Remarks from Dr. Fudd Graham, 2011-2012 AVMS President


Hello to all the members of the Alabama Vector Management Society. I have been a bit behind since our meeting in Orange Beach and will take credit for our newsletter being a bit late this quarter. The first thing I want to do is thank Steve McDaniel, Jeff and Rachael Beck, Mark Tow, Drew Lockhart, Jennifer Wroten, Jason Carlee, Kelly Stevens,
Dee Jones, Nathan Burkett-Cadena and several others who volunteered their time and efforts to make our meeting at the Fairfield Inn and Suites such a success. And we would not have been able to have such a productive meeting without our vendors who generously support our society and our efforts to provide a relevant educational opportunity for our members each year.
I am honored that you have given me the opportunity to serve as your president this year. I hope that I can be as a productive, innovative and effective as Steve McDaniel was in his tenure as president last year. I also want to welcome the new officers and new members of our board of directors. I will depend on you this year for your guidance and support as we lead our society through the coming year.

As an organization, there are many challenges ahead of us. Not only do we have the normal suite of vector-borne diseases to deal with, the new emergence of bed bugs may impact us, as the public will probably view these as a public health pest. This may become more of a concern to the public after the news release that a small sample of five bed bugs from a hospital were found to be carrying two types of superbugs – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) – bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and very hard to treat when there is an infection. To meet these challenges, we need to work as an organization to train and educate ourselves while keeping lines of communication open so we are up-to date on current findings and research in our field.

As with most organizations, there are also budget concerns. While the society is in sound financial shape after our  meeting in Orange Beach, I realize that our state and local budgets are lean. That is why we are considering returning
to the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Orange Beach for our meeting next year. The rates are reasonable and the location offers the opportunity to combine business with pleasure at a reasonable rate.

Many stayed for a few days of vacation after our March meeting. We are an organization of volunteers, with a great newly-elected Board of Directors and some excellent new additions. But, if you look down the list, you will see there are many officers and directors that have provided service to the AVMS for several years. We need more volunteer  members, more energy, and new ideas to keep us a viable, well-educated, and vibrant organization. I will continue
from time to time remind our members of the many areas where one can volunteer time, experience and expertise.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve this year.