Veterinary team members are a lively bunch. I confirmed this at the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America's
(NAVTA) general membership meeting in Orlando last month. As a member of the standing-room-only crowd, I was treated to a
parade of enthusiastic, fun, and determined speakers, including President Denise Mikita, MS, CVT, who's pictured with me on
NAVTA president Denise Mikita, MS, CVT, (left) with Firstline Editor Kerry Hillard Johnson.
The excitement in the room reflected the group's dedication to furthering the career of veterinary technician, as well as
the veterinary profession as a whole. To that end, two announcements were made:
Certified Veterinary Technician Assistant (CVTA): For some time now, veterinary assistants have been looking for a way to enhance their skills and their professional standing.
To make this happen, NAVTA announced that it's started the process of creating a certification for assistants. This will establish
consistency among assistant certification programs, ensuring that all certified assistants possess the same skills. To learn
Veterinary Technician of the Year: This inaugural award was presented to Kara Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, Veterinary Technician Specialist for Hill's Pet Nutrition.
While this is an honor for Burns, the distinction reflects the advancement of veterinary technicians' roles. To hear Burns
talk about the tribute and offer her words of wisdom, visit
These new opportunities for education and recognition are exciting for every member of the veterinary team. They point to
the value team members bring to veterinary medicine, and how much they help pets and people.
Attending that NAVTA meeting energized me, and I hope this news does the same for you. If you want even more energy, attend
Firstline Live at CVC in Baltimore on April 9. Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, will be talking about building team cohesion. (Get more info and register
http://thecvc.com/). It's sure to be a lively session!
Kerry Hillard Johnson, Editor