In Remembrance – Lei Yamasaki

The Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association regretfully reports the unexpected passing of Dr. Lei Sachiko Yamasaki, D.V.M., M.S. on May 8, 2021. Lei was born and raised in Honolulu, HI, graduated from Roosevelt High School, and earned a B.A. in Zoology (with a Marine Options Program Certificate) at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She completed an M.S. degree in Animal Sciences also at UHM, and she received her DVM from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. During her years as a student, she participated in many programs that led to cherished friendships and future collaborations, including: Hanauma Bay, Oceanic Institute, HDOA Aquaculture Development Program, AquaVet I/II, Los Angeles Zoo, University of Arizona Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, USGS Honolulu Field Station, USDA APHIS/Veterinary Services, and the University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory.

Following graduation, she returned to Hawaii to work at Moana Technologies, LLC and in 2012 joined the Hawaii Department of Agriculture as the Aquaculture Veterinary Medical Officer. At HDOA, she supervised the Hawaii Shrimp Health Certification Program and provided dedicated diagnostic and regulatory services to support the aquaculture industry that she loved. She worked on projects relating to the presence of Nile tilapia and Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in Hawaii and molecular and histologic diagnostics for fish/shrimp/oyster pathogens. She supported education and aquaculture in the community as a Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair judge, Technical Committee member for the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture, Advisory Subcommittee member on invertebrate and aquatic biota for the State of Hawaii, and many other events with endless energy and a smile that lit up every room.

Lei was a lifelong scholar and never tired of pursuing new projects or learning new things. Yet she still managed to carve time out to enjoy the natural beauty of the world through her hobbies of surfing, hiking, fishing, traveling, conservation, and animal rescue. She was a dedicated and respected veterinarian whose love of animals was evident in the menagerie of animals that she cared for over the years: her beloved Simon, Emma, Mao, Copper, Atsila, and many others.

Lei will be forever remembered and missed by her family (parents Michael and Joann, sister Ann), friends, and colleagues from around the world.

Specialty/ER Service Interruption

The Hawaii Board of Veterinary Medicine has recently reinterpreted Hawaii’s veterinary practice law and begun rejecting the practice of veterinary sponsorship. This practice previously allowed many out-of-state specialists to share their services with our clients on a short-term or intermittent basis. All of us have benefited from referring our clients to visiting dermatologists, radiologists, surgeons, as well as our few emergency care centers that operate 24/7. This interruption in veterinary sponsorship has limited service hours at emergency clinics and worsened the backlog of surgery cases in Hawaii.

If your clients are being affected, please encourage them to file a complaint with the DCCA and Board of Veterinary Medicine to insist that they must immediately return to honoring the practice of veterinary sponsorship in Hawaii as clearly allowed by HRS 471(2)-5.

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

Delve into the latest research on suicide and its causes in this conversation on veterinary mental health with experts from the AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). Learn strategies to promote mental health, prevent suicide, and intervene in a mental health crisis. Come away knowing individual and community risk and protective factors, get guidance on mental health crisis warning signs, and learn how to get help for someone in crisis – vital steps in building healthy communities and supporting our colleagues and peers. A culture of caring offers help and hope to its members—and we all can play a role in building that community.
View webinar here

Meet a Board Member: Caren Tamura-Taira

Caren Tamura-Taira, DVM
Oahu County Representative

Dr. Caren Tamura-Taira grew up on the beautiful countryside of Waianae, Hawaii. From a young age she loved animals and had fishes, rabbits, cats, a pet chicken that was hatched from an egg at school, and “Chummy” her first dog.

After graduating from Mid-Pacific Institute in 1983, Caren did her undergraduate years majoring in microbiology at Colorado State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree at Colorado State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science in 1990.

Soon after completing college, she came back to Hawaii to start her dream career as a small animal medicine veterinarian. Caren is currently practicing at the Waipio Pet Clinic and previously was at the Animal Clinic Waimalu for many years.

She enjoys spending time with her family and dog Simba. Whenever there is free time she also enjoys crafting, cooking, hiking and now running in virtual marathons. This is her first year on the HVMA board and she is honored to be a part of the organization. She looks forward to working hard and collaborating with the other members and the veterinary community.

Veterinarians as COVID-19 Vaccinators

Submitted by the American Veterinary Medical Association

The AVMA has been working hard for the past few months, as veterinarians have been increasingly discussed as needing to be among those able to assist in efforts to vaccinate people against COVID, to have veterinarians specifically included in the declarations under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act), which authorizes the HHS Secretary to issue emergency public health declarations and provides limited immunity from liability to those covered under the act.

As of March 12, 2021, veterinarians and veterinary students are included in the PREP Act:

· It allows veterinarians who are licensed to practice under the law of any state to administer COVID vaccines in any jurisdiction in association with a COVID vaccination effort by a state, local, tribal, or territorial authority or by an institution in which the COVID vaccine is administered.

·        This also applies to veterinarians who have held an active license or certification under the law of any state within the last five years which is inactive, expired or lapsed, as well as veterinary students with appropriate training in administering vaccines. The intent is to include recently retired veterinarians who may want to help.

·        Today’s amendment preempts any state law that would otherwise prohibit veterinarians or veterinary students who are a “qualified person” under the PREP Act from prescribing, dispensing, or administering COVID vaccines or other covered COVID countermeasures.

·        Veterinarians and veterinary students will be afforded liability protections in accordance with the PREP Act and the terms of the amendment. However, specific conditions must be met in order for the authorization to administer the vaccines and the liability protections to apply. These liability protections apply from March 11, 2021, through October 1, 2024.

·        In order for the authorization and liability protections to apply, veterinarians and veterinary students must be participating in association with a COVID vaccination effort by a state, local, tribal, or territorial authority, or by an institution in which the COVID vaccine is administered. Additional specific requirements also must be met, such as having basic certification in CPR, completing the CDC COVID vaccination modules, an observation period, etc. There is a separate section of the declaration that applies to those in the uniformed services and for federal employees, contractors and volunteers when authorized to administer COVID vaccine.

·        While the liability outlined in the PREP Act is broad, it does not apply to willful misconduct, and the federal government does not provide a legal defense in the event that you are sued. Your state may have separate liability protections, along with separate requirements to qualify, and may or may not provide a legal defense. Veterinary malpractice will not likely respond to claims arising from a veterinarian intentionally vaccinating people against COVID.

More information on vaccination volunteer requirements

Sign up for Hawaii’s volunteer Medical Reserve Corps here

PREP Fact Sheet that Includes Veterinarians as Qualified Health Professionals

Leianne Lee Loy Running for AVMA Board of Directors Representing Hawaii’s District

Message from Leianne K. Lee Loy, current AVMA Hawaii Delegate and candidate for AVMA Board of Directors Representing District X:

Aloha Colleagues!

I ask for your support and vote to be the next member of the AVMA Board
of Directors. You will be receiving an email from the AVMA with a ballot,
my biography and “Seeking Statement”. You will have from March 1-31st to
vote.

I share with you a platform for which I bring my diverse perspective:
a) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – educating and advocating for our Veterinary Community.
b) Quality of life for the Veterinary Community – raising a family and caring for our elderly family members while working.
c) Retaining and Maintaining AVMA membership throughout your veterinary Career.
d) Support of “support staff” – veterinary nurses/technicians building a career that brings satisfaction.
e) Critique of the AVMA during COVID 19 – how well did we support the Veterinary Community? There are 500,000 Americans who lost their lives to
COVID19; how were animals/veterinarians affected by those lives lost? As the AVMA reviews their response to this pandemic, strategic plans can be made to prepare for future health emergencies.

An email message will be sent to all eligible voters, providing instructions
and a link to a secure voting website. The email is sent from the address
AVMAelection@avma.org. Please vote!

More information available here:
www.fb.com/VoteLeianneForAVMABoard
www.instagram.com/leianneleeloyforavmaboard

2021 Membership Renewal

Welcome to the new year! The Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon our member participation and dues. Your dues enable us to host regular CE, provide scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students, advocate on behalf of the veterinary profession in Hawaii, and give back to our community. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the HVMA has fought for Hawaii veterinarians to be included as essential service providers, provided timely information on COVID-19 updates and resources, and helped to secure multiple pet food donations for affected families throughout Hawaii. We understand that this is a difficult time for many, but if it is within your budget, HVMA would greatly appreciate your continued support.

RENEW TODAY!

Meet A Board Member: Leilani Sim-Godbehere

Leilani Sim-Godbehere, DVM
Kauai County Representative

Dr. Leilani Sim-Godbehere is currently our longest-serving member on the HVMA Executive Board. She was first involved as an Oahu Delegate, then as President-Elect, followed by President, and currently as the Kauai Delegate.

Dr. Sim-Godbehere received her DVM degree from Kansas State University in 1983. She has been in small animal private practice since graduation – first in Visalia, CA and then on Oahu for 18 years. She also held a four-year stint as a Veterinary Medical Officer for the Department of Agriculture at the Animal Quarantine Station from 1986 to 1990.

She is currently working as a relief doctor on a regular basis at the Kapaa Animal Clinic on Kauai and serves as the main caregiver for her elderly mom. She has always enjoyed the camaraderie and the privilege of belonging to such a lofty yet humble profession. Being involved in organized veterinary medicine has allowed her to give a little back to her colleagues and profession.

Dr. Sim-Godbehere’s other passions include her family, her dogs, horse, tortoises, rabbit, cats, and garden. She loves walking, swimming, horseback riding, and skiing. She is thankful to God for all the blessings he has given her.

HVMA Supports PAWS Across the Pacific

When the pandemic reduced flights to and from Hawaii last spring one little-known impact was that on our local animal shelters. Many island shelters and rescues rely on transport of dogs and cats to the continental US for placement options when no adopters are found locally. The cancellation of flights reduced the availability of space for pets to catch a ride. Shelters across the state made every effort to foster and house the increasing number of animals but many reported this was reducing their capacity to help other animals in need. 

Greater Good Charities (GGC) stepped in to assist and coordinate an unprecedented rescue flight in this time of emergency. GGC had previously supported the Hawaii community by donating thousands of pounds of pet food since the pandemic began. A multi-organization effort supported by HIEMA and HVMA resulted in the safe transport of nearly 600 dogs and cats from Hawaii to Seattle. On October 28 a charter Hercules C-130 cargo plane flew from Oakland, CA to Lihue, then Honolulu, Kahului and Hilo picking up animals along the way. All pets were examined by a veterinarian and given a health certificate prior to the flight and a large team including veterinarians were available at Boeing Field in Seattle to ensure the animals were comfortable and healthy on arrival. Many pets were adopted within days of arrival. For more information and photos and video on the largest ever pet rescue flight visit GGC Paws Across the Pacific Page.

This is the first part of an emergency support effort from GGC that will include providing emergency sheltering supplies, disaster sheltering training and more to area animal welfare organizations.

Mahalo to the sponsors who helped make it happen: The Animal Rescue Site, Banfield Foundation, Royal Canin, VCA Animal Hospitals, PEDIGREE Foundation, Petco Foundation, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, MuttNation Foundation, Kamaka Air Inc, Air Charter Service, and Jackson Galaxy.

Letter from the President – January 2021

Alfred Mina, DVM
HVMA President

Happy New Year HVMA Members!

My name is Alfred J. Mina.  I was born on Kauai and raised on the Big Island.  I’m a graduate of Washington State University and have been practicing in Hilo, Hawaii since graduation for the past 20 years.  I’m the owner Maika’i Veterinary Clinic, LLC, in Hilo, Hawaii, providing small animal, avian/exotics medicine on the East side of Big Island.  I’ve been volunteering on the HVMA Executive Board since 2010, serving as a Hawaii Delegate and President-Elect.  I look forward to serving you as HVMA President for the next two years. 

2020 was a year of many challenges and changes, and Covid-19 really had an impact on how we provided veterinary care for our clients and patients, and how we interacted as a veterinary community.  Our Annual Conference in November 2020 was virtual, so we were not able to meet in person. 

The HVMA Executive Board will continue to work hard through this trying time to provide support for HVMA members and veterinary community, as well as the people and animals of Hawaii, keeping you informed on topics of importance to veterinary medicine and coming up with continuing education opportunities.

Please consider renewing your membership.  The HVMA Executive Board will still be working hard throughout the year on your behalf and your dues will help keep this organization going through these trying times.  Please stay safe.

Aloha from Big Island,

Alfred J. Mina, DVM
President, Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association