Hello everyone out there in blog land! This is the beginning of a year-long conversation that will enable me to reach out to members and for members to reach back to AAHA headquarters and the board of directors (pictured below).

First of all, I am thrilled and honored to be the 2013-2014 AAHA president. Truly, I cannot think of a better way or better organization in which to serve as a volunteer. This will also be my seventh year on the AAHA board of directors.

Next year, as immediate past president, I will be giving the reins over to Kate Crumley (aka Kate 2.0, as we often call her on the board). I hope that I can give her an AAHA that has been positively impacted by my year as president. Certainly, Mark Russak left his mark on our organization before he turned it over to me at the 2013 AAHA yearly conference in Phoenix. For example, Mark, along with Stith Keiser, manager of My Veterinary Career, visited nearly all of the veterinary schools in the states, spreading the message about students and the economics of our profession.

My goals for this year are many and diverse. One is to continue working with the students. Another is to spread the word about preventive medicine and get our hospitals and clinics on board and ready for the Partners for Healthy Pets campaign. Yet another is to introduce the Pet Nutrition Alliance to as many as I can.

I will also have the opportunity to meet with a lot of people involved in veterinary medicine over the next year. I want to bring some of the excitement and passion they have for our profession into this blog. With this in mind, I am sending a shout out to Dr. Ken Lembrecht and his peeps at Westside Family Pet Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin. I first met Ken around 10 years ago at a dental conference (so of course I liked him immediately). I was impressed with his zeal and that his hospital was as interested in wellness and preventive care as ours. As a typical build-it-yourself hospital owner/proud parent (I'm a co-director of Pet Crossing Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic in Bloomington, Minnesota) I was thrilled to find someone who not only thought the way we did, but who often got things done better than we did. With his permission and blessings, we have copied many of his programs, tweaking them to fit our hospital mission, vision, and values. We need to do more of that in our profession instead of starting from scratch over and over again. It will give us more time to be better at what we do and love. Here's to you, Westside, and your mission!

I will leave you with a quote as a reminder of how to live our days:

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." --Unknown

Be well!

Comments (3) -

karyn gavzer
karyn gavzerUnited States
3/29/2013 8:58:25 AM #

Congratulations, Dr. Knutson, on your new role as AAHA President.  I enjoyed our first blog posting and look forward to many more in the year ahead!

Sonnya Dennis
Sonnya DennisUnited States
4/1/2013 7:49:52 AM #

I am looking forward to another fantastic year with AAHA!

Stith Keiser
Stith KeiserUnited States
4/1/2013 11:25:37 AM #

Great article, Dr. K!  Look forward to working with you this year.

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