ECLAM Council needs input for strategic plan

Council will meet via teleconference in mid-April to devise a new strategic plan. In order to represent the interests of all Diplomates, an email was sent on 2 April from ECLAM.assistance@gmail.com to all members of the College. However, many of these probably went into Spam folders due to the large number of addresses.

A work-around system is being used to send individual emails, but this is limited to 50 email addresses per day. So, please check your spam/junk email folders for this email! The subject line was: ECLAM strategic plan survey: please respond by Monday 6 April.

The second attempt to get the email to everyone had a similar subject line (Please answer 4 questions for ECLAM). 

Clearly, we need a better mass email system!

Sorry for the inconvenience,

Janet Rodgers, ECLAM Secretariat

 

The following tips have been provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association:

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus and to follow strict hand-washing and other hygiene protocols.
  • Designate your workplace as a temporary NO HANDSHAKE ZONE. Ask colleagues and clients to refrain from shaking hands (fist bumps or forearm bumps are good substitutes).
  • Practice good hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and between contacts with others.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Place hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes, and tissues in all procedure rooms, meeting rooms, restrooms, break rooms, and other common areas.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, then throw the tissue into the trash can.
  • COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the common cold, are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons more than 6 months old should receive an annual influenza vaccine. Vaccines are still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza.
  • Voluntary home isolation: If you are ill with symptoms of respiratory disease, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue, stay at home. It is recommended that you remain at home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Take steps to prevent the spread of disease among veterinary personnel and to/from clients by following guidelines and procedures laid out in the US National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian’s Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions for Zoonotic Disease Prevention in Veterinary Personnel. While the primary focus of this resource is controlling the spread of pathogens between animals and veterinary personnel, many of its principles apply to infection control in general and following it is simply good practice.

The Plowright Prize

Walter Plowright was widely regarded as one of the world’s most eminent veterinary virologists and authorities on rinderpest, whose development of a tissue culture vaccine represented a key milestone in efforts to control the disease – one of only two infectious diseases that have been fully eradicated.

The prize recipient will receive £75,000, to be used to support research or other improvement activity that contributes to the control, management and eradication of infectious diseases in animals. For these purposes, the term ‘animal’ includes both domestic and free-living species – mammals, birds or fish.

This prize recognises an individual whose work has had a significant impact on the control, management and eradication of infectious diseases of animals. Their contribution will demonstrate animal, humanitarian or economic benefit.

The prize is open to any veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse or research scientist working in Europe or the Commonwealth. The nominee may be working in practice, academia, a research institute/organisation, industry, government or another relevant sector. Institutions and/or organisations are not eligible to receive the prize.

Individuals must be nominated by a third party – Individuals may not nominate themselves. Nominators must notify the nominee of their intention to submit and jointly complete the nomination form.

Nominations must be made using the nomination form below. Guidelines and instructions are also provided below. All sections of the form must be completed, in English, in order for nominations to be considered.

Each nomination must include:

  • a statement of recommendation
  • copies of the nominee’s key publications
  • the nominee’s full CV, including a full list of publications and relevant experience
  • a brief scientific citation
  • details of two professional referees
  • a document, outlining how the prize fund will be spent to support future research or other improvement activity plans
  • declarations by the nominee and nominator.

Guidelines and instructions on completing the nomination are provided below. Any enquiries or questions should be addressed to ebvm@rcvsknowledge.org or +44 (0) 20 7202 0721. Completed nominations must be submitted to ebvm@rcvsknowledge.org by 31st March 2020.

See https://knowledge.rcvs.org.uk/grants/available-grants/plowright-prize-2019/ for full details.

New people, new website, new decade: it must be January

There’s something about January. It’s the time to clean out, throw out, add new, and organise everything from kitchen drawers to national governments. For ECLAM, it’s the start of the 20th year since EBVS gave us provisional recognition as a speciality college.

New People

We welcome eight new Diplomates to ECLAM, following the successful completion of their exams in November:

  • Eva Maria Amen, Roche Innovation Centre Basel, Switzerland
  • Corina Berset, University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland
  • Henri Bertrand, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Nora Denk, Roche Innovation Centre Basel, Switzerland
  • Mareike Kron, University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland
  • Elin Manell, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Ruth Williams, GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development, Stevenage, UK
  • Argyro Zacharioudaki, ELPEN Pharmaceutical Company, Attica, Greece

Congratulations on the achievement! All our new Diplomates are settling into their new committee assignments, and will contribute significantly to the growth and development of ECLAM and lab animal medicine.

The ECLAM Council regrets the departure of Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga as President-elect, but she is focusing her considerable energy on evidence-based laboratory animal science. Stephan Zeiter has taken her place, and will become President from 2021-22. Stephan has already served for four years on Council. His experience and enthusiasm for progress keep our Council moving forward and striving to do better.

In November, Merel received a royal decoration (Officier in the Orde van Oranje-Nassau) recognising the importance of her work for society. Her increased work responsibilities mean that she has had to refocus her attention and energy.

Our 2020 AGM will be held in November in Lausanne, so we will elect a new Ordinary Member in the coming months. The Nominations Committee has been formed (Chair Thea Fleischmann, Denis Lambrigts and Henri Bertrand). You will receive an email from them shortly asking you to consider who would be a good candidate for this opportunity. Self-nominations are welcome.

New website

Our new website (eclam.eu) has been ‘live’ for a few months, and we are phasing out the old one as we create new pages. Keep checking back to see what new material is there to help you understand ECLAM and participate in the affairs of the College.

The new website is more interactive, and I am incorporating it into my way of assisting you. Having trouble understanding the workflow involved in your re-certification? I made a chart. Need to ask a colleague to complete a letter of reference? Here’s an online form.  Want to have a way to meet other residents or Diplomates, download the new AVMA Guidelines, do committee work, or discuss starting a residency programme? Ask to join a Group. Wondering what learning opportunities are forthcoming, or when your next committee teleconference will be? Here’s the calendar. Looking for a new job, or have one open? Post it on our website.   

We need your help to add new material, suggest better ways to find information, and extend our reach outside the College to the public, regulators, and veterinary students. Send me a comment and I promise to listen to your ideas.

I wish you all a very successful and productive 2020, and I look forward to hearing from you. My next task will be to figure out how to enable MailChimp to notify you whenever a news item is posted here!

Janet Rodgers, Secretariat

 

 

 

    


ECLAM is shedding its previous website and emerging at a new URL with a new design.

We started with long discussions about why our old website wasn’t doing the job properly. Some of the reasons were technical: we couldn’t change the underlying colours, fonts and widgets, and we didn’t have a secure site (one that starts with https instead of http). Mostly it was because the underlying navigational structure wasn’t helping people find what they needed. 

Following guidance from a course offered by a non-profit, Council approved a website redesign group to try to re-imagine a new site. Funds were tight, as always, and we believed we could do a credible job on our own, using open-source software and free images, saving the College tens of thousands in the process.

The College is indebted to the working group (Argyro, Corina, Eva, Cristian, Miriam, Stéphanie, and Greg) for giving countless hours, for caring enough to keep working at it, and for their continuing work to develop content and test the site. We are also grateful to the focus group (Stephan, Nora, Rony, Ivanela and Patricia) for providing fresh insights on our ideas.

Of course, it took longer than planned. The holidays, the exams, the challenge of learning new software, and the business of living and working all got in our way. Once we had gathered information from interviews, looked at the flow of visitors to our site, and discussed our ideas in biweekly teleconferences, we created ‘personas’: fictitious people with names and backgrounds who might all be our visitors. Our personas helped us see what the website needed to do from many different points of view.

We worked on various ideas for the home page layout, trying to keep visitors engaged past the initial 15 seconds that most visitors spend on a new site. Then we selected WordPress to be the engine (the Content Management System). WordPress is free, easy to learn, and has massive capabilities for future growth and evolution. Our goal was to make the new site mobile-friendly, easier to navigate, and ultimately to grow the College.

In 2019 we had a photo contest to recruit help in getting high-quality photographs of ECLAM in action. Images create the setting for every page or block. They make the content more interesting, like adding a song to lyrics. This was fun, and we received numerous entries, most of which are already in use on the new site. As we seem to be somewhat shy, most of our photos are of animals– no surprise there. If you can manage it, please keep sending us photos, especially of real people doing the really interesting things we do. We have a duty to educate.

The total cost to date is less than €500. Ongoing expenses will include the monthly cost of a hosting service, and some cost to buy widgets and security apps and other ‘plugins’ that we use to power the site without having to become programmers ourselves. Otherwise, the Secretariat will continue to keep the site updated with ECLAM news, policies and information. A website is worthless if the content isn’t engaging and useful.

The ECLAM website is our only public-facing entity. Much of it is still in the development phases, so keep coming back to see what’s new. Browse around everywhere, try out the clickable diagrams, and ask other people what they think. If you have comments and suggestions, hit the ‘Contact Us’ button and send us a message to let us know how we’re doing. A website like ours conveys our vision to the world and serves our members.  If it doesn’t accurately reflect who we are, we can fix it– but only if you speak up and offer to help.