AVMA to phase out VMAT program

Emergency preparedness and disaster recovery services are critical. But changing times demand new strategies that optimize resources.  

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently announced that its Board of Directors has decided to phase out the AVMA’s Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) program over the next 12 to 18 months to optimize the association’s strategic use of resources.

The AVMA will continue to advocate for the protection of animal health and welfare and public health during disasters but will do so in ways other than through the VMAT program. The AVMA’s Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues remains vital and active. 

This decision is a result of the AVMA’s Strategic Management Process, initiated 24 months ago, which includes a comprehensive and deliberate evaluation of AVMA’s programs and services. The VMAT program was one of the first evaluated.  

Details of the phase-out remain to be determined, but objectives and a timeline will be developed for that process, including reaching out to states and federal agencies that have existing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the AVMA related to VMAT. 

A spokesperson for the AVMA noted that the decision was a difficult one and stressed the valuable contributions VMAT team members have made in the past 23 years to the AVMA and to animal disaster and emergency response efforts.

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