The centerpiece of the year was, of course, our 41st World Congress held in Cartagena, Colombia, under the leadership of Guillermo Lugo Cardona and Ivanov Castellanos. The wonderful memories and thoughts of new friends made still bring a smile to my face! During Congress, we accepted six new members and, once again, we offer a huge welcome to Kenya, Tunisia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and the Commonwealth Veterinary Association! With our new members, our global veterinary community now includes more than 200,000 individual members!
Sadly, this year, we also lost some dear friends and colleagues. Professor Marian Horzinek and Earl Rippie were among them. We will always be thankful for their time with us.
The daily work went on, of course, and we have launched two new Global Standardization projects this year – for Animal Welfare and Dental Care – as part of our aim to provide guidance and support on clinical issues of relevance to veterinarians across the globe. Our CE Committee has focused on bringing learning and development to Africa this year and is on track to exceed its 2015 achievement of providing education to 380 veterinarians in nine countries – and this is in addition to the 2,600 delegates who were able to join us for world class educational offerings in Cartagena!
As we continue to grow, we must provide the infrastructure to serve our members so I’m delighted to say that our Secretariat has taken a giant step forward with the addition of Arpita Bhose as full-time WSAVA manager. She is on hand to support our dedicated volunteer base and her appointment paves the way to helping us to lend more assistance to fledgling veterinary associations wishing to grow into strong dynamic members of our community. Sitting above the day to day work, we remain steadfast on the five-year road map laid out in our 2014-2019 Strategic Plan with the majority of the 16 strategic initiatives either accomplished or in progress.
We could not have done this without the many dedicated and passionate WSAVA volunteers who do so much for our community, day in, day out. A heartfelt thank you to you all. We wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season and hope that you get some well-deserved rest!
Walt Ingwersen DSVM, DVSc, DACVIM