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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                    Winter 2011

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News from the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

by Valerie E. Ragan, DVM - Director

Greetings from the College Park campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM)! We have been busy working on expansion of the center to meet the goals of increasing the national and international visibility of the center, and increasing opportunities and experiences for veterinary students.

In the last newsletter, I was pleased to present Dr. Stephen Sundlof who had recently joined our faculty from the Food and Drug Administration. Im now very pleased to announce that we have another incredible addition to 

our faculty. Dr. Gary Vroegindewey, former director of the U.S. Department of Defense Veterinary Service Activity and assistant chief in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, recently joined us and is already putting our center on the map.

Dr. Vroegindewey is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in veterinary public health and disaster management, with broad experience in leadership and organizational development. He brings to the college a wealth of global health experience ranging from working in key roles with dairy production in South America; food safety in Egypt; and Avian Influenza global planning to developing international training programs for the Middle East. He is the incoming chairman of the International Affairs Committee- Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and was awarded the 2010 AVMA XIIth International Congress Prize for contributions to the understanding of global veterinary medicine.

In his new position, Dr. V as he is known here, will develop and teach new courses, create experiential opportunities for students and graduates, and build strategic partnerships among the public, private, and professional sectors. In addition, he will lead branding, marketing, and communications capability programs to promote the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. V is already putting the CPCVM on the map by leading a major international event as he has been asked to chair the first Veterinary Medical Session at the 17th World Congress for Disaster and Emergency Medicine being held in Beijing, China in 2011. Previously the Congress did not include any veterinary sessions. Under Dr. Vs leadership, the CPCVM has brought together key partners in disaster response including the AVMA, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Veterinarians Without Borders, USDA, the Department of Defense, and international veterinarians to present programs highlighting the critical role of veterinarians in global health, disaster response, and One Medicine.

Weve continued our international reach in other ways as well. We were recently approached by USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and have received a grant from them to assist with animal health programs in the Caucasus, with a focus on Armenia and the Republic of Georgia. I recently traveled to Armenia to start the scoping and assessment process as step one of the agreement. We met with Armenian veterinarians, the Armenian Chief Veterinary Officer and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, and the US Ambassador to Armenia. Were currently drafting a work plan for developing a national animal health program for Armenia, and if accepted by the Minister, well be expanding our efforts there. Our grant includes travel funds for VMRCVM senior students. Our ultimate goal is to not only help Armenian veterinarians and help the country improve its animal health and hopefully its export capabilities, but to provide an opportunity for veterinary students to see livestock diseases they wont (hopefully) see in the United States. We want students to learn how the US government interacts with foreign ministries and the importance of those interactions to the United States, to veterinarians, and to animal health in this country.

I mentioned in an earlier article about the Memorandum of Understanding we had signed with both the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD). The purpose of partnering with these two large national organizations is to provide opportunities to educate and mentor veterinary students interested in public veterinary practice and diagnostic medicine and research, while providing them networking and potential future employment opportunities. Im pleased to share with you that both organizations waived the meeting registration fees and that four VMRCVM first year students accompanied me to the USAHA/AAVLD annual meeting in Minneapolis in November. Two of those students are Maryland residents.

There were over 1400 attendees, with 75 people attending from 20 different countries. The students were able to meet a large number of state veterinarians and directors of veterinary diagnostic laboratories from across the country, as well as animal health officials from Canada and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Chief Veterinary Officer from the Republic of Georgia. They also attended cuttingedge lectures on current animal health topics. We were also invited to the AAVLD Board of Directors meeting, and Im proud to say that all four students went to the podium and spoke to the Board to express their appreciation for being at the meeting and how much they had learned about the incredible breadth of significant issues that involve veterinarians. I was also pleased that the USAHA president announced that one of the major accomplishments for the year for the century-old organization was the agreement signed with the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine at VMRCVM.

CPCVM participated in MVMAs Fall Conference through developing a Public Practice session with a range of topics including career transition, global food safety, international programs, Maryland public health issues, shelter medicine, public practice opportunities and veterinary school recruiting presented by nationally recognized speakers.

These are a few examples of what we are doing to expand opportunities and experiences for our veterinary students. We are also revising and expanding the courses we are teaching as part of the public and corporate veterinary curriculum, but that will be a subject for a future article. We are excited about the developments at the CPCVM, and I am thrilled with the top-notch faculty who have recently joined us. Throughout our planning process and the implementation of some new initiatives, we have greatly appreciated the support and input of the MVMA. Tom Armitage, MVMA President-Elect, serves on our advisory board, and Id like to extend a personal thanks to Tom for his time and participation as we work to develop and expand the CPCVM.

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Important Links from this article

Training Veterinarians for Careers in the Federal Government

Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

United States Animal Health Association

American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

American Veterinary Medical Association


2011 Maryland Veterinary Medical Association

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