A standardized and widely accepted Veterinary Health Assessment (VHA) form has been created in Wisconsin. Core educational materials to train veterinarians in fish health in general and use of the VHA form have already been developed and field tested in multiple face-to-face training programs.
The training program, "Fish Health Medicine Certificate Program", has been adapted for online delivery through the continuing education (CE) portal of the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine. It will be constructed as a series of CE modules for veterinarians leading to certification. The first four modules can be taken anytime and anywhere using narrated PowerPoint presentations and supplemental reading materials delivered using new educational technology software. Each module will have a post-test automatically generated and computer scored. Successful completion of each module will result in the award of CE credit that can be used to satisfy state veterinary licensure requirements. The final module will require hands on practice of the principles and techniques learned in the first four modules with final proficiency judged by the course instructor. Passing the final module will result in awarding of the VHA Certificate.
USDA Risk Management Program, administered through Mississippi State University, funded this project of an online training program. It will be tested in Wisconsin, and any other state requesting to participate. Once the system is operating smoothly, it could be adapted for delivery on a national basis. We envision that states could either decide to accept a VHA certificate awarded through our program (reciprocity) or create a parallel online training system that could be modified to address specific needs of their state. The final module could be an on-farm evaluation of the student by a state official that is trained by the course instructor to certify students. Alternatively, USDA could assume full responsibility for administration of the program.
Online training program in VHA available via the Internet
Veterinarians trained in performing VHAs
Access by farmers to professionals and techniques that can reduce the risk of introducing diseased fish to farms and public waters
A regulatory tool for states to reduce risk import of diseased fish
Expected Information Users
Veterinarians and other fish health inspectors
State regulatory authorities
Reduced risk of disease introduction on fish farms