President’s Message

Dr. Nathan Rich

One could certainly say that this year, spring has been a bit of a roller coaster as far as weather is concerned. As I write this however, the 10-day forecast on my Weather Underground app is predicting some pretty nice days of spring ahead, with just a few showers, but who doesn’t like May flowers? Oddly, the IVMA has followed the pattern of the weather and has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, beginning with the cancellation of our March board meeting. It seems that Influenza and a late winter storm are more of a force than most of us would like to admit. But just as the weather is breaking and things are looking up for the rest of the spring season, the IVMA is also rolling and picking up steam fast.
First, Dr. Matt Cantrell and myself were afforded the opportunity to pin the 3rd year students with their name badges at the annual White Coat Ceremony. Then, thanks to the dedication of our outstanding board members and the hard work from our executive director, an April 25th goal setting meeting was set up on short notice and was very successful. We will finish this spring out with representation at the Oath Ceremony after graduation on May 12th, and then on to French Lick for our June Board Meeting and our destination CE, where I hope to see many of you.

As you are all aware, this year begins the transition into our new governance structure, and with that we said goodbye to all of our standing committees and hello to our new task force model. I am happy to announce that our Annual Meeting Task Force, chaired by Dr. Matt Cantrell, just wrapped up and the Board of Directors approved the recommendations set forth by the task force.
These recommendations include:
1. Move the location of the annual meeting to the new Embassy Suites Noblesville beginning in 2020. The TF believes that this will breathe new life in the meeting, increase attendance, and address vendor needs. This move would result in placing the meeting back in the January/February timeframe.
2. Change the name of the meeting to offer a new opportunity to rebrand. The TF recommends the following: The Crossroads Veterinary Conference – Innovate. Learn. Connect.
3. Shorten the meeting two days – i.e. Friday  and Saturday – ideally the meeting should offer 20 hours of continuing education.
4. Meet with Purdue to discuss the viability of a collaborative meeting arrangement in the future.
5. Modify the vendor hall to meet the shifting needs of attendees and companies. Continue to develop collaborative partnerships with companies.
Thank you, Dr. Cantrell, for your hard work!

The Telemedicine Task Force still continues their work to research and inform IVMA members about this topic. The information is vast, and the deeper we go, the more it seems we uncover. But, Dr. Aaron Smiley has been working diligently to make sure all of the details are examined and we can expect great recommendations to come from the task force’s efforts.
In addition to Telemedicine, we will also be assembling the Opioid Education Task Force. This is an idea that originated out of our January meeting. We will begin assembling members to serve on this important issue that is plaguing our profession. If you are interested in serving on this task force, please contact Lisa in the IVMA office.

As I stated in my last message, the IVMA is dedicated this year to three concepts: Value, Engagement, and Community. With these three concepts as the main focus of our goal setting meeting last week, we were able to name six new task forces to accomplish the goals set forth by the Board of Directors. The tasks forces are as follows:
1. Value
IVMA Sustainability Task Force
Practice Resource Task Force
2. Engagement
IVMA Innovative Member Engagement Task Force
Membership Structure Task Force
3. Community
Understanding IVMA Community Task Force
Innovation/Dreamers Task Force

Now we need YOU to volunteer for a task force or a micro-volunteering opportunity to assist with these efforts. Getting involved in IVMA is a great way to connect with colleagues, meet new people, and learn something new about your profession. See page 16 of the newsletter to learn more about these task forces and how you can sign up to participate. One of the critical reasons why the Board advocated for a new governance structure was to involve more members in the work of the association. Please join us!

As I close, I would like to take the time to say thank you to all the board members for making the extra effort to attend our goal setting meeting on such short notice. This was without a doubt the most important meeting of the year, as it set the agenda for the year to come.
I would also like to say thank you to all the members of this great organization for your continued support of our profession. I hope that you are able to see the hard work that you, and so many of your colleagues, put into this organization to make this profession stronger every year in the state of Indiana. I hope you find the spring season full of prosperity and warm weather.

Nathan Rich, DVM