President’s Column – April 2017

If you’re like me, you depend on your fellow VMAE colleagues to help you excel in your role as veterinary association executive. How many times a year do we reach out to one another for advice, work examples or other valuable assistance to help us grow our organizations and serve our members? To me, you are the best member benefit VMAE offers.

In addition to the importance of leaning on each other day-to-day, we offer a treasure trove of resources contributed by VMAE members and partners that you may have forgotten about, or if you’re new to VMAE, you haven’t yet had the opportunity to leverage. Over the last several years, we’ve assembled valuable resources for you to use within your own organizations. All of these are housed on the VMAE website.

Recent Grad Tools – The VMAE Recent Graduate Task Force has assembled a comprehensive guide to help you increase engagement with young veterinarians. Are you thinking about holding focus groups or wish to interact more deeply with recent graduates? Are you searching for resources you can use to attract new grads? Perhaps you need to encourage your board to elevate the importance of on-boarding these important professionals. All of this and more is available on the VMAE website.

Animal Welfare Resources – We all know that animal welfare topics can sometimes pose legislative or communication challenges for our organizations and members. Several VMAs have provided resources such as sample surveys, policies, CE programs, and articles that can help you if you are facing an animal welfare challenge.

JumpStart! Articles – These articles written by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association’s practice management experts provide practical advice on topics such as improving the client experience, attracting and retaining veterinary clients, increasing compliance, and enhancing the practice’s bottom line. Approximately 60 articles are available now with new articles being added quarterly. Run them as a series in your newsletters, or post them on your blog.

Technology Resources –As you know, technology changes are swift and it can be a challenge to stay current. Technology and social media experts from Beyond Indigo Marketing have provided helpful resources specifically for VMAE members. Blog posts have been posted on website design/content development and on best social media practices for the veterinary profession. Two VMAE webinars on marketing and search engine optimization are also available.

Scope of Practice Resources – VMAE has compiled resources to assist veterinary organizations with the growing number of scope of practice and unauthorized practice challenges the profession is facing. The links are organized into four main topic areas: addressing illegal or unauthorized practice, complementary and alternative veterinary medicine, livestock reproduction management, and dentistry.

Document Library – Here you’ll find a host of materials for your use including sample employment agreements for executive directors, AMC agreements, personnel policies, position descriptions, and speaker contracts. In addition, Bob Harris, CAE, has provided many of his resources on all aspects of association management and board governance.

Member/Non-Member Needs Assessment Surveys – VMAE  partnered with Leanna Comer, of Comer Research Consultants, to develop comprehensive surveys for use in identifying what members and non-members value. Also included are tips for successful survey management.

Perhaps your organization has recently completed work in one of these areas mentioned above and you believe it can help others. Consider sharing your efforts to benefit other VMAE members. This is what I mean by the members being the best part of this organization. We’re a group that openly shares our successes, challenges and failures in order to help each other. We each contribute to that rising tide that lifts all boats.

Candace Joy – Washington State VMA