Little earns leadership award, scholarship established

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Dr. Bruce W. Little, AVMA executive vice president, received the annual Industry Leadership Award from Banfield, The Pet Hospital. Dr. Little accepted the award in August during Banfield's Pet Care Industry Summit in Portland, Ore. The award recognizes individuals who have created profitability for, made substantial improvements to, and invested in the future of the veterinary profession and industry.

"I am deeply honored to be named the Banfield Industry Leadership Award recipient," Dr. Little said. "The delivery of veterinary services will continue to change as technology allows it to do so. Veterinarians must embrace that change and lead the industry as it evolves into a more efficient and productive profession on behalf of the animals."

John Payne, senior vice president of practice development for Banfield, said, "Dr. Little has made a huge impact over his lifetime in the veterinary profession, and has worked with industry companies in developing programs that help all veterinarians."

In addition to the award, Banfield will give a $20,000 scholarship to Dr. Little's alma mater, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he graduated in 1965. He will help KSU develop the criteria for the scholarship, called The Bruce W. Little FutureVet Scholarship.

"It gives me special pleasure to have a scholarship endowed in my name at Kansas State University," Dr. Little said. "I am pleased to be able to contribute to the educational experience of future veterinarians who might be so honored."

During the summit, Dr. Little was recognized for his numerous accomplishments as AVMA executive vice president since 1996.

Under his leadership, AVMA membership has grown more than 27 percent—from 57,687 to some 74,500 members. The number of staff members has also grown. Dr. Little hired the first human resources director in 1996, which led to the creation of the Human Resources Department. The formation of the Convention and Meeting Planning Division led to the expansion of continuing education hours at the AVMA Annual Convention, from 350 in 1997 to nearly 1,100 in 2006.

In addition, Dr. Little has overseen the establishment of the Communications Division, which heightens the Association's profile with the national and international media. Also, the AVMA has created a stand-alone Scientific Activities Division to provide quality scientific information available in veterinary medicine and more recently, an Animal Welfare Division to address science-based questions involving animal welfare issues.

Also of note, Dr. Little orchestrated a partnership with the American Animal Hospital Association and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges to develop the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. The partnership was created to help remedy adverse economic issues facing the veterinary profession. Dr. Little has served on the NCVEI board of directors since its inception in 2000.

In July, Dr. Little announced his plan to retire from the AVMA, Dec. 31, 2007 (see JAVMA, July 15, 2006).