2018 IVMA President Dr. Nathan Rich

It is hard to believe that the Holiday season is upon us already. As I write this, I’m watching my children run around in their Halloween costumes, excited for the abundance of candy that surely awaits them in the coming days. My wife has decided to forgo the Thanksgiving holiday this year, so in lieu of dragging out Thanksgiving decorations, wreaths and tinsel are starting to emerge from the basement closets. Regardless, we are in the thick of my favorite season. The trees are changing, the leaves are falling, Purdue football has a pulse and basketball is right around the corner.

During this busy holiday season, be assured that the IVMA will continue to work hard for its members. On Nov 1st, 26 veterinarians and 16 RVT/ veterinary assistants will partake in our inaugural wet lab offerings. There will be three simultaneous wet labs that day: dentistry for veterinarians, dentistry for RVTs and assistants, and bone plating for veterinarians. We look forward to taking this step and developing a model for veterinarians to obtain the highest quality CE right here at your IVMA headquarters. For those members who have signed up, thank you! We look forward to seeing you. If you were too late and the labs were already full, have no fear, we will be planning the next opportunity shortly after this one wraps up. If you have suggestions on labs that you would like to see in the near future, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or Lisa Perius, as we would love to have your recommendations. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to show the value of veterinary medicine to the members of your community.

As always, our task forces and working groups continue to stay active. The Understanding Community Task Force will be meeting again in November to discuss the results of their most recent survey and phone conversations with members of our organization. They continue to seek answers to develop a stronger community within our VMA. The Membership Structure Task Force is in the process of developing a first draft to update our dues structure. The Opioid Education Task Force has been busy working to educate all of our members on new regulations that are coming your way. They are in the process of figuring out what options we will have for continuing education and what the best way to deliver the opportunities will be.

Our Annual Meeting Working Group has put together another fantastic list of speakers and topics for the upcoming meeting, February 28 – March 2, 2019. They are working hard to recruit new exhibitors to our exhibit hall and I would expect this meeting to be as successful and beneficial as all the years past. Not only are they adding the finishing touches to the 2019 meeting, they are also in the planning phase of the 2020 meeting that will be held at the new Embassy Suites on the north side. Branding and marketing designs are in the works. To say that we are excited about this is an understatement.

Our Legislative Working Group met in early October and the Veterinary Nurse Initiative was discussed in great detail. If you are unfamiliar with this issue, there is an initiative moving across the country to change the name veterinary technician to veterinary nurse. This has gained enough traction and support that Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has decided to change the title of the degree of Veterinary Technician to Veterinary Nurse. This change is in name only. The Legislative Working Group voted unanimously to recommend that the IVMA support this change. The recommendation was referred to the board of directors and a vote is currently underway. We will keep you posted on the results of the vote.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of both Lourdes Syndram and Lisa Perius, our IVMA staff, on our growing membership numbers. We have increased our active members by over 100 this year. It has taken a great deal of dedication and patience to achieve this goal. Well done to both of you and thank you so much for your efforts for our organization. The two of you embody what the IVMA and veterinary medicine is all about: hard work and dedication.

The last tip I would like to leave you with pertains to a pressing issue, the opioid epidemic. Our laws our changing and we as a profession must keep up. If you are Controlled Substances Registration (CSR) license holder in the State of Indiana, you are required to sign up for the INSPECT program no later than January 1, 2019. You will not be required to query the program until 2021, however, you MUST be signed up. Please do not miss this date. For more information, go to https://www.in.gov/pla/inspect/.

With that, I wish you all a happy holiday season. As always, if I can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to reach out to me.

Nathan Rich