technician and our student colleagues in training are ever increasing and changing. New challenges face our profession every day. Today, the impact of emergent technology on maintaining the time honored relationship of the doctor-client-patient relationship is real and significant.
I believe that the maintenance of a strong state (and national) association is essential to ensuring that the future practice of veterinary medicine is properly promoted and protected from encroachment by either government or by individuals intending to do well for animals or their owners, but in a way that would ultimately limit the medical/professional latitude and freedom enjoyed by Washington veterinarians today. From my working on committees with the KVMA, to my two terms on the WSVMA Board, to my 9 years as a member of the AVMA House of Delegates, it has been a distinct privilege to stand up for the rights of all of our profession’s members through the year. It would most certainly be a humbling honor to invest the same focused effort again on behalf of my colleagues who live and practice here in the State of Washington as well.
RICHARD M. DEBOWES, DVM, MS, DACVS, is a Professor of Surgery and the Director of the Professional Life Skills program at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Working with Dr. Kathleen Ruby and others, Rick helped fund, develop, promote and host, the Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience at WSU and the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE) program for the global veterinary profession. Based on his experiences in veterinary practice and his awareness of the “people skills” needed to be a great health care team member, Rick currently oversees the practice management curriculum and continues to teach in the leadership and the clinical communication courses for which he was the founding co-director.
A 1979 veterinary graduate of the University of Illinois, Dr. DeBowes previously served as Associate Dean for Veterinary Development and External Relations at WSU and Chairman for the Departments of Clinical Sciences at both Kansas State and Washington State University, Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. During his academic career, he as coauthored over 100 publications and has developed over 6 million dollars in programmatic funding. He is a Diplomate and former Regent of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Twice elected president of the North American Veterinary Conference, Dr. DeBowes has served on numerous boards including nine years in the AVMA House of Delegates and as president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians. Dr. DeBowes has received the then Norden now Zoetis Teacher of the Year Award while at Kansas State University when he was teaching in the core curriculum. He has also received the 2012 Banfield Award for Educational Advancement and the VSIPP Spirit of Excellence Award for his work in leadership education. He was recognized as the Erwin Small Distinguished Alumnus in 2009 by the University of Illinois and named Washington Veterinarian of the Year in 2014. An accomplished speaker, mentor and coach, Rick has presented over 400 programs on leadership, teamwork, communication and organizational culture in 28 countries across 4 continents.
A father of two teenagers, Dr. DeBowes enjoys time with his wife Pamela at their children’s sporting events, working as a soccer referee and traveling internationally. An avid sailor, he also enjoys time on the water, in the water as a scuba diver and in the air over the water as a multiengine private pilot.
I am re-applying for a position on the Board of Directors to the WSVMA. I would like to be considered to continue as a board member, as I am just learning all the WSVMA has to offer. At this time in my career I can dedicate more time and energy to concentrate on the development of others. Veterinary medicine has been my life’s work and although at the heart of this work is the animals-a very large ignored component is the people who make this business their life. I am passionate about caring for the veterinarians, staff and all those touched in this business especially the ever increasing number of women. We need involvement and engagement to build a stronger supportive community of professionals. A system dedicated to addressing the problems and looking for solutions. An open forum of discussion with the vast number of highly intelligent people that surround our profession. The WSVMA will need to change with the future needs of its members to stay relevant. It is the organization dedicated to the well-being of all veterinarians in our state regardless of their choice of employers. No other group has the advocacy for Washington State Veterinarians in the state legislature. I would be honored and proud to continue to dedicate myself for the veterinarians of Washington. Thank you for your consideration.
Dr. Jean’s passion for helping people and animals has been a lifelong endeavor. Her passion is currently focused on developing women in leadership, in addition to the health of our veterinarian community. She has an interested in helping veterinarians avoid compassion fatigue and find happiness in life and career. Her previous position was a developing medial director for the state of Washington market for Banfield, a long way from the child born in Oakland, California. Life’s adventures have transverse from her first job in the field at the age of 13, through now 36 years of working in veterinary medicine. Life stops in experiences include biology studies at UC Davis, cattle embryo transfer research, primate medicine internships, zoo internships, feline nutrition research, exercise physiology study in equines, teaching certificates in mathematics and biology, masters study in education, wildlife rehabilitator, state wildlife committee member, emergency medicine practitioner, practice developer, veterinary practice building design, business management, wife and mother. At this stage of her career she is dedicated to family, personal education and leadership development, and to pass on this knowledge to new veterinarians in the field. To teach others how to embrace change and hit fear head on as opportunity to grow and learn. To find happiness and fulfillment in the career of veterinary medicine.
This is an exciting, yet challenging time in Veterinary Medicine. It’s exciting to see medical advances and a higher level of quality care, yet challenging due to student debt, compassion fatigue and decreasing number of pets going to see their veterinarian. The main reason I am interested in being on the WSVMA Board of Directors is the desire to be part of an organization that will play a large role in the direction that our profession will go in the future. To be part of the strategic planning needed to keep our profession healthy and moving in the right direction.
In my current role as Medical Director for Banfield Pet Hospital in Washington State, I am responsible for the development and engagement of the eighty veterinarians that work in the hospitals. This multiunit position has provided me with a unique opportunity to develop skills in effective and collaborative communication with the doctors, develop and maintain high functioning doctor teams and put in place market wide strategies for the twenty-five hospitals in the Seattle market.
I enjoy being part of an organization that is leading the way in the veterinary industry and forging new paths in uncharted territory. For me, being on the WSVMA Board of Directors would provide the opportunity to not only learn more about where the industry is currently, but also a way to advocate for the veterinarians and the pets they serve as we move into the future.
Growing up on a small acreage in Northwest Iowa, animals have always been a big part of my life. I raised ducks, sheep, goats, rabbits, and horses and was an active member in the local 4-H club. I am often told by my relatives that I spoke about becoming a veterinarian at five years of age. As I grew up I never lost that passion for caring for animals and even then realized what a huge impact an animal can have a person’s life. I can still remember the day I received the letter letting me know I had been accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. It was a lifelong dream becoming a reality.
I graduated for Iowa State University in 1994. I got married to my wife, Kimberly, the weekend after graduation and then started my first job in Spirit Lake, IA immediately after the honeymoon. I practiced for three and a half years in Iowa before moving to large clinic in St Cloud, MN. Both were great experiences as I learned how to practice medicine and also build relationships with clients. In 2000 my wife and I made the decision to leave our families and the Midwest to make the move to Seattle to work for Banfield Pet Hospital. I quickly moved from an associate doctor, to Chief of Staff and then in 2010 became the Medical Director for Banfield in Washington State overseeing twenty hospitals. Going from clinical practice to more of a management position was a difficult decision but one that gave me the opportunity to assist in developing the next generation of veterinarians.
Living in the Northwest was a breath of fresh air for me as I quickly found myself in an environment that fueled by passion for being outdoors. I love going to the coast to visit the beach, both in Washington and Oregon. My family has regular vacations to Cannon Beach, OR where my daughter, Victoria, loves the beach as much as I do. I have recently gotten involved with local Marine Mammal Rescue groups – a perfect blend of my passion for animals and the ocean. Three years ago I purchased my first Sea Kayak and haven’t looked back since. I kayak regularly in local waters, both fresh and marine. I am an active member of the North Sound Sea Kayaking club and sit on the club’s Board of Directors. Being on the water for me is a time to slow down, refresh and gain new perspective.