An officer and a division director of the AVMA along with a specialty-society executive accepted honors from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and its Veterinary Medical Alumni Association, Sept. 14 during the Fall Conference for Veterinarians in Urbana-Champaign.
AVMA President Roger K. Mahr received the Special Service Award, given for contributions to the veterinary profession or the UI veterinary college. Accepting the award, Dr. Mahr cited the Illinois veterinary community and UI veterinary graduates for their support throughout his career.
A 1971 graduate of Iowa State University, Dr. Mahr was a small animal practitioner for more than 34 years. He established the Meadow View Veterinary Clinic in Geneva, Ill., in 1974 and owned and directed it until 2004.
His career-long involvement in organized veterinary medicine has included serving as president, board member, and committee member with the Chicago and Illinois State VMAs; member and chair of the AVMA Executive Board; member of the AVMA Long Range Planning Committee, Committee on Environmental Affairs, and Model Veterinary Practice Act Task Force; and chair of the Illinois Veterinary Licensing and Disciplinary Board.
At the UI ceremony, Dr. Mahr referred to the theme of his AVMA presidency—improving human and animal health and increasing the number of veterinarians entering the areas of food safety, biomedical research, academia, regulatory medicine, and emergency health preparedness. He noted the unique role of the veterinary profession in animal and human health.
"There is one world, one health, and one medicine," he said, "and our profession must take the lead (in protecting all three)."
The Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award, honoring the college's esteemed professor emeritus and former associate dean for alumni and public affairs, was presented to two veterinarians who were directly influenced by Dr. Small—Drs. Janis H. Audin and Gary L. Stamp.
Dr. Audin, who is AVMA editor-in-chief and director of the Publications Division, reinforced the "one medicine" cornerstone of Dr. Mahr's presidency, noting that Dr. Small was passionate in his belief that one of the strengths of veterinary medicine is its comparative nature.
"As I strive to ensure that the entire profession is served by the AVMA scientific journals, I challenge all of you to stay current," she said. "We must all become distinguished leaders in the 'one medicine' that will ensure our future is as bright as our past has certainly been."
A 1979 UI graduate, Dr. Audin joined the AVMA Publications Division in 1985 and was promoted to editor-in-chief and division director in 1995. She has implemented changes in the journals to improve timeliness, promote readership and awareness, increase practice relevance, and reduce costs. Her promotion of global interdisciplinary cooperation in veterinary research has increased manuscript submissions from abroad.
Dr. Audin said Dr. Small infected her with his passion for organized veterinary medicine. At the AVMA, she serves as staff support to the committee that developed the newly adopted AVMA Bylaws and has been on committees charged with strategic planning, executive interviews, and renovation and expansion of AVMA headquarters.
Dr. Stamp, a 1970 UI graduate, is executive director of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. His interest in veterinary medicine began at age 10 when he attended an open house at the UI College of Veterinary Medicine. He credited Dr. Small with encouraging him to consider a military veterinary career. Dr. Stamp's military experience opened many practice opportunities, allowing him to pursue a specialty area and gain experience in emergency veterinary medicine and public health.
Since retiring in 2001 as commander of the Army Veterinary Corps, a position that culminated his 31-year military career, Dr. Stamp has served as executive director of the San Antonio-based VECCS, which he helped to found. He was also involved in organizing the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium. A charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, he served as its first president.
Dr. Stamp was noted on the nomination for his devotion to veterinary students as the profession's future and for being a powerful influencer and mentor for many veterinarians.