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Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association
January 2020 Newsletter
Message from the President

Aleisha Swartz, DVM

Hau‵oli Makahiki Hou!

Our 66th annual conference was a great success and time to catch up with old friends, meet new colleagues and learn in our ever-changing field. These connections are a large part of our “why” as the HVMA and we are fortunate to have such a connected community.

Some of the activities we are working on this winter are monitoring the state legislative session, participating in the AVMA HOD January meeting, judging at the upcoming 63rd Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair (HSSEF), and reviewing our wellness committee functions. If you are interested in participating, please let us know as we can always use more volunteers!
Read Aleisha's full message here.
2020 Membership Renewal
Membership renewal is now open and we encourage you to renew early and encourage your colleagues to do so as well. Your dues enable us to host great CE in addition to our other efforts including providing scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students, advocate on behalf of the veterinary profession in Hawaii, and give back to our community. Don’t forget that new graduates are eligible for waived or reduced fees!
Renew Today!
Hawaii Legislative Update

HVMA has introduced HB 2528 and SB 2985 in the 2020 legislative session. These bills modify Hawaii's veterinary practice act to 1) provide immunity in the absence of gross negligence to veterinarians who provide emergency care to an animal, and 2) clarify that the duty of a veterinarian includes reporting to law enforcement any cases of animal injury or death where there is reasonable cause to believe that it relates to dog fighting or animal abuse, while granting veterinarians immunity from any civil liability for such reporting. These additions to our veterinary practice act would put Hawaii in line with much of the rest of the United States. A big mahalo to Representative Hashem and Senator Baker for sponsoring the introduction of these bills to the legislature. Please thank them, particularly if you are from their districts! Contact us if you have questions or comments on this measure.

Panleukopenia Cases on Oahu
In recent weeks, several veterinary practices on O'ahu have reported seeing a number of feline panleukopenia cases. Below is a link to a summary on Feline Panleukopenia provided on the AVMA website for review. Veterinarians who have had patients suspected of dying from panleukopenia can contact Dr. Aleisha Swartz for information on further confirmatory testing including necropsy and PCR at

Read more on feline panleukopenia here.
DEA and the SUPPORT Act
Recently, DEA announced the launch of the Suspicious Orders Report System (SORS) Online, a new centralized database where DEA registrants, including veterinarians, must report suspicious orders of controlled substances. Reporting by practitioner registrants and creation of the database by DEA was required when Congress passed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act) last year. AVMA Guidance can be found here.
HVMA Scholarship Available
HVMA is thrilled to announce a new scholarship opportunity available to all veterinary students from Hawaii enrolled in an AVMA-accredited doctoral program of veterinary medicine. The application deadline is February 28, 2020.
More info here.
Wellbeing Resources

The wellbeing of veterinary professionals is one of the most important issues facing our profession. The AVMA is dedicated to improving wellbeing within the veterinary community and provides many free tools and resources that empower veterinarians and all team members to prioritize self-care and make the short- and long-term investments needed for personal wellbeing. Go here to learn how to manage stress in healthy ways, practice self-care, lend a hand to struggling peers, and more.

 Another great suicide-prevention resource is ASK training by Banfield. The HVMA has a Wellness Committee that exists to help act as a liaison to available wellness resources. Please contact us if we can help you provide support intervention to any colleagues.

One Health Awareness Month
January is One Health Awareness Month. The One Health Social Sciences Commission was launched by advocates for integrating social sciences into One Health strategies for improving health systems. Their bimonthly meetings provide a platform for information sharing and group discussion.

You may join colleagues from across the world working on similar issues on the next OHSS online meeting on Thursday, February 27th. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Register here.
Meet A Member

Jennifer Ruby

Dr. Jennifer Ruby is from the Hudson Valley, NY and pursued her veterinary education at Cornell University. She completed internships at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ and the Veterinary Imaging Center of San Diego. In 2016, Dr. Ruby started her residency in diagnostic imaging at the University of Georgia, where she developed a strong interest in abdominal ultrasonography and neuroimaging in companion animals, and advanced imaging in exotic pets. She became board certified in Diagnostic Imaging in September 2019 and joined Oahu Veterinary Radiology. Read more here.
HVMA Online Account Signup
Thank you for your membership renewal. Please remember to sign up for your online account at You will need an individual online account to access member only content such as registering for the annual conference at the reduced membership rate. We are happy to help you with this process, so please contact us if you have any difficulties.


Update from HOD

The AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) conducted association business, considered policies, discussed topics of interest to members, deliberated and presented action items at the winter session held January 10-11 in Chicago. Resolutions accepted covered topics such as cat declaws and horse cribbing.
Read full report here.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The AVMA continues to advocate to protect and enhance the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which has been under scrutiny due to the incredibly low acceptance rate to date and concerns about overall costs. If you were denied forgiveness through PSLF or have experienced issues with the program, please share your story with AVMA.

Euthanasia Guidelines

AVMA has recently updated their Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals to reflect important advances in research, including both new techniques and revisions to existing ones. The 2020 edition also provides detailed information on more species than ever before.

Veterinary Leadership Conference

HVMA sponsored member and rising leader David Gans to help cover travel fees associated with attending this year's VLC. A big focus on the leadership presentations this year was on personal wellness.
Read David's report here.

AVMA Honor Roll

Congratulations to Alan Kaufman of Kula, George Peavy of Captain Cook, and Seeske Versluys of Keaau for being inducted into the AVMA Honor Roll in 2020. These individuals have maintained membership in the AVMA for a period of 40 years or more and have reached the age of 70. As honor roll members, they continue to receive the full benefits and privileges of membership while being exempt from dues.
In Remembrance
The Hawaiian veterinary community has lost a familiar face and long time veterinarian in November 2019. Dr. Patrick Leadbeater worked at the Animal Emergency Clinic, Honolulu Zoo, Veterinary Center of the Pacific, and Kahala Pet Hospital. He was instrumental in advancing veterinary medical care in Hawaii.
Read more here.

Ag Day at the Capitol

Tuesday 2/5/2020
11am-1pm, 4th floor

Join us and get to know your local legislators!

Contact us for more info
Upcoming CE
Aquatic Veterinary Workshop at Aquaculture America 2020
February 9-12, 2020
Hawaii Convention Center

Honeybee Health Workshop
February 22-26, 2020
Oahu, Maui, Hawaii
Contact Dr. Odani for more information
Planning a CE Event?

To offer a verified Continuing Education (CE) program in Hawaii, you must apply via the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs or via the HVMA. Application instructions are here.

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2020 Executive Board

President: Aleisha Swartz
Pres-Elect: Alfred Mina
Vice President: Tim Falls
Secretary: Jenee Odani
Treasurer: Brenda Smith
Executive VP: Jill Yoshicedo
AVMA Delegates
Leianne Lee Loy
Carolyn Naun (alt)

County Delegates
Hawaii: Jacob Head
Kauai:Leilani Sim-Godbehere
Maui: Leo Murakami
Oahu: Michelle Barbieri
            Jamie Furutani
            Joe Herzog
            Erika Sox

Get Involved!
From the Right Brain submitted by Vet School Funnies
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