Dr. Chuck Lemme has been a small animal practitioner since graduating from Iowa State University in 1975. The economy was down at that time and there were very few small animal jobs available in Iowa, so he was excited to get a position as an associate veterinarian at Bramer Animal Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. Being involved in organized veterinary medicine was part of the culture of that practice, both partners served as President of the Illinois state VMA during the time Dr. Lemme was there, so it wasn’t long before he, too, was also getting involved, first as a committee chair and then a board member of the Chicago VMA.
In 1985 Dr. Lemme had the opportunity to “move back home” with his family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and bought a small animal practice there, where he continues to practice. Through connections established in the Chicago VMA, he was asked to serve as president of the Midwest Small Animal Association and then to serve as an Area Director for AAHA. Being a volunteer leader for a national organization was a great opportunity to meet other veterinarians from around the country with a strong interest in organized veterinary medicine, and to learn about how an organization of that size operates. Toward the end of his term as an Area Director Dr. Lemme also got to witness from the inside AAHA’s change of governance from a grassroots/member driven organization to a more centralized board/staff driven organization, and the pluses and minuses of that change.
Dr. Lemme’s involvement with AVMA started when he was selected to be the AAHA representative on the AVMA’s Clinical Practitioner’s Advisory Committee (CPAC) to the Council on Biologics and Therapeutic agents. That was another tremendous learning opportunity, especially regarding the regulatory aspects of veterinary medicine and seeing how much influence AVMA has working with government agencies. He also got six years of experience working with other volunteer leaders and AVMA staff developing and improving AVMA policy. While serving on CPAC Dr. Lemme was selected to present AVMA’s comments at public meetings held by both the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine and the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics. He also was selected to be the small animal practitioner representative on a working group made up of veterinarians from industry and USDA, tasked with developing new, practitioner friendly labeling for biologics.
At the state level Dr. Lemme became involved in the Iowa VMA by serving on the small animal committee, first as a member, and then chair for several years. He has also served on the legislative committee and finance committee. Dr. Lemme was elected as a district representative on the IVMA executive board and then elected as vice president, rotated up through the offices, and served as president in 2007-08. He was honored in 2015 by being selected as the IVMA “Veterinarian of the Year”. He currently is in his sixth year representing Iowa in the AVMA House of Delegates, first as the alternate Delegate, now as the Delegate.
When he isn’t practicing Dr. Lemme enjoys cheering for the ISU Cyclones, photography, running (slowly now) and traveling, especially two weeks annually in Aruba. He had two children, a son Patrick who passed away in 2005, and a daughter Beth who lives in Mankato, Minnesota with her husband Joe and four amazing children. Beth and Joe are both employed by Minnesota State University, Mankato. Beth is an assistant professor in education and Joe is an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for the football team.
AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee member (2005 - 2011)
House of Delegates - Iowa Alternate Delegate (2012 - 2016)
Task Force on Veterinary Compounding Legislation member - (2014-2016)
House of Delegates – Iowa Delegate (2016- present)
AMERICAN ANIMAL HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
Membership Services and Promotion Committee
AAHA Representative on AVMA CPAC
MIDWEST SMALL ANIMAL ASSOCIATION
President (1991) and board member
IOWA VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Small Animal Committee Chairperson
Executive Board Member
EASTERN IOWA VETERINARY ASSOCIATION
LINN COUNTY VETERINARY ASSOCIATION
KIRKWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Veterinary Technician Advisory Committee
College General Advisory Committee
CHICAGO VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION