ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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July 17 , 2009


Volume VII, No. 1



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Heerman's Gull
Heermann's Gull
© Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

ISVMA Executive Director Receives Award

ISVMA Membership Renewals - Are You Past Due?

Leptospirosis Survey

New Staff at ISVMA

Postgame - Catching Up With Yesterday's Stars

Recent Death Notifications

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




ISVMA Executive Director Wins National Award

ISVMA Executive Director Peter Weber was presented with the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives' (ASVMAE) Executive of the Year Award at the AVMA Convention in Seattle last week.

asvmae awardWeber is pictured (center) receiving the award from Pennsylvania VMA Executive Director (and ASVMAE President Elect) Charlene Wandzilak and Charles Franz, DVM who serves as executive director of both the Alabama VMA and the American College of Theriogenologists (and ASVMAE President).


ISVMA President Shelly Rubin, DVM nominated Weber for the award. If you would like to see a copy of the award description it is available online.


In accepting the award, Weber shared credit with the staff, voluntary leaders and members of ISVMA who have provided him with so much support and with contributions of their own talents and hard work. He also thanked his family for their encouragement and the time that they have allowed him to spend away from home.


Weber also thanked his grandfather who, "...taught me as a child that a job is a privilege and should never be taken for granted. During the Great Depression, he always had a job – even when many of his friends and neighbors did not. He understood the value of hard work and the sacrifice that was necessary to give back to his profession in gratitude for what it gave his family. I was blessed to have learned this valuable ethic by the greatest man I have ever known. I will think of Grandpa as I am presented this award and delight in the knowledge that he would be very proud of the commitment I have made to my work and my family."

ISVMA Membership Renewals - Are You Past Due?

ISVMA membership renewals were dues on June 30, 2009. ISVMA staff is busy calling the many members that have not paid their 2009-2010 membership dues. This can be a very frustrating experience. Many veterinarians that move to another practice during the year forget to notify ISVMA of their status change and the staff spends (literally) hundreds of hours tracking down members that do not respond the renewal request.


If you or one of your associates has changed jobs during the past twelve months, please verify that ISVMA has the updated information. You can check by visiting the Find a Veterinarian page on the ISVMA website.


You may also want to check to make sure that ISVMA has all the information on your practice listed. For instance, if we have your practice website in our database it will show under each veterinarian's name. If there is no link to your practice website, let us know and we will add it!


Nearly 2000 people visit the ISVMA website every day. Many of them are pet owners looking for a veterinarian. The Find A Veterinarian page is the most visited page on our website and you should take advantage of the free advertising through your state association!


If you have an associate that is not an ISVMA member, we hope that you will encourage them to join this year. Additionally, if you have hired a new veterinarian in the last year or have CVT employees that are not members, we hope that you will sign them up too!


All member prospects (and renewing members) can fill out the simple membership application/renewal form at or contact the ISVMA offices at (217) 546-8381.

Leptospirosis Survey

The Illinois Veterinary Medical Association has partnered with Fort Dodge Animal Health, through an educational grant, to survey veterinarians about the incidence of lepto in clinics and local areas throughout Illinois. The survey response deadline is August 1. A summary of the results will be published in future issues the ISVMA newsletter.


Please go to to participate.


Those completing the survey will be entered in a drawing consisting of five electronic and/or gourmet food items valued at $100 or more with the top incentive being a 32GB iPod touch. You must complete the survey by August 1 to be eligible for the drawing.


Some helpful tips:

• The survey should take only a few minutes.

• Please report cases in your clinic for the past three years.

• Only one response per clinic, please.

• Responses must be received by Saturday, August 1, to be eligible for the drawing.

Thank you for your time and participation!

New Staff at ISVMA

The ISVMA is excited to welcome two new staff! Dr. Kristi McCullough-McTaggart (ILL 2001) will be responsible for oversight and direction for membership services and education planning. Tracy Scaduto, MBA will be responsible for database management, corporate relations (e.g. exhibits and display ads) and provide backup in accounting.


The ISVMA has been noticeably short-staffed during the past several months and Jill Blanton, Janet Davis and Brenda Weber did an outstanding job keeping the association on track while Peter Weber was, out of necessity, more of a full-time lobbyist and part-time executive. The last several months were a big challenge and many association projects had to be put on hold while we prioritized basic administrative functions and legislative advocacy.

Thankfully, ISVMA came out of the intense legislative session in excellent shape. But the time that was devoted to issues at the Capitol took away from many other functions of the Association. Kristi and Tracy are now on board to help ISVMA better meet the needs and expectations of our growing membership. They will add to the talent and experience that Jill, Janet and Brenda already contribute to ISVMA. Your Association is now staffed to meet the remarkable opportunities available to provide services and benefits to our members - and blow them away with our professionalism!

Postgame - Catching Up With Yesterday's Stars

The July 12, 2009 issue of the Springfield State Journal-Register newspaper included a wonderful biography of ISVMA's own Dr. Kristi McCullough-McTaggart. Regrettably, the wonderful photograph of her family that accompanied the article is not available in the online addition.


We are proud to have Kristi on our team now!

Recent Death Notifications

The membership renewal process always includes the unfortunate news of members that have passed away during the year. This week, we were informed of the deaths of Dr. Michael Diesen (OKL 1979) and Dr. Virgil Holdeman (MSU 1951).


In Memoriam: Michael E. Diesen, DVM


Dr. Michael E. Diesen, 61, of Highland, Ill., born Dec. 3, 1946, in Highland, Ill., died Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008, at his home in Highland, Ill.


Dr. Diesen was born and grew up in Highland, Ill. He graduated from Highland High School in 1965. He attended SIU-Carbondale, graduating in Finance in 1969. He worked for Hyster Co. in Kewanee, Ill., and later was drafted into the U.S. Army. After his duty he worked for Highland Supply in Hobart, Okla. Michael attended Veterinarian School at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., graduating 1979 as a veterinarian. He worked in Greenville for several years as a veterinarian and later in 1980 took over Dr. Roger's practice in Highland. He then owned and operated Highland Animal Hospital.


Michael enjoyed hunting, fishing, photography, golfing, playing basketball (until age 50) and trap shooting. He loved his grandchildren. He did woodworking and landscaping at home. He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, Ill.; Highland Pistol & Rifle Club; Ducks Unlimited; Knights of Columbus, Council 1580, Highland; American Veterinarian Association; and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association.


He was preceded in death by his father, Eugene J. Diesen who died Sept. 30, 1989; his mother, Vivian Violet, nee Voss, Diesen who died April 5, 1987; a sister, Jean Kathleen Willimann who died May 8, 1998; and a brother, Larry Diesen who died in June, 1981.


Surviving are his wife, Dolores A., nee Korte, Diesen of Highland, Ill., whom he married on Sept. 2, 1968, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Pierron, Ill.; a son, Jeff M. (Kathy) Diesen, C.P.A. of Trenton, Ill.; a daughter, Dr. Michelle A. (Josh) Leckrone, D.V.M. of Highland, Ill.; grandchildren, Cole J. Diesen of Trenton, Ill., Kaylee B. Diesen of Trenton, Ill., and Kaden W. Leckrone of Highland, Ill.; and a brother, Dr. Ronald W. (Wilma) Diesen, PhD of Midland, Mich.


Memorial contributions may be made to Polycystic National Kidney Foundation or Ducks Unlimited.


In Memoriam: Virgil L. Holdeman, DVM


Dr. Virgil L. Holdeman, DVM, 85, of Highland, Ill., born June 24, 1923, in Wakarusa, Ind., died Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at St. Joseph Hospital in Highland, Ill.


Virgil was a member of Evangelical United Church of Christ; Lee Iten Post 439, American Legion; VFW Post 5694, both of Highland; American Veterinary Medical Association; Life Member of Illinois Veterinary Association; American Contract Bridge Association; Highland Rotary Club, Silver Lake Shrine Club (past president), Highland Masonic Lodge 583 AF & AM; Ma Cli Bo Circus Unit; Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Southern IL-Belleville, Ill.; and Ainad Temple, AAONOMS (Shriners), East St. Louis, Ill.


Dr. Holdeman was born in Wakarusa, Ind. At the age of five his family moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., where his parents finished college. He graduated in 1941 from Jackson High School, Jackson, Mich., and in 1951 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. His college was interrupted by a three year enlistment in the U.S. Army Air Corp. When World War II ended, he was in the Philippine Islands and had completed 21 missions as a navigator on a B-25 bomber. He then practiced farm animal medicine for 18 years in Hebron, Ill. In 1970, he and his family moved to Highland. He was the veterinarian at the National Stockyards, East St. Louis, Ill., for 14 years before retirement. He was an active Shriner in the Ma-Cli-Bo circus unit and spent 42 years racing and breeding Standard bred horses. He was a Bronze Life Master with the America Contract Bridge League.


Dr. Holdeman was a Life Member of ISVMA (56 years of continuous membership).


He was preceeded in death by his father, Walter Ray Holdeman; mother, Florence Hester, nee Barthel, Holdeman; and a brother, Carl Holdeman, age 6 mo.


Surviving are his wife, Mary L., nee Nichols, Holdeman whom he married on June 18, 1955; children, Janeen "Jackie" (Charles) Hook of Lacey, Wash.; David A. (Tammy) Holdeman of Des Arc, Mo., Janet L. Holdeman of Wheaton, Ill., and Robert C. (Susan) Holdeman of Pocahontas, Ill.; a sister, Gladys (Robert) McKenney of Rochester, Mich.; grandchildren, William (Judy) Dias, Laura (Tony) Theimer, Jennifer Dias, Tyler Holdeman, and Sam Holdeman; and eight great-grandchildren.


Memorial contributions may be made to Evangelical United Church of Christ.

About the Photo

The Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni) is the size of a Ring-billed Gull, but stockier. It is unique in that its plumage is mostly dark. The Heermann's Gull has a dark gray back and wings with a lighter gray body. The head is white with a black-tipped red bill and a dark eye. The tail is black with a white terminal band. The wing has a white trailing edge and black tips. Some individuals have a white patch at the wrist. The feet are black. The Heermann's Gull is often mistaken for a jaeger. Non-breeding adults appear similar to breeding adults, but have a dark streaked head. Juveniles are solid brown overall in their first year and solid gray in their second year. They reach maturity in their fourth year.


A Pacific species, the Heermann's Gull nests in western Mexico, and spends the non-breeding season in marine areas. A variety of coastal habitats, including rocky shores, bays, small offshore islands, kelp beds, sandy beaches, and estuaries, are all potential roosting sites. They seldom spend time at garbage dumps or on fresh water.


While large roosting flocks are seen, Heermann's Gulls are rarely seen flying in large flocks. These gulls are aggressive, chasing other seabirds, especially Brown Pelicans, and stealing food from them.


Fish and other small marine creatures make up the majority of the diet. Eggs, other birds, refuse, and carrion are also eaten, although Heermann's Gulls eat less refuse and carrion than do most other gull species.


Nesting Heermann's Gulls breed in early spring in large colonies on islands off the west Mexican coast. Nests are located on level ground, a shallow scrape in the soil lightly lined with feathers, grass, or weeds. Both parents incubate the 2-3 eggs for about 4 weeks, and both feed the young. Age at first flight is not known.


In late May, after their early breeding season, Heermann's Gulls migrate north along the Pacific Coast. They arrive in mid-summer and stay through the fall, when they return to Mexico to breed. Some may also disperse south from the breeding grounds along the Mexican Coast.


Heermann's Gulls are vulnerable to disturbance on their nesting islands, and fishermen sometimes harvest their eggs. In recent years, it has been observed that they migrate earlier.


This photo was taken in the Fall of 2006 in Monterey, CA.

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
1121 Chatham Road
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 546-8381

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