American Veterinary Medical History Society
Main Meetings Purpose Officers ByLaws Archives Join Us! Links
gold bar
Annual Meetings

American Veterinary Medical History Society
32st Annual Business Meeting
Monday, July 13, 2009
Seattle, Washington
Red Lion Hotel on 5th Avenue
San Juan Room

1.         Call to Order
President J. Alford Moore called the AVMHS business meeting to order at 8:10 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 9 members and 3guests were present.

3.         President’s Address
President Moore welcomed members to the 32nd Annual Meeting.   He had no formal comments, but felt it necessary to repeat concerns expressed by President Wojcinski last year regarding: 1) membership, and 2) participation.  With no specific answers to these ongoing concerns, he mentioned follow-up on Dr. Tom Murnane’s suggestion to consider meeting sites outside AVMA.  

Planned by Dr. Howard Erickson, the Society held a second meeting with the Annual Conference for Veterinarians at Kansas State University on June 9, 2009.   This was a very successful meeting with approximately 46 in attendance at one point during the program.  This number has not been approached at AVMA-associated programs.  It is uncertain where the next regional meeting will be held. 

In addition, the Society has recently had renewed contacts with the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) concerning adding short Time-Bites to VIN pages that will be viewed by thousands of veterinarians.   

President Moore expressed appreciation to Dr. Bob McClure to re-doing the AVMHS Web site last fall.

President Moore attended the 11th Annual James H. Steele, DVM Lecture given at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health, in Houston on April 3, 2009.  The lecture titled “The Greatest Gift” was given William Foege MD.

He also reported that AVMA’s oldest member and AVMHS life member, Nathan R. Brewer, passed away at age 104 years.  (See a write-up in JAVMA 2009 Jun 15:234(12):1507-8; Obituary published in Chicago Tribune on June 18, 2009 at   

On Saturday, July 11, 2009, a dedication ceremony was held at the Galloway House and Museum in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to name the veterinary museum established by Dr. Fred Born in his honor.

The passing of former AVMHS member, veterinary pathologist, and historian, Leon Z. Saunders, was noted on March 4, 2009.  (See Obituary in JAVMA 2009 Jun 15:234(12):1523).

4.         Presentation of Minutes
The minutes of the 2008 AVMHS meeting held in New Orleans were presented and copies were available for review in the room.  It was moved by Dr. McClure and seconded by Dr. Roop 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.
All attendees were asked to introduce themselves.  Guests included Vicki Croft, Librarian at the Animal Health Library, Washington State University, JoAnn Sanford, and Charlie Powell, Public Information Officer, Washington State University.

8.         Officer’s Reports

a) Treasurer’s Report

Mrs. Whitaker presented the 2008-2009 Treasurer’s report composed of an income and expense sheet, account balance summary, and projected activity for 2008/2010.   As of June 30, 2009, the Society had total assets of $19,188.41.  If the original Shomer gift of $15,400.81 is removed and “protected”, the working balance is $3,787.60.   Funds continue to be optimized in certificates of deposit to gain interest income.  The Society submitted an IRS eFile as required by 501(c) 3 non-profit organizations with annual income less than $25,000.   Bob Brommer was renewed as our registered agent in the State of Nebraska for 2009 and 2010 calendar years.

The Society’s financial status remains viable but guarded.  Income from membership remained steady this year, but expenses related to Veterinary Heritage, the annual meeting and booth, and other items have risen resulting in a net loss of about $1,500 for 2008-2009.  Continued efforts at expanding the membership base, minimizing expenses, and seeking additional sources of revenue will be advantageous in the long term.

b)         Secretary’s Report
The current status of the Society’s membership as of June 30, 2009 is as follows:

MEMBERSHIP -  2008 / 2009

Paid Members/Couples          
United States              87                    (continuing 81, new 6)
Canada                                    3                      (continuing 3, new 0)
International                3                      (continuing 3, new 0)
Total Paid Members/Couples              93       

Life Members                          4                      (continuing 3, new 1)
Honorary Members                 3
Student Members                    3
Total Life & Gratis Members              10

TOTAL MEMBERS                                      103

            New first time members (U.S. 6, Canada 0, Int 0)                 6
2007/2008 members who did not renew for 2008-2009        9

Paid Veterinary Heritage Subscriptions         
United States              5         
International                5
TOTAL PAID                                    10

Gratis Subscriptions -- Veterinary Libraries
U.S.                             27
Canada                                    5
Caribbean                    3
International                0
TOTAL VET LIBS                35
Gratis Subscriptions -- Other              2         
Total Gratis Subscriptions                               37

TOTAL Veterinary Heritage SUBSCRIPTIONS      47

Dr. Gary Gluck (Plainfield, CT) upgraded to a life membership this year.

Issues of Interim News & Comment were distributed electronically by e-mail in October 2008, February 2009 and June 2009.  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. Zbigniew Wojcinski.

d) Incoming President’s Report.

Dr. Howard Erickson remarked on the increasing costs of the annual meeting, in particular expenses associated with the convention booth in New Orleans last year.

As a result of Dr. Murnane’s suggestion to consider meetings outside AVMA given the low attendance in New Orleans, Howard made a proposal with a tentative program to the CE Committee at Kansas State University in fall 2008 for a history program on June 9, 2009 in association with the Annual Conference for Veterinarians held at Kansas State University, June 7-10, 2009.  The program included 10 speakers, four from K-State and 2 student essayists.  About 35 attended the one-day program on Monday, June 9, which hit a peak of 46 participants during Maxine Caley’s talk on the history of the AVMA Auxiliary.   Overall this was a very good meeting and indicated that such regional settings can be successful with a good location, associated event, supportive facilities, interesting program, and careful planning.   

9.         Committee Reports

President Moore called for committee reports.

a)         Finance Committee
The Finance Committee had no formal report.  The question of how much benefit versus cost is gained from the booth was raised since we now may be required to install carpeting along with other expenses for audiovisual equipment and exhibitor badges.  The Secretary-Treasurer was asked to get information about booth policies.  Our culture is changing and we need to reduce costs for our meetings.

Concerning Veterinary Heritage, President Moore wondered if publishing VH electronically without printing copies would be feasible and appropriate.  Members might indicate their preference for e-only on a renewal notice.  We don’t want to lose members.  The current cost is about $10 per issue and subscription prices could be increased.  Incoming President Erickson and Susanne Whitaker will look at expenses for e-access in the coming year.  

b)         Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest Committee
Dr. Russell Currier reported that 12 essays were received and judged by Drs. Wolfgang Jöchle, Debbie Ladry, and Raffaele Roncalli this past year.  Sponsored by Merck & Company, the 2009 winning essays were:

First Place:  “From Early Man to Man O’ War: A History of the Cribbing Horse” by Ashley Mitek (’11) from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Second Place:  "Foot-and-Mouth Disease: A Story of Resilience" by Valerie Livingston (‘12) from Kansas State University.

Third Place:  "Brisket Disease in Cattle: A Brief Overview and History” by Tiffany Lee (‘12) from Kansas State University. 

Dr. Currier felt that a new way to promote the contest was needed.  Kansas State University students were overrepresented with 10 papers plus one each from Mississippi State University and University of Illinois.  As a result, the judges were blinded but reached consensus on the top papers.  Dr. Erickson mentioned that his course at K-State requires students to write a paper either on a cardiovascular or history topic.  Dr. McClure suggested that ideally there should be a history contest representative at each school.  President Moore suggested building a network with the “right” person at each school to spread the word.  Perhaps it might work to focus on several schools at the beginning, such as those with a strong history foundation or known interest in history.  Vicki Croft suggested looking at fourth-year student papers on the history of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Currier read and routed thank you notes from two 2009 winners, Ashley Mitek and Valerie Livingston.  He expressed interest in continuing to serve as Essay Contest Committee chair during the coming year.

With support from Dr. Raffaele Roncali, the Society is grateful for a check for $1,500 received from Gary Zelko from Merck & Company in early July 2009 for the 2010 contest. 

c) Veterinary Heritage Committee

In David William’s absence, there was no report.  Dr. Debbie Tacium served as guest editor for the May 2009 issue.

d)  AVMHS Web Site
As reported earlier, Dr. McClure indicated that the Web site was revised last fall.  In addition to AVMHS, he is maintains another grandfathered home page for Phi Zeta.  University of Missouri Information Technology staff makes the actual changes to the site.  He is uncertain about our page’s long term future at Missouri.

e)         Liaison to the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine (AMVM)
No report was given.

f)         Liaison to World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine (WAHVM)
Susanne Whitaker reported for Lesley Gentry who was not present.  Lesley has received information about the 39th WAHVM Congress program to be held in Antalya, Turkey on 20-23 September 2010.  The main themes will be 1. “Bridging ages in veterinary education” (with special focus on “the history of developments of scientific disciplines in veterinary education”), 2. “East meets West: the history of intercontinental veterinary medicine and animal disease”, and 3. “Free communications”.

g)         Student Connections Panel
Dr. Phyllis Larsen indicated that the Student Connections Panel remains inactive and thus there was no report.

h)         Time-Bites Project
Dr. Phyllis Larsen reported that two years ago our Society agreed in principle to provide to VIN small pieces of veterinary history called “Time-Bites”.  These would also remain with AVMHS to use in other ways such as on our Web site or in publications.

Since then, samples have been sent by AVMHS to VIN and discussions about how to present them have followed.  Susanne Whitaker, Debbie Tacium, and I have worked on this project and Jolene North, now stationed in Japan, stands ready to help also. 

She indicated that AVMHS had recently received communications from VIN about starting up the Time-Bites again.  We have received a letter with additional ideas suggested by Dr. Rhea Morgan, one of their consultants, and other VIN staff. 

Dr. Larsen recommends that AVMHS renew its approval of this project in principle and that the Board be brought up-to-date on previous clarifications of how the Society and VIN will relate to one another to make sure they satisfy our status as a 501 (c) 3 organization in cooperation with a commercial business.

Dr. Bob McClure presented a motion to continue pursuing VIN Time-Bites.  It was seconded by Dr. Roop and passed.  We are now in an information age.  Details will be worked out and membership notified of progress.

i)          International Dictionary of Veterinary Biography Project
Susanne Whitaker reported that invitations have been extended to a number of members and others to prepare biographies of notable American veterinarians for the International Dictionary of Veterinary Biography project.  Dr. Brian Derbyshire and his colleagues across the border will be working on sketches of Canadian veterinarians.

Even though the biographers may already have done sufficient background research, we are waiting for completed biographies.  Thus, it appears that these biographies are not easily prepared, there is insufficient interest in the project, or the individuals need to have ongoing reminders.  This project will continue even at its slow pace.

j)          Veterinary Heritage Q&A Series
There was no report.

k)         Registry of Heritage Veterinary Practices
President Moore reported that the Registry of Veterinary Heritage Practices has been established to provide recognition for practices in continuous operation for 50 years or more.  The listing, application form and answers to Frequently Asked Questions are posted on the AVMHS Web site.   The next step involves creating interest by advertising and promoting the Registry.

Dr. Moore would like to get authorization for establishing a Registry Committee that can continue to implement the project and provide an overall advisory function.

Lesley Ann Gentry has volunteered to send brochures and press releases to each of the 50 state veterinary associations asking them to pass the word to their membership.   This mailing went out in June.   Dr. Larsen suggested that this same information should be sent to the various specialty veterinary organizations.

President Moore favored building relationships with the various state veterinary association executives.  When he checked several years ago, the majority did not have history committees while only 2 or 3 did.

The 2009 AVMHS booth featured several 20-inch x 30-inch color panels describing the purposes behind the Registry, what practices qualify, and how to apply along with three examples of heritage practices from Savannah, GA, Reading, PA and New York, NY.
These generic and time-less panels can be re-used for other meetings and exhibits.

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 Dr. R. Gary Roop.   The following slate of officers and board members for 2009-2010 were presented:

President--- Dr. Howard H. Erickson (Manhattan, KS)
President-Elect/Program Chair---Dr. Russell W. Currier (Des Moines, IA)
                        Past-President--- Dr. J. Alford Moore (Humble, TX)
                        Secretary/Treasurer---Susanne Whitaker (Ithaca, NY) [Continuing 2nd-year]

            Board Members at Large
                        Dr Marianne Ash (Lafayette, IN) [Continuing 2nd-year]
Dr. Fred Born (Fond du Lac, WI) [New 2-year term]
Dr. C.B. Chastain (Columbia, MO) [Continuing 2nd-year]
                        Dr. Linda K. Schlater (Ames, IA) [New 2-year term]

There were no nominations from the floor.  Dr. McClure made a motion that nominations be closed and the slate accepted by acclamation.  Dr. Roop seconded. 

12.       Unfinished Business

a) Regional Meetings

It is generally recognized that the June 9th meeting in conjunction with the Annual Conference for Veterinarians at Kansas State University was wonderful, successful, and enjoyed significantly increased attendance. 

President Moore made a motion to authorize incoming President Erickson to continue to encourage and pursue regional meetings wherever possible in the coming year and beyond.  Dr. Larson seconded and the motion passed.

b) 2012 Meeting in Guelph


AVMHS member Dr. Brian Derbyshire has proposed involving the Society in planning for a meeting to be held in Guelph, Ontario, Canada near Toronto on “International Veterinary Medicine” in conjunction with a series of annual programs to celebrate the Ontario Veterinary College’s 150th Anniversary.  Dr. Zbigniew Wojcinski and Dr. Helen Wojcinski, both OVC graduates, have volunteered to serve as liaisons and work with Dr. Derbyshire in the planning the program of speakers.

13.       New Business

a)  Vet 2011 Committee

President Moore had received a letter from Dr. Ron DeHaven at AVMA about AVMHS serving as a history organization representative on the international planning committee.    Vet 2011 Committee will plan a year-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the world’s first veterinary school in Lyon, France by Claude Bourgelat.   An initial conference call is anticipated soon.   

President Moore moved that President Erickson be authorized to represent AVMHS and pursue this opportunity.  Dr. McClure moved and Dr. Currier seconded before being passed.

b) AWVF 2010 Program to celebrate a century of women in veterinary medicine

Dr. Phyllis Larsen reported on discussions that took place at the Association for Women Veterinarians Foundation (AWVF) advisory board meeting held in Seattle.  The AWVF regularly puts on a program in the Personal and Professional Development segment of AVMA Conventions.  The AWVF has decided to include two hours on the theme of “A Century of Women in Veterinary Medicine” next year.

The two hours will probably take place on Tuesday morning and will include material on the two women who graduated in 1910, as well as results of a recent study of changes related to women over the past one hundred years.

The AWVF asks for our Society’s help to provide visual and written information about the two 1910 graduates, Florence Kimball and Elinor McGrath.  Phyllis Larsen showed the AWVF that there is already an exhibit on Kimball that could easily be improved with information found since the exhibit was put together by AVMHS nearly a decade ago.  Regarding Elinor McGrath, she indicated that she and Diane Fagan, the AVMA Librarian, have ample materials for a comparable exhibit.

AWVF did not ask us to provide a speaker, but indicated that it would welcome the Society’s input in this joint venture, even possibly including a PowerPoint presentation or poster on these pioneering women.  The current Chair of AWVF, Dr. Stacy Pritt, will contact AVMHS subsequently about further details.

In addition, Dr. Larsen reported that the AWVF will be sponsoring a one-time essay contest with a single prize of $500 and up to $1,000 in travel expenses for the winner to present the paper at next year’s meeting.  AVMHS needs to review its plans for 2010 and coordinate efforts to avoid misconceptions and potential difficulties with the AWVF contest on a century of women in veterinary medicine.

Dr. McClure moved to accept the reports, Dr. Currier seconded, and the motion was passed.

14.       Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 9:45am.


Respectfully submitted,
Susanne Whitaker
Secretary/Treasurer, AVMHS
Aug. 25, 2009


Members present:  (8)
P. Larsen
H. Erickson
R. McClure
R. G. Roop
A. Moore
S. Whitaker
H. Wojcinski

Guests:  (3)
V. Croft
C. Powell
J. Sanford