A Message from the Center Leadership
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CVM Center Executive Board
A Message From the Center Leadership
Throughout 2011, we at the CVM were proud to join national and international veterinary groups, and even the U.S. Congress, in celebrating World Veterinary Year, also known as Vet2011. This year-long celebration was a salute to all the veterinarians, past and present, who have dedicated their careers to protecting public and animal health. If asked to think of the “typical” workplace for a veterinarian, most people probably conjure up an image of the small animal clinic where they take their pets. Some people may imagine a dairy farm or hog barn. Still others may picture a racetrack filled with horses and jockeys. Few would likely think of a Federal office building. But Vet2011 celebrates both the typical and not-so-typical image of a veterinarian at work.
More than 3,000 veterinarians work for the Federal government; a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Kurt Schrader of Oregon, is a veterinarian. There are approximately 140 veterinarians working for FDA. Veterinarians throughout the agency help ensure the safety of the food supply, and the safety and effectiveness of human and animal drugs and medical devices. Approximately 90 percent of the veterinarians employed by FDA work at CVM. The Center employs a diverse group of veterinarians who wear many hats. While their jobs within the Center may differ, the goal of all CVM veterinarians is the same: to protect human and animal health.
The dedicated and talented staff members of CVM, with their wide-ranging expertise, were called upon to tackle new and exciting challenges courtesy of the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which President Obama signed into law on January 4, 2011. The law aims to ensure that the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of Federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. The pillars of the new food safety system are: (1) prevention; (2) responsibility and accountability through inspections; (3) compliance and quick response to outbreaks; and (4) import safety and enhanced partnerships. These four components combine to provide the tenets for a safer and better food supply chain. Staff at CVM have been heavily involved and have taken on many leadership roles in the implementation activities of this new comprehensive food safety legislation, specifically: establishing a new risk-based feed safety system through preventive controls; integrating Federal and state work in training, operational partnerships and capacity building; developing a user fee program; and implementing new enforcement authorities for non-compliant firms.
CVM’s work in all other areas continued as well. Our Office of Research undertook a critical review of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) program and has positioned it to become an even more effective surveillance tool to combat food borne illness caused by drug resistant bacteria. Our Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation expanded its innovation initiative to an international level, developing multilateral technology teams to efficiently determine the safety and effectiveness risk questions for novel technologies under development, and to provide a predictable pathway for animal drug evaluation. Our Office of Management continued its efforts to make CVM the employer of choice throughout the Federal Government with several new human capital initiatives, such as the establishment of the Education Committee, creation and implementation of the Strategic Human Capital Plan, revision of the New Employee Orientation Program, and development of a Work Life/Wellness Program. Our Office of Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Drug Development continued to provide incentives to encourage drug approval and passed a major milestone by granting designation status to the one-hundredth Minor Use and Minor Species (MUMS) indication. Finally, experts in our Office of Surveillance and Compliance were called upon daily to address drug shortage issues, adverse event reports, feed issues, and a variety of other situations that required rapid response.
The Center Executive Board (formerly called the Center Leadership Team) remains incredibly proud of each and every member of the CVM “family.” We hope you enjoy reading this report and, once again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued confidence in us and your support of our vision and mission.