President’s Message

2017 IVMA President Dr. Maria Cooper
2017 maria cooper

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year! Our IVMA staff is officially settled into the association’s new headquarters at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The offices are on the 2nd floor of Discovery Hall, which some of you may be familiar with as the old 4-H Girls’ Dormitory, a building that saw its heyday in the 70’s. After being closed since 1990, the building underwent a five-year, five million dollar renovation and opened again in December of 2011. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health and the Marion County Purdue Extension Service moved in that winter and are now excited to have IVMA as their new neighbors. The Board of Directors will meet in the new offices for the first time this month.

The holidays always serve as a time to reflect on IVMA’s initiatives and activities over the past year, and the list is lengthy thanks to the commitment of numerous volunteers. Besides moving across town into new digs, we welcomed thousands of our contemporaries to the Circle City in July for the first AVMA convention in Indianapolis since 1941. Our Board voted unanimously to amend IVMA’s Bylaws to transform and modernize our governance structure. The Executive Committee formed 2 new task forces and dove deeply into the subject of telemedicine and a comprehensive review the Annual Meeting.

We launched a new Member Resources web-page for 24/7 access to wellness, legal, and business information when you need it. IVMA staff and IAHF volunteers completed a 17-day presence at the Indiana State Fair engaging with the public about the value of our profession, and in September, IVMA was privileged to welcome the Purdue DVM Class of 2021 at their Freshman Stethoscope Dinner.

The Membership Committee developed the new IVMA Career Advancement Program (CAP) which we will launch in 2018. We hosted two tracks of CE at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in the fall, and added two brand new members-only Facebook pages.

As always, a team of folks kept an eye on the legislative process here in Indiana and across the nation for bills with the potential to impact out profession. The IVMA leadership team traveled to the Heartland Veterinary Conference in Ohio and the AVMA Economic Summit in Chicago. We returned back to the Windy City for the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference this month, bringing with us eight new graduates from the 2017 Power of 10 Leadership class.

No matter the time of year, there is always a troop of individuals planning for the next fantastic Annual Meeting which is scheduled for March 1st– 4th, 2018. The speaker line-up is solid, with an opportunity to earn 30 hours of continuing education. Among the small and large animal medicine and surgery tracks is a day of lawful and judicious drug therapy topics, a wellness program, lead by our colleagues at High Performance Living, a panel of IVMA members to discuss implementing telemedicine in your practice, and a track dedicated to our feathered friends and honey bee medicine, or as I fondly call it, “The Birds and the Bees Track.” Also new this year is an easy-to-use app which puts the meeting schedule, speaker bios, proceedings, exhibitor list, venue map, and more at your fingertips.

Finally, as you can see as you read this, the Hoosier Veterinarian newsletter has been updated and improved.  This new design will allow for an improved experience in reading and accessing the newsletter online.

Somehow, these past several months have sped right by me, and this is the last message I will write. As I visited with a practitioner in Northern Indiana recently, we spoke about the debt-to-income ratio of new grads, the opioid epidemic rearing its ugly face in clinic exam rooms, the economic forecast for private veterinarians, antimicrobial resistance, and other hot topics in veterinary medicine. He finally asked me what my biggest takeaway was after serving in this presidential role. I quickly realized that what I am taking away has little to do with any single pressing issue in our profession. Rather, it is that I am so glad to take on these issues, and other issues in the future, with Indiana veterinarians. Over the past year, I have been absolutely blown away by the remarkably kind and supportive professionals who make up our membership. I have met, learned from, and worked with so many brilliant and talented veterinarians in this state. It has been so neat to see how many Indiana veterinarians are leaders in their communities or national experts in their specialty. I am humbled to call you my colleagues and my friends. Thank you. It has been an honor to serve as your President.

On behalf of the whole IVMA leadership team, we wish you peace, joy, and prosperity throughout the coming year.

Dr. Maria Cooper