Dr Walt Ingwersen from Canada takes up his post as WSAVA Editor from 1st January 2004, following the retirement of Maggie Gething who has filled this role since 1999.
The job of WSAVA Editor evolved during the early 1990s following the setting up of a Publicity Committee, chaired by the then Vice President, Dr Hans-Klaus Dreier. This Committee’s function was to disseminate information on the activities of the Executive Board and Committees to Representatives, and thence to the members worldwide. In 1995 a Past President of the Association, Dr Andrew Edney (UK), was appointed as WSAVA Editor, with the task of supplying written material to a number of widely distributed publications, including the Journal of Small Animal Practice, which continues to be the official journal of WSAVA. Dr Edney also arranged for publication of WSAVA news in some commercial journals, as well as the European Journal of Companion Animal Practitioners (EJCAP) and Trends, the members’ journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.
The material was supplied to WSAVA Representatives for use in their member association publications. It is easy to forget that such a short time ago, the only way this material could be disseminated was by post! Consequently it was difficult to provide really up to date information to Representatives, as WSAVA funds were only available for quarterly mailings and distribution thence to members was erratic, to say the least. Nevertheless, Dr Edney was able to arrange for increasingly wide international circulation via Waltham Focus, via a regular 4-page coloured section devoted to WSAVA news. It was arranged that all member association Representatives would receive the magazine directly, and permission was given for them to copy the WSAVA pages for distribution to their association members. As Waltham Focus was translated into a number of different language editions, this agreement was a major achievement on Dr Edney’s part.
Dr Edney also arranged for publication of some WSAVA World Congress State of the Art lectures, an arrangement which was consolidated by his successor, Professor Boyd Jones (Ireland), who took over as Editor in 1998. Professor Jones worked with Dr Claudio Peruccio (Italy) who felt that WSAVA should make more effort to promote itself to the general public, as well to as its own members. In a questionnaire of member associations, Dr Peruccio found strong cultural and economic differences between countries, and consequently suggested that each association should organise a suitable PR campaign in its country prior to each World Congress, something which is now part of the routine build-up to Congress. The possibility of using a developing facility, the ‘internet’ was also discussed, and in 1998 WSAVA set up its home page under the enthusiastic direction of Dr Ray Markus (Israel) as WSAVA Website Editor.
Maggie Gething (Ireland) took over as WSAVA Editor in 1999, and continued to work in parallel with Dr Markus. With the advent of e-mail it was now possible to provide more regular and up to date information for members. The monthly WSAVA News item, which has appeared in JSAP for the past few years, has become more widely circulated to include many interested parties, as well as member association Representatives. It is also available for Editors of any veterinary journal, and can be supplied directly from the WSAVA Secretariat to those who request it. Translations into Spanish and Italian are produced and circulated each month, and all versions appear on the WSAVA website. Less immediate news is still published in Waltham Focus and EJCAP, which have less frequent editions.
With the retirement of Dr Markus in 2003, Dr Ingwersen’s role as WSAVA Editor has been enlarged to include the Website Editor’s tasks.
Dr Ingwersen is well qualified for the position of WSAVA Editor, as he has recently retired as editor of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association following a 5-year tenure that saw the Journal’s format evolve, both in lay-out and content, culminating in its move to an online-only format as of January, 2004. He has also been an active contributor of content to AAHA’s Trends Magazine, the Canadian Veterinary Journal, and the WSAVA website, principally as a result of his long-standing involvement as a representative to the International Standards Organization in the area of microchip technology. This latter involvement has seen him previously hold the positions of chair of the Canadian and WSAVA Microchip Committees. A board-certified member of the ACVIM, Walt is currently a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim Canada, Vetmedica technical services team. He resides in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, a town on the outskirts of Toronto, with his wife June, his daughter Jessica, his son Cory, and their two yellow Labrador retrievers, Dharma and Charlie.