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Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association
April 2020 Newsletter
Message from the President

Aleisha Swartz, DVM

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been amazed seeing the innovation and effort by Hawaii veterinarians as they work to protect their teams, ensure care for animals in need and service to the people of Hawaii and beyond.

The HVMA has been working hard on behalf of members and the animals and citizens of Hawaii during this time. We have successfully advocated for more flexible use of telemedicine to maintain care for animals while keeping people safe. We set up a Facebook group for Hawaii vets to share ideas and information, and host weekly virtual meetings where we discuss the current knowledge about SARS CoV-2, its impact on animals and practices. We have spent many hours each week participating in Hawaii Emergency Management calls to ensure animal needs are being met. Additionally, we were able to secure a grant from Greater Good to bring in 22 pallets of dog and cat food and 4 pallets of litter to be used for COVID-related emergency sheltering or for pet owners in need due to the financial hardship so many are currently facing.

Read Aleisha's full message here.
CDC: Veterinarian Guidance
CDC has published new Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Veterinary Clinics during the COVID-19 Response. This guidance is for veterinarians and veterinary staff providing care to companion animals. The intent of this guidance is to facilitate preparedness and to ensure practices are in place in a veterinary clinical setting to help people and animals stay safe and healthy.
SARS-CoV-2 Animal Testing
Routine testing of animals for COVID-19 is NOT recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV), or the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials. Nor is it recommended by key federal agencies, including the CDC and USDA.

Current expert understanding is that SARS-CoV-2 is primarily transmitted person-to-person. There is currently no evidence that animals can transmit this virus to people. In rare instances, people have spread the virus to certain animals.

Veterinarians are strongly encouraged to rule out more common causes for clinical signs in animals before considering testing for SARS-CoV-2. The CDC, USDA, and other federal partners have created guidance, including a table of epidemiological risk factors and clinical features for SARS-CoV-2 in animals to help guide decisions regarding animal testing.

The decision to test an animal should be made collaboratively between the attending veterinarian and local, state, and/or federal public health and animal health officials after careful consideration of this guidance as provided.

AVMA-AAVLD-NASPHV-NASAHO Joint Statement on Animal Testing

Hawaii State Dept of Ag Guidelines on Animal Testing

Labs with SARS-CoV-2 PCR Animal Tests
Mahalo for Your Kokua
A heartfelt mahalo to all the veterinary clinics in Hawaii that are doing their part to flatten the curve and keep our communities safer from COVID-19. We understand it is not easy to implement critical changes to integrate telemedicine services, limit in-person appointments, and stop non-essential procedures such as nail trims and spay/neuter during our state's shelter-in-place orders.

Interested in what vets in the rest of the US are doing? Check out these recent survey results on how COVID-19 has affected veterinary practices these past 5 weeks.
Telemedicine Tips
During the COVID-19 emergency period (currently through May 31st), veterinarians are permitted to practice telemedicine without a previously established Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR) or physical examination of the patient to establish a VCPR. Veterinarians are temporarily allowed to establish a new VCPR over telecommunications. Learn ways to utilize telemedicine effectively in your practice:
Telemedicine in your practice
Implementing telemedicine
Service models for telemedicine
Triage: Urgent vs Non-urgent
Social distancing in your practice
New Board Members Wanted!
2020 is an election year and we are looking for anyone interested in bringing new ideas and energy to our organization. The positions open for nominations include Pres-Elect, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive VP, Oahu Reps and Kauai Rep. Please don't be shy! Contact the nominating committee for more info.
Becoming Antifragile
Veterinary Medicine is at a pivot point. Instead of resisting change, let us grow through it to become better than we were before. It will take energy, patience, creativity, and a willingness to fail small in order to succeed big. Happily, our clients are particularly forgiving of experimentation right now, especially when it is for their benefit. We can establish a new and better normal if we provide our clients the care they want, how they want, when they want it, while reclaiming some work-life balance for ourselves.

Read more from Holly Sawyer, DVM
2020 Membership Renewal
If you haven't already done so, please renew your membership! Your dues enable us to host great CE every fall, in addition to our other efforts including providing scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students, advocating on behalf of the veterinary profession in Hawaii, and giving back to our community. Don’t forget that new graduates are eligible for waived or reduced fees! Don't forget to sign up for your online account.
Renew Now

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Relief Vet List
2020 Conference

Join HVMA or Renew Your Membership Today!


In Remembrance


Dr. Joseph Herzog (Wisconsin ’97), 58, of Kailua, Hawaii, died April 13, 2020 of metastatic prostate cancer. Joe was deeply involved with establishing, teaching in, and gaining AVMA accreditation for the first and only Veterinary Technician training program and associates degree in the state.
Read more here.
COVID-19 Support

Join the Hawaii Vet COVID-19 Facebook page

HVMA COVID-19 Resources

Virtual Pau Hana Zoom
Wednesdays @ 7pm
Meeting ID: 823 931 337
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+16699006833,,823931337# US (San Jose)
Upcoming CE

Holistic Actions! presents
Choosing Your Pet's Food
Dr. Ihor Basko
May 4, 2-3pm HST

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2020 Executive Board

President: Aleisha Swartz
Pres-Elect: Alfred Mina
Vice President: Tim Falls
Secretary: Jenee Odani
Treasurer: Brenda Smith
Exec VP: Jill Yoshicedo

AVMA Delegates
Leianne Lee Loy
Carolyn Naun

County Representatives
Jacob Head
Leilani Sim-Godbehere
Leo Murakami
Michelle Barbieri
Jamie Furutani
Erika Sox

Get Involved!
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