Schaumburg, Ill. - The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) names Lyle Vogel, DVM, MPH, director of the Division of Animal Welfare. Next in line is Dr. Gail Golab, the division's new associate director.
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) names Lyle Vogel, DVM, MPH, director of the Division of Animal Welfare. Next in line is Dr. Gail Golab, the division's new associate director.
The appointments came down last month, nearly two years after the division was created "to monitor the science of animal welfare and assist AVMA in proactively addressing developing issues of animal welfare and rights groups." Vogel, former head of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division, takes the seat following a yearlong stint on the Animal Welfare Governance Task Force. Golab, previous assistant director for Professional and Public Affairs in the AVMA Communications Division, brings to the job years of consulting work on various association welfare boards and committees.
It's a match designed to push the division forward, strengthening it with a team of expert staff, says Dr. Bonnie Beaver, the division's original architect and AVMA past-president. "These organizational aspects are critical to getting a new division off on the right track," she says.
Vogel appears eager to get the division's affairs rolling.
"I'm excited, and I feel good about this," he says. "It's an opportunity and a challenge, and I'm glad I can assist AVMA in moving the goals of the division forward."
Vogel's first action was to hire Golab. Now his major job likely will revolve around implementing the group's overarching welfare principles, designed to act as a roadmap for AVMA's approach to animal welfare. The principles currently are being written by the division's Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, which is scheduled to meet this month to hash out ideas. Due to the charge's broad nature, an unscheduled second meeting likely will ensue.
As the division's top official, Vogel also is charged with hiring at least three positions afforded in the division's $346,000 salary budget. While the job titles are far from concrete, he wants to develop a "synergistic and dynamic team." He expects to hire soon an administrative assistant and follow with a research analyst and research writer.
Golab joins Vogel's vision of team unity. To guide the nation on animal welfare, AVMA must serve as a scientific source, actively develop and evaluate animal care, apply a consistent approach to policy recommendations and be willing to stand behind them, she says. Making dialogue with stakeholders and inciting collaboration with outside sources must rank a priority, she adds.
"We should be the ones identifying the challenges and guiding solutions rather than just responding to what's put before us," Golab says. "One of my concerns about what happens when we take the reactive approach is that sometimes the issues put before us are more about agendas than they are about really improving the welfare of animals."