President’s Message – March, 2014
As I write my first president’s message we are in the middle of another snow storm in what is starting to feel like an endless winter, but as the days are beginning to lengthen I am comforted by the fact that we will soon see leaves on the trees and green in the fields. I am sure we are only a few months away from complaining about heat and humidity. It is still Indiana, and if you don’t like the weather just wait a few days and it will change.
I would like to start off by saying what an honor it is that the membership has placed their trust in me to lead this association in the upcoming year. I have a tough act to follow in Dr. Phil Borst and would like to thank him for what he has done for the association over the last year. I would like to thank Dr. Paul Clemente, Dr. Aileen McDivitt and Dr. Julie Davis for their years of service on the Executive Committee. Their dedication to the profession has been great and I look forward to their continued involvement with the IVMA. As I walked the halls during the Annual Meeting and talked to many of the past presidents of the IVMA, I realize the impact these leaders have had and continue to have on the profession and only hope that I can continue that tradition in some small way. The leadership of the past and the strength of our membership will continue to serve the veterinarians of Indiana well and set an example for other organizations throughout the country.
I am really looking forward to continuing to serve on the executive committee with Dr. Borst (Immediate Past President), and Dr. Jerry Risser (President Elect), and am excited to have Dr. James Stepusin (Vice President), Dr. Aaron Smiley (Treasurer), and Dr. Jason Huff (Board Chair) join us. I am so glad to have such a great group of colleagues to work with this year. As always, we are so lucky to have Lisa Perius as our Executive Director, her vision and work ethic continue to push this association forward.
The 2014 IVMA Annual Meeting was another great one! I would like to thank all those that attended the meeting, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I would also like to thank all of the sponsors; without them we would not be able to have such a great meeting. I would also like to thank Dr. Tony Rumschlag and the Annual Meeting Committee and Dr. Kristi Graham and the Continuing Education Committee for all their hard work putting together such a great meeting and such a great slate of speakers. I again would like to thank Lisa Perius and Lourdes Syndram for all their efforts putting the meeting together and for running the show while we were there.
I am really excited about the upcoming year for our association. There are many projects we have been working on during the last few years that I hope we will continue to move forward with. The Board of Directors meets in March to set the association’s goals for the year; in addition there are a few specific things I would like to address this year. I outlined most of these in my speech at the membership luncheon. I feel we need to continue to keep our eyes on legislative issues. If we don’t stay involved at the statehouse, laws may be passed that affect the way we practice and we will have no input. I feel that this is the most important thing that the association does for the profession. We also watch what is going on nationally and in other states so we can have a plan in place when issues come up in our state. I plan to continue a goal set forth last year to develop relationships with other animal groups so if an issue presents itself that we are in agreement on we can pool our resources and work together for our common good.
I would also like to continue to see us work with recent graduates, to help them be successful right out of school. We need to continue to provide resources that will help recent graduates deal with the transition into “the real world”. We need to continue to look at mentoring opportunities for them, as ways to deal with the high debt load they are faced with. I also think we need to continue to promote the value of organized veterinary medicine. As a practice owner I encourage my associates to get involved in some way with organized veterinary medicine. I think that involvement with veterinary associations is crucial to the strength of our profession. I believe that it is important to pay for my associates’ membership in these associations and to allow them to be actively involved. I think that if we as practice owners take on that responsibility, it shows recent graduates the importance of being involved in the profession. If they start involvement early in their career, they will likely continue to give back to the profession their entire life. I also plan to revive the Strategic Planning Committee this year. I think that it is again time to reevaluate the long range plans for the association and the profession.
I will stop rambling at this point, because I feel that there are too many important things the IVMA can do to list in one report. The Board will focus our efforts based on the goals we set in the March meeting. I hope that I can serve you all well in the year to come, and hope to see many of you throughout the state over the course of the next year. I would love to hear any ideas or suggestions that any of our members have. Feel free to contact me at any time. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (812) 779-6874 - feel free to call, email, or text me!
Dr. John Feutz