While A Lot Changes, A Lot Stays the Same…..

By Lisa A. Perius

IVMA Executive Director

I had a couple of free hours last Friday afternoon (who wants to start a new project on a Friday afternoon, right?) so I thought I would tackle cleaning out some old file cabinets in my office.  I admit that at work, I am a bit of a pack rat.  These free hours would be a good use of my time to “liberate” file cabinet space in my office.

I did enjoy going down memory lane as I perused through old committee files, board reports, etc.  I ran across the names of lots of terrific IVMA members that have donated their time over the years to the organization.  I came to the file of “strategic plans” and had a good time reading through past goals for our organization and other veterinary medical associations.  One that particularly caught my interest was from June, 1996 – “Five Year Strategic Plan for the Veterinary Medical Profession in  Indiana”.  This plan was formulate in the months right before I was hired in January, 1996. 

Here were the identified goals:

  1. Provide veterinary medical services that are economical for the consumer and profitable for the practice
  2. Require and provide continuing education for veterinary medical professionals that is  relevant, effective, and accessible
  3. Provide consumer education  about veterinary medical services
  4. Ensure the cost of  veterinary medical education is compatible with the income potential of  veterinary medical practice
  5. Increase the involvement  of new DVM graduates in organized veterinary medicine
  6. Ensure veterinary medical education includes practice experience and management skills

In the 18 years since this report was issued, our own goals for the IVMA haven’t changed that much. Obviously what has changed is the proliferation of information and the way we communicate with each other.  From the Internet to cell phones to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc – these methods have changed the landscape of our lives.  While we comment and admire at the speed with which we communicate now, the goals essentially remain the same for our organization.

As always, the IVMA will push ahead on our goals, which, in all our conversations with members, are not far off from the goals of nearly 20 years ago.  We all just communicate with each other differently………like now - I am writing about this observation in our IVMA blog.  Crazy.


Recognize a Deserving Friend (animal or person)

The IVMA Animal Welfare Committee is accepting nominations for its 2013 awards.  Winners selected will be determined by members of the IVMA Animal Welfare Committee.  Awards will be presented during the IVMA Annual Meeting on Friday, January 31, 2014, in Indianapolis.  Recipients should be available to receive the award and participate in the public recognition.

The categories seeking nominations are:  

            The IVMA “One Welfare” Animal of the Year Award is presented to salute and promote the animals of Indiana. The nominee must be an animal that exemplifies the affection, loyalty, security, and value of the human-animal bond.

            The IVMA “One Welfare” Recognition is presented to pay tribute to an Indiana resident promoting the advancement of animal welfare issues through outstanding service, education, or research, or who provides exemplary care to agricultural animals and/or has significantly improved the welfare of agricultural animals in our state.

            The IVMA “One Welfare” Veterinary Service Award is presented to an IVMA member who has demonstrated extraordinary care or service in improving the welfare of Indiana animals.  This award recognizes a veterinarian who exemplifies the qualities as presented in the Veterinary Oath.

“Purple Paw” Award – The Animal Welfare Committee would like to recognize any service or police K9 animal injured or killed in the line of duty the past year. 

The deadline to submit nominations is August 31, 2013.  Click here for a copy of the nomination form.  Please return the form and all supporting documentation to the IVMA at 201 S. Capitol Avenue, Suite 405, Indianapolis, IN, 46225 or email to info@invma.org.

There are some amazing stories out there….let us hear from you!

The incredible power of our animal friends is captured in this photo….won’t you capture that in an award nomination?

Congrats Class of 2013

Lisa A. Perius

IVMA Executive Director

On Sunday, May 12th, the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association welcomed 64 new colleagues as they graduated from the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.  Each year the IVMA president sends greetings to the new graduates on behalf of all their peers in veterinary medicine and this year was no exception for the Class of 2013.  Hugs, cheers, sighs of relief and smiles filled the graduation ceremony as they read the Veterinarian’s Oath. As they left the Purdue campus, I had to wonder, what’s next for them?

Some have jobs, some are still looking, others are heading off to residency programs.  It got me to thinking.  What does the profession hold for them?   

I took a look back at what some of them wrote in grant applications for scholarships earlier this semester. The question on the scholarship application for IVMA and Foundation scholarships read “Describe where veterinary medicine will be in 10 years and your role in the profession at that time”. 

After reading through all of the applications again, here are three themes that permeated the applications.

  1. The value of the human/animal bond will be stronger than ever due in large part to continued advances in technology and healthcare delivery.  But some questioned, ‘how do we get our clients to value our opinions over what they read on the Internet?’  That is a great question…….
  2. The One Health Initiative matters.  How is the environment impacted?  How do zoonotic diseases impact our health?  Where is the collaboration and partnership between professionals?
  3. Feeding a growing population is critical.  The applicants questioned how they deliver food safely, educate the public on food animal medicine, and deliver of this efficiently? 

After reading through the applications again,  I thought to myself, veterinary medicine is in good hands.  Each generation faces challenges, and practice life won’t be easy – but these graduates are smart, prepared, and engaged in the issues of their generation. 

Hat’s off to them – IVMA will be here with them along the way………..

Announcing Our Existence

By Lisa A. Perius

IVMA Executive Director

I had the good fortune last weekend to attend the ASVMAE ThinkWorks meeting in Denver.  In case you wondering, ASVMAE stands for American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (a mouthful!).  This is a great group of association management professionals from veterinary medical associations around the country.

Our thought-leader for the weekend covered how to message your association (or veterinary practice), what are website best practices, and what do the changing generations portend for our communication and marketing work.  After 10 pages of notes, I came away with several key observations.

What is our “why” proposition?  What is the why of the IVMA?  Why do we exist?  I tried to answer this by saying what I believe – that if the IVMA didn’t exist, where would Indiana veterinarians connect and engage? Where would the heart and soul of your profession exist?  Sure there are lots of options, but we want IVMA to be your “partner” for life along the path of your veterinary career.  IVMA is in your backyard – we get why it’s important that you have a successful and profitable career.  It is a responsibility I take very seriously.  Maybe it’s a purpose IVMA doesn’t always communicate well, but we are going to work on that!

What do the generations tell us about communicating with each other?  Alot.  I am a Baby Boomer – my sons are Millenials.  Boy do we look at the world differently.  Well guess what – so do our association members (and so do your clients)!  IVMA has to deliver our “why” proposition to everyone on the spectrum.  This is the best way for IVMA to be your “partner” in your professional career.  I look forward to this challenge.

Is perception reality?  First impressions matter.  We learned that your website (veterinary practice or VMA) is a window into the world and culture of your practice (or association). Websites still remain the gateway of connection.  Is it beautiful, simple and effective? Does it provide a call to action for the reader?  A little time and review here could garner you more new clients for your practice.

Look for more to come from the IVMA in the months ahead.

It is why we are here.

The Indiana Veterinary Medical Association and the Indiana Animal Health Foundation were very pleased to award 7 Purdue veterinary students $1000 scholarships last month at the IVMA Annual Meeting.  Over 40 students applied for the scholarships. In addition to the application, students had to write a 500 word essay on “where veterinary medicine will be in 10 years”.  The recipients selected were:

Stephanie Poulos  

Brandon Miller  

Sara Ludington  

Christina Blatcher  

David Zimmer   

Shannon Kremer

Christine Inman

The IAHF also awarded 4 - $750 scholarships at the “Engaging the Future” reception on Friday evening, February 1, 2013, during the annual meeting.  The 4 veterinary students selected reported on their worldwide travels in veterinary medicine during the past summer.  Those recipients were:

Andrew McClain

Joy Trendelman

Carol Hershey

Calvin Pohl

Indiana Animal Health Foundation Announces Launch of New Program

The Indiana Animal Health Foundation (IAHF) is pleased to announce the creation of the Service Animal Support (SAS) Program.  The SAS Program is established to help ensure a source of funding for service animals and fire/police department animals cared for by IVMA members.  The SAS Program highlights the partnership between veterinarians, their clients and pet owners who understand the benefit and power of a service animal in our society. Service animal is defined in the American with Disabilities Act.   Fire and police department service animals, both active and retired, are eligible for the SAS Program.


Funding for the SAS Program is primarily through generous donations from veterinarians, pet owners and animal lovers.  All funds donated directly to this project will be re-directed to fulfill grant applications for reimbursement of services.  Both the IAHF and Dr. Ed Sommers have committed generous funds to establish an endowment for this program. 


An IVMA member who treats a service or police/fire service animal can apply for a grant to the SAS program for wellness examinations, vaccinations, routine lab tests such as fecal exams and heartworm tests, as well as expenses for sick and emergency cases.  Funds are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis each year.  To be considered, you should submit a Service Animal Support Grant Application.  Completed application forms will be reviewed by the SAS Oversight Committee.  If the application is approved, the veterinarian will collect the release and consent form from the client and submit the form to SAS.  Grant payments are paid directly to the veterinarian upon SAS’s receipt of an invoice and the signed release and consent form.  Payment will not be made to other providers beyond licensed veterinarians.  Payment under no circumstances will be made directly to the client.  Since the amount is less than $600, SAS is not required to issue a Form 1099 for grant awards. Veterinarians must be members of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association to participate in the SAS Program.  Participating clinics must publicize the program in their practices by displaying posters and making available brochures to their clients. 


The IAHF is very excited to establish this program.  More information and grant applications can be found online at www.invma.org.  If you wish to make a donation to the program, mail donations to IAHF, 201 S. Capitol Avenue, Suite 405, Indianapolis, IN, 46225.


The Power of 11 participants for 2012!

The Power of 11 participants for 2012!

The Power of 11 Leadership Program

On Monday, July 23, 2012, the IVMA held its first “Power of 11” (POTL) program at Elanco headquarters in Greenfield, IN.  The POTL program is a new leadership training effort designed for new graduates of veterinary school who have graduated within the past 6 years.  POTL will be a 7 month program where different modules/topics are featured each month (either face-to-face meetings or webinars).  The culmination of POTL will be a “graduation” during the IVMA Annual Meeting in February, 2013, in Indianapolis. Modules will include communication development, compassion fatigue, time management, financial issues, goal-setting, and a review of legal issues. 

The program is facilitated by Dr. Marybeth Feutz, Princeton, and Lisa Perius.  Most importantly –we have 11 terrific recent graduate participants who are willing to dedicated the time and energy to improving their skills and veterinary career.

The first training module featured the “Insights” training program – basically what are your personality traits and how to define them in others! It was an interactive, enlightening day of review and learning.  A collegiality seemed to develop amongst the participants. 

The ultimate goal of the program is to enrich the lives of our members, one member at a time.  Stay tuned for continued updates on our successes and interactions!

The Value of Membership

Recently, I had a member call the office to ask about renewing his IVMA membership for 2012.  He had been a member for a few years, but was seriously considering whether to rejoin for 2012. I got the sense that he was scrutinizing all of his expenses to determine the best places to spend his hard-earned dollars.

I spent a few minutes explaining to him what he receives for his membership – the newsletter, online information, email blasts, legal questions answered, legislative coverage, quality continuing education, public education advocacy, etc.   I told him that by calling the IVMA 800#, you almost have a virtual one call, get an answer, resource.

But, by being on the phone, I was able to articulate to him one of the hardest things to put into words – your membership can prevent the “what ifs”.  The intangible benefits of membership are so hard to explain, quantify, and capture ~ but the IVMA voice is there when legislative issue arises, public health/disasters occur, and the media calls. 

If he had had more time on the phone, I also could have explained the collegial benefits of being involved in organized veterinary medicine. In my 16 years here, I have seen many veterinary friendships blossom because of their involvement on a committee, the board of directors, or task force.  This is just another in a long list of intangible benefits of membership.

We hung up the phone and I hoped I won him over to renew his membership. 

The next week, he mailed his dues check to IVMA.