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Annual Meetings

American Veterinary Medical History Society
31st Annual Business Meeting
Monday, July 21, 2008
New Orleans, Louisiana
Marriott at Convention Center
New Levee Room

1. Call to Order
President Zbigniew Wojcinski called the AVMHS business meeting to order at 8:00 AM. The order of business followed the protocol specified in the Bylaws (Article 9, Section 2).

2. Roll Call
An attendance roster was routed. A total of 10 members and 2 guests were present.

3. President’s Address
President Wojcinski extended greetings to all in attendance. In his opening remarks, he mentioned several areas of ongoing attention, including: 1) membership, and 2) our Internet presence, in particular the AVMHS Web site and our relationship with Veterinary Information Network (VIN) through the time-bites project. He said that the Society is experiencing continued challenges in the form of membership and participation.

On the issue of membership, President Wojcinski reviewed several ideas for increasing our membership that were discussed at last year’s meeting including: the importance of personal contact, a “one-plus-one” concept for which members pay their own dues and get one more membership to give as a gift for a colleague, soliciting from Society member’s names of potential new members and sending them letters of invitation, and providing free student memberships, just to mention a few. All were considered very good ideas. He spoke of the growth in membership that the Society has experienced over the past year but added that the challenge for the coming year will be not only to continue the growth but to continue to look for ways to increase the rate of growth.

On the second issue of making best use of the Internet, President Wojcinski indicated that we still have a ways to go. The AVMHS website has certainly been a step in the right direction. President Wojcinski thanked Dr. McClure and the University of Missouri for hosting the Society’s Web site and Trenton Boyd for being the Webmaster. Sharing veterinary history through Time-Bites lead by Dr. Phyllis Larsen in collaboration with the Veterinary Information Network was recognized as another exciting initiative that holds promise for more broadly sharing veterinary history.

President Wojcinski then spoke of another challenge for the coming year: how to increase participation by members in the numerous activities of the Society. “As with many other volunteer organizations, it seems that there is a core group of individuals that do the majority of work. We need to look for ways to get more Society member’s to step up and take on some of these activities that are so critical to the functioning of this Society. Time is a precious commodity and I recognize that we are all very busy. But if we can find ways to get more people involved, we can share the work load and take on the challenges that will then change from obstacles to opportunities.”

He went on to say “the success that the Society has had in maintaining this organization on an even keel is owed to the AVMHS Officers and Board Members, but in particular to Susanne Whitaker for all the time and effort that she has put in keeping us all informed through emails, staying on top of the Society’s finances, helping to organize the logistics for this meeting, compiling and providing annual meeting minutes, the list goes on and on. When we speak of the strength of this Society, Susanne is clearly the mortar that keeps it all together.” Thanks were extended to Susanne Whitaker for all she does.

4. Presentation of Minutes

The minutes of the 2007 AVMHS meeting held in Washington, D.C. were presented and copies were available for review in the room. It was moved by Dr. Roncalli and seconded by Dr. Lemonds that the minutes be approved. The motion carried.

5. Rules and Procedures
No changes to rules and procedures were suggested.

6. Nominations for Honorary Membership
No nominations were presented at this meeting.

7. Introduction of Guests.
Carolyn Ware, PhD and Lesley Ann Gentry were introduced. In order to get to know one another, all attendees were asked to briefly introduce themselves.

8. Officer’s Reports

a) Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Whitaker prepared the 2007-2008 Treasurer’s report composed of an income and expense sheet, account balance summary, and projected activity for 2008/2009. Printed copies were available for attendees. As of June 30, 2008, the Society had total assets of $20,689.80. If the original Shomer gift of $15,400.81 is removed and “protected”, the working balance is $5,288.99. Funds continue to be optimized in certificates of deposit to gain interest income. The Society did not submit an Internal Revenue Service return for FY 2006 in November, 2007, but will e-file according to new IRS regulations by November, 2008. Bob Brommer continues as our registered agent in the State of Nebraska for 2007 and 2008 calendar years.

b) Secretary’s Report
The current status of the Society’s membership as of June 30, 2008 is as follows:

MEMBERSHIP - 2007 / 2008

Paid Members/Couples
United States 90 (continuing 80, new 10)
Canada 3 (continuing 2, new 1)
International 3 (continuing 2, new 1)
Total Paid Members/Couples 96

Life Members 3 (continuing 3, new 0)
Honorary Members 3
Student Members 3
Total Life & Gratis Members 9


New first time members (U.S. 10, Canada 1, Int 1) 12
2006/2007 members who did not renew for 2007-2008 7

Paid Veterinary Heritage Subscriptions
United States 5
International 5

Gratis Subscriptions -- Veterinary Libraries
U.S. 27
Canada 5
Caribbean 3
International 0
Gratis Subscriptions -- Other 2
Total Gratis Subscriptions 37

TOTAL Veterinary Heritage SUBSCRIPTIONS 47

Reminder notices were sent in September, 2007. Dr. Fred Born’s History of the Horse Doctor PowerPoint presentation on CD-ROM was sent to new members in 2007-2008. Postage was funded by a gift from Dr. Estelle Hecht Geller.

There were no new life memberships in 2007-2008.

Issues of Interim News & Comment were distributed electronically by e-mail in Fall 2007, Winter 2008 and June 2008. Copies were sent by U.S. Mail to those without e-mail or whose e-mail was not active.

c) Past President’s Report
There was no report from past-president, Dr. Gary Vroegindewey.

d) Incoming President’s Report.
Dr. Al Moore spoke in support of President Wojcinski’s concerns regarding the Society’s membership and Internet activity. He also mentioned issues related to hosting and staffing an exhibit booth, including costs for equipment rental and other support expenses this year.

9. Committee Reports
President Wojcinski asked for committee reports and read the reports of chairs or coordinators not present.

a) Finance Committee
The members of the Finance Committee have reviewed the 2007-2008 Treasurer’s report and are pleased that we moved toward the black. It is recommended that the Society continue to stress recruitment of new members. This can include personal contact and encouragement for individuals known to be interested in veterinary history.

b) Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest Committee
On behalf of Dr. Diana Davis, it was reported that seven essays were received and judged by Drs. Wolfgang Jöchle, Debbie Ladry, and Raffaele Roncalli this past year. Sponsored by Merck & Company, the 2008 winning essays were:

First Place: “Scratches, Grease Heel, and Grapes: Or Chronic Pastern Dermatitis Then and Now” by Hattie Kugler (’08) from Washington State University.

Second Place (tie): "The Bureau of Animal Industry and Veterinary Professionalization at the Turn of the 20th Century" by Kevin J. Koernig (“09) from Tufts University.

Second Place (tie): "The Emergence of Animal Rights in Veterinary Medicine” by Michael J. Walsh (‘11) from Kansas State University.

A temporary chair will need to be appointed to replace Dr. Davis who will be on academic research leave for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. There was considerable discussion with several names mentioned, but no immediate action was taken.

Merck & Company were recognized and thanked for their continuing support of this important contribution to the promulgation of Veterinary History.

c) Veterinary Heritage Committee
In David William’s absence, President Wojcinski indicated that David will be on sabbatical leave from Purdue University for the 2008-09 academic year. He has sufficient material and will produce the November issue of Veterinary Heritage. It will be necessary to identify an Interim Editor for the May 2009 issue. No action was taken.

d) AVMHS Web Site
President Wojcinski reported that in anticipation of his retirement, Trenton Boyd wants to step-down as Webmaster. Dr. Robert McClure who originated the Web site agreed to take on this responsibility for the immediate future.

e) Liaison to the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine (AMVM)
Dr. Phyllis Larsen resigned as Liaison in July 2007. However, she has continued to supply news of progress of the museum in her News & Comment columns in Veterinary Heritage and in Interim News & Comment issues. Notably, the AMVM now owns its fine building site, has regular open hours on Saturdays, and several related groups held a lively Open House there in June 2008.

f) Liaison to World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine (WAHVM)
There was no year-end report from Dr. Susan Jones. However, as indicated in June 2008 Interim News and Comment, the WAHVM International Congress will be held in Engelberg, Switzerland on September 11-13, 2008. AVMHS will have two or more representatives attending and contributing at least four papers to the program.

g) Student Connections Panel
Dr. Phyllis Larsen resigned as Acting Chair in July 2007, but agreed to remain on the panel. As far as she knows, the panel has remained inactive.

h) Time-Bites Project
Drs. Jolene Price and Phyllis Larsen have received almost no submissions. Some added time-bites have been sent to editor, Dr. Debbie Tacium Ladry. A few more examples were sent to Veterinary Information Network (VIN), but how they plan to use them has yet to be decided. Dr. Larsen has been unavailable during the spring and summer of 2008, but can begin work on time-bites again after July 2008.

i) International Dictionary of Veterinary Biography Project
In March 2007, Dr. Ivan Katic contacted the Society to request increased participation by AVMHS in producing 1-2 biographies of important United States veterinarians for their International Dictionary of Veterinary Biography project. President Vroegindewey suggested compiling biographies on a case-by-case basis. Two biographies were submitted for 2006-2007, Ralph Dykstra by Howard Erickson and Cooper Curtice by Jeanne Logue. In addition, a “pick list” of potential candidates was prepared from names included in Smithcors’s books. Comments and suggestions on any aspect of the “pick list” which is available upon request are appreciated.

For 2007-2008 and beyond, invitations have been extended for several additional biographies including J. Fred Smithcors, Hendrick Stafseth, L.A. Merillat, P. Philip Levine and William A. Hagan by the Secretary/Treasurer. When completed, these will be forwarded to Dr. Katic. All members are highly encouraged to write one or more biographies of their choice.

When a sufficient number of sketches have been assembled, an issue of Historia Medicinae Veterinariae will be devoted to American veterinarians.

There is no intention of duplicating the fine biographies prepared by Susan Jones, Phil Teigen, and others for the American National Biography (ANB) in 2000 for Drs. Law, Lyman, Moore, Pearson, Rush, Salmon, Smith and Williams.

j) Veterinary Heritage Q&A Series
Dr. Fred Born sent Dr. Larsen an idea for a series of Q&As in Veterinary Heritage. If another person would supply or collect short items, and the Editor of Veterinary Heritage would make a place for the questions, Dr. Larsen would be glad to give the answers a prominent spot near the News & Comment column.

Dr. Lemonds motioned for acceptance of the Committee reports. It was seconded by Dr. Murnane and passed.

10. Amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws
No Bylaws changes were submitted for consideration.

11. Election of Officers and Directors
This year’s Nominating Committee was chaired by Dr. Russell Currier with Mr. Trenton Boyd, Dr. Sidney Ewing, and Dr. Raffaele Roncalli. The following slate of officers and board members for 2008-2009 were presented:

President--- Dr. J. Alford Moore (Humble, Tex.)
President-Elect/Program Chair--- Dr. Howard H. Erickson (Kansas State Univ.)
Past-President--- Dr. Zbigniew Wojcinski (Ann Arbor, MI)
Secretary/Treasurer---Susanne Whitaker (Cornell Univ.)
Board Members at Large
Dr Marianne Ash (Indiana Board of Animal Health)
Dr. Fred Born (Fond du Lac, Wisc.) [Continuing 2nd-year]
Dr. C.B. Chastain (Univ. of Missouri)
Dr. Linda K. Schlater (Ames, Iowa) [Continuing 2nd-year]

There were no nominations from the floor. Dr. Murnane moved that the slate be closed and was seconded by Dr. Erickson. Dr. Littlefield moved that the slate be elected by acclamation.

12. Unfinished Business

a) Membership
Concerning ways to increase membership, several suggestions were shared. One involved putting a notice with application in JAVMA. A comment was made that the expense is prohibitive. Another recommendation was to put an application on the AVMHS Web site. Dr. McClure agreed to follow-up on these suggestions. [Secretary’s note: the AVMHS Web site has contained a printable form for some time; a pdf of the Society’s membership brochure (June 2003 edition) is also posted].

b) Veterinary Heritage Practices
At the annual meeting last year, Dr Vroegendewey described an idea that would recognize veterinary heritage practices and what they have provided to the profession over the years. Practices eligible for this recognition would be those that have been in continuous operation for at least 20 years in increments of 5 years, up to 100 years or more. This project would need corporate sponsorship and funding, but also manpower to make it work. Dr. Vroegendewey suggested that a committee be formed to oversee this project. A motion was passed in support of this initiative but will need greater involvement of Society membership in order to move forward.

c) International Dictionary of Veterinary Biography

At last year’s meeting, Susanne Whitaker presented a request from Dr. Ivan Katic from Denmark for our participation in the International Dictionary of Veterinary Biography Project (IDVB). It was suggested that the Society submit 1-2 new biographies of American veterinarians each year. For 2006-2007, two biographies were sent, 1 on Cooper Curtice by Dr. Jeanne Logue and another on Ralph Dykstra by Dr. Howard Erickson. To facilitate the selection process for subsequent submissions, Susanne Whitaker has started a list of noatable American veterinarians collected from various sources, including Dr. Smithcor’s book.

In evaluating the status of ongoing involvement with the IDVB, it will be helpful to have a list of the names and biographies. The first draft is list is currently in preparation by the Secretary-Treasurer and will be shared with the officers shortly and general membership thereafter.

d) AVMA Sesquicentennial in 2013
President Wojcinski indicated that he had contacted Jim Flanagan in Marketing at the AVMA headquarters regarding AVMHS involvement in planning for their sesquicentennial celebration. He was grateful for the Society’s interest and would welcome our participation. Since the AVMA’s plans are still in the formative or beginning stages, further discussion would likely not occur until the fall. The AVMA is keen to maintain contact with the AVMHS as the organizing effort progresses.

e) Dr. Born’s CD-ROM
President Wojcinski reported that Dr. Fred Born’s PowerPoint presentation on The History of the Horse Doctor is being distributed on CD-ROM to all new members and current members who recruit new members. We are very grateful to Dr. Born for extending this offer during 2007-2008.

13. New Business

a) Exhibit Booth
The costs versus value of having an AVMHS exhibit booth at the AVMA conference were debated. It was decided to continue having a booth, but the need for including any costly equipment rentals for TV, DVD player or other equipment and supporting expenses, such as electricity, network connections, and carpeting will need to be reviewed for subsequent conferences.

b) Marketing and visibility of AVMHS
Various ways to increase marketing and visibility of AVMHS were presented.

14. Adjournment
Dr. Murnane moved that the business meeting be closed, seconded by Dr. Erickson. The meeting adjourned at 9:50am.

Respectfully submitted,
Susanne Whitaker with the help of Drs. J. Alford Moore and Zbigniew Wojcinski
Secretary/Treasurer, AVMHS
September 2, 2008

Members present: (10)
Z. Wojcinski
A. Moore
H. Erickson
L. Lemonds
R. McClure
M. Littlefield
T. Murnane
LA Gentry
R. Roncalli
G. Roop

Others: (2)
C. Ware
J. Sanford