efforts and accomplishments

The following is a partial list of NAFV efforts and accomplishments.  In many cases, NAFV has played a major role, and often an exclusive role, as the only/primary organization substantially addressing the concerns of federally employed veterinarians. Some of these efforts and accomplishments are ongoing and often involve years of work.

  1. On October 29, 1969, under Executive Order 11491, NAFV became the first Association of Supervisors and Managers to be recognized by the federal government.  This resulted in a consultative agreement with federal agencies whereby NAFV representatives are requested by the agencies to comment on various proposals before final decisions are made and to routinely meet with key officials to make recommendations and evaluate problems.  The enabling authority has changed somewhat over the years, and the present relationship is now governed by 5 CFR 251.201 and USDA Department Regulation DR-4020-251.
  1. Since the 1970’s, NAFV has worked with Congress and the administration to reduce individual liability for federal veterinarians.  This has resulted in the development of professional liability insurance and the present Federal Employee Defense Services (FEDS) to provide federal liability protection against lawsuits for official acts and provides individual representation for allegations of misconduct, disciplinary proposals, investigations, and work related issues. 
  2. NAFV has attempted frequently to amend the Federal Tort Claims Act to eliminate personal liability for official acts. 
  3. Since 1972, NAFV has engaged the services of William G. Hughes Esq., attorney at law.  Mr. Hughes has provided protection and individual representation for countless NAFV members, both supervisors and subordinates, against lawsuits for official acts, investigations of misconduct, proposed disciplinary actions, and actions made that were not considered by the Justice Department as being within the scope of the person’s duties.  Mr. Hughes discontinued representing members in 2007.  However, he continues to provide legal advice to NAFV, as well as, advice and counsel to members on work related issues and members can be represented by FEDS.
  4. NAFV was involved in getting legislation passed that granted overtime pay to federal veterinarians at a rate that is no less than their base pay.  Previous to this legislation, federal veterinarians were paid overtime at the GS10 step 1 level.
  1. NAFV persisted in getting legislation passed that resulted in true overtime for all FSIS veterinarian’s working reimbursable overtime. This effort added a considerable increase in the take home pay for a very large number of FSIS veterinarians.
  2. NAFV continues to work with APHIS and USDA to provide true overtime pay for APHIS veterinarians enforcing the Import-Export Act. 
  3. NAFV also was involved in getting legislation passed that granted overtime pay to all federal employees at a rate that is no less than their base pay.  Previous to this legislation, non FLSA employees were paid overtime at the GS 10 step, 1 level. 
  4. NAFV is responsible for legislation that eliminated the mandatory retirement age.
  5. As a result of NAFV’s efforts, the GS 9 as a veterinary grade was eliminated thereby increasing the entry level of federal veterinarians to a GS 11.
  6. NAFV assisted in developing the criteria for the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) in the face of political opposition that was designed to destroy the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).
  1. NAFV assisted in developing the Whistle Blower Protection Act of 1989 protecting federal employees who work for the government and report agency violations of a law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
  2. In the 1960’s, NAFV addressed federal employee rights in the Civil Rights Act as applicable to federal employees.
  3. NAFV established the American Academy of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (AAVPM).  The objectives of the AAVPM is to provide postgraduate veterinary courses in preventative medicine which will guard and preserve the privilege of setting our own standards within the profession and grant recognition of achievements in the veterinary profession.  NAFV was successful in obtaining approval for all contributions to the AAVPM as charitable deductions for tax purposes.
  1. NAFV established and maintains a Memorial Scholarship fund for sons and daughters of members who are enrolled in recognized colleges of veterinary medicine to help perpetuate veterinary medicine.
  2. NAFV has a Political Action Committee (PAC) that makes contributions to congressional candidates (members of the House or Senate) who will further the interests and positions of federal veterinarians and NAFV.
  3. NAFV lobbies the Agriculture Appropriations Committee for additional funding for USDA programs. NAFV is a member of the Animal Agricultural Coalition (AAC).  The AAC’s mission is to support animal agriculture research, education, extension and biosecurity needs by passing appropriate federal funding and legislation, as well as reviewing pertinent regulatory proposals and rulemaking.  NAFV is active in major efforts to secure appropriate federal funding for agency programs.
  4. In November 2006, NAFV was instrumental in the issuance of a message from the APHIS Administrator describing agency policy encouraging employees to take the opportunity to continuously improve their knowledge and skills through training and education programs.
     
  1. Starting in 2007, NAFV drafted amendments to the Humane Slaughter Act adding poultry, ratites, and rabbits and provided them to congressional members. NAFV continues to be actively involved in getting these amendments passed.   These amendments have been introduced into Congress, but despite our persistent efforts on several occasions they are still waiting to be passed. 
  2. In 2008, NAFV co-sponsored the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC) with the AAVMC AVMA, and many other veterinary organizations.  NAFV provided guidance, expertise, and input into developing curriculums for future veterinary students and emphasized the veterinary competencies needed in the veterinary curriculums to compete in the federal government for higher level positions- such as, business skills, writing skills, supervisory skills, etc.  These competencies are now included in the NAVMEC report which outlines the future changes necessary to keep the profession leading animal and public health, science and medicine.  Those competencies need to be communicated to federal leaders.
  3. NAFV testified before a Senate committee in February, 2009 on the status for federal veterinarians and the critical need for improvement in recruitment and, retention incentives and work/life issues including specialty pays.
  4. In 2009, NAFV has assisted in drafting language and/or providing input for the following bills:
    1. The Farm Bill
    2. Veterinary Services Investment Act- this act will help to bolster and improve veterinary service across the country
    3. The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which was authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Service Act which would provide student loan repayment to veterinarians who work in underserved areas or in agencies with veterinarian shortages
    4. Wildlife/zoo Veterinary Medicine Act which may provide funding for more veterinarians in this arena, including federal employment
    5. Federal Veterinarian specialty pay which would provide additional pay for federal veterinarians including Board certification pay and advanced degree specialty pay.
    6. Assisted with developing the language for a Bill to amend the National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to establish a grant program to promote efforts to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services. This should increase the opportunity for federal veterinarians to receive training and continuing education.
    7. Participated in the President’s Council on Environmental Health and provided requested input on Ocean Policy and Ocean Health.  We emphasized the value that federal veterinarians can provide in these efforts.  This should result in increased participation of federal veterinarians in new ocean health programs.   
  1. Since 2009, NAFV has participated and lead efforts to develop improvement strategies for the federal veterinarian workforce.  NAFV contributed significantly to the GAO report on the federal veterinarian workforce which identified the importance of federal veterinarians and critical shortages of federal veterinarians in several agencies.  NAFV continues to work with the federal agencies in addressing the recommendations of the GAO report and works with congressional leaders to identify solutions which will ensure the recruitment and retention of veterinarians and maintain an adequate workforce. 
  2. In 2010, NAFV & APHIS resolved troublesome issues regarding US veterinarians crossing international borders into Mexico and Canada with no official status.  Now, among other things, they are protected by being officially recognized and registered by the embassies, required to only travel with official passports, and required to only drive US GOVs that are insured outside the US.
  3. Since 2010, NAFV continues to participate on the Advisory Committee for the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM), Virginia -Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.  This Center provides avenues for veterinary students and private veterinary practitioners to enter federal and corporate veterinary medicine service.  By partnering with the Center, NAFV is involved with these individuals, assists them in getting federal positions, and encourages them to join the Association when they enter government service.
  4. During 2010, NAFV improved the functions of the FSIS/NAFV Representatives by reorganizing the NAFV Representative structure and revising the NAFV Representative Guide.
  5. In 2011, NAFV sponsored continuing educational seminars in the Washington DC area to help members learn about what veterinarians in other agencies are working on.  NAFV also continued to partner with the DCVMA to develop CE credits for evening seminars for veterinarians in the Washington, DC area.
  6. In 2012, after extreme concern was raised to NAFV from APHIS/VS employees, NAFV succeeded in convincing APHIS/VS to change its policy of requiring employees to travel into Mexico to inspect livestock in potentially dangerous areas. 
  1. In 2012, NAFV assisted the federal veterinary workforce’s Talent Management Advisory Council in conducting the first federal veterinary workforce assessment and an assessment of workforce needs when responding to a FMD outbreak.
  2. In 2013, NAFV and the AVMA met with congressional leaders to explain the negative impacts of cutting the APHIS budget by another $50 million.  As a result the budget was not reduced again.
  3. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, NAFV, through coalitions, letters, congressional visits, etc., worked diligently to prevent the reduction of federal programs and budgets involving federal veterinarians, employee salaries, benefits, furloughs, and reductions in force.  In 2013, we all were successful in preventing dozens of bills that were introduced that would have caused these reductions.   
  4. In 2014, NAFV again met with the GAO on federal veterinary workforce issues and provided detailed information on the status of the federal veterinary workforce, including working conditions, recruitment, retention, and training issues.
  5. In 2014, NAFV partnered with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM) to educate Congress and human resource managers within the federal government of various job opportunities that veterinarians are qualified to apply for and to boost career-building programs that seek to recruit, train and retain the next generation workforce.
  6. NAFV worked with FSIS management and staff for almost 5 years in identifying issues improving the pay-for performance demonstration project (PHHRS) system.
  7. The Federal Veterinarian newsletter, an internationally recognized public health publication, provides the members with a summary of the significant events and activities in public veterinary practice and management.  The newsletter also serves as a written voice of federal veterinarians.
  1. NAFV is actively involved in supporting and reactivating field Chapters to give members a local voice in agency and NAFV activities. 
  2. NAFV works with the United States Animal Health Association and with their membership of state and federal governments, universities, veterinarians, livestock producers, national livestock and poultry organizations, research scientists, the extension service and others to prevent, control and eliminate livestock diseases in the United States.  The NAFV EVP is the co-chair of the USAHA Committee on Diagnostic Laboratory and Veterinary Workforce Development and is working to develop support for federal veterinarian workforce issues.
  3. NAFV assists members with work related issues and in resolving problems they encounter with agency officials and policies. NAFV averaged more than one member per week who needed advice and counsel on personnel and management issues.
  4. NAFV contributed to and edited the Federal Government chapter from a book entitled “Career Choices for Veterinarians” to help assist veterinary student and veterinarians in obtaining employment within the federal government.
  1. NAFV has conducted the only annual survey to determine the number, agencies and grades of federal veterinarians to educate the public on the importance of this workforce and their mission critical duties.  NAFV is working with members of OPM and the TMAC to establish a formal federal annual veterinarian survey.
  2. NAFV is working with the TMAC to implement a data element to track all federally employed veterinarians and the training they receive to establish a baseline and provide data for workforce planners to assist in recruitment and retention.
  3. NAFV assisted in the development of the Public Employee Roundtable to demonstrate pride in public service and form a coalition for improving government.
  4. NAFV was the major impetus for the subject and title of the 1984 Yearbook of Agriculture i.e. "Animal Health-Livestock and Pets". We were then a very active member of the Yearbook Committee and we were a coauthor of one section.
  5. NAFV was an active member of the Secretary of Agriculture's Committee on Food Safety in the 1980s and very involved in the Symposium on HACCP which evolved and then in forming the HACCP Program.
  6. NAFV was appointed to and was very involved in the 1994 Presidential Coalition For Effective Change and chaired the Food Inspection Section which submitted a very extensive published report with many recommendations and concluded with an overall recommendation to create a separate and independent Food Safety Agency which would be responsible for ALL food inspection and related food safety actions.
  1. The NAFV partners with the American Association of Food Safety Veterinarians in organizing the Food Safety Symposium in conjunction with the annual AVMA convention and the USAHA annual meeting.  Food Safety experts discuss pertinent topics and provide continuing education for veterinarians.
  2. NAFV is a member of the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD). The HOD is responsible for establishing policy and providing direction for matters relating to veterinary medicine and is the representative body of the Principal and Constituent Allied Veterinary Organizations of the Association (NAFV is the oldest Allied Veterinary Organization of the AVMA). The HOD responsibilities include approving all changes to the AVMA Articles of Incorporation; reviewing and voting on proposed amendments to the AVMA Bylaws; voting on resolutions; and electing the president-elect, vice president, and when necessary, the president; as well as members of the House Advisory Committee, and the AVMA councils.
  3. NAFV is a member of the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC). The purpose of the LAC is to assist the AVMA Executive Board in formulating and implementing AVMA legislative policy and AVMA positions on federal regulatory proposals.  The LAC establishes one legislative voice for veterinary medicine; ensures that the needs and concerns of all industries within veterinary medicine are incorporated into AVMA's legislative process; defines communication channels and information flow to ensure that AVMA's Governmental Relations Division (GRD) staff is informed of the profession's needs, concerns, and positions and that information from the GRD staff (legislative and regulatory efforts) flows back through the Committee to organizations represented on the Committee; develops an administrative procedure to formulate AVMA policies on legislative and regulatory matters of concern to the profession.
  4. NAFV works closely with the AVMA GRD on legislative issues of concern to federal veterinarians.
  5. NAFV raised the visibility and advanced the recognition of veterinarian’s contributions in Federal service through press releases and through meetings with congressional members and agency officials.