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Washington State
Veterinary Medical Association
8024 Bracken Pl SE
Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Phone: (425) 396-3191
Fax: (425) 396-3192



Temporary B&O tax increase could become permanent

In 2010, the legislature temporarily increased state B&O taxes by 20% for a long list of professional services, including veterinarians. At the time, it was supposed to be a temporary tax increase. Although not included in the Senate budget, both the House budget and Governor Inslee’s version continue the 0.3% tax, which is scheduled to end on July 1, 2013. Critics argue that by extending a tax set by law to expire this summer, it becomes a new tax.

The WSVMA has joined with Recover Washington, a coalition of organizations representing thousands of small professional businesses who are against the tax proposal. The WSVMA will be issuing a call to action to members to urge the Legislature to let the B&O tax extension expire. The burden of turning the temporary B&O increase into a permanent one continues to drive up the cost of doing business and raises the price of veterinary care to the pet-owning public.

Tell Congress veterinarians must be able to legally carry controlled substances to treat our nation's animals

Veterinarians are encouraged to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528), which would amend the CSA that currently prohibits veterinarians from transporting controlled substances to treat their animal patients outside of their registered locations.

Veterinarians treat multiple species of animals in a variety of settings. Unfortunately, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) makes it illegal for veterinarians to take and use controlled substances outside of the locations where they are registered, often their clinics or homes. This means that it is illegal for veterinarians to carry and use vital medications for pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia on farms, in house calls, in veterinary mobile clinics, or ambulatory response situations. Read full story.

WSVMA’s immunity legislation continues to move forward

The WSVMA legislation that would provide immunity from criminal and civil liability for good faith reporting of animal abuse has passed both the House and the Senate with unanimous votes. The House Judiciary added an amendment to clarify that veterinarians seeking the immunity cannot financially benefit after reporting the suspected animal abuse. The bill now goes back to the Senate for agreement in the House amendment. This should occur next week and prior to the end of the session on April 28.

Delayed enforcement for hazardous drug rules

The WA Department of Labor and Industries has decided to delay the enforcement of the hazardous drug rules by one year. The reason for the delay stems from the need to establish model programs for a variety of healthcare settings, which will take some time to develop.

The new effective dates are as follows:
Jan. 1, 2015 — Employers must have completed and implemented a written hazardous drugs control program.
July 1, 2015 — Employers must have implemented employee training.
Jan. 1, 2016 — Installation of appropriate ventilated cabinets must be completed.

A word of caution: it’s very important that all veterinary facilities move forward with their hazard assessments and not wait until just prior to the enforcement date. The WSVMA will be providing to members resources on hazard assessments and model programs as they are developed. For more information on the hazardous drug rules, visit the WA Department of L&I’s website.

Changes to State Veterinarian’s office – Dr. Leonard Eldridge to retire

After serving eight and a half years as State Veterinarian at the WA Department of Agriculture, Dr. Leonard Eldridge will step down as of July 1. A WSU 1965 grad, he spent 37 years in private practice before joining the department in 2004. Field veterinarian Dr. Jerry Pospisil will also retire at the end of April. Dr. Pospisil joined the Department in 2006 following a long career as a private practitioner. To view the recruitment posting for the State Veterinarian’s position, visit the website. Once hired, the new state veterinarian will join new Ag Secretary Bud Hover who was recently appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

FDA to hold public meeting in Olympia with Food-Animal Producers and Veterinarians

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold meetings around the country that will provide an opportunity for public dialogue and feedback on challenges faced by the animal agriculture industry and practicing veterinarians as FDA implements its initiative for the judicious use of medically important antimicrobials in medicated feed or drinking water of food-producing animals. Particular emphasis will be placed on challenges faced by animal producers in areas that may lack access to adequate veterinary services.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm in Olympia, WA at Evergreen State College (Library 4300). For more information, visit the FDA website or call (360) 867–6192 or 6000.

Continuing the Dialogue: A Resource for Understanding Suicide

Not long after the publication of the UK study highlighting the high rate of suicide among veterinarians compared to the general population and other healthcare professionals,1 I came to work as a counselor for students at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. I quickly grew to love working with this bright, motivated, and talented—although highly stressed—group of men and women. So far my clients here at the Vet School don’t seem to express thoughts of suicide more frequently than the general population of students I counseled for several years, or more than the general population in our community I’ve worked with for several more. The thought that these outstanding individuals are preparing for a professional future that carries such risks alarmed me.

I began collecting articles addressing or reflecting on the issue of suicide among veterinarians. My file grows thicker. In the past year, I’ve been told about three veterinarians—all in different parts of the country—who recently took their own lives. I fervently hope three is the sum total in the past year. But I wonder. Read full story.

Words that Work: Communicating the Value of Preventive Pet Healthcare

Research shows that pet owners are willing to embrace preventive healthcare visits if they know it will benefit their pets. Unfortunately, research also shows that many pet owners don’t completely understand the value of routine care. Effective communications skills help establish trust between the pet owner and your healthcare team. They also lead to client and patient compliance.

As professionals, we are good at making recommendations about pet health, but we are not always as diligent about effectively communicating the value and benefit of what we are recommending. The more we understand about a pet owner and the pet’s environment, the more we can help the pet owner understand the value of what we are doing and the more willing they are to provide their pet with the care you recommend. Read full story.

AVMA seeks feedback on compounding policy

Compounding is an important treatment option used every day by practicing veterinarians. Ensuring the needs of animal patients and their doctors are met is why the AVMA is very carefully considering whether or not their compounding policies should be revised, and if so, to what extent. Therefore, they are sharing any proposed revisions to their compounding policies with AVMA members and will give their members at least 30 days to review and comment on them. Read full story.

Texas Supreme Court issues opinion on non-economic damages

The Texas Supreme Court issued a long-awaited opinion in Medlen v. Strickland, refusing to allow non-economic damages for loss of a pet in a case involving a local municipal shelter. The high court reversed the judgment of a state court of appeals. The Texas VMA, AVMA and several other organizations filed amicus briefs with the court. The opinion repeatedly referred to public policy arguments raised in those briefs. Read full story.

Achieve financial success – attend WSVMA’s premier CE course

In keeping with our focus on veterinary economics, the WSVMA is presenting Profit Mastery, an intensive course that will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to help your business achieve financial success. Generously sponsored by Zoetis, Profit Mastery is a user-friendly seminar that teaches how to manage a company from its financial reports. Profit Mastery University includes seven modules that can show you how to make your business thrive:

  • Learn the primary causes of business failures and underperformance - and how to avoid them
  • Explore practical techniques of strategic financial analysis using a real life case study and a uniquely effective scorecard/roadmap tool.
  • Continue working with the case study and learn how to solve the problems that cause financial distress and quantify/pinpoint the effect of management inefficiencies
  • Use Break Even Analysis to measure the profit impact of every management/operating decision. You will use this tool every day.
  • Cash flow analysis and forecasting: Why and how to do it - and the impact it can have on the way you run your company, using cash flow patterns as a decision tool.
  • Manage your long-term cash flow utilizing the most effective balance sheet technique available.
  • Learn how to package loan proposals for your bank, how to implement exit strategies, succession planning, and how to consider transition issues and factors that drive valuation.

Join Darby Affeldt, DVM on Saturday, May 11, 2013 as she guides veterinarians and practice managers to a deeper understanding of financial analysis, presented in a fun and interactive manner. The course will be held at Seattle Veterinary Specialists, 11814 115th Ave NE, Bldg J, Kirkland, WA 98034 from 9 am to 5 pm. The course is approved for a total of 16 hours of CE credit for veterinarians. Certificates will be awarded for seven classroom hours. Upon completion of the full course, the remaining nine hours of self-study will be awarded.

To register, download the registration form or visit the WSVMA website. For additional information and to view course information, visit the Profit Mastery University website and click on “Preview.” 

Deadline approaching for 2013-14 Executive Board nominations

WSVMA is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to serve on the 2013-14 Executive Board in the following regions: Region 7 (Okanogan, Ferry, Chelan, Douglas, Grant), Region 8 (Spokane, Stevens, Adams, Lincoln, Whitman, Pend Oreille), and Region 9 (Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, Asotin). Candidates for Equine Medicine, Specialty Medicine and Companion Animal Medicine are also needed to run.

Nomination of a candidate can be made by any member in good standing, by local associations, or by self-nomination. The candidate should submit to the WSVMA office a CV along with a one-page narrative outlining interest and experience by May 1, 2013. Nominations are sought from members who can bring strength, expertise and a capacity to contribute to the Board. Visit the WSVMA website at board & committees. Member login is required.

Build client loyalty with the WSAHF Pet Memorial Card Gift Program

Honor your client and their pet and positively impact your practice by participating in the Washington State Animal Health Foundation (WSAHF) Pet Memorial Gift Program. Benefits of the Pet Memorial Gift Program to your practice include:

  • An effective client relations tool that serves to strengthen the bond with your client
  • Helps you to better deal with the difficulty of client grief
  • Allows your staff to become involved so you can practice veterinary medicine
  • Your charitable contribution is tax-deductible

Cards with envelopes purchased in bulk are priced at a minimum donation of $5 each. The cards are a minimum donation of $10 each for individual orders. To purchase Pet Memorial Gift Cards, download the order form or purchase online at the WSVMA website.

Win this beautiful handmade quilt

Enter the Washington State Animal Health Foundation’s (WSAHF) raffle to win this beautiful handmade 68 inch square quilt by a local expert quilt-maker, made especially for WSAHF. Tickets are only $20 each. There are a limited number of raffle tickets so chances of winning are great. To purchase a ticket, please visit the contact the office at (425) 396-3191 or

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