The President's Letter:
I am honored to serve as your ARVMA President this year. Born and raised in the Fort Smith area, I’ve practiced for 27 years there in a busy companion animal practice. I graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1985 and LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. My husband Kevin, of 32 years, is a Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Biologist and Regional Supervisor. Our son Tanner and his wife are both college students in nursing school. In my free time I love to travel and also love outdoor activities like lake sports, kayaking and hiking.
Following in the footsteps of those who have gone before will be a challenge, but I accept that challenge with relish! Since I’ve served on the ARVMA board, I have seen the steady hand of past presidents – Dr. Karen Sherman, Dr. Archie Ryan, Dr. Rusty Henderson, Dr. Kate Williams, and Dr. Andrea Shaw. It is truly a learning process and none of us realize what our State Association does behind the scenes until we get involved. We are fortunate to have our wonderful Executive Director Maggie Milligan. She deserves our thanks and praise for her efforts on our behalf. Our role at the state level is a small part of the bigger picture addressed by the AVMA at the national level. We are well served by our Delegate, Dr. David Blount and alternate Delegate Dr. Lindy O’Neil who represent each of us.
I would like to highlight a few things that your state organization has been working on for the past few years. First and foremost are the effort and funds we have put forth to improve relations and to reach out to younger veterinarians and new graduates. Your ARVMA has worked with Paul Vitale now for several years to improve our branding and social media presence. We have produced spot ads to improve our public image as veterinarians and to encourage participation of all veterinarians in the state. We are implementing the “Power of Five” to directly involve five new graduates in our organization. We are sensitive to the challenges that younger veterinarians face with things like astronomical student debt as well as job security and career counseling.
In a similar vein, your ARVMA teamed up with Dr. Heidi Ward, our U of A Extension Veterinarian, as she developed the 4-H Veterinary Science program in 2017. Dr. Ward is like the “Energizer Bunny” as she guides this impactful program to reach out to the youth of Arkansas. Targeted to the ages 6-19, the program is designed to have participation in real-world science related career exploration. Many of your Arkansas Veterinary colleagues have and will continue to volunteer their time to put on this 4-H based program with hands-on labs and training for kids.
We continue to support the Veterinary Technician program at ASU Beebe as well as the schools of veterinary medicine most Arkansas students attend.
Of course quality continuing education with our state meetings and encouraging each trustee to help host more local CE meetings is always important to your ARVMA. Dr. Natalie Cooper-Towns, your current President Elect, is already hard at work planning the speaking agenda for the 2019 Winter Meeting. Please reach out to her with your suggestions.
Our monitoring of the Arkansas State Legislature through our paid lobbyists as well as our Legislative Liaison Dr. Chad Towns and Dr. Paul Jenkins continues as we attempt to stay “in the know” and protect veterinary and animal related interest in the state. I have already heard from several veterinarians in the state with concerns about the Senate Bill 553 (Embryo Transfer). To update you, the Arkansas Veterinary Examining Board is currently working on the requirements to recommend to the Governor’s Office. The Bill unfortunately did not go the way that veterinarians wanted, but you were represented on the Legislative floor by several of your colleagues.
Dissemination of legislative information is very important. Your ARVMA is trying to find ways to better communicate with veterinarians in the state. You can do your part by forming positive relationships with your Representatives and Senators and contacting them when veterinary related items come up. We are trying to be proactive and anticipate things coming down the line. Legislative items and hot topics to watch for are:
Opioid Crisis and Prescription Monitoring Program – Veterinarians feel that we need to be a part of the solution even if we, as a whole, are not directly part of the problem. Monitoring of controlled substances is an important part of controlling this huge problem in our state and nation.
Animal massage – Licensed Massage Therapists have reached out to the ARVMA and we have formed a committee to work on our position.
Naming Convention of CVT - NAVTA is supporting a national change to the terminology of “Registered Veterinary Nurse” to replace CVT, RVT, LVT, etc. We are reaching out to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and the Arkansas Nurses Association to avoid conflict and objection.
Your ARVMA is hard at work to support veterinarians in our state. Your input and comments are welcome as we move forward. I invite each of you to get involved with your association on the local, state and national level. Several Trustee positions need Alternates at this time and we welcome you to join us!
Maggie or I are available for more information and if you haven’t checked out the AVMA website lately, it is a wonderful resource.
Laura M. Lynch, DVM
- President’s Letter
Colleagues & Friends, Welcome to another year in the ArVMA. I am thankful to be serving as President for our great association this year. Raised in southwest Missouri, my family lived simply, on a small farm, which began my interest in the health of all animals. After moving to Northwest Arkansas, I attended U of A in Fayetteville. Later I was accepted to LSU-SVM where I finished my degree in 1990 and returned, … Continue reading
- President’s Letter – April 2016
First, I would like to welcome the new veterinarians to the wonderful state or Arkansas. I wish that all of your cases are successful, all of your clients are happy, and you take time off from the job you love to spend a little time to love life. Never hesitate to visit with a colleague about a case or veterinary careers in general. This is the tie that binds us and makes us … Continue reading
- President Message – Winter 2015
Greetings, While many may know me, I would however venture that most do not. By way of introduction allow me a few lines telling you about myself. I was born and grew up in west central Arkansas near Russellville. While taking an indirect path I graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986 last century. Subsequently, my wife Cindy and I moved to Fort Smith Arkansas to join a Small … Continue reading
- President Message – Summer 2014
Hello, my colleagues…..We have certainly had an emotional 2014 and I hope you and yours are all well. The Arkansas veterinary community suffered a huge loss with the death of Sherry Glover. She has been an integral part of veterinary practice for as long as I can remember. Always happy to answer questions and incredibly knowledgeable on all things continuing education and Arkansas Veterinary Examining Board related, I am so saddened at her … Continue reading
- President’s Letter : April 2014
To my Colleagues: I am so excited and honored to serve as the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association 2014 President. After graduating from Auburn University in 1995, my husband and I moved to central Arkansas and we have been happy to call it home since. Outside of my veterinary world I enjoy reading, camping, geocaching and cheering on my teenage daughter during her different endeavors. I have been blessed to work with many talented … Continue reading
- President’s Letter : December 2013
December 2013 Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association Members, I just returned from the Arkansas One Health Conference hosted in Little Rock. The conference was organized by the USDA APHIS VS, Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, Arkansas Department of Health, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, USDA Wildlife Services, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, AR Department of Environmental Quality, FBI and the Bayer Corporation. How often do we see all … Continue reading
- President Letter : Summer 2013
Colleagues: Summer has almost elapsed and our kids are back to school or college and another fast and furious summertime has flown past! In our practices, the summer has kept us busy with ticks and fleas, parvovirus outbreaks, trauma, allergies, dietary indiscretions and intolerance and weather concerns. The Tick Borne diseases, such as Erhlicha and C. felis, have been rampant in parts of the state that have a large tick population. Fleas have … Continue reading
- President Letter: Spring 2013
Colleagues: It is an honor to serve as the 2013 President of the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association. I graduated from TUSVM in 1999 and have practiced in Northwest AR since. I joined the ArVMA Board as a district trustee in 2006. I currently serve in the U. S. Army Reserves as a Veterinary Corps Officer and is the Executive Officer for the 195th Med Detachment, Veterinary Services in Baton Rouge, LA. We have … Continue reading
- Winter 2012
Colleagues: Another Holiday season has past they seem to come too quickly anymore but as hectic as it is it’s still nice to be with loved ones and reflect on the past year and what lies ahead for the future. This is my last letter as President of ArVMA. It’s been a quiet year which is not all bad, our association is always looking out for you but continues to need your support. … Continue reading