Crowning achievements

AVMA acclaims veterinarians, bioethicist for far-reaching work
Published on September 01, 2007
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The AVMA celebrated 16 individuals, including 15 member veterinarians, during the Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. The Association conferred its highest honors at two events, the Opening Session and the President's Installation Luncheon. 

Opening Session tributes

Six veterinarians were celebrated during the Opening Session July 14 at the Washington Convention Center, an event sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. The award recipients were as follows: 
  • Dr. William J. McEniry, AVMA Award
  • Dr. Samuel Costello, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year
  • Dr. Catherine Lund, AVMA Meritorious Service Award
  • Dr. Bruce W. Little, AVMA President's Award
  • Dr. Dennis M. McCurnin, AVMA President's Award
  • Dr. Janis H. Audin, AVMA President's Award

Dr. William J. McEniry received the AVMA Award for his contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations; see story.

In addition to a President's Award, Dr. Bruce W. Little received special recognition from Hill's as retiring executive vice president of the AVMA. Justin Skala, president of Hill's in North America, presented Dr. Little with a sculpture of a horse. Dr. Little's retirement plans include spending more time raising racehorses.

Dr. Samuel Costello (OSU '92) earned the Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award for his outstanding work in increasing the understanding of, preserving, and protecting human-animal relationships. Dr. Costello is a pet partner and licensed evaluator for the Delta Society, which trains and screens volunteers and their pets for visiting animal programs in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and schools. He himself visits these facilities with his dogs Bear and Vickie and his cat Pedro.

Dr. Costello is the veterinary adviser to, and a board member of, the Delta Society affiliate group K-9's for Compassion, where he was instrumental in developing an effective veterinary and human infection-control policy for the many hospitals and nursing homes the group visits. Dr. Costello is a partner at Town and Country Veterinary Hospital in Warren, Ohio. He provides the veterinary care for the injured and orphaned wildlife that come through Birds of Flight Sanctuary.

Dr. Catherine Lund (AUB '86) took home the Meritorious Service Award for contributing to the advancement of veterinary medicine and bringing honor and distinction to the profession through personal and professional activities conducted outside the areas of organized veterinary medicine and research. She is the owner of City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats in Providence, R.I. In 2004, she created the Companion Animal Foundation, a veterinary-based assistance program that has distributed more than $80,000 to support the pet care for low-income owners. Each veterinarian in Rhode Island receives an equal stipend annually.

Dr. Lund has received public acclaim for an educational film she developed and produced. The film project showcases veterinarians as they explain proper pet care to a middle school-age audience, with an underlying goal of embracing the human-animal bond and changing negative behavior patterns. She is a community activist and a liaison between the humane and veterinary communities.

Three members were presented with the AVMA President's Award for having a positive impact on animal, human, or public health, veterinary organizations, and the profession.

Dr. Bruce W. Little (KSU '65) was recipient of a President's Award. After owning a practice in central Illinois, he joined the AVMA staff in 1985 and has served as executive vice president since 1996. Dr. Little served on the task force and committee that oversaw the purchase and renovation of the AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., and the Association's Governmental Relations Division's office in Washington, D.C.

As executive vice president, Dr. Little was instrumental in creating a department to monitor state legislative and regulatory issues, a stand-alone Convention and Meeting Planning Division, an Animal Welfare Division, and a Communications Division that has enhanced communications with members, pet owners, the public, and other groups. A founding member of the board of directors of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, Dr. Little has helped establish programs within the commission to enhance the economic base of the profession. He has also orchestrated beneficial partnerships between the AVMA and industry.

Dr. Dennis M. McCurnin (ISU '66) also received a President's Award. Dr. McCurnin chaired the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee from 2000-2007 and is the immediate past president of the Southwest Veterinary Symposium in Dallas. He has served on a number of other AVMA committees and on four working committees of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.

From 1990-2006, Dr. McCurnin was a professor of management and hospital director at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Since then he has returned to teaching practice management courses at LSU, counseling veterinary students, and providing career guidance to graduate veterinarians. He has also held faculty positions roles at Iowa State and Colorado State universities. From 1970-1976, he owned a small animal practice in Phoenix. Dr. McCurnin is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He has edited and contributed to many textbooks and given presentations in 30 countries.

Dr. Janis H. Audin (IL '79) was the third recipient of a President's Award. Since 1995, Dr. Audin has been editor-in-chief of the AVMA and director of the Publications Division. She has made the AVMA scientific journals relevant for the entire profession by providing articles on the many facets of veterinary medicine. Her technologic innovations include establishing the AVMA Journals Online, which offers subscribers a virtual library of AVMA journal articles published since 2000. Globally she has broadened the journals' reach by promoting interdisciplinary cooperation in veterinary research.

Dr. Audin was staff consultant to the AVMA Executive Board Bylaws Committee and helped develop the amended AVMA Bylaws adopted in 2006. She served on the Strategic Planning Task Force and the Long-Range Planning Committee, and is active in the Council of Science Editors and the Society of National Association Publications. Dr. Audin is a distinguished practitioner in the National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine.

President's Installation Luncheon honors

The contributions of 10 individuals were recognized during the President's Installation Luncheon, another event sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. It was held July the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel.

Announcing the awardees, 2006-2007 AVMA President Roger K. Mahr said, "They are excellent examples of 'one world, one health, one medicine' in action and certainly illustrate that the one-health concept is not new."

The honorees were as follows:

  • Dr. James P. Reynolds, AVMA Animal Welfare Award
  • Dr. Susan Stein Cook, Charles River Prize
  • Dr. Leon H. Russell Jr., Karl F. Meyer—James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award
  • Dr. Primo Arambulo III, Karl F. Meyer—James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award
  • Dr. John R. Gorham, AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award
  • Dr. Michael M. Pullen, AVMA Public Service Award
  • Bernard E. Rollin, PhD, AVMA Humane Award
  • Dr. M.D. "Mo" Salman, XII International Veterinary Congress Prize
  • Dr. Stephen A. Hines, Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award—Basic Sciences
  • Dr. Robert J. Callan, Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award—Clinical Sciences

Dr. James P. Reynolds (CAL '82) received the AVMA Animal Welfare Award. He is chief of Clinical Services, Dairy Production Medicine, at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of California-Davis. Dr. Reynolds is vice chair and chair-elect of the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. He is also immediate past chair of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners' Animal Welfare Committee and a founder and secretary of the Professional Animal Auditors Certification Organization.

He practiced dairy medicine in California for 15 years. He promotes efficient and humane production medicine techniques for livestock farming, and he conducts fieldwork in disease control and epidemiologic research addressing problems of food animals. His goals include working on disease control on a herd or area basis and helping provide livestock health management systems to developing countries for food production. During the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak of 2001, he consulted on dairy projects in Madagascar, Tunisia, Lithuania, Mexico, Armenia, and England.

Dr. Susan Stein Cook (MSU '74) was awarded the Charles River Prize from the Charles River Foundation for distinguished contributions to the field of laboratory animal medicine and science. Dr. Cook owns a consulting practice in laboratory animal care and education, consulting for academic institutions and biomedical research facilities. From 2000-2005, she served as university veterinarian and director of the Office of Research Animal Ethics and Standards at Michigan State University.

A past president of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners and the Michigan branch of the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science, Dr. Cook represents the ASLAP in the AVMA House of Delegates. She is a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and is active in the Michigan Society for Medical Research. For many years, she was a member of the Michigan VMA board of directors, and currently she serves on its Legislative Advisory and Public Health committees.

Two veterinarians received the Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award, sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corp., for achievements that have advanced human health through the practice of veterinary epidemiology and public health.

Dr. Leon H. Russell Jr. (MO '56) is a professor at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Russell holds the important office of president of the World Veterinary Association. When he was elected during the 2005 World Veterinary Congress in Minneapolis, he became the first American ever elected to that position. An internationally recognized expert in public health, Dr. Russell is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Within the WVA, Dr. Russell was an active member of the Veterinary Education Committee from 1994-1999, then a council member until 2002, and a WVA vice president from 2002-2005. Dr. Russell has also served as president of the AVMA (1993-1994), the Texas VMA, and the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians.

Dr. Primo Arambulo III, a graduate of the University of the Philippines, is a consultant for international affairs and global initiative on veterinary education with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He is an internationally recognized veterinary public health adviser, educator, animal and human health advocate, and public health practitioner. His career with the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization spanned 25 years. Dr. Arambulo served on the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on food hygiene and zoonoses from 1972-1982.

Dr. Arambulo began his career in the Philippine Islands as chief public health veterinarian for the city of Manila and as assistant professor of medical parasitology at the University of the Philippines College of Public Health. He has held academic appointments at seven veterinary colleges, including the one at Iowa State University, where he was an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine from 1977-1978.

Dr. John R. Gorham (WSU '46) received the Lifetime Excellence in Research Award. Accepting the award was Dr. Warwick Bayly. Dr. Gorham is a professor of veterinary microbiology and pathology at Washington State University. He retired from the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in 1995. Dr. Gorham traveled to veterinary laboratories throughout the world as a cooperating scientist and lecturer. In 1974, he led the first U.S. veterinary delegation to the Soviet Union.

Dr. Gorham is one of the few veterinarians with expertise in fur animal diseases and developed a spray vaccine that has been used worldwide to immunize mink against distemper. He and Dr. Donald Cordy discovered the rickettsia that causes salmon poisoning. Dr. Gorham is a charter member of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, an honorary diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and a member of the National Academies of Practice.

The AVMA Public Service Award was given to Dr. Michael M. Pullen (AUB '66) for his contributions to public health and regulatory veterinary medicine. Dr. Pullen is professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, where he helped found the veterinary public health program. He joined the Minnesota faculty in 1976 as a professor and extension meat hygienist. He also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a veterinary medical officer and epidemiologist in the federal meat and poultry inspection program.

As a consultant, Dr. Pullen has worked with global agencies and corporations on food safety, meat hygiene, and public health. He was a member of two National Academy of Sciences committees that issued reports on meat and poultry inspection. Dr. Pullen has served terms on the AVMA Council on Education and the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine.

Bernard E. Rollin, PhD, was honored with the AVMA Humane Award. Dr. Rollin is a university distinguished professor, professor of philosophy, professor of biomedical sciences, professor of animal sciences, and university bioethicist at Colorado State University. He was a major architect of the 1985 U.S. laws protecting laboratory animals. Dr. Rollin is a leading scholar in animal rights and animal consciousness and a worldwide lecturer. Dr. Rollin developed the first courses in veterinary medical ethics, ethical issues in animal science, and biology combined with philosophy.

Dr. Rollin developed the world's first courses in veterinary medical ethics, ethical issues in animal science, and biology combined with philosophy. He serves on the Pew National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and on the Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources Council of the National Academy of Sciences. He is a founder and board member of Optibrand, an animal identification company using retinal images.

Dr. M. D. "Mo" Salman (BAG '73) received the XII International Veterinary Congress Prize for contributions to international understanding of veterinary medicine. Dr. Salman is a professor of veterinary epidemiology in the Animal Population Health Institute at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, he chairs the Continuing Education Committee of the Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Salman is engaged in research and outreach projects in more than 15 countries. His research interests are the methodology of surveillance and survey for animal diseases, with emphasis on infectious diseases Dr. Salman participated in the peer review of the European Union scientific review for the geographic assessment for bovine spongiform encephalopathy and was elected to the European Food Safety Agency's Panel for Animal Health and Welfare.

Dr. Stephen A. Hines (OSU '81) received the Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Basic Sciences. Dr. Hines is a Berger Keats Distinguished Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He began his career as a staff veterinarian at the West Salem Veterinary Clinic in West Salem, Ohio. Dr. Hines later served as an instructor at the colleges of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. Dr. Hines and eight co-inventors received a patent for cloning of the Babesia bovis 60 kD antigen.

Dr. Robert J. Callan (ORS '86) was awarded the Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Clinical Sciences for excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of clinical veterinary science and education. Dr. Callan is an associate professor at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences and section chief of the Livestock Veterinary Services at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Callan is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. His research interests focus on infectious diseases and immunity in livestock.