JVMS Business Meeting  March 12, 2009
Held at Copeland’s of New Orleans on Southside Blvd. and Touchton Rd.

Dr. Bob Raymond (U. Minnesota CVM, graduated with honors) was introduced as a new member to the JVMS

Dr. Nicoletti’s Report:

Dr. Nicoletti met with the Dean a few days before the JVMS meeting.  Dr. Nicoletti is now a Professor Emeritus.  A recent site visit allowed UF VMTH to be re-accredited.  There are concerns about the lack of students entering vet school that have a strong interest in Food Animal Medicine.  UF VMTH currently has 6 instead of the previously reported 4.  Current applications total between 8 and 900; many are out of state.   Only 8 out of the 88 spaces are available for out of state students.  Most of the applicants are female.

Other topics from Dr. Nicoletti’s report: Dean Jim Thompson (U. of Tenn.) re: pharmacy group, budgets

Dean Eleanor Green (Texas A&M): lost 2.3 million from their budget (from direct funds), much of it was lost due to the fixed status of their budget, also lost 15 faculty positions, most were vacant, however.  An additional 16 non-faculty positions will also be eliminated.  The College’s present has called for the elimination of certain projects i.e. small animal theriogenology.

Legislature is currently in session, a proposed 10% budget cut will really hurt the vet school.   UF currently provides clinical training to 12 off shore students (Ross U., St. George etc.).  This amounts to about $40,000 per student for their senior year.  This will most likely continue because these off shore schools are unlikely to receive full accreditation in the near future.

There is currently a $58 million renovation underway; this includes an addition to UF’s SAH.  UF has received an endowment from the Week’s Estate for $6 million.  An endowment can not be spent without matching funds so there can be an extended period of time before there are direct benefits.  The two largest gifts have been allocated to Dairy and Food Animal medicine.  The current recession has made the value of these endowments worth about 20-30% less.  Revenue from the LAH is down because the entire thoroughbred racing industry is down by about 50%; even revenue from the SAH is down.

FVMA Convention (April 17-19, Tampa, FL) Dr. Acree will be awarded Veterinarian of the Year at this meeting.

Dr. Kapustin’s Report:
The Jacksonville Zoo’s Pet Amnesty Day was a great success with over 60 pets being relinquished; everything from fish to mammals were relinquished, even a pair of marmosets!  All pets that were relinquished were placed.  The purpose of these events is to minimize the release of these animals into the environment.  The event will be repeated in 1-2 years.  Many thanks to all of the veterinarians and vet techs that donated their time for this event.

Dr. Winter’s Report:
JVMS CE at the Crowne Plaza, Riverfront
Sunday March 29, 2009
The program will include a Hill’s sponsored Nutrition lecture and a Pharmacy review

Dr. Acree’s Report:
One complaint reported.  This complaint has been resolved.

Dr. Sutliff and Dr. McKnight discussed proposed changes to AC and C’s licensing program…..
Mandatory collection of licensing fees may be imposed based upon the following information provided by AC and C’s Division Chief, Scott Trebatoski, MBA:
There has been a decrease in revenue of $36,000 (from sales of licenses at veterinary clinics)
There has been a $65,000 increase in license processing fees
Net loss: $95,000
2007: Income from veterinary clinic’s license sales: $454,800, fees paid to clinics: $40,200
2008: Income from veterinary clinic’s license sales: $424,200, fees paid to clinics: $105,900
There has been an apparent increase of 2000-2500 in raw license sales from veterinary clinics.  A commensurate increase has also been observed in the sale of licenses directly through JACC.
The JACC sells 55-60% of all licenses in Jacksonville.
Based upon this information, Dr. McKnight and Dr. Sutliff stressed that vets can sell licenses and keep $3 (or some other predetermined amount) OR ALL vets can sell licenses and keep nothing.

Ideally, veterinarians that are not familiar with the fee collection should become familiar with the process.  According to the FVMA, the City of Jacksonville has the authority to make the licensing program mandatory.  Current state laws allow for the collection of fines for failure to collect fees associated with the sale of licenses.  It was noted that veterinary clinics that are currently not participating (typically not those in attendance at the JVMS meetings) such as temporary rabies clinics i.e. Pet Care-a-Van etc. should also be held accountable for their voluntary non-participation.  Their participation will only benefit those individuals who are already participating.

It is likely that the triplicate form will become mandatory as it has become in Texas and Arizona.

Dr. Rick Williams noted that in Tampa/St. Pete and Clearwater, veterinarians receive fifty cents for each license sold.  Some veterinarians receive nothing.  Dr. Silverness noted that keeping $1.50 of the licensing fee would be acceptable to her.  Dr. Snyder urged everybody to find out who is not paying and also to call your Councilman!  Write them a $25 check towards their re-election.  He told everyone at the meeting to “get on the ball and do something”!  He is not concerned, he’s retired!   Dr. Sutliff reiterated the need for a phone bank in order to spread the word.  There are many counties that have mandatory licensing fees.  So the veterinarians in Duval County can either get paid OR not get paid, it is our choice.  Make the phone call or we will reap the ‘benefits” of our inaction.

There was a motion made to list all of the invited members of each committee on the JVMS website.  If the members are listed, this might encourage more volunteers to participate. Many of the committees have Chairs but have no members.  The following committees in need were mentioned by Dr. Silverness:  Awards, CE, auditing, charity, trust and the holiday party.  Listing these committee members on the JVMS website may require a change to the By-laws; this change must be in writing and it must be approved by 60% of the members.

JACC Report:
JACC no longer has funds to purchase Immiticide.  As a result, any veterinary clinics that are interested in participating in a low-cost heartworm treatment program for pets adopted from JACC, please call 387-8942.  Dr. Hansen had suggested that he might be able get Merial to agree to offer AC and C a discount on their product.  AC and C receives about $4.00 per taxpayer per year.  This amounts to the equivalent of a lost and found shelter.  Many of the other large shelters in Florida with intake numbers that are similar to Jacksonville (between 25 and 30,000 animals per year) have much larger budgets i.e. Miami-Dade.   JAC C is able to do a lot with a very small budget.  Dr. Niessen and Dr. Nicoletto extended a VERY special thank you to all of the veterinarians in our community that have stepped up to help by donating supplies to the shelter.  Thanks so much!  It was also suggested that JACC post their needs on the JVMS website.  There is currently a list of needed supplies listed on the website.

JHS:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JHS is looking for a relief vet on Mondays and Tuesdays, primarily for high volume spay/neuter.  Please call Danya Parks at 591-4756 if you are interested.

Dr. Rick Williams reported that there is a mandatory spay/neuter bill that is currently under consideration.  This bill would add a $5.00 surcharge for every animal related statutory violation in the State of Florida.  The revenue collected from the surcharge would be used to fund the low cost spay/neuter services.  Regarding the HCCE permit, it will most likely be repealed.  This was a major disruption to the sale of essential drugs i.e. chemotherapeutic drugs etc. by drug wholesalers.  The outcome will most likely require that there is one DVM that is designated as the Qualified Veterinary Practitioner and they will be permitted to order drugs for the practice.  Refunds for the HCCE permit will eventually be processed if they have been applied for.

The American Bar Association is currently working on the Harm to a Companion Animal Act which will create a legal basis for the pet owning population to sue for remuneration beyond the “property” value of their pet i.e. pain and suffering etc.  Tennessee and Illinois have already implemented such measures.  Illinois currently has a $25,000 maximum for this.  This is one of the hottest areas in the legal field right now.  These laws will eventually be a passed, however, the AVMA is working hard to impede the progress of these bills.  These bills “paint veterinarians as the bad guys”; these bills also include animal service providers such as dog groomers.

FVMA Annual Meeting -  April 17-19 Tampa, FL
Dr. Rebecca Williams, Dr. Doug Page and Dr. Schoenborn are being considered for awards.

No Treasury Report

It was recommended by the Secretary that we post the meeting notes on the website.  The Secretary will make a formal motion at the next meeting.

Next meeting: Thursday May 7, 2009 at the Tree Steakhouse 7-9pm

Kim Niessen