Tuskegee University Veterinary Graduate Takes the Reins as New American Veterinary Medical Association president

by Anissa L. Riley

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TUSKEGEE, Ala. (August 1, 2014) - Ted Cohn, DVM, of Lone Tree, Colo., assumed his role as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the largest veterinary organization in the United States, on July 29.

Cohn has devoted more than 35 years of service to the people and animals of Colorado and the veterinary medical profession. Since graduating from the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine (TUSVM) in 1975 with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, Cohn has distinguished himself as a leader both locally and nationally.

”I am honored to serve as the next president of the AVMA, and I am ready to help us navigate these exciting - and challenging - times in veterinary medicine,” Cohn said. ”Things are changing rapidly in the world of veterinary medicine, and I believe the AVMA is well-positioned to help us adapt to these changes and to advance animal and human health, and the veterinary profession. Throughout my career, I have learned that there are many very bright and committed people working to serve the veterinary profession. I know that by working together there is little we can’t do.”

Cohn cites many AVMA initiatives, including the recent formation of the AVMA Economics Division, its Strategy Management Process and the Partners for Healthy Pets program, as critical elements of the AVMA’s overall plan to help guide the association and the profession into the future.

”The Economics Division will allow the AVMA to learn the economic facts of life for this profession and put us in a better position to understand the economic challenges we are facing,” Cohn says. ”Our Strategy Management Process will allow us to better meet our members’ needs by providing to them the services and products they want and value, and our Partners for Healthy Pets initiative will not only prolong pet lives but also strengthen the relationship between veterinarians and pet owners.“

“The TUSVM family is delighted and proud to salute Dr. Cohn as the new AVMA president,” said Dr. Ruby Perry, interim dean of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health.

“I remember Dr. Cohn during our Tuskegee days as an upper classman with great leadership qualities. He is no doubt effective at leading our profession’s top organization which is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Dr. Cohn is an inspiration to his colleagues and has a track record that shows his commitment to the veterinary medical profession,” Perry said.

Born in Little Rock, Ark., Cohn attended the University of Colorado and then the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in pursuit of his Bachelor of Science degree in biology. After achieving his veterinary degree, Cohn completed an internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Mass. More recently, Cohn graduated from the certification course in veterinary acupuncture at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University.

Cohn began his career in private practice in 1976 as an associate veterinarian at Aspenwood Animal Hospital. He continues his career today at University Hills Animal Hospital in Denver as a partner and hospital director. From 1983 to 1988, Cohn served as a consulting veterinarian for the Denver Zoological Gardens.

Cohn was named Western Region Practitioner of the Year in 1997 by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), an organization with which he has been active for more than 35 years. He served on the AAHA leadership council from 1996 to 2008 and as an AAHA media spokesperson.

Prior to his election to the AVMA Executive Board in 2006, Cohn served on and chaired several AVMA task forces, committees and subcommittees, and he spent seven years in the AVMA House of Delegates, representing Colorado veterinarians. While serving on the Executive Board, he chaired the Insurance Liaison Committee, the Task Force on Strategic Planning and the Economic Vision Steering Committee. Cohn was also the vice chair of the AVMA Task Force on Future Roles and Expectations.

Cohn has been a leader in veterinary medicine from the time of his veterinary school days, when he represented Tuskegee in the Student AVMA’s House of Delegates. He has served as the president of both the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society (1986-1987) and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) (1996-1997). Cohn was honored as the recipient of the CVMA President’s Award in both 2003 and 2012 and was named as the Colorado Veterinarian of the Year for 2006. In 2009, the Colorado Association of Veterinary Technicians honored him with their Technician Advocate Award. Tuskegee University presented Cohn with their Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013.

For many years, Cohn served on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is a long-standing member of numerous professional organizations, including the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Amphibian and Reptile Veterinarians and the Association of Veterinary Informatics. He served for six years on the Board of Directors for the Animal Assistance Foundation, a group that actively supports, through grant making, improvement of animal welfare in the state of Colorado.

Cohn has been married to his wife, Becky, since 1970. Becky runs her own business and has been an active member of the Colorado VMA Auxiliary for many years. The Cohn family includes two grown daughters, Corinne and Jen, and cats Muffie and Bijou.

About the American Veterinary Medical Association

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 85,000 member veterinarians engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. Visit the AVMA website at avma.org to learn more about veterinary medicine and animal care and to access up-to-date information on the association's issues, policies and activities.

About Tuskegee University

The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health (CVMNAH) is composed of the School of Veterinary Medicine (Animal Health) and the School of Nursing and Allied Health (Human Health). The College is the only one of its kind in the USA where Animal Health (Veterinary Medicine) and Human Health (Nursing and Allied Health) are interlinked and merged under one College within the framework of the One Health-One Medicine approach. The Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine (TUSVM) historically was established in 1945. TUSVM graduated its first class of fully qualified veterinarians in 1949. Since then, it has graduated more than 70% of the African-American veterinarians in the USA. TUSVM graduates hold key leadership positions in the government, military, academia and in the international arena. For more information, please visit www.onemedicine.tuskegee.edu/ and www.tuskegee.edu/.