AVMA Convention Set to be Big and Rich in Opportunities


 ​Industry experts to converge in San Antonio, August 5-9, at the AVMA Convention 2016

avma convention 2016

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) — The stars aren’t the only things that will be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas this summer. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention, held August 5-9 in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, will bring thousands of veterinarians from around the globe to discover the latest information impacting everything from our pets to food safety and world-threatening viruses.

“The Convention Education Program Committee has worked to find a great diversity of speakers and topics that are of high interest and value to today’s veterinarians,” said Dr. Molly McAllister, Committee chair.  “We have put an extra push into our efforts to ensure that we are covering some of the most current events to help our members and attendees stay abreast of current issues in animal health.”

That extra push fits perfectly with the “go big attitude” alive and well in San Antonio. For example, the Convention will debut the first-ever AVMA’s Vet Clinic Live!TM — a totally equipped working clinic built right inside the Exhibit Hall. The 4,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility allows new products and techniques to spring to life and be experienced in real time.  Live-action scenarios, such as zinc poisoning and skin diseases, will showcase the latest technology and state-of-the-art treatments.

“The all-new, unique AVMA’s Vet Clinic Live!TM will be the scene for live-action demonstrations and clinically relevant case studies,” said AVMA President Dr. Joseph Kinnarney. “This fully functioning clinic on an exhibit floor is the first in the veterinary world. It is the answer for our members wanting the opportunity to talk with their colleagues about real-life situations.”

The five-day event kicks off August 5 at 1:00 p.m. Another first-ever highlight is the AVMA Meet-the-Experts Round Table held that evening from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. It features a menu of more than 40 discussions that will provide practice-changing information in just 20 minutes per round. Attendees will choose three different sessions and network with featured speakers. Among them are: Dr. Gregory Ogilvie with California Veterinary Specialists (“Amazing Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy”), PetEd’s Kara Burns (“What Do I Feed My Pet? Don’t Fear the Question, Embrace the Answer”) and University of Pennsylvania’s Shelley Rankin, PhD (“Superbugs and Superdrugs”).

“This is a particularly exciting new opportunity for us as we move to develop more interactive ways of learning,” Dr. McAllister said. “The sessions will be designed to encourage conversation and questions in a casual and informal setting.”

Among the convention’s hot presentations are:

  • Zika Virus in The United States
  • Genetic Testing
  • One Health, Emerging Diseases and the Role of Veterinary Medicine
  • Post-traumatic Stress in Military Dogs
  • Infectious Diseases, From Wildlife to Humans
  • The Health of the Veterinary Profession
  • Animal Welfare Including Shelter Care and Rodeo “Horse Tripping”
  • Religious Slaughter: Separating Fact From Rhetoric

 “We will be presenting a wide variety of topics relevant to the large and small animal clinical practitioner,” said Dr. McAllister “However, we will also have topics of interest from the broader reach of veterinary medicine.”

Topics such as an inside peek at life of a four-legged military service member (held at Lackland Air Force Base) and Canine Acupuncture will be featured in interactive labs and workshops that pepper the offerings at the convention.  Well-known industry speakers and professionals will be on hand, including Dr. Richard Lennehan, astronaut and veterinarian, who has spent nearly two months in space during four flights. Drs. Jerry and Nancy Jaax will discuss their search for Ebola and other emerging viruses. The couple’s work was central to the non-fiction book “The Hot Zone” about infectious disease and emergency response issues.

Area veterinarians will be featured in many discussions, including Texas A&M University’s Drs. William Moyer, Wesley Bissett and Debra Zoran. Dr. Moyer is presenting veterinary response to a significant natural or man-made disaster, such as a terrorist attack. A simulated lab will be the setting for Drs. Zoran and Bissett as they join the university’s Veterinary Emergency Team and take participants through response steps after an F4 tornado that has impacted both companion and large animals.

Speaker Dan Siegel, MD, is providing the Keynote Luncheon Address on Saturday, August 6, with his focus on the human mind and the cultivation of well-being. Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. His “I am sad” vs. “I feel sad” approach has helped countless individuals see what is inside themselves, accept it, let it go, and then finally transform it—and then thrive in both their professional and personal lives.

Back in the Exhibit Hall, more than 300 new and time-tested products and services will be joining AVMA’s Vet Clinic Live!TM Hours are Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, August 8,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Convention attendees will be challenged this year to complete a Passport Program by collecting stamps from key exhibitors for the chance at a cash prize.

Along with the wide array of phenomenal educational opportunities, San Antonio will beckon visitors with local historic offerings like the Alamo and four nearby missions, which earned UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015–the first such site in Texas and among the only 23 sites in United States.  For those who want to engage their wild side, the Natural Bridge Caverns offer a breath-taking experience 180 feet below ground. Culture seekers can head to Market Square, America’s largest Mexican market, or check out Main Plaza, with its 7,000-foot video art display dancing across the San Fernando Cathedral. And epic nightlife in San Antonio is centered around the River Walk, a five-mile excursion that is home to the area’s best shopping and eating.

And no AVMA convention could be complete without musical entertainment—in San Antonio, what could be more fitting than the American country music duo Big & Rich? Known for their songwriting, vocals and guitar playing, the two have produced four straight top 40 country hits including “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” and “Run Away with You.” The don’t-miss concert will take place on Sunday, August 7, in the convention center.

“Veterinarians from across the globe come to the AVMA Convention for more than just the stellar continuing education,” said Dr. Kinnarney. “It’s about relaxing with long-time friends, networking with colleagues, and bringing home the best veterinary medicine has to offer. San Antonio achieves all that and more. It is the perfect host city.”

To learn more about the AVMA Annual Convention, visit www.avmaconvention.org. For more information on media opportunities at the AVMA Convention, and to register as a press attendee, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA Senior Media Relations Specialist, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell) or msanfilippo@avma.org. Members of the media must register with the AVMA prior to the convention to validate their press credentials and ensure that their press badges and materials are ready for them when they arrive. Registration for the press is free.

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