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Georgia VMA targets membership, public opinion with campaigns

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Atlanta - The Georgia Veterinary Medical Association has two New Year's resolutions: showcase the importance of veterinary medicine to the public and bolster its flat membership.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Veterinary Medical Association has two New Year's resolutions: showcase the importance of veterinary medicine to the public and bolster its flat membership.

GVMA's "Let the Big Dog Lead" program is calling on its members to recruit new blood with a goal of upping its membership totals by 20 percent. The association estimates 40 percent of the state's veterinarians are members currently, reports Kevin Chapman, DVM and GVMA director of public relations.

"Our goal is to recruit 63 new members by the summer meeting," he says.

Also on the 2008 hot list is a public-education drive to show the value of veterinary medicine. "This includes everything from food safety to the military to drug-safety programs, even the combination of veterinarians and physicians working together to fight diseases," Chapman says.

Veterinarians participating in GVMA focus groups identified the need for a public-relations campaign. With a first-year budget of $60,000, the program is slated to kick off this year and is expected to continue on for several years, Chapman adds.

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