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Leaders testify at House hearing

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Washington - Key veterinary officials testified Jan. 23, in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health to discuss implementation of the Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act.

WASHINGTON — Key veterinary officials testified Jan. 23, in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health to discuss implementation of the Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act.

For two hours the subcommittee questioned University of Georgia's veterinary college Dean Sheila Allen, DVM, Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), Dr. Ron DeHaven, American Veterinary Medical Association executive vice president and Dr. Alan Kelly, dean emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, on the legislation's merits.

The act establishes a competitive grants program designed to build capacity in veterinary medical education and expand the work force of veterinarians engaged in public-health practice and biomedical research.

Of the hearing, AAVMC spokesman Dr. Michael Chaddock reports he'd never seen members of Congress so "engaged."

"This was the best hearing I've ever attended," he says. "We've been waiting for the bill to pass so that our colleges can increase their capacity, which is what the country desperately needs today. We hope this will move the bill in front of the full committee and the full House."

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