ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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September 11, 2009


Volume VII, No. 5



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Common Yellowthroat
© Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

ISVMA Website Update

Register Now for the Cardiology Workshop/Symposium

ISVMA Euthanasia Initiative Becomes Law

Memorial Service for Dr. John Gmitro

Dr. Mahr to Head One Health Commission

Alumni Receive Veterinary College Awards

CIV Makes Its Way Quickly Across 30 States

Word Rabies Day

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




ISVMA Website News & Transition

The long-awaited transition to our new Association Management Software (AMS) is complete! Naturally, all major software changes result in occasional bumps and bruises. That has certainly been the case! However, we are working feverishly to minimize the problems on your end and we will start introducing the new features and services available to you over the next few months.


You may notice some brief issues with page layouts and an occasional broken link. But we also hope that you will notice some of the enhancements, as well:

NOTE: Every member has been assigned a new username/password combination. Your old username/password for logging into the ISVMA website will not work. There is a button on the bottom of the login form that allows you to click and retrieve your login information. You MUST retrieve your new username/password by clicking the appropriate link on the login page. A new username/password will be emailed to the address you have in our system. Once you get your new login information, you can change your username/password to anything you wish - one of the new features of the system! Anytime you forget your login information, you can click the retrieve button to have the information emailed directly to you.


• Registering for ISVMA meetings will be much easier and you will get automatic email confirmation upon registering (the convention registration will be up in a few days and the Cardiology Symposium registration is up now).


• The Member Directory has been enhanced and more changes are on the way. We encourage every practice to have an ISVMA member log in and search on your practice name. You will see a listing of all veterinarians and CVTs in our database associated with your practice and their current membership status (member or non-member). Please send us an email at if there are any updates on employees that have left or joined your practice so that your listing is correct. If there are non-members in your practice, we encourage you strongly to use the new online ISVMA Member Application Form to make them an ISVMA member today!


• You can now update your profile online to change key information like your current practice, phone numbers, email addresses, name changes, etc. This is a simple way for you to keep us informed and to make sure the information reported on our website is correct and up-to-date.


• If you are on an ISVMA committee or task force, you can now see a roster of all committee members and their individual contact information. You can also use the committee forum to communicate with other committee members using the message board function.

Register Online Now for the ISVMA CE Event: Cardiology Workshop/Symposium

On Saturday, October 3, 2009 the ISVMA and Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica will offer a cardiology workshop/symposium at The Hyatt Lodge, 2815 Jorie Boulevard, Oak Brook, IL 60523.


The program title is “How to diagnose, How to treat & When to refer” and 5 hours of CE will be credited to those that attend. The registration cost for this program is only $135 for ISVMA members and $150 for non-members.


A copy of the program description and registration form is available for download from the ISVMA website.


Because seating is limited, interested veterinarians may choose to register online.

Another ISVMA Legislative Initiative Becomes Law

Public Act 96-0780 (originally Senate Bill 38) was introduced by other interest groups as a bill to place limitations on certain types of euthanasia (specifically compressed carbon monoxide). ISVMA originally opposed Senate Bill 38 until the sponsor agreed to amend the bill to delete a reference to the use of "liquids or substances that can be placed in a dog's food or mouth" for the purposes of euthanasia and make other modifications in the bills.


The ISVMA also had the bill amended to include language which clarifies that a certified euthanasia technician can only euthanatize an animal on the physical premises of a licensed euthanasia agency (animal control facility or animal shelter). This amendment is intended to stop in-home euthanasia practices by anyone other than a licensed veterinarian.

"Dr. John Day" at St. Charles Veterinary Clinic on September 19, 2009

St. Charles Veterinary Clinic is hosting a “Dr. John Day” in honor of Dr. John Gmitro on Saturday, September 19 from noon – 3:00pm at St. Charles Veterinary Clinic, 530 Dunham Road, St. Charles IL 60174. For directions contact the clinic at 630/584-7404 or submit a memory of Dr. John, the clinic is offering a memorial page for family and friends to visit. Go to


Dr. John J. Gmitro, age 43, of Elburn, IL, died on July 27, at the scene of a two-vehicle crash on I 90-94 near the Wisconsin Dells on his way home from vacation in MN. Private services were held at the family farm.


Dr. Gmito graduated as Class Valedictorian from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. Affectionately referred to as Dr. John, he joined the staff of St. Charles Veterinary Clinic in St. Charles, IL in 1998 where he quickly endeared himself to his colleagues and the community for his compassion, his empathy, his wry sense of humor, his kindness and the hearty laughter that was in such contrast to his soft voice and gentle manner. He had a gift of being equally attentive to the needs of his four-legged patients as well as their two-legged owners. A tireless problem-solver who enjoyed the challenge of caring for very ill patients, Dr. John was known to think out loud when he saw patients; part of his honest, real and no-nonsense way of practicing veterinary medicine.


Dr. John owned vacation property in northern MN where he would go to enjoy all things nature and wildlife. He liked hunting, fishing, bird watching and identification, and enjoying campfires with friends.


He was also a 10 year member of the ISVMA.


Any time a young life ends suddenly, there are many who mourn the loss. Jan Walsh, a friend and colleague to John, shares this about the person for whom many will miss:

John had a favorite quote: "He who trims himself to suit everyone else will soon whittle himself away. Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly."


John was a wonderful human being. He was kind, gentle, humble, and unassuming. It was the way he viewed the world that made him so gloriously unique. Where others saw a weed, John saw the potential of a flower, where others saw only illness and cure, John saw the essence of a relationship and it's need to be nurtured and respected. Where others saw the need to hurry, John saw only what might be missed if he did. And I never saw him hurry. He was always working on being a better person; a better doctor, a better friend and colleague, a better conservator of nature, and so much more. Yet, I think most of us could only hope to be anything like him. This is true because, above all else, he had the gift of knowing what was truly important in life and lived it that way every day, despite every obstacle and criticism he faced. For those that knew him well, they know their lives will never be the same without him; for those that didn't, I can only feel sorrow. I appreciated his friendship and mentoring every day that I knew him, and I will dearly miss him every day from now on.

Former AVMA & ISVMA President to Head National Health Commission

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Roger Mahr, DVM, former president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), was named chief executive officer of the newly formed One Health Commission, a multi-disciplinary group established to highlight the connections between human, animal, and environmental health.


Dr. Mahr was appointed CEO at the group's first board of directors meeting on August 14 in Washington, D.C.


It is estimated that 75 percent of all emerging diseases are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transferred between animals and humans. The One Health Commission will address new and existing zoonotic diseases, such as avian influenza and West Nile Virus, through unified, collaborative efforts between veterinary medicine, human medicine, and environmental sciences.


"The convergence of human, animal, and environmental health dictates that we embrace the 'one health' concept now," Dr. Mahr said in a statement. "We live in a changing environment populated by humans and animals living increasingly interconnected lives. This creates unique health challenges which require integrated solutions and more collaboration across health science professions, academia, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and industry." Dr. Mahr began his efforts toward developing the One Health Commission when he started his presidency at the AVMA in July 2006. Speaking before the AVMA House of Delegates at the association's annual meeting in Hawaii that year, Dr. Mahr announced his intentions to form a national commission uniting veterinary and human medicine with the goal of improving and protecting animal and public health worldwide.


Within a year, the American Medical Association (AMA) partnered with the AVMA on the one health concept. Today, in addition to the AVMA and AMA, the One Health Commission is represented by the American Society for Microbiology, the Association of Academic Health Centers, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, American Public Health Association, and Association of American Medical Colleges.


The One Health Commission plans to host a national summit this fall and conduct a National Academies study on one health next year, to examine the interactions of humans, animals, and the environment. - Story Courtesy of the AVMA

Alumni Receive Illinois Veterinary College Awards

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and its alumni association will present four Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Awards and a Special Service Award on September 10, 2009, during the annual Fall Conference for Veterinarians.


Dr. Richard DeBowes, professor and associate dean of veterinary development and external relations at Washington State University, will receive the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award for his dedicated to promoting leadership in the veterinary profession. Dr. DeBowes envisioned, developed and delivered, the Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE), a national program to promote leadership development in hundreds of veterinary students and faculty from across North America, Australia, the UK and Europe. He has also led the development of pilot programs on leadership in veterinary medicine in both Australia and Western Europe and has presented these programs to practice groups to advance the practice of team drive and relationship-centered care.


Dr. Ronald Gill, owner and founder of Gill Veterinary Clinic, will receive the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Gill received his veterinary degree at Illinois in 1975. Through the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association/University of Illinois mentor program he has been a model for veterinarian mentors and students. Dr. Gill supported the establishment of a class scholarship for his class, and additionally helped establish four additional endowments at the College for student scholarships. As a strong advocate for veterinary students, he was one of the key supporters of the Illinois Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program Act. Dr. Gill is very involved in local, state and national veterinary associations and has held several positions in each.


Dr. Walter Hoffmann, interim director, veterinary diagnostic laboratory at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois, will receive the Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his generous time and support which have furthered many in their future careers as scientists and academicians. Dr. Hoffmann received his veterinary degree in 1975. Upon graduation he continued on at Illinois as an assistant professor in clinical pathology, ultimately moving to section head and now as Interim Director of the Diagnostic Laboratory. During his tenure at Illinois, Dr. Hoffmann has taught clinical pathology to hundreds of veterinary students, led dozens of graduate students and trained many residents. He and his wife, Dr. Ann Johnson, have created an endowment to recognize residents for their excellence in teaching.


Dr. Edward A. Hoover, professor and department head of microbiology, immunology and pathology at Colorado State University, will receive the Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Hoover received his veterinary degree in 1967. An international authority of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, and the Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus infection of cats, he has He has been designated a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, the highest honor bestowed on a professor; received the Researcher of the Year from the Colorado State University Research Foundation; and also received the Ralston Purina Research Award. During his tenure at Colorado State University he has advised over 25 doctoral students and has mentored and advised many others, allowing them to achieve significant success in research, grant funding and publications.


A Special Service award will be presented to the Auxiliary to the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. The Auxiliary began January 1943 at the 61st Annual meeting of the ISVMA in Springfield, Illinois and was comprised of spouses of veterinarians. Its goal was to support veterinary medicine in Illinois and strengthen opportunities for communication among those who are associated with professional veterinary medicine. In 1999, the Auxiliary established an endowed scholarship to provide financial assistance to 2nd and 3rd year veterinary students at the Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. By 2009, 30 scholarships had been awarded through this fund.


Extremley Contagious H3N8 Canine Influenza Virus Makes Its Way Across 30 States (click link to read full story)

By Bryanna Fissori


. … According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the first outbreak of CIV was found in racing greyhounds in Florida. … - Story Courtesy of the AVMA


World Rabies Day To Promote Prevention of Deadly Disease

The third annual World Rabies Day will take place Sept. 28 to raise awareness that while rabies is preventable, thousands of people die of the disease each year—particularly in Asia and Africa, but also in the Americas. The global Alliance for Rabies Control started the campaign in 2007 to help achieve its goal of preventing rabies in humans and controlling rabies in animals.


Among major U.S. partners in the World Rabies Day campaign are the AVMA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year, the AVMA plans to release rabies backgrounders—one for veterinarians and one for the public—and post a video and podcast about the disease at The same Web page will link to open-access JAVMA manuscripts with data on U.S. rabies surveillance, which the CDC compiles annually.


The CDC and Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine each will host a full-day symposium in September to discuss aspects of rabies prevention and control. The K-State symposium, with sponsorship from Merial, will emphasize how the disease is an example of the one-health concept—the idea that humans, other animals, and the environment share one health.


Countries around the globe are marking World Rabies Day in a variety of ways. Cities in the Philippines and Sri Lanka will hold educational events to encourage responsible pet ownership, for example. Districts of Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa will offer free rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats.


Additional details about World Rabies Day and the Alliance for Rabies Control are at and - Story Courtesy of the AVMA

About the Photo

The Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) is a small, ubiquitous warbler found in wet thickets. A wonderful description of the species can be found at


I photographed this male Common Yellowthroat near Rochester, IL in the Summer of 2008.

Contact Us

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