October 01, 2010

 
CONVENTION COVERAGE

 AVMA recognizes contributions to veterinary profession

Annual awards highlight veterinarians and nonveterinarians whose work has made an impact

posted September 18, 2010

 

The AVMA acknowledged 18 individuals with awards during the 147th AVMA Annual Convention in Atlanta for efforts to advance veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and public health.

Dr. Leon H. Russell Jr. received the AVMA Award, the Association's highest honor (see JAVMA, Sept. 15, 2010, page 611). Fourteen other veterinarians and three nonveterinarians also received awards during the convention.

The AVMA is accepting nominations for many of next year's awards. The deadline is Feb. 1 for award nominations, except the deadline is March 1 for the Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award. Information and nomination forms are available at www.avma.org/awards.  

Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award

This award recognizes outstanding work by a veterinarian in preserving human-animal relationships. 


Dr. Kenneth C. Gorczyca
Small animal practitioner

Dr. Gorczyca has worked to help AIDS patients keep their pets ever since HIV struck the country in the 1980s. He has educated health professionals and the public about the minimal risk of zoonoses from pets to HIV/AIDS patients and the health benefits of animal companionship. He helped establish Pets Are Wonderful Support, a San Francisco organization that provides supplies and care for pets belonging to low-income people who have HIV/AIDS or other disabling illnesses and to senior citizens. He is executive secretary of the Lesbian and Gay VMA. 

AVMA Animal Welfare Award

This award recognizes an AVMA member for achievements in advancing the welfare of animals.  


Dr. Tom R. Lenz
Equine veterinarian

Dr. Lenz speaks across the country to equine, agriculture, and government groups about the problem of unwanted horses and has published articles and book chapters on the subject. He is immediate past chair of the Unwanted Horse Coalition and a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. He has served on the AAEP and AVMA animal welfare committees. He currently serves on the welfare committees of the American Horse Council, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and Missouri VMA. He also chairs the research committee of the American Quarter Horse Association.  

Charles River Prize

The Charles River Foundation created this award to recognize contributions to laboratory animal medicine and science. 


Dr. Melvin W. Balk
Executive director, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

Dr. Balk has devoted most of his career to laboratory animal medicine. After serving in the Army Veterinary Corps, he spent two decades at Charles River Laboratories. There, he developed the Charles River Annual Short Course on laboratory animal science and established a commercial diagnostic laboratory service. He was president of the Charles River Foundation from 1997-2002. He recently retired from Wyeth. Active on committees and in associations, he has served on the council of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. He has been ACLAM executive director since 1998.  

Humane Award

This award recognizes a nonveterinarian for achievements in advancing the welfare of animals.  


Kathryn W. Warnick
President, Humane Society of Missouri

Warnick created the Humane Society of Missouri's Campaign Against Substandard Puppy Mills to raise awareness of substandard dog breeding facilities in Missouri and raise funds for investigations. She co-created the humane society's Animal Cruelty Task Force, which responds to reports of animal abuse and neglect. She is a co-founder and president of Pet Shelters Across America, which raises funds for local shelters, and she created a national program that allows senior citizens to adopt shelter pets free of charge. She has appeared on national television shows to promote animal welfare. 

Karl F. Meyer–James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award

The American Veterinary Epidemiology Society gives this award for advancement of human health through veterinary epidemiology and public health. 


Dr. Paul L. Nicoletti
Professor emeritus, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Nicoletti began his career with the Department of Agriculture and spent time as an epizootiologist in Iran for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. In 1978, he joined the faculty of the University of Florida's veterinary college. He taught courses on infectious diseases, epidemiology, public health, and food safety until his retirement in 2003. He is a past president of the Florida VMA, Phi Zeta, and American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. His contributions to brucellosis control garnered a $1.3 million private contribution to the Florida veterinary college. 

Karl F. Meyer–James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award

The American Veterinary Epidemiology Society gives this award for advancement of human health through veterinary epidemiology and public health. 


Dr. Alfonso Torres
Professor, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Torres served as deputy administrator for Veterinary Services at the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service from 1999-2002. The native of Bogota, Colombia, was director of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center from 1996-1999 and chief of the USDA Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on Plum Island from 1994-1996. He has held various positions with SmithKline Beecham Animal Health, Cornell's veterinary college, and the University of Nebraska. Most recently, he returned to Cornell's veterinary college as assistant dean for public policy. 

AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award

This award recognizes a veterinarian for lifetime achievement in basic, applied, or clinical research. 


Dr. Gerald E. Bisgard
Professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Bisgard spent his research career at the University of Wisconsin's veterinary school primarily studying respiratory physiology, especially the control of respiration during hypoxic states. His laboratory elucidated the role of the carotid body chemoreceptors in the mechanism of increased breathing at high altitude. He further studied the functional and cellular neuroplasticity of the carotid body during chronic hypoxia and early neonatal development. He was founding chairman of the Department of Comparative Biosciences at Wisconsin's veterinary school. He built a department of 13 faculty members and remained chairman for 17 years.  

AVMA Practitioner Research Award

This award recognizes an AVMA member who has contributed to research while working in private practice. 


Dr. Timothy C. McCarthy
Surgical Specialty Clinic for Animals, Beaverton, Ore.

Dr. McCarthy began focusing on endoscopy in small animal practice in the 1980s. He pioneered the application of numerous minimally invasive endoscopic techniques ranging from transurethral cystoscopy, rhinoscopy, and otoscopy to arthroscopy and transabdominal nephroscopy. He recently devised a technique for the transurethral correction of ectopic ureters, using cystoscopy and a diode laser. He has published numerous articles on endoscopy and has lectured nationally and internationally on the subject. He is the editor of the definitive work on endoscopy in small animal practice, "Veterinary Endoscopy for the Small Animal Practitioner."  

Public Service Award

This award recognizes an AVMA member for contributions to public health and regulatory veterinary medicine. 


Dr. Lisa A. Conti
Director, Florida Department of Health Division of Environmental Health

Dr. Conti directs the state of Florida's activities to improve environmental health and decrease preventable diseases mediated through environmental processes. She works with various groups to develop environmental public health services and represents Florida's surgeon general on matters of environmental public health. She is a founding member of the State Environmental Health Directors group of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She also is an associate professor of pathobiology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She was Florida's state public health veterinarian from 1998-2003. 

XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize

This award recognizes an AVMA member who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine. 


Dr. Gary A. Vroegindewey
Colonel, Army Veterinary Corps

Col. Vroegindewey has served as director of Department of Defense Veterinary Service Activity and assistant corps chief for four Veterinary Corps chiefs. His overseas missions and activities have taken him to Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and New Zealand. He is a member of the International Affairs Committee of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and is an invited representative to the AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs. He is a past president of the American Veterinary Medical History Society and past chair of the former AVMA Council on Communications.  

Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award

The Student AVMA gives this award to recognize a professor who educates, inspires, and strongly impacts veterinary students. 


Dr. Mark D. Freeman
Assistant professor, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Freeman spent time in private practice in the areas of mixed, small animal, and emergency and critical care practice and served on the faculty of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. At Tuskegee, he was an assistant professor of small animal internal medicine and a clinical instructor in the Clinical Sciences Department. He joined the faculty of Ross University's veterinary school in June 2009. He has participated in research in the area of molecular microbiology and helped train a number of interns in small animal medicine and surgery.  

Student AVMA Community Outreach Excellence Award

The Student AVMA gives this award to recognize a professor who goes beyond collegiate responsibilities to focus on education in the community. 


Dr. Michael R. Moyer
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital

Dr. Moyer is the Rosenthal Director of Shelter Animal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the owner of Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital in Bensalem, Pa. At the University of Pennsylvania, he not only delivers lectures and surgical instruction but also represents the veterinary school in collaborative efforts relevant to animal welfare and sheltering. Active in organized veterinary medicine, he is president-elect of the American Animal Hospital Association. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania VMA and of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Alumni Society.  

AVMF/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation and American Kennel Club created this award for contributions to canine research. 


Dr. George E. Lees
Professor, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Lees served in the Army Veterinary Corps for three years and has been a faculty member in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the Texas A&M veterinary college since 1980. He has contributed to research in the field of veterinary nephrology and urology. Early in his career, he studied the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial urinary tract infections in dogs and cats. Now he focuses on canine hereditary nephropathy. He organized the Texas Veterinary Renal Pathology Service in 2005 and continues to serve as director of the service. 

AVMF/Winn Feline Foundation Research Award

The AVMF and Winn Feline Foundation created this award for contributions to feline research. 


Leslie A. Lyons, PhD
Associate professor, University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lyons helped organized the Feline Genome Project while she was working at the National Cancer Institute. In 1999, she joined the Department of Population Health and Reproduction at the University of California's veterinary school. Her research laboratory has had success in identifying the gene that causes polycystic kidney disease in Persian cats as well as the mutations for Siamese, Burmese, albino, chocolate, and cinnamon coat colors and the mutation causing cat blood group B. Recent work includes analysis of the origin of cat breeds and sites of cat domestication.  

President's Award

The AVMA president gives this award to individuals or groups who have made a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, and the profession. 


Dr. Gary C. Bullard
Owner, Bullard Animal Hospital

Dr. Bullard served in the Air Force before establishing Bullard Animal Hospital in Austell, Ga., which was a mixed practice from 1978-1983 before becoming a small animal practice. He has been president of the Westside Emergency Clinic, Greater Atlanta Veterinary Medical Society, Georgia VMA, and Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine. He represents Georgia in the AVMA House of Delegates, serving on the House Advisory Committee for the past five years and as HAC chair last year. He also has served on the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee and AVMA State Advocacy Committee. 

President's Award

The AVMA president gives this award to individuals or groups who have made a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, and the profession.

 


Dr. Jack O. Walther
Part-time small animal practitioner

Dr. Walther began an equine practice in Reno, Nev., and spent a year in the Army Veterinary Corps before embarking on a long career in small animal practice in the Reno area. He has been president and vice president of the AVMA. He also served as Nevada delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates and as chair of the AVMA Political Action Committee. He is a past president of the Western Veterinary Conference and the Nevada VMA and a past chairman of the Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

 

President's Award

The AVMA president gives this award to individuals or groups who have made a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, and the profession.

 


J.B. Hancock
Director, AVMA Communications Division

Hancock has built up the AVMA staff's communications activities in areas such as marketing, media relations, state legislative and regulatory affairs, electronic media, and professional and public affairs. She was a partner and head of communications with a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., before she joined the AVMA staff. Previously, she had been director of broadcasting for AARP. She owned a media production company in Washington for 27 years, acting as a writer, director, and producer. She also is a founding member of the National Association of Women Business Owners.