January 15, 2018


 Washington State VMA

​Posted Jan. 3, 2018

​Dr. Michael Bellinghausen ​James Meyer ​Dr. Heather Fowler ​Vickie Kurtz
​Dr. Darby Affeldt ​Joe Fain ​Dr. Paul DeMaris
Event: Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017, Tacoma
Awards: Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Michael Bellinghausen, Kenmore. A 1984 graduate of the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Bellinghausen owns Kenmore Veterinary Hospital. He is the longtime chair of the WSVMA Political Action Committee and serves on the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Admissions Committee and the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education Advisory Committee. Dr. Bellinghausen is a past president of the Seattle King County VMA and a past member of the Washington-Oregon-Idaho Steering Committee. Washington State University Faculty Member of the Year: James Meyer, Pullman. A registered pharmacist, Meyer is the pharmacy manager at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Teaching Hospital. He has served on the WSVMA Compounding Task Force and has helped veterinarians in Washington state with drug dosing, formulation, availability, and other drug-related issues for the past 20 years. Recent Graduate Award: Dr. Heather Fowler, Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Fowler received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and her doctorate in environmental and occupational hygiene from the University of Washington in 2017. She is director of producer and public health at the National Pork Board. Earlier, Dr. Fowler was associate director of animal health at the University of Washington School of Public Health's Center for One Health Research. She has served as team coach for the WSVMA Power of Ten Leadership Academy and as a member of the association's antimicrobial resistance working group. Dr. Fowler is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Distinguished Veterinary Staff Award: Vicki Kurtz, Edmonds. A licensed veterinary technician, Kurtz worked for Edmonds Veterinary Hospital for 38 years and was known for providing comfort, empathy, and compassion to pet owners. She now works for Compassion4Paws, a mobile practice that offers in-home acupuncture, hospice, and euthanasia. Allied Industry Award, for exceptional service to the veterinary profession and/or the WSVMA: Dr. Darby Affeldt, Olympia, was recognized for her dedication to teaching financial health strategies to veterinarians and veterinary students. A 1993 graduate of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Affeldt is a financial adviser with North Star Resource Group in Olympia. Earlier, she served as a relief veterinarian in the Seattle area, worked for the Seattle municipal spay-and-neuter clinic for several years, and established a volunteer cat spay-and-neuter clinic at the Lewis County Animal Shelter in Centralia. Humane-Animal Welfare Award: Freedom Tails, Raymond, for advancing animal welfare through extraordinary service. Freedom Tails is a program that pairs shelter dogs at risk of being euthanized with local prison inmates who learn to train them and make them suitable for adoption. Arnold C. Slater Legislative Award: Sen. Joe Fain, Auburn, won this award, given to a legislator who has advanced animal health and welfare. A member of the Washington State Senate, Sen. Fain is serving his second term representing the 47th legislative district. He has been integral to the success of numerous animal welfare bills over the past several years.
Business: For 2017-18, the goals for the association's strategic plan will be advocacy, education, membership, innovation, and communication. Advocacy and education will focus on assisting members in understanding consolidation and veterinary unions, with advocacy also aiming at increasing support for veterinary technicians. Membership will work toward replacing retiring members with an adequate number of new members and ensuring a vibrant and engaged Leadership Development Committee. Innovation will involve establishing a telehealth task force to assist in educating members about telemedicine. Communication will focus on increasing association staff capacity and technological and social media capabilities, and improving and institutionalizing the environmental scanning process.
Officials: Dr. Paul DeMaris, Snohomish, president; Dr. Jean Gulbransen, Duvall, vice president; Dr. Diane Pinkers, Montesano, secretary; Dr. Michael Kiefer, Olympia, treasurer; Dr. Katherine Hickey, Poulsbo, immediate past president; Candace Joy, Snoqualmie, executive vice president; directorsDrs. Richard DeBowes, Pullman; Gary Marshall, Mercer Island; and Lisa Parshley, Olympia; and AVMA delegate and alternate delegateDrs. Saundra Willis, Tacoma, and Diana Thome, Richland