To All AAZV members,
As I approach the end of my term as President of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, I wanted to give you an update of the state of the organization. Many of the goals outlined in the 2002 Strategic Plan have been met. The organization continues to invest funds in order to work toward accomplishing some of the larger goals set forth in the 2002 Strategic Plan. On Saturday evening, October 11, 2008, we will hold focus groups at the conference hotel to begin discussions for an update of the Strategic Plan. All members are welcome to attend the focus group sessions.
The Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine is consistently on time and continues to provide high quality scientific information to our members. We continue to seek additional sponsorship to defray the cost of publishing the journal.
Our conferences continue to provide quality continuing education for all of our members. Our executive Director, Rob Hilsenroth, and the AAZV executive committee strive towards a more sustainable conference by continuing to make changes to reduce the environmental impact of the conference.
The American Association of Zoo Veterinarians is financially strong. We have donated financial support to ZIMS, to the International Committee for support of zoo veterinarians from economically challenged countries and to the Giant Panda Conservation Foundation Relief Fund.
Overall membership is steady, but not increasing. AAZV is sponsoring its first continuing education program tailored for clinical practitioners who see exotics and wildlife, Exotic Animal Medicine for the Clinical Practitioner. We hope these practitioners will subsequently want even more information and will join AAZV.
Our professional relationships with other organizations continue to grow. The Memorandum of Agreement with the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians is still in effect. We have worked closely together on several projects including joint appointments to several AVMA committees. Through the efforts of AAZV member Kim Nicholas, the AVMA has offered AAZV and AAWV a seat on the House of Delegates Advisory Panel. The executive committee of AAZV and the AAWV Board will make a joint appointment to fill this seat. We continue to seek a joint seat in the AVMA House of Delegates with voting privileges.
In 2008, the AAZV also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians. This agreement is similar to the AAWV MOA. We are working closely with AZA, as we always have, and are working toward developing a more formal arrangement, such as a memorandum of agreement, to ensure AAZV representation on the Animal Health and Animal Welfare committees. By formalizing these cooperative relationships, we hope to enhance our organization’s ability to promote the general welfare and conservation of captive and free ranging wildlife.
Any organization is only as strong as its members. Please join a committee and become active in your organization. The more active members on each committee, the lower the workload for each member of the committee. All members of any level, including students, are welcome on committees. Contact the chairperson by email, or just show up at the meeting during the conference.
Mary Denver, DVM
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians