Delaware State Veterinarian takes reins of state vets’ group
DOVER – Delaware State Veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst has been elected president of the Northeast District of the United States Animal Health Association, the professional group of state livestock regulatory officials.
Hirst will serve a two-year term leading the district organization. She was previously vice-president of the NEUSAHA from 2009-2011, when Delaware hosted the 2011 district conference in Rehoboth Beach.
Hirst said her priorities will address the top challenges facing state veterinarians in the region, including emergency planning and response and animal welfare issues.
“I am honored to serve my colleagues by leading this valuable organization,” Hirst said. “We work on the front lines of animal health and disease issues around the country, and work closely with our parent organization, the USAHA, which is a vital resource for sharing information and new innovations. I will continue regional collaboration on secure food supply projects and other emergency response planning activities.”
The Northeast District includes representatives from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. New Jersey State Veterinarian Dr. Manoel Tamassia is district vice-president. Hirst succeeds Dr. Kristin Haas, Vermont state veterinarian, as Northeast District president.
Hirst, who has headed the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health Section since 2008, holds a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Ohio State University, a master’s degree in clinical sciences from Colorado State University and a bachelor of science degree from Rutgers University.
The USAHA was founded in 1897 by livestock boards and state veterinarians to address animal health issues and concerns. The district associations are separate entities but with the same mission as the national organization, and allow state veterinarians the opportunity to discuss animal health topics specific to their region.
Retired Delaware State Veterinarian H. Wesley Towers served as national president of the USAHA in 1995.
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Delaware Department of Agriculture