Denver—Following a stellar 23 years at the helm, John Albers, DVM, is stepping down as executive director of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) effective December 31st, 2009. The AAHA Board of Directors is appointing a Search Committee to work with an executive search firm to begin the process of seeking a successor to help continue AAHA’s role in veterinary excellence.
“I’m honored to have had the privilege of leading this prestigious association for over two decades,” said Albers. “The most rewarding part of this job has been working with AAHA leadership, staff, other veterinary organizations, and the veterinary industry to help ensure the best possible care for companion animals.”
Since 1986 Dr. Albers has served as AAHA executive director. In this position, he has managed the administrative affairs of the Association, carrying out its programs and policies. Dr. Albers is responsible for the AAHA’s Denver office, and he oversees a staff of 75 and an annual budget in excess of $11 million. During his tenure the association has experienced dramatic increases in membership as well as in programs and services. He also oversaw the construction of AAHA’s first permanent home, a 22,000 square foot office building in Denver.
He was actively involved in many initiatives that helped establish AAHA as a leader in companion animal practice, including the regular expansion and enhancements of the AAHA standards, the 1995 AAHA Report on the Companion Animal Veterinary Services Market, the establishment of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, and the landmark AAHA studies on compliance.
“John Albers departs after 23 years at the helm of AAHA as Executive Director during which he has helped lead a generation of veterinary medicine through countless challenges, changes and improvements. He has lead AAHA to a position of immeasurable respect and leadership within the profession,” said John Tait, DVM, AAHA president. “John has positively impacted those in every capacity in veterinary medicine who have had the opportunity to work with him, and while he will be missed at AAHA, his contributions and influence will be carried on by those who have benefited from his friendship and leadership. Everyone at AAHA wish John the very best in his future endeavors.”
In 1989 he served as a member of the 10-person panel that authored “Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine,” which has become more commonly known as the Pew Report. Dr. Albers was a member of the Joint Steering Committee, overseeing the AVMA/AAHA/AAVMC economic study and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.
In 1990 he received the Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award from Michigan State University and in 1996 he was named Veterinarian of the Year by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Albers will remain an active with the association as a past president and as a hospital director emeritus. He will also remain active in the veterinary arena, with specific plans to be announced within the coming months.
The American Animal Hospital Association is an international organization of approximately 6,000 veterinary care teams, comprised of more than 40,000 veterinary professionals, who are committed to excellence in companion animal care. Established in 1933, the Association is well-known among veterinarians for its leadership in the profession, high standards for veterinary practices and pet health care, and most importantly, its accreditation of companion animal practices. For more information about AAHA, visit the Association online at www.aahanet.org.