ACVS Strategic Planning Update: Reflections and Next Chapters

Diplomates and Residents,

I am excited to update you on the efforts to finalize the 2022–2027 ACVS strategic plan. First, allow me to reflect on ACVS’s many achievements from the 2017–2022 strategic plan.

Celebrating the 2017–2022 strategic plan

When the College embarked on implementing the 2017 five-year strategic plan, none of us could have imagined that much of the effort to meet the plan’s goals would occur during a time of great uncertainty due to a global pandemic. As we turned the corner into 2020, much of what the College planned to accomplish in the remaining years of the five-year plan suddenly had obstacles blocking its path.

ACVS and its volunteers did not blink and instead rallied to make impressive and tremendous progress.

  • Certification, the bedrock of ACVS, had a large place in the 2017–2022 strategic plan.
    • The College appointed a director of certification who led tireless volunteers to deliver examinations in a computer-based format, develop an approach to evaluate resident training program success, and identify gaps in residency training.
    • The significant effort to build a certification management system began. The system will track residency training, examination registration, credentials application, program registration, and maintenance of certification.
  • The Continuing Education Committee made significant innovative improvements in continuing education (CE) delivery when it flexed quickly—and successfully—in both 2020 and 2021 to offer a Surgery Summit experience despite having to cancel the in-person events. As a result, webinars and on-demand learning are now ongoing ACVS CE offerings.
  • The ACVS Foundation established an estate gifts program and an initiative to increase research grant funding.
  • ACVS embarked on efforts to increase Diplomate and resident engagement and enhance the collaborative relationship between primary care veterinarians and Diplomates.
  • The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee executed a survey among Diplomates to establish an understanding of the College’s diversity; 737 Diplomates responded.
  • The efforts of Veterinary Surgery editors and the Editorial Review Board have improved the review process, decreased the time to publication, and increased the number and quality of submissions.
  • The rebuild of the ACVS website is underway and promises to deliver a more user-friendly and informative experience for Diplomates, residents, and animal owners.

Now, it is time to harness all we have accomplished to fuel the 2022–2027 strategic plan.

Writing the next chapters for ACVS

Equipped with comprehensive research that included the findings of the resoundingly successful 2022 Diplomate and resident strategic planning survey (40 percent response rate), 17 Diplomates representative of the College participated in a rigorous two-day in-person strategic planning session this spring. The Diplomates evaluated where ACVS is today, envisioned what it could look like in the years ahead, and put forth actionable ideas to make the vision reality.

The Board of Regents will review the strategic plan at its June meeting. ACVS will then develop an implementation plan to ensure consistent progress on the strategic plan over the next five years. I commit to you that ACVS and the Board will communicate with you often to keep you updated on the progress of the plan.

Finally, on behalf of the Board of Regents, I extend its sincere gratitude to the Diplomates who participated in the strategic planning session. ACVS leaders are proud of the time they committed to articulating the focus and future of ACVS.

We thank them and you for your continued commitment to ACVS.

Ann T. Loew, EdM, CAE
Chief Executive Officer