Andrews climbs to AAHA's summit


Long Beach, Calif. — Dr. Michael Andrews will become the 2006 American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) president at the annual conference next month in Long Beach.

LONG BEACH, CALIF. — Dr. Michael Andrews will become the 2006 American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) president at the annual conference next month in Long Beach.

Andrews has been associated with AAHA since 1992 when he purchased his Oak Glen, Calif., practice.

"AAHA is a very pro-active association," Andrews says. "My experiences have allowed me to facilitate this role, but I do not have a set agenda for my presidency. I will help the board and keep educated and know issues that affect veterinarians."

The 1983 Purdue graduate, is an active mountain climber who recently scaled Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina. At 22,834 feet, it is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere and one of the seven summits, a listing of the tallest mountain on each continent. Think of it as a climber's to-do list. Mt. Aconcagua is second in elevation to Mt. Everest on the list.

"I do it because it keeps me out of trouble," Andrews laughs. "I like to keep busy."

His professional endeavors are no molehills, either. Andrews runs a three-doctor practice (and he's looking for a fourth) on top of his association duties. And he served on the board of directors for five years before ascending to the top spot.

"AAHA is forward looking and tries to deal with issues in advance, so they can help direct how things go instead of being led," Andrews says. "I like being part of an organization like that, so this is a tremendous honor to be named president. It is very humbling, and I hope I can do the job."

Andrews will lead a growing association as demand for AAHA accreditation becomes more valuable to veterinarians and clients, he says.

"Today's clients are more sophisticated and are demanding more, but it's up to members to educate staff and clients about the association," Andrews says.

Andrews lives with his wife, Dyan, his 3-year-old daughter, Alexandra, and two cats.

The conference

This year's meeting will span five days and offer veterinarians more than 330 hours of continuing education that focus on scientific management, veterinary technicians and customer satisfaction.

"This year, new integrated scientific and management allows veterinarians to implement the latest medical techniques presented at the sessions into the practice," says Derek Woodbury, AAHA public relations.

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans will deliver the keynote address.

This year attendees are permitted to attend any session they want regardless of job title, Woodbury says.

The conference offers sessions for National Conference of Veterinary Technician Specialty Academies, integrative sessions discussing the theory and practice of veterinary medicine and management for specialty practices, among others.

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