The AVMA honored several veterinarians, a police detective, and a multimedia specialist at the General Session July 19 for their contributions to the profession and animal welfare. The awards are among the highest honors in veterinary medicine. Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. and the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau co-sponsored the event.
Dr. Walter L. "Oogie" Martin Jr. (AUB '53) of Ooltewah, Tenn., received the AVMA Award in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations.
Dr. Martin, a World War II veteran and retired small animal practice owner, is one of two veterinarians to have served as both treasurer and president of the AVMA. He also has served in every elected position in the Tennessee VMA.
He was a founder and first chairman of the Alumni Advisory Council to the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1969, chairman of the search committee for dean in 1977, and director of alumni affairs in 1990.
AVMA President's Award
AVMA President Dr. Joe M. Howell honored former AVMA president Dr. James E. Nave of Las Vegas for his contributions to the profession with the 2003 AVMA President's Award.
This annual award recognizes individuals and groups inside and outside veterinary medicine who have made a positive impact on animal, human, or public health, veterinary organizations, and the profession.
Dr. Nave (MO '68), a small animal practitioner and practice owner in Las Vegas, has contributed greatly to the worldwide veterinary community through his strong commitment to our profession's economic future and his service to the AVMA as its president, as an Executive Board member and chair, and as the chair of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.
AVMA president from 1999-2000, Dr. Nave represented Nevada as an alternate delegate from 1985-1989 and as a delegate from 1989-1991 in the AVMA House of Delegates. Maintaining quality in veterinary medical education, mentoring students and colleagues, recognizing the importance and impact of globalization, and fostering public respect for veterinarians have been consistent themes throughout Dr. Nave's professional and personal leadership.
Dr. Nave also serves as a global accreditation surveillance monitor and councilor to the World Veterinary Association. He is a member and past president of the Western Veterinary Conference and the Nevada VMA.
Dr. Nave, who served as a captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, worked tirelessly to secure legislation restoring the rank of brigadier general to the chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.
Dr. Brenda Griffin (GA '90), an assistant professor in the Scott Ritchey Research Center at Auburn University, received the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award for her work protecting the human-animal bond.
The award is co-sponsored by the AVMA, the Delta Society, and Hills Pet Nutrition Inc. and includes a crystal obelisk and $20,000 to be split between the veterinarian and the veterinary college or nonprofit program of the veterinarian's choice.
Dr. Griffin's research focuses on developing an immunocontraceptive vaccine for dogs and cats. She co-organized the first International Symposium on Non-surgical Methods for Pet Population Control and she established Operation Cat Nap, Auburn University's feral cat trap-neuter-release program. Dr. Griffin, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is also involved in a cooperative study with the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, examining the effectiveness of TNR programs in controlling feral cat populations.
AVMA Public Service Award
Dr. Thomas J. Hagerty (MIN '59) of St. Michael, Minn., received the AVMA Public Service Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.
Dr. Hagerty, a former food animal practitioner in Minnesota, served as executive director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and state veterinarian for 16 years. He currently is the chair and spokesperson of the Minnesota VMA Antibiotic Resistance Task Force.
He is a former president of the United States Animal Health Association and is a past chair of the pseudorabies, pseudorabies program standards, and tuberculosis committees. He is also currently serving the National Assembly of Chief Livestock Health Officials as a member of the state-federal relations and salmonella committees.
Dr. Hagerty is a past chair of the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee. He also is a past president of the MVMA and a past chair of several MVMA committees.
Practitioner Research Award
Dr. David C. Bucholtz (MSU '76) of Manchester, Mich., received the Practitioner Research Award in recognition of his excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of basic veterinary science and education. The award is sponsored by the AVMA.
Dr. Bucholtz, a full-time large animal practitioner focusing on dairy production medicine and theriogenology, has served his local farming community and the dairy industry as a whole. His work as a research fellow with the University of Michigan's Reproductive Sciences Program has changed the outlook on reproductive inefficiency in high-producing dairy cows. His findings have increased the basic understanding of the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying the disease and will assist in the development of preventive medicine and treatment options.
He is an adjunct faculty member with Michigan State University's Practice-Based Ambulatory Program and recently completed the Dairy Health Management Certificate Program sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Meritorious Service Award
Dr. John Melcher (ISU '50) of Washington, D.C., received the Meritorious Service Award. This award, which is sponsored by the AVMA, was established to recognize an individual veterinarian who has contributed to the advancement of veterinary medicine and brought public honor and distinction to the profession through activities conducted outside organized veterinary medicine and research.
Dr. Melcher was the first veterinarian to serve in the U.S. Senate—as a representative of Montana—where he was well known for his advocacy of agricultural concerns, preservation of animal resources, and animal welfare. In 1969, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served for eight years before being elected to the Senate, where he served for 12 years.
Dr. Melcher, a World War II veteran, was an ardent advocate of the 1985 Animal Welfare Act revisions. Dr. Melcher is currently a consultant for the AVMA Governmental Relations Division, lobbying Congress on issues affecting veterinarians.
AVMA Humane Award
Detective Mike Duffey of Tucson, Ariz., received the AVMA Humane Award in recognition of his commitment to animal welfare and his efforts to protect the welfare of animals.
Detective Duffey, a decorated Vietnam veteran and 30-year veteran of the Pima County Sheriff's Department, formed the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Southern Arizona after he was put in charge of investigating animal cruelty cases for the Sheriff's Department in 1999. Detective Duffey designed a two-day training program, "The Tools of Animal Cruelty Investigation," which has trained several hundred members of law enforcement, criminal justice, and animal protection agencies in detecting, reporting, and prosecuting acts of animal cruelty.
Dr. Clarence Rawlings (ILL '67) of Athens, Ga., received the Innovative Veterinary Diets Fido Award for his contributions to small animal medicine and surgery.
Dr. Rawlings, a professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, is a recognized leader in minimally invasive surgery for companion animals. In urinary research, he has focused on urinary incontinence in female dogs, which has implications for postmenopausal women, who often experience stress incontinence.
Dr. Rawlings, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, developed a technique for partial prostatectomy in male dogs that used an ultrasonic surgical aspirator; it decreased postoperative mortality and surgical complication rates in dogs with prostatic abscesses and cysts. He is also studying preventive strategies for heartworm disease.
AKC Career Achievement Award
Dr. Christopher J. Murphy (COR '83) of Madison, Wis., received the American Kennel Club Career Achievement Award in Canine Research in recognition of his contributions to that field.
Dr. Murphy's research demonstrated that nearsightedness is common in certain dog breeds and showed for the first time that spontaneous chronic corneal epithelial defect, a common canine disease, is associated with the underlying connective tissue of the cornea and not the epithelium, as previously thought. Further, he found that topical treatment with neuropeptides resolves this disease in about 75 percent of affected dogs. He holds two patents in topical stimulation of wound healing.
Dr. Murphy is a professor in the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and an affiliate professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology, School of Medicine.
Additionally, Dr. Murphy, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, is an ocular toxicity consultant at Genentech and Eli Lilly and a consultant in ophthalmology for the Milwaukee County Zoo.
American Feed Industry Award
Dr. Jeff W. Tyler (MIN '81) of Columbia, Mo., received the American Feed Industry Award in recognition of his outstanding research on nutrition or disease affecting livestock or poultry production.
Dr. Tyler, a professor and Food Animal Area coordinator in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri, has reshaped the understanding of passive transfer of immunity in neonatal livestock.
A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Dr. Tyler is a consultant epidemiologist and internist to the International Rhinoceros Foundation and Rhinoceros Taxon Advisory Group. He is a past associate editor of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, as well as a current or former ad hoc reviewer for more than a dozen scientific publications, including the JAVMA and the American Journal of Veterinary Research.
Charles River Prize
Dr. Hilton J. Klein (UP '80) of Lansdale, Penn., received the 23rd Charles River Prize, awarded by the Charles River Foundation to recognize distinguished contributions to the field of laboratory animal science by an AVMA member veterinarian.
Dr. Klein, a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, is the senior director of comparative medicine and director of the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources at Merck Research Laboratories. He is the chair of the International Committee of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Laboratory Animal Research and a director of the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research. He also is a member of the National Institutes of Health advisory committee for the breeding and maintenance of chimpanzees.
Prior to Merck, Dr. Klein was the director of veterinary medicine at M.A. Bioproducts. While there, he led the organizational effort to create a veterinary diagnostic product group using ELISA technology for diagnosing diseases of poultry, swine, and cats. This effort lead them to become the first group in the United States to obtain Department of Agriculture licensing for such diagnostic procedures. He also holds a patent for a chromogenic method to detect antimicrobials in biological fluids.
Veterinary Congress Prize and Gold Head Cane Award
Dr. Albrecht Konrad Eugster (VI '63) of College Station, Tex., received the 65th XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize and the K.F. Meyer/James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award.
Each year, an AVMA member is awarded the AVMA-sponsored XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize in recognition of outstanding contributions to international understanding of veterinary medicine. The K.F. Meyer/James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award, sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation, recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of public health.
Dr. Eugster has devoted his professional career to improving veterinary diagnostic medicine internationally. At the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, he helped establish veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and the organized veterinary diagnostic medicine in Thailand, Italy, Israel, Argentina, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Mexico.
Dr. Eugster, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, is project co-director of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (USDA) Homeland Security Grant. He is working to develop a surveillance and early-detection network for foreign animal diseases. He also is a past president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.
Outstanding Service Award from the Convention Management and Program Committee
"I was astonished!" said Steven R. Pendry, coordinator of the AVMA Multimedia Education Center, recalling the moment he received an unexpected honor—an Outstanding Service Award from the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee.
Dr. Dennis McCurnin, CMPC chair, surprised Pendry with the award, expressing the committee's gratitude for his 25 years of running the multimedia center at AVMA conventions. "He's a committed individual," Dr. McCurnin said.
When not at convention, Pendry is manager of Biomedical Communications at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. His wife, Pat, has helped him run the AVMA multimedia center for 20 years, sometimes running it singlehandedly in his absence. She is a secretary with the Veterinary Medicine Endowment at the ISU veterinary college.
By coincidence, the first AVMA convention Pendry attended was the last meeting in Denver, in 1974. He came with Dr. Norman Hutton, then his boss at ISU. Dr. Hutton had him help out at what was then called the Autotutorial Exhibit, started by former AVMA staffer Dr. Bud Ames.
Back then, 2x2 slides and films were used almost exclusively, sometimes with audiotapes. Dr. Hutton and Pendry brought two 3/4-inch videocassettes for the Autotutorial Exhibit, this at a time long before VHS and Beta were introduced.
"That year in Denver was the first time videocassettes were used, and they were a big hit," Pendry said. Before leaving for the convention, they had converted films from a few veterinary schools to videocassette format and brought the bulky players as well. "After that, videos became a big part of what we do, and VHS became more predominant," he added.
Returning to Denver this July, Pendry once again helped introduce a new format—DVDs. Iowa State University and the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine contributed DVDs, and 48 videos from the former AVMA Free Loan Library were converted to DVD. "We hope to do more," Pendry said.