The American Animal Hospital Association has named Dr. Michael T. Cavanaugh as its new executive director, effective Jan. 21. He succeeds Dr. John W. Albers, who stepped down Dec. 31, 2009, after serving more than two decades in the position.
A 1983 graduate of Kansas State University, Dr. Cavanaugh has practiced small animal medicine at various AAHA-accredited practices—including the West Ridge Animal Hospital in Topeka, Kan., which he founded and owned from 1988-1996. He has served on AAHA committees throughout his professional career.
Dr. Cavanaugh also has worked in veterinary industry, including positions at Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Heska. He served as the director of veterinary hospital services for Pfizer Animal Health before accepting the position of AAHA executive director.
“”Ever since I first discovered AAHA in veterinary school, I have always admired and respected what the association stood for: high-quality medicine and dedication to excellence,”” Dr. Cavanaugh said. “”Serving AAHA and its members in this capacity is an outstanding honor.””
From 1986-2009, Dr. Albers served as the association’s executive director.
“”I’m honored to have had the privilege of leading this prestigious association for over two decades,”” Dr. Albers said. “”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.””
During Dr. Albers’ tenure, the association saw increases in membership as well as programs and services. He also oversaw the construction of the association’s first permanent home, a 22,000-square-foot office building in Denver.
Dr. Albers took part in association initiatives such as the expansion and enhancement of AAHA standards, the 1995 AAHA Report on the Companion Animal Veterinary Services Market, and AAHA studies on compliance.
In 1988, Dr. Albers served as a member of the 10-person panel that authored “”Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine,”” published in 1989 by the Pew National Veterinary Education Program. He also participated in the establishment of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues by the AVMA, AAHA, and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He currently serves on the NCVEI board.
“”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,”” said Dr. John D. Tait, AAHA president.
Of Dr. Cavanaugh, Dr. Tait said, “”He has an extensive history of accomplishments in veterinary medicine and is well-suited to lead AAHA and maintain the high standards the association has set.””