Dr. Royal Named President of AHVMA!

President Royal
Kansas City “Welcomes” AHVMA President Dr. Barbara Royal.

Incoming Remarks by Dr. Royal – 2013 AHVMA Conference, Kansas City, Missouri.

“I love maps.  I love the idea of looking from above and seeing where I am and where I’ve come from.  After tomorrow, I know we won’t be in Kansas (City) anymore.

When I leave here, I will start my year as president.  I will combine the goals of those who have gone before me with my own mission.  My mission is education.  And, of course, to change the world.

I see how the AHVMA is on a road that starts from a place of love and healing, fueled by powerful ideals, hope for a better future, thirst for true knowledge, and our need to protect Toto from anyone who would harm him.  We may not all have ruby slippers (I left mine in my clinic in Chicago) but we all know that there really is no place like home, and that the AHVMA is our profession’s home.

As president I will ensure that our home remains on a solid foundation with plenty of structural support.  I want our AHVMA home to continue to be a home that projects a warm golden glow from every window.  A place that others know is a safe and magical place to enter.  I grew up in a family of seven.  I know that it is difficult to maintain focus in a house where there is one family member practicing tap dancing overhead, while others are singing a football fight song in the sunroom, playing a Russian mazurka on the piano, baking cookies in the kitchen, talking on the phone to a hearing impaired grandparent, and barking an excited hello on the porch.  But this is what I am used to.  Our AHVMA home has diversity.  We are full of individuals with so many dreams that our possibilities are endless.  I am reminded of what Rick Palmquist said yesterday in a lecture – consider the possibility.  Not consider the possibility of something in particular, but an even more open ended statement.  Consider the possibility.

The AHVMA is uniquely positioned to effect change in our world.  The possibilities ahead of us are wildly exciting to me.  We are in the House of Delegates at the AVMA, we are in universities and colleges, government and regulatory agencies, in industry positions for pet foods, medications, herbs, supplements, neutraceuticals, and homeopathic remedies, in food animal production, on racetracks agility trial and kennels, working with animal protection organizations, in zoos, aquariums and wildlife management, in conservation programs, disease control, and research facilities, in shelters and rescue organizations, we are authors, we are on TV, in the media, posting blogs, and presenting our views not only to one client at a time, but sometimes to thousands.  The list is endless.

We rarely “work with just animals.” Our opinions are valued in many arenas.  We are a highly beloved and trusted profession.  We all know how often our job involves not only trying to heal an animal, but their whole environment – from their humans, to even the air they breathe.

It is time to focus our energy and think about the possibility.  We are, as Barbara Fougere said in her amazing AHVMA keynote speech, at an important crossroads.  We need to help the world.  The time is now.

Change the world.  My goals have always been small.  Open a practice, buy a new house, in the same month as I gave birth to my daughter.  Recently expanding my practice, adding a Royal Treatment Method training program for vets and vet techs, serving on the Board at PAWS Chicago’s largest no kill shelter, continuing volunteer positions with Chicago’s two zoos, our aquarium, and the Peregrine falcon program, writing a book with crazy deadlines from Simon and Schuster, raising two children and, yes, agreeing to fly up the chain of command at AHVMA and to land, dust, wind, cows, house and all, in Kansas City.

But let me say that my story seems relatively uneventful compared to what I hear from many of you and what you do in your lives.  Involvement and commitment is not a rarity in holistic vets. I have seen what we all can do.  We are spiritually, globally and locally aware, a profession with a conscience.

My message of action to you is to reevaluate your lives, maybe for the hundreth time.  Look at everything you do, from recycled paper towels, to plumbing, from buying locally to helping decrease the suffering of the animals we eat, from donating to research into our profession to talking to clients about doing the same, from helping others see the need for sustainable energy sources to helping to fund a community garden.  We can make a huge difference.  Have a dedicated employee in your practice focus on these issues.  There is much we can do.

I believe our organization is a beacon of hope for animal health, and animal health is inextricably linked to the health of the planet and our planet is in trouble.

I know we have plenty to do just to make inroads in the world of veterinary medicine.  But we are on the move.  We finally have a voice in the AVMA House of Delegates.  Many roads intersect here.  Our conventional profession has just really taken notice of us and we are in a spotlight.  We need to start simply.

We must get the word out, publish our case studies, shine a light on our successes and our failures, as we learn from both.  We must put money into ethical research and education, support the next generation of healers, make learning accessible for all who want it.

But we must not limit the possibilities.  We can see the rainbow and the sky is the limit.

I believe as an organization and as veterinarians, everything we do sets an example for others.  We are poised and competent to accept this responsibility.  We are students, teachers, leaders, and visionaries who will expand and advance the health of our world. We have a lot of work to do, but I know we are up to the challenge.

With our Tribal roots and our global awareness, we are a village, and we have a map, a path and a mission, we are succeeding.  We will change the world.

I will end with an African song, Hamba Naye, which I will sing in Swahili.  It is a song we have sung for years in my family, a song of hope, support and love from a village to anyone who is leaving to do something important in the world.

Thank you.

Hope into action.”

The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association explores and supports alternative and complementary approaches to veterinary healthcare, and is dedicated to integrating all aspects of animal wellness in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. – AHVMA.org

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