AVMA Awards ceremony honors contributions

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During the AVMA Annual Convention in Philadelphia, several individuals were recognized at the General Session, July 24, for their contributions to veterinary medicine and promoting animal well-being.

Dr. Delano L. Proctor Jr.Dr. Delano L. Proctor Jr., Lexington, Ky., received the AVMA's highest honor—the AVMA Award. The AVMA Award is given in recognition of distinguished contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations.

An equine practitioner for more than 50 years, Dr. Proctor has been a prominent figure within the American Association of Equine Practitioners for nearly the entire history of the organization.

After serving as AAEP president in 1970, Dr. Proctor was active on a number of committees for more than 20 years. He remains a member of the AAEP President's Advisory Committee.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Proctor served as AVMA president in 1985-1986 and as president of the Central Kentucky and Kentucky VMAs.

AVMA President's Award winners2003-2004 AVMA President Jack O. Walther presented the AVMA President's Award to Nevada Senator Harry Reid, Dr. Allen Y. Miyahara, Honolulu; and Dr. Patricia M. Hogan, Clarksburg, N.J.

The award recognizes individuals and groups inside and outside veterinary medicine who have made an impact on animal, human, or public health; veterinary organizations; and the profession.

Reid has brought honor and recognition to the members of the veterinary profession serving in the Uniformed Services through his efforts to pass legislation restoring the rank of brigadier general to the chief of the U. S. Army Veterinary Corps.

Dr. Miyahara was honored for more than 40 years of service to the profession, as well as for his work as 1995-1997 AVMA vice president. In recent years, Dr. Miyahara has participated in meetings of the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations with the hope of expanding the AVMA's ties to the 18-plus member countries and to encourage them to attend the 2006 AVMA Annual Convention in Honolulu.

A member of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Hogan's knowledge and professional skills enabled Thoroughbred Smarty Jones to survive and recover from a career-ending injury, and go on to win the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Dr. Kathy L. MitchenerDr. Kathy L. Mitchener, Cordova, Tenn., received the Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award. The award is presented by the AVMA, Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., and the Delta Society to recognize the outstanding work of veterinarians in increasing understanding of, preserving, and protecting human-animal relationships.

As an oncology resident at the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Mitchener founded one of the country's oldest and largest community-based human-animal bond organizations—Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee.

Dr. Mitchener later helped found Humans Embracing Animals For Recovery In Tennessee, and she co-founded the Pet Loss Support Group for the Memphis/Shelby County Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Lee M. MyersDr. Lee M. Myers, Atlanta, received the AVMA Public Service Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.

Dr. Myers is Georgia's state veterinarian and assistant commissioner of the Animal Industry Division for the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

As chair of the Agroterrorism Committee for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security, Dr. Myers completed a State Homeland Security Agricultural Assessment and Strategic Plan, and established the first Agriculture Information Sharing and Analysis Center in the nation.

Carolyn DaneseCarolyn Danese, Atlanta, received the AVMA Humane Award in recognition of humane efforts on behalf of animals and exceptional compassion for animal welfare.

Danese works on animal, environmental, fiscal, and children's legislation, including the Georgia Veterinary Practice Act passed in 2003. She was pivotal in the passage of the Georgia Animal Protection Act of 2000, making violent acts of cruelty a felony, and the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program that funds statewide spays/neuters through veterinarians.

Danese is president and a founding member of the Humane Association of Georgia.

Dr. Holly S. BenderDr. Holly S. Bender, Ames, Iowa, received the Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Basic Sciences.

Dr. Bender is an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her research team created the Diagnostic Pathfinder, an award-winning clinical pathology teaching software package.

Dr. Bender is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Dr. Sheri J. RossDr. Sheri J. Ross, St. Paul, Minn., received the Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Clinical Sciences.

As a veterinary associate at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Ross has adopted the role of a coach with her students, reminding them that they are on the same team. She boosts students' confidence by letting them work through problems or perfect their skills while she stays on the sidelines, guiding and encouraging them.

Dr. Steele F. MattinglyDr. Steele F. Mattingly, Villa Hills, Ky., received the Charles River Prize in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of laboratory animal medicine and science.

For more than 23 years, Dr. Mattingly has organized CONMED Laboratory Animal Medicine conferences. The annual conferences were an essential part of veterinary continuing education in the Midwest.

He served as president for the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science and American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, and was a member of the board of directors for the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, AALAS, and ASLAP.

Dr. Clarence A. RawlingsDr. Clarence A. Rawlings, Athens, Ga., received the AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research in recognition of extraordinary contributions in the field of canine research.

Dr. Rawlings' major areas of research in dogs have been in heartworm disease, urinary incontinence, prostatic disease, and in the development of new soft tissue surgical techniques such as those involving minimally invasive surgery.

He was one of the first to correlate clinical findings with the underlying pathology that heartworms induce. Dr. Rawlings developed the experimental model of surgically transplanting adult heartworms to study the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and therapy of the disease under controlled conditions.

Dr. Rawlings recently retired from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, where he taught for 30 years.

Dr. Steven Craig BudsbergDr. Steven Craig Budsberg, Athens, Ga., received the Innovative Veterinary Diets—Fido Award in recognition of work in clinical research or basic sciences that has contributed significantly in the advancement of small animal medicine and surgery.

An American College of Veterinary Surgeons diplomate, Dr. Budsberg developed and assessed a research tool in computerized analysis of gait, using force plates. He has used this technique to study the efficacy of various types of medical therapy of osteoarthritis and the efficacy of various surgical techniques, such as total hip replacement and cranial cruciate repair.

Additionally, Dr. Budsberg is known for developing in vivo testing methods to assess specific cyclooxygenase isoenzymes activities of nonsteroidal, antiinflammatory drugs in dogs. He also has been a leader in the development of multicenter prospective clinical trials for the testing of therapies used to treat orthopedic problems.

Dr. Bennie I. OsburnDr. Bennie I. Osburn, Davis, Calif., received the Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award. Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corp., the award is given in honor and recognition of Dr. Osburn's achievements in animal health that have advanced human health through the practice of veterinary epidemiology and public health.

Dr. Osburn has been involved in key discoveries about food animal viruses, developmental immunology, congenital infections, and food safety.

As dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California-Davis, Dr. Osburn continues to broaden the role of veterinary medicine in animal, human, and environmental health issues.

Under his guidance, the school has promoted centers of excellence in comparative medicine, vector-borne disease, wildlife health, food animal health, equine analytic chemistry, and other programs.

Dr. Osburn helped institute a DVM/PhD program for veterinary students, a master's program in public health, and the Student Training Advanced Research summer program.

Dr. W. Ron DeHavenDr. W. Ron DeHaven, Washington, D.C., received the Meritorious Service Award in recognition of contributions to the advancement of veterinary medicine, and for having brought honor and distinction to the profession through personal and professional activities conducted outside the areas of organized veterinary medicine and research.

The detection of the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United States this past December thrust Dr. DeHaven into the public eye. As the nation's chief veterinary official, his thorough explanation of events, potential risks and management of the crisis, and calm reassurance, was exemplary.

Dr. DeHaven was appointed administrator of the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in April.

Dr. James C. ClementDr. James C. Clement, Mandan, N.D., received the Practitioner Research Award in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in veterinary medical research.

Dr. Clement's research efforts have focused on problems affecting his clients and the beef industry. Through his work, risk factors for calf diarrhea were identified and intervention strategies were successfully implemented.

Dr. Clement was president of the North Dakota VMA in 1990 and has represented North Dakota in the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. Clement also served on the North Dakota Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners from 1998-2003.

Dr. Bernard C. EasterdayDr. Bernard C. Easterday, Brooklyn, Wis., received the XII International Veterinary Congress Prize in recognition of outstanding contributions to international understanding of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Easterday's contributions to international veterinary medicine began while he was serving in the U.S. Army as one of a team of seven veterinarians working on exotic livestock diseases at the Kenya Department of Veterinary Services, Kabete.

Since then, Dr. Easterday has been involved in many international activities, including on the World Health Organization's Expert Advisory Panel on Zoonoses and on the USDA Secretary's Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases.

Dr. Easterday is a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.