Jacksonville Veterinary Medical Society

History of JVMS

Many of our current members are unfamiliar with most if not all of the history behind this organization. We felt that we owed it to our members to have access to this information to better understand what we are all a part of. We are not just a group of people that get together to have dinner every now and then. We have many things to be proud of. We are a group of philanthropists, community activists, and innovators. The data here within was compiled with the assistance of Dr. Russell Snyder, Dr. Ann Silverness and Dr. Mitch Crystal. Unfortunately some original data and dates have already been lost to time. We will continue to update our current events and milestones for the sake of our future members. If someone has data they would like added or corrected, please contact us.

The Jacksonville Veterinary Medical Society was incorporated in the mid 1970's. Some examples of our philanthropy include:

The JVMS supported the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department with a contribution of two (2) German Shepherd dogs, which were trained in Germany. 

Our organization has also  set up several scholarships for the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine:

  • Emergency aid scholarship fund in the amount of $10,000.00 was established.  This allowed students to borrow money as a short term load with no interest for 6 months (There has never been a loan that was not repaid).
  • A $10,000.00 scholarship was established at the UF veterinary school to provide needy students a $1,000.00 scholarship, which could be applied for yearly.  This is applicable to veterinary students from the Northeast Florida area.

The JVMS supported a new program at the UF School of Veterinary Medicine, entitled the "Dean's Circle of Excellence" in July of 2010.  The donation is a $5,000.00 contribution.  The JVMS is the first local veterinary association to participate in this program.

Examples of our member’s innovation and many notable contributions made by JVMS members to the veterinary profession include:

Members of the JVMS established the first Jacksonville Emergency Clinic in the Northeast Florida area.   This relieved members of emergency night calls, Sundays and holidays. 

The Jacksonville Humane Society and the JVMS established a trend -setting spay and neuter program which was recognized both state-wide and nationally.   The discounted money of the spay and neuter program was allocated to a continuing education account of the JVMS.

Many of our local vets also participated in the beginning phases of the “Spay Jax” program.

JVMS members attempted for literally decades to establish a veterinary technician program at the Florida Community College of Jacksonville.  The first attempt was by Dr. Bill Pope in the late 80’s.   Unfortunately it never made it off the ground.  A second attempt was made by Dr. Ann Silverness in the early 2000’s, but again it never came to fruition.   In 2010 Sanford Brown Institute established Jacksonville’s first Veterinary Technician Program.  Several of our members were instrumental with its speedy approval and participate on its board of directors.

Dr. Peter Roy was one of the founding members of the American Animal Hospital Association and served as a regional director.

Dr. Ronald Jackson was internationally acclaimed as a heartworm disease researcher.  He also was instrumental in establishing the American Heartworm Society.

Past Presidents of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. C. Paul Vickers 1949
Dr. Peter Roy 1956
Dr. Ralph Chambers 1962
Dr. Robert Jackson 1978
Dr. James Penninngton 2003

Dr. Rick Williams served as the FVMA District 2 board position from 2007-2010.  This position was previously held by Dr. Stephan Shores.   Dr. Rick Sutliff has succeeded Dr. Williams as our District 2 representative for 2010-2013.

FVMA recipients for Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. Ronald Jackson 1963
Dr. Frank Gruesser 1975
Dr. Robert Jackson 1980
Dr. Howard Acree 2009

Dr. Frank Gruesser served as President of the American Animal Hospital Association.

Dr. Robert Jackson served as a delegate from Florida to the House of Representatives of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. William Pope and Dr. Richard Williams were both past Presidents of the Jacksonville Humane Society

Dr. Russell Snyder received the Distinguished Service Award from the University Of Florida School Of Veterinary Medicine in 2010

We also would like to recognize all of the very first of each specialty groups that have started in Jacksonville:

Equine Internal Medicine
1991 – Jacksonville Equine Associates – Alan Weldon, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine) 

Small Animal Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Osteopathy, Natural Allergy Therapy
1994- Brentwood Animal Hospital – Philip Hightman, DVM, DOM, CVH, CVA, NAET, TCM, Lap

The following four all started in 1997 in various suites in the Food Lion Strip Mall at 1670 Wells Road, Orange Park, FL 32073:

Small Animal Internal Medicine – North Florida Veterinary Specialists – Mitchell A. Crystal, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine)

Ophthalmology – Jacksonville Animal Eye Clinic – J. Daniel Brogdon, DVM, MS, DACVO

Neurology – North Florida Neurology – Andrew L. Hopkins, BVSc, MVM, DACVIM (Neurology), DECVN

Surgery – Affiliated Veterinary Specialists – Rob Goring, DVM, DACVS

1998 – Animal Friends Dermatology Service – William H. Abbott, DVM, MS, DACVD

2004 – North Florida Veterinary Dentistry (Initially established as part of North Florida Veterinary Specialists) – Sharon Hoffman, DVM, DAVDC

2004 – Southeast Veterinary Oncology – Tracy LaDue, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), DACVR (Radiation Oncology)

2008 – North Florida Veterinary Specialists – Bradley R. Schmidt, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

Canine Rehabilitation
2009 – Mandarin Landing Animal Hospital and Pet Resort – Ann Silverness, DVM, CCRT