Commitment and Passion Fuel the TVMF Mission

TVMF Trustee Spotlight: Jayton Bailey, DVM

As the charitable partner of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) has been dedicated to caring for animals, educating community members and supporting veterinarian professionals throughout the state of Texas for more than 40 years through its mission-driven programs. 

As a nonprofit organization, TVMF relies on the generosity of the veterinary profession and animal lovers. Throughout the history of the Foundation, the Board of Trustees also has been an integral part of building strong community-based partnerships and programs that benefit both animals and humans alike. 

In this issue, TVMF is highlighting Board Trustee Jayton Bailey, DVM, for his commitment, passion and unique contributions to forwarding the Foundation’s mission. He recently shared how and why he wanted to become part of the more than 40-year strong TVMF legacy.

“I have enjoyed getting to know the other board members and the TVMF staff,” Dr. Bailey said. “Everyone is individually motivated and very passionate about our mission and endeavors to help people and their pets. To see the impact that the Foundation has on so many people and their pets brings me satisfaction that I can have a part in continuing that.”

A recent graduate, Dr. Bailey joined Lazy 3 Animal Care, a rural mixed animal practice in Cisco, Texas, in 2015 and enjoys living and practicing veterinary medicine close to his hometown of Albany, Texas.

“My very first exposure to the Foundation was as a first-year student at TAMU when I received a very nice stethoscope, a firm handshake and a ‘good luck’ as I started my veterinary school experience,” Dr. Bailey said. “As a student, I was aware of some of the other TVMF programs but did not have any connection with them. It was not until I became a practitioner and experienced some of the challenging situations of helping people and their pets did I fully comprehend the true physical, emotional and financial impacts of TVMF’s programs, such as the TVMF PALS program. It was also great to learn that the TVMF was there to help me and my clients navigate difficult situations via the Rusk Veterinary Assistance Grants if needed.”

Dr. Bailey became reacquainted with TVMF when he met TVMF President Dr. Chad Harris in TVMA’s first Power of 10 class in 2016. 

“Chad and I found that we had several things in common besides being veterinarians and quickly developed a great friendship,” Dr. Bailey said. “Toward the end of the program, he asked me if I’d be interested in serving on the board in order to ‘diversify’ it—meaning that I could bring my rural mixed practitioner perspective to the board. Of course, I couldn’t refuse a new friend, but in this case when it came to an opportunity to be part of an organization that was doing so many awesome things, it was a no-brainer.”

TVMF Board President Dr. Chad Harris and Trustee Dr. Jayton Bailey

Dr. Bailey now enthusiastically advocates for the Foundation and its focus on improving opportunities for veterinary professionals as well as on educating pet owners about the importance of regular medical care for their animals.

“When you think about it, almost every single person we ever come into contact with has had some kind of a connection or association with an animal, whether a large or small animal in the past, present or future,” Dr Bailey said. “Regardless of animal size, it is the human-animal bond that facilitates the feelings of love, humane care and responsibility. This bond is strengthened through each and every TVMF program. So whether one is a veterinary professional or simply a pet or animal owner, why wouldn’t anyone want to support a Foundation that has such a significant impact on facilitating the human-animal bond?”

Equally important to TVMF’s dedication to caring for animals, educating pet owners and strengthening the human-animal bond is the Foundation’s mission to serve people and animals through the support of veterinary science and medicine. 

“TVMF believes strongly in supporting veterinary students as they work to become veterinarians,” Dr. Bailey said. “This is evidenced by the continual and generous funding of the first-year stethoscope gifts, student summer research program, scholarships, emergency assistance grants and multiple student activities including open house, barbecue, biannual lunch and learn meetings and the new veterinary student workout area. In addition, having two student Board members helps keep a good pulse on how TVMF is effectively supporting students. Having been a student not too long ago, I look back and remember all the ways TVMF supported me and my class in our journey to become veterinarians. I’m honored to be able to be directly involved with these avenues of support for the current classes.”

Last fall, TVMF engaged external consultants from the nonprofit Mission Capital to facilitate a process of comprehensive strategic planning. The consultants have worked alongside the TVMF Strategic Planning Committee and staff to identify and answer questions that will guide the creation of the strategic plan and position itself for success in the next three to five years. Some of those questions include:

  • How do TVMF’s priorities need to grow or change to ensure they are working toward their mission and achieving their desired impact? 
  • What is TVMF’s unique value to both pet owners and members of TVMA? How effective is TVMF in achieving its mission, and what is the clear role for TVMF in the evolving ecosystem?
  • How do TVMF’s vision, mission and strategic goals align and complement the goals and priorities of TVMA? 

By answering these questions, TVMF hopes to continue and strengthen its impact among small animal practitioners and increase its impact among large animal and rural practitioners.

Living and working in a rural community gives Dr. Bailey the unique perspective to fully understand, identify and assess areas of need for both large and small animal owners and how TVMF could potentially have an impact on those animal owners. 

“Rural veterinarians are faced with some unique challenges that many times differ from the challenges veterinarians in larger populated areas encounter,” Dr. Bailey said. “Some of these challenges include simple things like reliable phone, internet and courier services. However, I believe that TVMF can and will have a more noticeable impact in the rural areas of our state, but it may take on a very different look compared to our current programs in the big cities. I appreciate the fact that the current TVMF board recognizes this fact and is open to thoroughly searching for alternative avenues in which to increase service to rural veterinarians and their clients.”

As TVMF looks to its future and how it can better serve veterinarians and the clients they serve, Dr. Bailey is excited to see TVMF beginning the process to look for potential avenues in which TVMF could expand its impact into rural communities like his own, a town of fewer than 4,000 people.

TVMF thanks Dr. Bailey for his continued commitment and passion for the Foundation’s mission. It is thanks to the generosity and support of community members like him that TVMF is able to better serve animals, pet owners and veterinary professionals across Texas.