VVMA About Us

Virginia Veterinary Medical Association

"Preserving and enhancing the quality
of human and animal life through
veterinary medicine"

VVMA Board of Directors

Jeffery Newman, DVM
Terry Taylor, DVM
Margaret "Peggy" Rucker, DVM
Vice President
Keith de la Cruz, DVM
Mark Finkler, DVM
Immediate Past President

Rebecca Beamer, DVM
Martin Betts, DVM
Jason Bollenbeck, DVM
Edward Fallin, DVM
Kristan Gutowski, DVM
Benjamin Halsey, DVM
Megan Hammond, DVM
David Hodgson, DVM
Thomas Leahy, DVM
Jay Margolis, DVM
Melinda McCall, DVM
Margaret Minnich, DVM
Stuart Morse, DVM
Maureen Noftsinger, DVM
Stephanie Patterson, DVM
Katie Rohrig, DVM
Cheryl Simpson-Freeman, DVM
Samuel Tate, DVM
Sara Whitman Hadacek, DVM
Kathryn Lacy, Student

Richard Godine, DVM
William Tyrrell, Jr., DVM
Alternate Delegate

Cyril R. Clarke, BVSc
Julia Murphy, DVM
Public Health Veterinarian
Richard Wilkes, DVM
State Veterinarian

VVMA Office Staff

Robin Schmitz
Executive Director
Talya Huskey
Membership and Conference Coordinator

Vision Statement


1. The VVMA is a diverse group of veterinarians working together to advance the interests of
veterinary medicine in a spirit of collegiality and professionalism.

2. The VVMA promotes veterinarians as a primary resource to the public, government
and veterinary community on matters of public health, human/animal interaction and
animal well-being.

3. The VVMA, together with the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine,
assists students and veterinarians in reaching their professional potential.


It was 1894...........

Tuesday, February 6, 1894 was a cold day in Richmond. The Virginia General Assembly was in session, and the Richmond Dispatch news coverage centered on the lawmakers and the happenings at the Capitol. That afternoon six veterinarians gathered at the office of Dr. W. H. Harbaugh, a surgeon in charge of the veterinary hospital on South Adams Street, a few blocks west of the Capitol. After a lengthy discussion of the various problems confronting the veterinary profession, both in the Old Dominion and the nation, the men took the action for which they had come together. The following statement was prepared and signed by the six:

"We, the undersigned veterinarians, have organized ourselves into a society to be known as the Virginia State Veterinary Medical Association.”

Signed: W. H. Harbaugh
E. P. Niles
A. W. Swedberg
W. T. Gilchrist
T. A. Donaldson
George C. Faville

Drs. Niles, Faville and Gilchrist were appointed a committee to draft rules and by-laws.

Drs. Harbaugh, Donaldson and Swedberg were appointed a committee to have the organization incorporated according to the state laws of Virginia.

Dr. Harbaugh was elected Chairman of the Board of Censors and Drs. Gilchrist, Faville, Niles, Donaldson and Swedberg associate members.

More than 35 years later, in a brief history of the organization, Dr. Faville noted that without the "untiring efforts and zeal” of Dr. Harbaugh "it is doubtful if we could have made the start we did.”

Dr. Faville was too modest. Certainly, Dr. Harbaugh played a vital role in the formation and continuing life of the young association, but it was Dr. Faville, the record indicates, who for many years was the glue that held the organization together.

The next day two more veterinarians joined the fledging group. They were J. H. Adamson and Joseph T. Bushman.

It is obvious that the men who met in Dr. Harbaugh’s office had decided on their course of action. The Association was not something that came out of a discussion in a single afternoon, but a decision that had been on the minds of participants for some time. They had met when and where they did for the simple reason that the General Assembly was in session, and thus, they could seek the incorporation of the Association by the lawmakers as quickly as possible.

Just two days later, on February 8, the General Assembly approved the act establishing the then-named Virginia State Veterinary Medical Association.