07 Jan Onward and upward…together!
In our Leadership Update column, CVMA leaders provide their perspectives on the veterinary profession in Colorado and the changing world around us. This column was written by Jackie Christakos, DVM, CVMA president 2020-2021.
My friends and colleagues–we made it to 2021. Congratulations! What a crazy ride 2020 turned out to be, many weeks feeling like the next level of real-life Jumanji for veterinarians. The ever-present worry of keeping ourselves and our staff safe, an increase in need for patient care, and minimal vacation time for most of us has been exhausting to say the least.
Nevertheless, veterinarians are adaptable, resilient folks. The Coronavirus threw us seemingly endless curve balls, but somehow, we adjusted and found a way. Likewise, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association found innovative ways to pivot quickly and effectively. At the end of a challenging year, I believe the silver lining for CVMA has been finding a more modern and streamlined path forward through the pressures COVID applied–a journey which continues in 2021. We are striving to offer more accessible virtual continuing education that works on your schedule; covering the topics you want to learn when you want to learn them. While we miss the camaraderie and engagement of in-person meetings (and hope to return to them when safe), we have heard from many members that CE on your own terms and in your own home has been a welcome change. We are preparing for the crucial 2022 Sunset Review of the Veterinary Practice Act by assembling a task force of professionals from across the state that has already begun to meet remotely. Protecting our unique profession is a focus that continues even amid a pandemic.
With all the ingenuity this past year required from us, what has struck me as the most amazing accomplishment of 2020 was our members and veterinary communities’ ability to stick together when the going got rough. You remained engaged in a virtual format, continued to support the organization as members despite a pandemic, and looked for ways to help others in our community even while you faced your own new challenges. While we have all been striving to stay 6 feet apart, we have found it a necessity to be united. In our homes, in our clinics, and in our profession- we are all in this together, and so desperately need the support system of our communities to lift each other up and be stronger as a team. When I had the pleasure of speaking with the new first year Colorado State University veterinary students in August – albeit through a mask and face shield but in person nonetheless – I spoke with them about the importance of community. I have never found that to be more evident than this year.
I like to say at least half of life is showing up–and wow have you all shown up this year. I challenge you to continue showing up for the profession, the organization, and your communities in the new year. I am so grateful to be a part of this compassionate, loyal group of professionals, and I am excited to serve you as we bounce “forward” into 2021.
Onward and upward…together!
–Dr. Jackie Christakos, CVMA president 2020-2021