June 01, 2003


 AAHA members gather in Phoenix

March 22-26, AAHA's 70th annual meeting

Posted May 15, 2003


Some 2,000 veterinary care professionals from across the United States, Canada, and overseas gathered in Phoenix, March 22-26, for the AAHA's 70th annual meeting. It was a chance for these veterinary care providers to learn the latest developments in veterinary medicine, brush up on their skills, and avail themselves of the products and services of the more than 200 assembled vendors.

Dr. Link Welborn, Tampa, Fla., was elected AAHA president, replacing Dr. Kathleen Neuhoff, Mishawaka, Ind. Dr. Dennis Feinberg, Charleston, S.C., was elected vice president; and Dr. Daniel Aja, Traverse City, Mich., was elected to a second term as treasurer-secretary.

In addition to the educational opportunities, the AAHA announced results from its nationwide survey on compliance with practitioners' recommendations, debuted its guidelines for canine vaccinations, and premiered it traveling veterinary practice exhibit.

Several AAHA members were honored at the meeting in Arizona for their betterment of the association and their contributions to the veterinary profession. The association's top honor, the AAHA Practitioner-of-the-Year Award, went to Dr. Sheldon Rubin of Chicago (see story, page 1491).

Drs. Charles Wayner, Topeka, Kan., and Lionel Reilly, Elkhorn, Neb., each received the AAHA Award.

Dr. Wayner graduated from Michigan State University in 1984 with degrees in veterinary medicine and microbiology. He began a career in private practice, pursuing orthopedics, ophthalmology, avian medicine, and nutrition. Dr. Wayner currently directs the global health practice at Hill's Pet Nutrition and co-founded VetOne, a network that promotes the "family-pet-veterinary bond" and responsible pet companionship on a global basis.

After earning his DVM degree from Kansas State University in 1970, Dr. Reilly served as a post veterinarian at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia and worked in private practice in Denver. He joined Professional Veterinary Products in 1983 and is currently president and CEO of the Omaha-based company.

The Hill's Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award was given to Dr. Autumn Davidson, Davis, Calif. Dr. Davidson graduated from the University of California-Davis in 1985 and is director of veterinary medicine for the San Rafael campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind in California.

In addition to her work at Guide Dogs for the Blind, Dr. Davidson, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is an associate clinical professor in internal medicine and reproduction at UC-Davis.

Dr. Daniel Smeak, Columbus, Ohio, received the Waltham Award for his contributions that have resulted in improving the well-being of companion animals in the international community. Dr. Smeak is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Since receiving his DVM degree from Michigan State University in 1979, Dr. Smeak has immersed himself in academia. He has 22 years of teaching experience and is professor of general surgery and section head of small animal surgery at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Innovative Veterinary Diets Award was given to Dr. Joseph Taboada, Baton Rouge, La. He received his DVM degree from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984.

In addition to his professorship at Louisiana State University, Dr. Taboada, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is president-elect of the ACVIM, associate editor of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.