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

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



WSVMA immunity legislation to be amended to include no financial benefit

Senate Bill 5102, providing veterinarians immunity for good faith reporting in the normal course of business, recently passed the Senate and as protocol dictates, was heard back in the House Judiciary Committee this week. Testimony from the public raised the need to insert language prohibiting veterinarians from receiving financial benefit as a result of the reporting of abuse.

Two convicted animal abusers testified at the hearing that veterinarians make false claims and benefit financially as a result of reporting, reportedly from caring for seized animals. While their testimony didn’t make it clear that veterinarians had actually benefitted during their legal battles, members of the House Judiciary Committee still felt it important to include new language prohibiting financial gain as a result of reporting. WSVMA’s Legislative Advocate Greg Hanon commented on the change by stating, “Immunity for any group or class is considered a privilege and not granted by legislatures broadly, and general restrictions often apply.” Assuming the bill passes with the amendment, veterinarians who report suspected abuse with the expectation of immunity will have to forego any compensation other than for services rendered for care or treatment prior to reporting. Veterinarians could choose to receive compensation for post-reporting care of the animal, but immunity would not then apply.

As the amended bill works its way through the legislative maze, members are asked to contact their legislators to express support for Substitute Senate Bill 5102. For more information, please contact the WSVMA office.

Support Legislation to Address Need for Rural Veterinarians

AVMA is asking veterinarians to contact their members of Congress to cosponsor the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act of 2013 (S. 553 / H.R. 1125), which U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) introduced last week. This bipartisan legislation addresses the critical need for veterinarians in rural areas of the country by making the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) tax-exempt, thereby increasing the number of veterinarians who can participate in the program without requiring additional funds from Congress. Read full story

Veterinary medicine's central role in public health

Veterinarians are known as compassionate practitioners of animal medicine. In a Huffington Post article posted on March 4, 2013, veterinarian Joan Hendricks explains that they are also uniquely poised for crucial roles in public health. Veterinarians are the only medical professionals comprehensively trained in comparative medicine and human-animal interactions and they have a background in infectious disease. Dr. Hendricks states that this contributes to treatments for humans, solutions to global hunger, improved food safety and production, and surveillance and prevention of potentially devastating infectious diseases. Click here to read the full article.

Taking Care of Yourself

This article is about my personal history with loss. The WSVMA has a newly formed Task Force on Professional Stress and Wellbeing, and there are tremendous resources available to those facing personal challenges at, under Resources-Veterinary Wellness. The Washington Physicians Health Program,, also have great resources on the phone and in Seattle to help out immediately. I would be honored if you read my story but this is not about me…this is about you and knowing that you have resources for you and those who care about. Read full story

AVMA GHLIT expands member services with a dedicated private insurance exchange

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Group Health and Life Insurance Trust (AVMA GHLIT) announced Feb. 22 that it will launch a private insurance exchange this spring to assist its members in securing major medical insurance coverage. This announcement comes after the underwriter of the GHLIT medical product notified the Trust of its intent to discontinue offering medical insurance to bona fide association plans after 2013. The GHLIT private insurance exchange (an online marketplace) will enable AVMA members to shop, compare costs and benefits, and ultimately enroll in a medical plan from the insurance carrier that best suits their needs. The private insurance exchange will be built upon HealthPlan Services’ (HPS) benefit crossroads? platform. Read full story

AVMA revises euthanasia guidelines

AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals have been revised and can be accessed as a PDF on An e-reader-friendly publication will also be available shortly, and a print-on-demand book is in the works. Originally published in 1963 and updated at least once every ten years, the Guidelines are designed for use by veterinarians who carry out or oversee the euthanasia of animals. More than three years of deliberation by more than 60 individuals, including veterinarians, animal scientists, behaviorists, psychologists, and an animal ethicist, resulted in the commentary and recommendations in the 2013 edition of the Guidelines. To read about changes to the Guidelines, visit the AVMA website.

WSU conducting canine orthopedic study

The Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory at Washington State University is conducting a study using a readily available nutraceutical supplement that contains MSM, Glucosamine HCL, Antioxidants, and Phycocyanin an extract of blue-green algae. This combination acts as a COX II inhibitor and will be used to treat chronic osteoarthritis in the canine patient. The study will run about 24 weeks; initial patient screening exams and once monthly follow up appointments will be conducted at WSU Pullman, WA. There will be an incentive of $1,000 to be awarded to the client upon completion of the study. We are looking for canine patients diagnosed with naturally occurring chronic elbow osteoarthritis (unilateral or bi-lateral), without any other concurrent orthopedic or medical disease. Read full story

Vaccine for wild horses and burros gains EPA registration

USDA’s Wildlife Services’ National Wildlife Research Center announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted approval for use of GonaConTM Equine Immunocontraceptive vaccine in adult female wild or feral horses and burros. GonaCon was developed by National Wildlife Research Center scientists and is the first single-shot, multiyear wildlife contraceptive for use in mammals. Read full story.

WSU’s VBMA spring semester news

WSU’s Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) has been very busy this semester. At the national VBMA conference in January, WSU’s chapter was named second best overall program for 2012! In planning events this semester, WSU CVM’s Practice Management course has been kind enough to share speakers with us, so we have lectures planned almost every week. The evening events cover a broad spectrum of topics, including leadership skills, conflict resolution, exam room 101, veterinary and animal law, promoting culture and teamwork in the workplace, practice and personal finance, and veterinary insurance. Read full story.

WSVMA offers premier financial CE course, Saturday, May 11, 2013

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.” 

Call for Nominations for WSVMA 2013-14 Executive Board

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.

WA State Animal Health Foundation News

New 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.

WSAHF raffling beautiful handmade quilt!

Enter the WSAHF raffle to win this beautiful handmade quilt by a local expert quilt-maker, made especially for WSAHF. Click here to see larger picture. Tickets are $20 each. There are a limited number of raffle tickets so chances of winning are great. To purchase a ticket, please contact the WSVMA website.

Grants available from the Washington State Animal Health Foundation

The Washington State Animal Health Foundation will consider applications for Community Service and Disaster Mitigation projects that take place within the boundaries of Washington State. Projects should address a need within the veterinary or animal community or community-at-large that is not already being addressed or that is being inadequately addressed. Those who may apply for grants include veterinarians living or working within Washington State, employed staff members at a Washington veterinary practice or members of the public in cooperation with veterinary personnel as specified. For complete grant guidelines, contact the WSVMA office.

WSVMA 2013 Awards nominations due April 1

At the WSVMA Annual Conference October 4 –6, 2013 in Yakima, the WSVMA will present awards to those that have contributed significantly to the veterinary profession in Washington. The 2013 awards that will be presented include Veterinarian of the Year, Distinguished Achievement, WSU Faculty Member of the Year, Distinguished Veterinary Staff, Humane Animal Welfare, Student-Recent Grad and Allied Industry. Download the nomination form and submit to the WSVMA office prior to the April 1, 2013 deadline. For past award winners, consult your WSVMA Member Services Directory.

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