Veterinary Association Management

Continuing Education for the Veterinary Profession

Virginia Academy of Small Animal Medicine

Virginia Academy of Small Animal Medicine

What We Are About

The Academy’s goal is to provide convenient, high quality, yet affordable veterinary continuing education in a pleasant setting ... with five one day sessions, three in Charlottesville at Holiday Inn Monticello, One in Richmond at the Holiday Inn Express Northwest and two in Roanoke at the Holiday Inn Valley View plus one weekend conference at a low registration fee, the Colonial Veterinary Conference in Williamsburg VA. The cost of annual membership is only $275 for veterinarians and $150 for technician/support staff, with multi member prorated discounts for each.

This entitles each member to attend all the one day meetings at no charge and the weekend conference at a fee of $150 each. If you are unable to attend the one day meetings, notes will be available at . Proceedings books available at cost only at weekend conferences.

Each of the one-day meetings held in March, April, May, September, October and November and carries six hours of Continuing Education and the weekend meeting conference carry 20 hours of continuing education credits.

Virginia Academy of Small Animal Medicine Post Office Box 505 • Maury, NC 28554 Phone: 252-747-8180 • Fax: 252-747-4100 Email: • Website: As we enter our twenty-third year of service, the Board of Directors of theVirginia Academy of Small Animal Medicine would like to thank the members for making our academy a success. Our membership enrollment has steadily increased and the participation at the one day meetings and the Colonial Veterinary Conference has been outstanding. We encourage our veterinary colleagues and technician staff to enroll and participate in the Virginia Academy of Small Animal Medicine for the upcoming year where everyone can have an enjoyable time learning and sharing information with one another. Our excellent selection of great speakers and vendors will ensure our fellow veterinarians and technician support staff the most up-to-date continuing education available. Be sure to take advantage of our pro-rated membership for your entire staff. Again thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the meetings. John Dunlap, DVM, Director, President Waynesboro, VA Debra Call, DVM, Secretary/Treasurer Blacksburg, VA Luke DelPo, Director Moneta, VA John Niznik, DVM, Immediate Past President King George, VA


2019 Membership Application Form

Membership entitles you to attend these weekend conferences at a reduced registration fee of $150 each and NCCAA’s 1st flight Veterinary Conference at half the regular registration fee.

Click Here to download the 2019 VASAM Application

2019 Virginia Academy of Small Animal Medicine Meetings

One Day Schedules for VASAM

Date Speaker Name Topic Location

March 7th, 2019

Ralph Harvey, DVM

Practical, Profitable, Adaptable Management of Anesthesia, Pain, Fear, Anxiety, and Stress


Our Big Goal - Reducing Anxiety, Fear, Pain, and Distress for Patients, Clients, and Ourselves

Practical strategies move our practices and profession toward a more fear-free and stress-free experience. The benefits go far beyond the individual patient, bringing value and quality to our lives.

  • Recognize approaches that add safety and efficiency as well as reduce stress
  • Spread the message and encourage all members of our practices to play a role
  • Change the environment through better medicine and common sense behaviors

How Can We Help, Unless We Know How They Hurt?

We recognize the need to assess acute and chronic pain in animals in all areas of clinical veterinary care. Assessment of pain in animals has relied largely on observation of complex behaviors. Quantitative, objective, practical assessment is a long-standing goal that we are finally approaching.

  • Fundamental to reducing fear, anxiety, aggression, and stress

  • We increasingly have the tools, techniques and understanding

  • Patients and clients are providing much of the information and they can tell us more

Opioid-sparing and Opioid-free Best Practices in Pain Management
Old standbys, newly available analgesics, novel methods, and local anesthetics have greatly expanded our options. The opioid shortages, as well as other contemporary factors, increase emphasis on other components of multi-modal analgesia. We’ll summarize significant details that influence best methods. This can change your practice and add substantial value in surgical cases.

  • Balanced or multi-modal analgesia adds success, convenience, and economy

  • Local anesthetics will become valuable in every surgery

  • Pain management is fundamental and highly significant in practice growth

High Risk, Anesthesia for Patients Too Sick for Anesthesia

We give potentially lethal drugs to patients with serious injury and debilitating illness. We are rightly apprehensive, but now successfully manage many patients who would not have had a reasonable chance just a few years ago. We’ll include case-based discussion of potential problems for high-risk patients. Problem-based case management reduces morbidity and mortality for our patients and importantly reduces stress in our hospitals every day.

Recognize special anesthetic concerns

Develop problem-based case management

Prioritize clinical responses

Senior Pet Anesthesia and Pain Management

Although age is not a disease, we do see increased co-morbidities and limited resilience in our older patients. Best practices for these animals include use of readily available agents and techniques. Increased attention to detail and a respect for the fragile homeostasis brings clinical success and client appreciation.

  • Out-patient anesthesia and a robust adaptability in our approach are essential

  • Goals include avoiding stress and maintenance of the patient’s daily routine

  • These patients and clients are among our best and most valued resources

Emergencies, Complications, and Crisis Management in Anesthesia
Things can go wrong. Through case examples, we’ll discuss commonly encountered anesthetic emergencies and complications, how to recognize developing problems, how to turn around a problem situation so early that a crisis is averted, and how best deal with an anesthetic emergency or complication.

  • Anesthesia is not hours of boredom and moments of sheer panic

  • Your investment in infrastructure builds the foundation for success

  • Preparation and staff training pay great dividends

Holiday Inn Charlottesville-Monticello

1200 5th St SW, Charlottesville, VA  22902

Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVAARalph Harvey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVAA, retired from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he taught anesthesia and pain management in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences from 1985 until 2018. He served as the Section Head for the Small Animal Surgical Services and as a member of the University Faculty Senate. His veterinary degree is from the UTCVM. His graduate study was at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. His post-DVM graduate training included internship, residency, and fellowship at Cornell's Veterinary and Medical Colleges.

Dr. Harvey also worked in private small animal practice. He is certified as a specialist by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, has served as their Executive Secretary and as a member of the ACVAA Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the Fear-Free Advisory Panel and the Fear Free Executive Council.

He received the UTCVM Brandy Memorial Award, the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Tennessee VMA, and the UTCVM Outstanding Alumni Non-Practice Career Award.

His community service has included work with regional science fair programs, Explorer Scouting, the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, and with wilderness and conservation groups. He has served as a member of the boards of directors for several non-profit organizations: Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning - BOD member 10 years Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair - BOD member 29 years Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association - current BOD and secretary Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley – current BOD

Ralph Harvey

459 Circle Hill Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919 865-310-6166

April 4th, 2019

Richard Ford, DVM

2018 VACCINES AND VACCINATION: 20 Questions…and the “Must Know” Answers

This presentation is a “behind-the-scenes” look at principle issues surrounding Canine and Feline Vaccination, including the recently released AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines, that have direct impact on practicing veterinarians today. Discussion centers on the selection & use of vaccines and includes the most controversial vaccine-related issues facing veterinarians: eg, annual v. triennial vaccination, legalities of “off-label” vaccination, protocols for overdue patients, new vaccines (oral Bordetella, Leptospira, canine Lyme disease), emerging “therapeutic” vaccines, and more… (2.5 hours)

ANTIBODY TITERS v. VACCINATION: Applications in Practice

As the interest in performing “Vaccine Titers” increases within the profession, commercial laboratories are now offering serology panels for dogs/cats specifically to address the immune response following vaccination. More recently, the introduction of Point-of-Care Titer Tests (in-hospital kits) allows veterinarians to assess “Vaccine Titers” of individual patients at the time of the appointment. This presentation addresses the 2 most fundamental issues facing veterinarians regarding the use of antibody titer testing to assess patient response to vaccination: 1) what are the indications for performing “vaccine” titers on individual patients? and… 2) what do the results really mean? (1.5 hours)


Despite the routine use of vaccines against viral upper respiratory disease in cats (feline herpesvirus-1 and calicivirus) these 2 viruses are still recognized as the cause of over 90% of respiratory disease affecting cats. While acute-onset feline viral upper respiratory disease in commonly seen among kittens housed in multiple cat household/shelters…it is the adult chronic carrier cat that poses the greatest threat to the population of susceptible cats and kittens. This presentation addresses the clinical identification of chronic carrier cats (you see them regularly in practice), long term management options, and the role of vaccination in preventing infection…Why are so many cats infected…yet so many cats are vaccinated? Are vaccines effective today against the current strains? (1 hour)

Holiday Inn Tanglewood

4468 Starkey Road

Roanoke, Virginia  24018

Phone:  540-774-4400


May 2nd, 2019

Salina Locke, DVM

Exotics for the Small Animal Practitioner

Pet Birds What You Need to Know

How I Treat Reptile and Amphibian Diseases

GI Stasis Syndrome in Small Herbivores

Acquired Dental Disease of Rabbits and Rodents

Tips for Treating Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents

Holiday Inn Tanglewood

4468 Starkey Road

Roanoke, Virginia  24018

Phone:  540-774-4400


September 5th, 2019

Angela Witzel Rollins, DVM

1- What you can and can't learn from a pet food label

2 - Alternative diet trends - raw, grain-free, homemade, and more

3 - Effective weight loss plans - they do exist

4 - Therapeutic use of dietary oils - fish oil, MCT oil, etc.

5 - The what, when, and why of nutritional therapy for CKD

6 - Gastrointestinal diets - what are they and when should you use them?

Holiday Inn Charlottesville-Monticello

1200 5th St SW, Charlottesville, VA  22902

October 3rd, 2019

Lynne Swanson, DVM

Communicating with Canines

Holiday Inn Tanglewood

4468 Starkey Road

Roanoke, Virginia  24018

Phone:  540-774-4400

Behavior SKILL-building: How to Handle Dogs, to get the Dogs You Want

Are you the person everyone looks to to bring out a dog’s best, both on-leash and off? Would you like to be? The best of dog handlers and caretakers use movement well. They.understand and use important canine social cues. Their body language (which includes their posture, the positions they take and the energy they project, both in quantity and quality) honors important canine social rules. They are quick to smile. They have good timing. And they know that tension works against them (because dogs naturally avoid tension). They also know that patience can communicate empowerment. These attributes, put together, allow them to turn excessive energy, concerned states of mind and misbehaviors into calm energy, relaxed states of mind and behaviors that can be rewarded. Good handlers also know which kinds of leashes, collars and harnesses send the wrong message to dogs, thwarting the message they want to send. They choose, and they use, these tools thoughtfully. How are YOUR dog-handling skills, both on-leash and off? This naturally positive and very practical session teaches veterinarians and staff handling skills that they will use on a daily basis, whether they are working with one dog or several at a time. And with a better awareness of how dogs view their personal body language, they will be better prepared to: · Put new dogs at ease. · Set “problem” dogs up for success at their clinic. · Introduce dogs to each other (anywhere and anytime). · Introduce dogs to new people in canine-intuitive ways. The approaches discussed are tension-free, easy to put into practice and safe for dogs of all sizes and energy levels. They quickly put less-experienced handlers at ease and in a positive frame of mind, and they can even be done by people in wheelchairs, when mobility assistance is needed!. They create positive associations, setting dogs up to do well off-leash. On top of that, they offer dogs a little well-directed exercise and they teach polite manners! Put into practice, they are easy to teach to dog owners, vastly improving the lives of dogs while decreasing the stress of their humans!

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn how to use canine-intuitive body language, both on and off- leash, the better to get, in return, the calm energy, relaxed state-of-mind and subsequent behavior they desire from their canine patients.

2. They will learn how to avoid communicating tension to dogs, since tension (however justified) tends to work against handlers.

3. They will learn how certain commonly-used tools promote pulling (they increase tension when none is required).

Behavior SKILL-building: Relaxing the Reactive Dog

“He always barks at new people.”

“She doesn’t like men.”

“Don’t come close or this dog might bite.”

If you find yourself saying these things, turn that frown upside down…help is on the way! Dogs communicate with each other through posture, position, movement and energy (easy to remember as PPME), and they interpret OUR posture, choice of positions, use of movement and energy (in quantity and quality) in the context of their species. Too, their sense of “team-spirit” is strong. These characteristics can be used to help dogs see others as friends (as opposed to potential foes). What do you do when a reactive dog approaches? How about when the reactive dog is in your arms or on the other end of your leash? Do you stand still and get verbal, or do you calmly change orientation and get moving, inviting newcomers to partner with you? After this session, you will know how to use relaxed movement and calmly confident body language to help people and dogs be their most comfortable selves in common situations. This includes:

  • being approached by other dogs
  • being approached by new people
  • passing strange objects (for example: bicycles & skateboards)
  • meeting other animal species (such as goats, llamas, cows & horses)

The approaches discussed are tension-free, and because they are canine-intuitive in nature (as opposed to human-intuitive), dogs relax quickly. All are easy to use inside and outside, and they promote handler and dog safety and comfort. Got dogs that cause a commotion in your waiting room? How about dogs that become guarded in your exam room? Got some “Yellow Ribbon” dogs that simply need extra personal space? (For them, we’ll discuss how using two 10- inch strips of yellow electrical tape, well-placed on a dog’s leash and collar, can buy you and the dog the space he needs when well-meaning strangers get too close.) Got a “Back of the Pack” alert-barker or dogs that bark at people in doorways? In each of these cases, a little canine-intuitive movement and positioning can bring peace back into your world. But wait – there’s more! (grin.) Want more quiet in your kennels? Understanding the principles discussed in this session (plus how to use simple repetitive exercises) can go a long way toward promoting kennel quiet and peace.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn the importance of PPME (posture, position, movement and energy, both in quantity and quality) when working with reactive dogs.

2. They will learn how to safely defuse reactive hand-held dogs, dogs that lunge at other dogs and dogs that tend to be over-protective of their handlers.

3. They will learn how to get dogs and people “on the same team” proactively, both physically and psychologically, so dogs don’t feel the need to be reactive.

4. They will learn how to use movement and better body language to proactively prevent alert-barking in certain situations.

November 7th, 2019

Neal Peckens, DVM


Holiday Inn Charlottesville-Monticello

1200 5th St SW, Charlottesville, VA  22902

Weekend Conference for VASAM

Colonial Veterinary Conference

Colonial Veterinary


November 20-24, 2019

"In Historic Williamsburg, Virginia"

What our Attendees Say!

Mountain Veterinary Conference : I just attended the Mountain Veterinary Conference and had a great time! The speakers were the same ones you see at the huge, expensive conferences but in a more intimate, affordable setting. The local area is beautiful and lots of fun to explore - I particularly enjoyed watching the elk herds cross the roads in the mornings. The Cherokee Casino was an excellent venue - easy to navigate ... read more

Katie Gies, DVMKatie Gies, DVM | Attendee -

What our Attendees Say!

Mountain Veterinary Conference : I've been meaning to share my very positive review of the Mountain Veterinary Conference for months -- my apologies for not doing this sooner! The Mountain Veterinary Conference was a wonderful CE experience on all levels. There were a wide variety of high quality sessions, the setting was beautiful, the food and accommodations were excellent, and the exhibitors were helpful and informative... read more

Valerie Weiss, DVMValerie Weiss, DVM | Attendee -

What our Speakers/Exhibitors Say!

“What fun! We doubled our record for the number of copies of SMILE! sold in the first day. The relaxed atmosphere at the Fun n Sun Conference makes it easy to interact with everyone.” ... read more

Lynne Swanson, DVMLynne Swanson, DVM | Speaker, Exhibitor - Safe Harbor Farm’s SMILE! Project

What our Speakers Say!

Thank you for having me speak this year at Sun N Fun; What a GREAT show! I have thoroughly enjoyed the kindness and hospitality shown by all. Great organization, great location, and great session topics! I urge all veterinary professionals to attend Sun N Fun next year, and not miss out on this fantastic CE event! ... read more

Running Paws Pet Hospital, McKinney, TXJenny Cassibry Fisher, RVT, VTS | Speaker -

What our Attendees Say!

I would like to extend a sincere "Thank You" to Howie and all those involved in hosting the Colonial Veterinary Conference in Colonial Williamsburg this December 2015.  We attended a few years ago and were sold on this meeting for our ContEd   This meeting has it all!  Great speakers, wonderful hotel,  delicious food, kind staff and lotsa' coffee!  Howie makes sure everyone is comfortable and enjoying themselves.. The biggest impression our first time here years ago was not just the speakers, topics, and location.. but the obvious love this group has for one another AND for our Lord... read more

Running Paws Pet Hospital, McKinney, TXDr. Donna M Gage | Running Paws Pet Hospital, McKinney, TX

What our Speakers Say!

I've been a speaker for at least a dozen meetings hosted by Veterinary Association Management in the last twenty or so years. The meetings are always well organized and managed. More importantly, the attendees are always eager to learn and happy to be there. The Lee family and all the staff are welcoming and the atmosphere is very family-friendly... read more

Margi Sirois, EdD, MS, CVT, LATMargi Sirois, EdD, MS, CVT, LAT | Speaker

What our Speakers Say!

Veterinary Association Management conference are intimate and interactive. As a presenter, I have the opportunity to talk about behavior issues – a significant reason for relinquishment, and also how to speak with clients about these concerns, as well as getting pets to vets, including Fear Free and Cat Friendly Practices.

Steve Dale, CABCSteve Dale, CABC | Speaker

What our Attendees Say!

I've been going to Veterinary Association Management's Veterinary Conferences for 16 years.  They are by far my favorite.  The quality and choice of speakers always suits my needs. I feel that I get the most up-to-date and thorough information.  Lectures focus on practical advice we can actually use - no ivory towers here... read more

Melanie Bene, DVMMelanie Bene, DVM | Attendee

What our Attendees Say!

My family and I have always enjoyed Veterinary Association Management's (Ralph Lee's) continuing education courses.  We have been attending them now for well over twelve years.  We are always very delighted to attend the courses and conferences that Veterinary Management Association hosts.  The benevolence of the Lee Family always shines forth, and they make my family feel more than welcome.  The veterinary courses are extremely relevant to practice, and much of the information obtained can be put into effect the day we return.  The speakers are of the utmost quality and ... read more

Mercy Animal Hospital, Monroe, NCDrs. Charles and Dawn Jones | Mercy Animal Hospital, Monroe, NC

What our Speakers Say!

Thank you so much for allowing me to speak at this past weekend's Sun N Fun conference in South Carolina. It was a great experience. Howie, Martha, Dawn and the entire Veterinary Association Management team always knows how to make a speaker feel welcomed! The conference was so well organized which is a testament to the VAM team. Thank you so much for all your kindness. It was a true honoring getting to speak to the technicians at the conference. It was a great group who stayed engaged throughout! Thank you again. I hope you are all home getting to relax a little after working so hard to make the conference so successful. ... read more

Amy Newfield, CVT, VTS (ECC)Amy Newfield, CVT, VTS (ECC) | Speaker

What our Attendees Say!

I have been a veterinarian in NC since 1982.  33years.  I have been getting my continuing education hours with Ralph Lee’s Veterinary Management for 28 years.  My wife is a registered vet technician and we both must get yearly CE hours to continue our licenses.  We have come to Ralph Lee’s Great Smokies Veterinary Conferences for last 20 years.  I appreciate through the years the dedication to providing quality continuing education year after year.  We enjoy the excellent speakers on subjects that are useful in regular day to day practice; comprehensive wet labs; and very affordable CE... read more

Emerywood Veterinary Hospital, High Point, NCJ. Michael Beck DVM and Jane Beck VMT | Emerywood Veterinary Hospital, High Point, NC

What our Speakers Say!

I've participated in several Veterinary Association Management continuing educational meetings and they are all top notch. Each meeting has it's own look and feel. The one consistent thread is excellent speakers and great topics/content being presented. I will be planning a family vacation around Fun N Sun veterinary conference. It's a must do for anyone looking for good CE and creating great memories with the family... read more

Veterinary Consultation Services, LLC Paul Camilo, CVPM | Veterinary Consultation Services, LLC

What our Exhibitors Say!

The Center of Veterinary Expertise has had the pleasure of participating in Colonial Veterinary conference on several levels, sponsorship, vendor as well as providing speakers over the last three year.  Howie and his team always ensure a positive, warm, and successful experience.  We look forward to supporting the Colonial Veterinary Conference for many more years to come.

the COVE, Suffolk, VADanielle T. Russ | LVT, BS, BA, AS, Hospital Manager, the COVE, Suffolk, VA

What our Attendees Say!

It is not a small thing when gathering your CE credits that the meetings be orderly, well presented, convenient, accessible.  Cudos to the Colonial Team.  It was an all-around good experience.

Palmetto Vet Hospital, Ridgeland, SCRob McBrayer, DVM | Palmetto Vet Hospital, Ridgeland, SC

What our Exhibitors Say!

I have been a equipment manufacturing design consultant for Snyder Mfg. for over 30 years.  I have been attending the Ralph Lee's meetings for over 20 years of that time.  The Ralph Lee's meetings are different than the standard veterinary conference meetings that are available.  The meetings are designed to be very family friendly.  The attendees and exhibitors are treated with more respect than any other of the veterinary meetings I attend.  The smaller venue will  also give everyone an opportunity to build long term relationships in the industry.

Snyder Mfg., New Sharon, IARalph Ihde | Snyder Mfg., New Sharon, IA

What our Attendees Say!

I plan each year's continuing education requirements around Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veteirnary Conference.  The program venue is especially nice, this time of year, in Asheville, N.C.  The Lee family (Howie, Martha and the crew) are most accommodating.  They've always made this a pleasurable, meaningful experience.  I secure a copy of the conference notes each trip.  These notes serve as valuable information for me as I care for my patients on a daily basis.  The saddest part, for me, is when the meeting concludes.  Soon, I'll be planning for the 2016 conference.

Central Veterinary Hospital, Knoxville, TNDr. William “Bill” Martin | Central Veterinary Hospital, Knoxville, TN

What our Exhibitors Say!

The Lees' vet meetings are some of the best...and I attend a lot of them! As both a veterinarian and an exhibitor I get the best of both worlds at these events.... Great Continuing Education and Great attendance to the exhibit booth. I attend every one I possibly can.

Vet Assured, Unicoi, TNDr. Dan Moore, DVM | Vet Assured, Unicoi, TN

What our Speakers Say!

I have lectured for Veterinary Association Management for the last 4 years and they consistently have wonderfully organized, informative and practical conferences for practicing small animal veterinarians. With a relatively small group of attendees ... read more

Charleston Veterinary Referral CenterKristin Welch DVM, DACVECC | CRITICAL CARE, CHIEF OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE