Meet our new AVMA/AVMF Congressional Science Fellows

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The AVMF is pleased to announce the 2002-2003 AVMA/AVMF Congressional Science Fellows. "Sixteen very qualified veterinarians applied for the fellowship this year, making the choices a real challenge," said Dr. Dean Goeldner, assistant director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division and member of the Congressional Fellowship Selection Committee.

"We are very fortunate to have three outstanding veterinarians with respective backgrounds in academia, law, and ethics as this year's fellowship class."

Dr. Charles M. Hendrix    Dr. Charles M. HendrixDr. Charles M. Hendrix

Dr. Charles M. Hendrix has been a professor at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he completed his doctoral training in veterinary parasitology. A 1974 graduate of the University of Georgia, he served four years in the Army Veterinary Corps.

In addition to a strong interest and involvement in wellness issues and in synthesizing veterinary and human health, Dr. Hendrix promotes, implements, and mentors student participants in university-level writing competitions. As a fellow, Dr. Hendrix feels he "can bring an innovative approach to using veterinary medicine to promote human health and prevent disease in the 21st century."

For Dr. Raymond W. Stock, a practitioner in Bethlehem, Pa., the fellowship has long been a "coveted goal." Twenty-five years into a successful veterinary career, Dr. Stock returned to the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics for a master's degree. He's only the third veterinarian to be admitted to this competitive program of ethics and public health policy.

Dr. Raymond W. StockDr. Raymond W. Stock

Having been a practice owner as well as a medical director, Dr. Stock looks to the fellowship to channel his altruistic need to give back to the profession and society. "It's an opportunity to combine the academic and professional skills gained over a lifetime into a productive endeavor."

The opportunity to integrate his legal and veterinary backgrounds is what called Dr. Ric Zappala to the fellowship. After three years of law practice in Washington, D.C., the Boston University School of Law graduate went on to earn his VMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania. An accomplished equine practitioner and competitor and a founding partner of Pure Pride Spring Water Inc., Dr. Zappala has broad professional background.

"My desire to serve as a fellow stems in part from an appreciation of what the program has already accomplished," Dr. Zappala says. "The success of the fellowship program has resulted in increased visibility, broader and more meaningful political access, and heightened communication between members of our profession and our nation's leaders."

Dr. Ric Zappala  Dr. Ric Zappala

Past fellows have made contributions in many areas, including the "mystery illness" of Desert Storm, extralabel drug use, wild horse management, drought relief for farmers, pesticide laws and regulations, the Farm Bill, FDA reform, food safety, and many animal welfare issues. This year, as a staff member for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Dr. Mike Chaddock, a 1973 graduate of Michigan State University, got involved in anthrax studies, the Animal Welfare Act, Louisiana turtle farming issues, and ways to benefit the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

"These three veterinarians, with their impressive range of interests, skills, and experience, will enable us to make a powerful impact on public policy in the name of veterinary medicine," said Dr. William Van Dresser, AVMF chair and former director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. "With the continued support of the AVMA, many generous allied groups, and our member donors, we hope to continue to send qualified representatives of the profession to Washington every year."

This year's selection committee was chaired by Dr. Sam Strahm, member of the AVMF Board of Directors, and a practitioner at the Osage Animal Clinic in rural Oklahoma. Drs. Robert Dietl, a suburban Minneapolis practitioner, and Roger Mahr, a practitioner in suburban Chicago, serve on the AVMA Executive Board and the AVMF Board of Directors. Dr. Elizabeth Parker, a Congressional Science Fellow in 1999-2000, and Dr. Goeldner, also a past fellow, complete the group.