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Veterinary Forum September 2009 (Vol 26, No 9)

Banfield hosts industry summit

    PORTLAND, Ore. — The 8th Banfield Pet Health Care Industry Summit brought together pet health care leaders from across the world in Portland, Ore., home of Banfield's main campus. The annual event provided a collaborative environment for leaders from academia, government, industry, national veterinary organizations, private practice and shelters to discuss issues facing the industry and profession.

    This year's summit focused on economic and government challenges in the pet health care industry and provided an environment to discuss the economic, governmental and animal welfare issues impacting the veterinary industry and profession. Key leaders and national organizations tackled current issues such as the economy and how it's affecting the industry, the veterinary shortage and capacity limitations and the AVMA's latest initiatives.

    Philip J. Romero, PhD, dean of the college of business and economics at the California State University, Los Angeles, addressed the state of the economy from a global perspective. He provided insight for individuals and businesses to consider when planning their financial future. He stressed the importance of sheltering individual savings and urged businesses to take advantage of current low-cost sales on assets that could benefit them in the future.

    "We need to plan for the possibility of higher taxes, greater inflation and slower economic growth now so that if these do occur we are prepared to deal with them," Romero said.

    US Representative Kurt Schrader, DVM (D-OR), provided a congressional update on the country's current economic state and addressed how the veterinary industry can affect change.

    "Veterinary professionals play an important role as community health professionals because we instill trust in the general public," Schrader said. "We are uniquely positioned to help initiate and guide discussions about government affairs and to build consumer confidence." He also described the different responsibilities veterinarians have, ranging from the public and private sectors to health research. Schrader highlighted the important roles veterinarians play in diminishing the prevalence of food-borne illnesses and preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases.

    In conjunction with the summit, the Banfield Charitable Trust hosted its annual dinner and auction that raised funds for the newly launched Pet Peace of Mind program, a national initiative that helps keeps hospice patients and their pets together during end-of-life care. This year, the auction raised more than $285,000. Donations continue to come in.

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