Points of Light National Volunteer Week — April 16 to 22, 2023

March 29, 2023

Points of Light
National Volunteer Week —
April 16 to 22, 2023

National Volunteer Week is an ideal opportunity to honour the veterinarians, veterinary technicians/technologists, students, and other volunteers who donate their time and expertise to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) various projects in support of Canada’s veterinary profession.

The 2023 National Volunteer Week theme, Points of Light, allows us to shine a light on the incredible veterinarians and student veterinarians who use their passion to create meaningful change.

During National Volunteer Week 2023, we’re Celebrating 75 years of volunteers! Seventy-five years of service and contributions from the CVMA’s hundreds of volunteers: your time, talent, and voices help protect animal health and welfare, and support the entire veterinary profession.

Each year, we shine a light on the people who inspire us to serve, recognizing and thanking volunteers who lend their time, talent, and voice to make a difference in the veterinary community.

From coast to coast to coast in formal and informal settings, volunteers create caring, collaborative, and compassionate communities. During this year’s National Volunteer Week, we celebrate the contributions of Canada’s millions of volunteers: their actions, their understanding, and their genuine concern for the world around them.

We are grateful for the over 600 volunteers who support the work of the Association, through their work on our Executive, Council, various standing committees, advisory groups, and task forces, and reviewing our journal articles. CVMA’s volunteers take time from their demanding schedules to act as ambassadors in media interviews and represent the CVMA and the veterinary profession on 30 external boards, associations, legislative and policy making groups, both in Canada and abroad.

Some of the many examples of how volunteers have recently contributed to CVMA’s efforts are listed below:

Volunteers on the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) advocate and promote animal welfare through the veterinary lens to veterinarians, the animal industry, government, and the public. The AWC develops relevant evidence-based positions and initiatives focused on animal welfare, and works to stay apprised of, and contribute to, CVMA responses to national and international animal welfare issues.

Members of the National Issues Committee (NIC) work together to provide leadership and advocacy on national veterinary issues affecting the veterinary profession. The NIC defends the interests of the veterinary profession by identifying pertinent national veterinary issues, developing position and policy statements, monitoring federal government activities, and developing strategies for government relations and lobbying.

Each year Communications Advisory Group volunteers lend their expertise to various campaigns including our annual Animal Health Week campaign, National Tick Awareness Month, and many other initiatives. The Group also provides expertise and insight into our annual social media awareness campaign. Each month the CVMA shares a social media message and graphic intended to raise awareness of animal health and welfare issues, and actions their owners can take to help or prevent illness. As with the 2022 campaign, this year’s campaign will focus on messages that encourage understanding and empathy for veterinary teams who are strained due to the pressures of the workforce shortage and the various obstacles it has caused.

The Professional Development Committee (PDC) helps advance the continuous, professional growth of its members and the veterinary team through continuing education events and workshops. The scientific program offered at the annual CVMA Convention allows veterinarians and other members of the practice team to enhance professional practice and connect with peers from across Canada.

Volunteers of the National Examining Board help with administration of Canada’s veterinary licensing examinations, participate in the veterinary college accreditation process, and review and evaluate credentials on behalf of some provincial licensing bodies.

Volunteers of the Animal Health Technology/Veterinary Technician Program Accreditation Committee (AHTVTPAC) work to identify and promote standards and accreditation for animal health technologist and veterinary technician programs. The AHTVTPAC constantly reviews accreditation standards in collaboration with accredited programs in Canada, and with partners such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, to remain current with rapidly changing requirements and evolving needs in veterinary practice.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s, Canadian Veterinary Reserve (CVR) is a national, volunteer membership of qualified Canadian veterinarians who make themselves available to rapidly assist governments in responding to outbreaks of foreign animal disease and other large-scale emergencies and disasters affecting animals.

Editorial Committee volunteers oversee the operation and editorial content of The Canadian Veterinary Journal and the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. These 2 publications could not exist without the volunteer contributions of the dedicated editors, chair and numerous peer reviewers.

The Students of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA) was established to provide a student forum in veterinary medicine, and facilitate exchange of students’ ideas and information with members of the profession, the CVMA, and other relevant organizations. The SCVMA Committee facilitates communication between CVMA Council and students at the 5 Canadian veterinary colleges, and is supported by a member of the faculty who sits on the Student Liaison Advisory Group. The SCVMA Committee may present recommendations to CVMA Council regarding matters concerning the Association, particularly matters of interest to students.

The Veterinary Wellness Advisory Group’s objective is to develop and promote veterinary wellness initiatives and programs at a national level to complement provincial programs, and help groups and provinces in expanding their own wellness initiatives.

The Wellness Advisory Group continues to add content to the CVMA website and highlights relevant resources under the categories of Emotional and Mental Health, Physical Health, and Veterinarian Wellness. The CVMA Mentoring Program is another program that is closely linked to member wellness.

The CVMA’s achievements are due to the devotion of our many volunteers. We sincerely thank you for donating your time, expertise, and for being a point of light for us all.