COE: "We know we need to do better"

The AVMA COE compliance hearing before the NACIQI was held Thursday, and I went.

It was...well, it was a lot like having a baby.

Messy, painful, embarrassing.  A huge effort.  

An effort people walked out of with the strong sense of having survived something momentous.

Here's the super short version: not only is the COE on thin ice...

...the ice has cracked and their feet are wet. 

The 'volume and content' of the letters cracked it open, giving oral third party commentors a chance to get their points across. A total of 19 people spoke (including me), with the committee taking an especial interest in Eric Bregman of NYSVMS and Mary Beth Leininger, former COE member. The committee questioned Eric at length.  One of the questions was what he thought the COE should do.  His response:

'Forums. Roundtables. I'd love to see an outreach effort from the COE. I'd be happy to participate.'

When Mary Beth Leininger stated she had been removed from the Council, for political purposes, the committee was taken aback- literally, taken aback: I saw several jerk in a breath, driving them backward in their chairs.

One third party commentor in support of the COE made a statement so offensive I will address it in a separate blog post.

By the time it was over, the committee had twice questioned whether there was any point to giving the COE more time, as the problems the committee was observing were deeply embedded, with obvious political involvement. One committee member stated she had never been so concerned at an accreditor review. Another questioned if there was a culture problem at the agency.  A third gave up questioning in obvious frustration when the COE simply refused to say anything more.

The committee questioned why USDE staff had offered the agency more time, and if they had considered restricting the COE's activity- and why the expulsion of COE members on what was perceived as political grounds had not been passed along to the committee.  On the spot the COE was found non-compliant on an additional criteria, 602.15, controlling conflict of interest. 

Several committee members looked the people at the table in the eye and said, You need to start listening. Without judgement. Perception is as important as reality.

The committee voted unanimously, the COE representatives were released and the hearing was over.

The agency representatives looked shaken, and shaky, as they walked past my front row seat.  Dave Granstrom was actually grey.

So when I grabbed AAVMC executive director Andy Mccabe by the hand, strode out the door and stood him next to COE chair Fred Derksen in the hall, it's fair to say they were both more than receptive to my offer to set up a COE listening session at NAVC a month from now.  

I told them if Andy would bring the deans, and Fred would bring the COE, I would bring the third party commentors- and of course since it is the largest veterinary conference in the country, the practitioners would already be there.

Tom Bohn, CEO of the NAVC, says he'll give us a room where we can talk- and the COE can listen.  The COE and deans, both through Fred Derksen, Andy Mccabe and the individual deans I spoke with at the hearing, say they have gotten the message loud and clear that they need to show up with their ears on.

To be part of helping put together COE Listens at NAVC,  email me.  


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Showing 2 reactions

commented 2014-12-19 13:36:16 -0500 · Flag
Thanks for your interest. Sadly, here’s the answer
commented 2014-12-18 18:48:52 -0500 · Flag
What are the chances the NAVC meeting could become a webinar so the rest of us can attend?
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