The American Association of Equine Practitioners honored the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association with the 2003 Equine Welfare Award, the Lavin Cup, during the President's Luncheon at the AAEP Annual Convention in November. The award was given in recognition of the PRCA's dedication to protecting the health of rodeo animals. According to the AAEP, the PRCA has worked to unite the rodeo industry on animal welfare issues, has mandated that a veterinarian be present at all PRCA-sanctioned events, and has established animal use guidelines, a humane advisory committee, and veterinary oversight committee.
The AAEP awarded its Distinguished Educator Award to two veterinarians and a foundation at the convention. The veterinary division, A-O Vet, of the Association for the Study of Internal Fixation International Foundation received the Distinguished Educator Award for supporting continuing education in orthopedic surgery, with the veterinary division backing equine courses and research. The A-O Vet and ASIF were pioneers in the development of internal fixation to treat fractures in multiple species and help develop the "wet lab" method of teaching that has become popular with many organizations.
Dr. Loren H. Evans received the Distinguished Educator Award for his efforts as a mentor and professor in surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Evans retired from the school as an emeritus professor in 1993, but continues to be recognized as a pioneer in the field of abdominal surgery and as one of the creators of the diagnostic lameness examination.
Dr. Norman W. Rantanen received the Distinguished Educator Award for his efforts to train veterinarians and technicians in diagnostic ultrasound, and for sharing his expertise in diagnostic radiology. He has worked in academia and private practice. Dr. Rantanen has a consultation practice in Fallbrook, Calif., where he teaches short courses in diagnostic ultrasound and sponsors a radiology resident.
Dr. James Toombs, professor and chair of veterinary clinical sciences at Iowa State University, has been named the first recipient of the Donn E. and Beth M. Bacon Professorship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. This is the only professorship at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine specifically designated to enhance instruction related to companion animals. It is named for Dr. Donn Bacon, a 1940 graduate of the college. Dr. Toombs' research focuses on surgical approaches, the evaluation of implant systems, and external fixation techniques.
Dr. Jack L. Stephens, Anaheim, Calif., received a Faculty-Alumni Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia Alumni Association in October. A 1972 graduate of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Stephens is founder and CEO of Veterinary Pet Insurance. He has also founded six veterinary practices and other businesses. Partly because of his own experience with cancer, he founded and is president of the VPI Skeeter Foundation, which supports programs that endorse a "prescribe pets, not pills" philosophy.
Dr. Marion Smith, Mesa, Ariz., was named 2003 Veterinarian of the Year by the Arizona VMA. His contributions go back 50 years. Dr. Smith served as AzVMA president, on the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and as a founding member of the Central Arizona VMA. During his 20 years on the AzVMA legislative committee, he was instrumental in securing passage of several key bills. Dr. Smith served 27 years as a founding board member of the Phoenix Zoo and was the zoo's first veterinarian.