A fair for veterinary technicians and a tour of construction on the Oquendo Center for Clinical Education were among the highlights of the 80th Annual Western Veterinary Conference from Feb. 17-21.
In 2008, the WVC attracted more than 13,000 participants—including hundreds of international attendees from more than two dozen countries—to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The conference offered 730 hours of continuing education and featured an exhibit hall showcasing more than 400 vendors.
New this year, the WVC Technician Fair provided networking opportunities and skill-building resources for veterinary technicians. Conference symposia included a half-day session on disaster preparedness from the public health perspective and a special presentation by Novartis Animal Health on clostridial diseases. Bioskills laboratories provided training in surgery, clinical techniques, and examination skills.
In 2009, hands-on sessions are moving to the new Oquendo Center—which will provide space for the WVC to increase the number of interactive laboratories. The center also will be the first permanent site to offer the Clinical Proficiency Examination, the fourth and final step in the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates certification program through the AVMA. The WVC board and several past presidents gave a tour of construction on the first day of the 2008 conference. The building should be complete in November.
This year's recipients of the Distinguished Service Award during the WVC were Drs. Ronnie G. Elmore, Manhattan, Kan., and Jack O. Walther, Elko, Nev. The Meritorious Service Award went to Drs. Charles D. Vail, Littleton, Colo.; Wallace W. Wolf, The Dalles, Ore.; and W. Bruce Wren, Overland Park, Kan. The Special Recognition Award went to Janet Driscoll, Montgomery, Ala.; Carolyn Verduzco, Las Vegas; and Donna Wells, Chadds Ford, Pa.
The officers for the 2008-2009 WVC board are Drs. Ann L. Johnson, Sidney, Ill., president; Robert A. Smith, Stillwater, Okla., president-elect; James W. Furman, Alliance, Neb., immediate past president; Cynthia S. Sprigg, Cape Girardeau, Mo., vice president; and James F. Peddie, Ventura, Calif., secretary-treasurer.
Dr. James W. Furman (at left), immediate past president of the Western Veterinary Conference, poses with award recipients: back row — Drs. Charles D. Vail, Ronnie G. Elmore, W. Bruce Wren, Wallace W. Wolf, and Jack O. Walther; and front row— Carolyn Verduzco, Janet Driscoll, and Donna Wells.