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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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OM, OD, and OSC Participate in Veterinary Medical Officer Talent Management Advisory Council

By Shannon Cameron, Managing Editor, Communications, with contributions from Shannon Bradbury, Program Analyst, Office of Management and Dr. Carmela Stamper, Contributing Writer/Editor, Communications

CVM’s Office of the Center Director, Office of Surveillance & Compliance, and Office of Management are participating in a government-wide initiative to analyze the federal veterinary workforce and address the needs of this mission-critical occupation.  The initiative was prompted by two Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports and a letter from two Senators to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
 
In February 2009, GAO issued two reports stating that the federal government does not sufficiently understand its veterinary workforce and has not adequately identified the needs of this workforce in the event of a national emergency.  In March 2009, Senators Daniel Akaka and George Voinovich expressed their concerns about the shortage of federal veterinarians in a letter to Kathie Ann Whipple, OPM’s Acting Director.  As a result of the GAO reports and the Senators’ letter, the Veterinary Medical Officer Talent Management Advisory Council was formed.  The Council met on June 3, 2010 in Crystal City, VA.  Representatives from all federal agencies that employ Veterinary Medical Officers attended the meeting. 

The Veterinary Medical Officer Talent Management Advisory Council is tasked with:

  • Identifying the current and future needs of the federal veterinary workforce and ways the federal government can better meet those needs;
  • Giving agency leaders and OPM innovative ways to deal with the issues facing federal veterinarians;
  • Helping the member agencies meet their animal and public health responsibilities; and
  • Creating an outreach plan to involve the entire veterinary community, including state and local governments, educational facilities, and private and professional veterinary organizations. 

Three action teams were formed during the June meeting:

  • The Emergency Planning Action Team will find out how many federal veterinarians are needed in an emergency as well as the capability of the current federal veterinary workforce to respond to an emergency. Dillard Woody in CVM's Office of Surveillance & Compliance is FDA's Point of Contact on this action team.
  • The Workforce Planning Action Team will collect and consolidate accurate and consistent data about the current federal veterinary workforce.  Shannon Bradbury in CVM’s Office of Management serves as FDA’s Point of Contact on this action team.
  • The Recruitment and Retention Action Team will look into ways the federal government can hire and keep VMOs.  Arleen Wang and Susan Banks, both in CVM’s Office of Management, are FDA’s Points of Contact on this action team.

The action teams will come up with recommendations to present to the entire Veterinary Medical Officer Talent Management Advisory Council. The Council will decide on the best recommendations and forward those to OPM, and finally, to Congress.

Dr. Carmela Stamper in CVM’s Office of the Center Director is FDA’s Designated Agency Representative on the Veterinary Medical Officer Talent Management Advisory Council. Her FDA experience and insight will help the Council in its effort to address the needs of the federal veterinary workforce.
 

"I'm very excited and proud to be a part of this talented group, bringing much-needed government attention to the needs of federal veterinarians," said Dr. Stamper about her role on the Veterinary Medical Officer Talent Management Advisory Council.