The President's Letter:
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 Animal practice. Since that time, I have practiced companion animal medicine in the same practice.
We made our home in Fort Smith, and have remained there for the entire duration of this journey. We have a son, Chase, who is currently a senior in the School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. In my off time, I’m a Certified Flight instructor attempting to teach people how to fly airplanes without killing themselves or others. I Fish when I can, travel all I can and complain often about anything. However, one thing that I will not complain of is the distinct honor that I have to serve as your president on the board of your state Veterinary Association. While I try to not take much too seriously, I intend to take this very seriously and will do my utmost to serve you for the next year.
Dr. David Blount, former board president and ArVMA representative to our legislator, invited me to run for district IV representative in 2007. When I joined the board, I had little knowledge what the function of the ArVMA was other than to provide continuing education opportunities in the state. I knew little of the importance of the ArVMA to veterinarians and our profession in the state of Arkansas.
Since then I’ve learn that our association serves us in a multitude of avenues at multiple levels. Not the least of which is maintaining a constant watch on the legislative body of our state government through our lobbyist Bill and Bradley Phillips. It is the Associations duty to ensure that the best interest of the profession is served and that the profession is not adversely affected by legislation considered. While the State House and State Senate are in session, maintaining watch is a job requiring experience, talent, and full devotion. We have that in our lobbyist and are fortunate to have them on board.
Your association is a conduit to The American Veterinary Medical Association. In this function the Association serves you by keeping abreast of ideas, and changes that are enacted by the AVMA that could affect you and your practice at the national level. The AVMA is also the watchdog monitoring the US Senate and House lobbying for your good at that level. In this manner the ArVMA keeps an eye on the doings at the federal level.
Then there is the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Foundation, created and funded in no small part by your association. This foundation provides support and promotion for our profession. In addition, they offer scholarships to Arkansas Veterinary students studying out of state. These scholarships are based on need and performance in addition to scholastic ability.
Time and space limit my ability to mention all the attributes that your association brings to the table. Attributes, like animal welfare considerations, disaster relief, financial advice, business advice, interactions with the USDA, and representative to the public for you. A tour about the web site will fill that void. Just rest assured that I will attempt to conduct myself as your president to the best that my ability will allow.
The winter meeting, the 108th winter meeting is now in the books. For the most part, the meeting was a success. I received many positive comments and compliments with reference to the venue, speakers and subjects. Our business luncheon and awards banquet were well attended. The featured speaker, Paul Vitale did an outstanding job motivating and entertaining us at the banquet. Congratulations to the Veterinarian of the year, Dr. Jim Ralston and congratulations to the Pet of the year “Avery” nominated by the staff at the Vilonia Animal Clinic..
In closing, I encourage you to get involved with your association. Learn what it has to offer, and take advantage of that.
Until the next time, peace be with you
Rusty Henderson DVM
- 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
- September 2012
Colleagues: School has started back up and summer is quickly coming to an end. It has been a busy one for me between practicing and coaching baseball it seems there is not much time left but I’ll have to admit that I love it. I was back at LSU-SVM for the annual coating ceremony at the end of freshmen orientation for the class of 2016, for those not familiar new students get their … Continue reading
- President’s Letter: April 2012
Arkansas Veterinarians I graduated from LSU on May 19th 1994 and I started work in Mountain Home on June 6th of that year…I was ready to get started and have enjoyed it the whole time….oh we all have our days but when work doesn’t feel like work, I think we’ve made it, and I haven’t worked in several years. I love medicine, I love Arkansas, but I don’t always love the perceptions of … Continue reading
- President’s Letter: December 2011
Hello again February is right around the corner and the term of my presidency is coming to an end. I am looking forward to seeing most of you at the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association Winter Meeting. Dr. Scott Smith has set up a great slot of speakers for the meeting and Maggie said that exhibitor spots are filling up. The Arkansas Veterinary Technician Association is having their meeting at the same time and … Continue reading