AVMA recognizes leaders in veterinary medicine, animal care

Fifteen individuals receive awards for work with myriad species, including humans
Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

Low-income pet owners, military service, the One Health Initiative, and horse welfare are the causes of four veterinarians who received awards July 11 at the opening session of the 146th AVMA Annual Convention.

The AVMA acknowledged another 11 remarkable individuals for contributions to animal welfare, public health, research, global health, and teaching during the July 14 President's Installation Luncheon.

Those awards were in addition to the AVMA Award, which the Association presented to Dr. James E. Nave (see JAVMA, Sept. 1, 2009).

Dr. Brian W. Forsgren—Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award

Dr. Brian W. ForsgrenDr. Brian W. Forsgren (OSU '77) received the Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award for outstanding work in increasing the understanding of, preserving, and protecting human-animal relationships.

Dr. Forsgren has devoted his career to providing veterinary care in Cleveland's low-income communities. He spent many years working with low-income pet owners and stray animals at the Willey Avenue Animal Clinic in partnership with the Cleveland Animal Protective League. He opened the Gateway Animal Clinic in 1999 with the mission of providing access to care for all companion animals in the community.

Outside of practice, Dr. Forsgren has been active in the Ohio VMA. He served as OVMA president, chair of the Animal Welfare Committee, and chair of the Practice Act Task Force. He was state veterinary representative for an update of Ohio's statutes on animal cruelty. With the OVMA and other organizations, he helped develop courses on shelter medicine for the Midwest Veterinary Conference.

Col. Cliff L. Walker—AVMA President's Award

Col. Cliff L. WalkerThe late Col. Cliff L. Walker (KSU '82) was one of the recipients chosen by Dr. James O. Cook for the AVMA President's Award—which goes to AVMA members who have had a positive impact on animal, human, or public health; veterinary organizations; and the profession.

Col. Walker served as an Air Force navigator before leaving to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. He established a practice in Austin, Texas, later selling the practice to enter the Army Veterinary Corps. His assignments took him from Texas to Europe and the Middle East. Most recently, he was commander of the Army Veterinary Command.

Col. Walker's military honors include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Forces Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Air Force Navigator Wings. He also was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Roger K. Mahr—AVMA President's Award

Dr. Roger K. MahrDr. Roger K. Mahr (ISU '71) was another recipient of an AVMA President's Award.

As the 2006-2007 AVMA president, Dr. Mahr proposed the One Health Initiative to facilitate collaboration and cooperation among colleagues in veterinary medicine, human medicine, and environmental sciences. In response, the AVMA Executive Board established the One Health Initiative Task Force to recommend actions to help advance the one-health concept. Dr. Mahr was the project director for the subsequent One Health Joint Steering Committee, and he now is serving as chief executive officer for the new One Health Commission—which was just established June 29.

Dr. Mahr spent most of his career in small animal practice. He established Meadow View Veterinary Clinic in Geneva, Ill., in 1974. For three decades, he owned and operated the clinic. He also has held leadership positions in the Chicago VMA, Illinois State VMA, and many community organizations.

Dr. Douglas G. Corey—AVMA President's Award

Dr. Douglas G. CoreyDr. Douglas G. Corey (COL '76) was the third recipient of an AVMA President's Award.

A partner at Associated Veterinary Medical Center out of Walla Walla, Wash., Dr. Corey is active in organized veterinary medicine and has devoted much of his attention to issues of horse welfare.

Dr. Corey is a past president and board member of the Oregon VMA and American Association of Equine Practitioners. He has chaired many AAEP committees, including the AAEP Equine Welfare Committee. He also has chaired the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee.

Active with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Dr. Corey was instrumental in establishment of a full-time animal welfare position at the PRCA. He helped develop care guidelines for rodeo livestock and other welfare guidelines for the PRCA. Dr. Corey also is a member of the American Horse Council's Equine Welfare Committee and serves each year as the National Final Rodeo's On Call veterinarian for media relations.

Dr. Kathryn A.L. Bayne—AVMA Animal Welfare Award

Dr. Kathryn A.L. BayneDr. Kathryn A.L. Bayne (WSU '87) received the AVMA Animal Welfare Award.

Dr. Bayne is global director for the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. She directs AAALAC International's global accreditation program and travels extensively in the Pacific Rim to advance the welfare of laboratory animals. Previously, she worked at the National Institutes of Health, leading research on the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates and environmental enrichment for primates, dogs, cats, and swine.

Among many leadership roles, Dr. Bayne was president of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and the Association of Primate Veterinarians. She has served on the board of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners and as chair of the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee. She is vice chair of the International Association of Colleges of Laboratory Animal Medicine and the U.S. representative to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) ad hoc committee on laboratory animal welfare.

Dr. John Gilbert Miller—Charles River Prize

Dr. John Gilbert MillerDr. John Gilbert Miller (OSU '71) was the recipient of the Charles River Prize for contributions to the field of laboratory animal medicine and science. He is an expert and leader in the humane care and use of animals in research, testing, and education. He also was instrumental in founding the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs to help protect human research participants.

Dr. Miller was the first director of the NIH Office for Protection from Research Risks—now the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare—where he led the efforts of the U.S. Public Health Service to ensure consistency between USPHS policy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's regulations on animal welfare.

After 26 years with the Army and USPHS, Dr. Miller retired from government service to lead the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International for 12 years, expanding AAALAC International's accreditation program to more than 30 countries. He currently works as a consultant.

Cynthia L. Bathurst, PhD—AVMA Humane Award

Cynthia L. Bathurst, PhDCynthia L. Bathurst, PhD, received the AVMA Humane Award for humane efforts on behalf of animals and exceptional compassion for animal welfare.

Dr. Bathurst is the co-founder and principal director of Safe Humane Chicago, which seeks to reduce violence by promoting compassion for animals and people. The group educates the public about humane animal treatment, safety around animals, and responsible pet ownership. In 2008, Dr. Bathurst joined the Best Friends Animal Society as director of a national project to take the Safe Humane model to other cities.

Dr. Bathurst also established the Dog Advisory Work Group as a committee of a neighborhood association and later co-founded it as an independent nonprofit agency to help improve co-existence between dogs and humans. Within DAWG, she started a county-wide program that advocates for animals in court cases involving animal abuse. Safe Humane Chicago also evolved out of DAWG.

Dr. Charles O. Thoen—Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award

Dr. Charles O. ThoenDr. Charles O. Thoen (MIN '61) was the recipient of the Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award for advancing human health through veterinary epidemiology and public health.

Dr. Thoen headed the Mycobacteria and Brucella Section of the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories, which provided laboratory support for national tuberculosis and brucellosis eradication programs. He has served for more than 30 years as a professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine at Iowa State University.

An expert on tuberculosis in animals, Dr. Thoen has chaired relevant committees for the International Union Against Tuberculosis and the World Health Organization. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on mycobacteria and mycobacterial diseases, numerous chapters for textbooks on infectious disease, and two textbooks in use throughout the world to teach public health and medical microbiology. He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

Dr. Anthony Simon Turner—AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award

Dr. Anthony Simon TurnerDr. Anthony Simon Turner (MEL '72) received the AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award for achievement in veterinary research.

Dr. Turner established a laboratory for comparative orthopedic research at Colorado State University, where he has served on the faculty of the veterinary college since 1977. His research began with characterization of the aged, ovariectomized ewe as an animal model for postmenopausal conditions (such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and arthritis) in women. He has studied new therapies for osteoporosis, including selective estrogen-receptor modulators. His research with sheep also has included studies of bone implants and other implants.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Turner spent much of his career performing surgery on horses and has co-authored three textbooks in that field. He serves on the review board of Veterinary Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology and is a consultant editor for Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice.

Dr. William D. Liska—AVMA Practitioner Research Award

Dr. William D. LiskaDr. William D. Liska (ISU '73) was the recipient of the AVMA Practitioner Research Award for accomplishments in veterinary research by a practicing veterinarian.

Dr. Liska is an expert in joint replacement surgery—specifically, total hip replacement in dogs, hip replacement in small dogs and cats, and total knee replacement in dogs. He has published numerous findings relevant to hip replacement and maintains the largest ongoing database of veterinary patients that have received hip replacements.

Dr. Liska was instrumental in development of the BioMedtrix Canine Total Knee Replacement System. He supervised development of the first commercial multiple-size knee implant as well as associated surgical instrumentation, surgical technique, and surgeon training. He also performed and reported on the first custom total knee replacement in a dog.

Dr. Liska has been in practice in Houston for more than three decades and is one of the founders of Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Dr. Robert L. Rausch—AVMA Public Service Award

Dr. Robert L. RauschDr. Robert L. Rausch (OSU '45) received the AVMA Public Service Award for outstanding contributions to public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.

Dr. Rausch has devoted his career to the investigation of zoonoses, especially in Alaska and elsewhere in the Arctic and subarctic. While a member of the U.S. Public Health Service, he headed a zoonoses program in Alaska for many years. Dr. Rausch taught veterinary microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan for a time before joining the faculty of the University of Washington, where he has been a professor in the School of Public Health's Department of Pathobiology and the School of Medicine's Department of Comparative Medicine. He received an emeritus appointment in 1992.

Dr. Rausch has worked with the people of Alaska to learn about the environment and concepts of disease transmission in northern areas. He also has undertaken field investigations in Siberia, Japan, China, and South America.

Dr. Scott A. Brown—Royal Canin Award

Dr. Scott A. BrownDr. Scott A. Brown (UP '82) was the recipient of the Royal Canin Award, given to a veterinarian whose work in clinical research or basic sciences, within the preceding five years, has contributed to the advancement of small animal medicine or surgery.

Dr. Brown is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and earned his doctorate in renal pathophysiology from the University of Georgia. He is an expert in nephrology and systemic hypertension, having authored more than 150 research articles and book chapters on relevant topics.

At the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Brown is the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. He has been on the college faculty for 20 years and has served as an associate dean.

Dr. Karen Marie Becker—XII International Veterinary Congress Prize

Dr. Karen Marie BeckerDr. Karen Marie Becker (IL '87) received the XII International Veterinary Congress Prize for contributions to international understanding of veterinary medicine.

In 1998, Dr. Becker joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service, serving in North Carolina. She went to Washington, D.C., through a CDC Preventive Medicine Fellowship to focus on international policy, and she assisted in the control of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom.

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Dr. Becker became the senior health adviser to the new assistant secretary of public health emergency preparedness. She worked on preparedness for and response to anthrax and other bioterrorism threats, severe acute respiratory syndrome, monkeypox, influenza, and FMD. She also served on various international working groups.

For the past three years, Dr. Becker has been the senior animal health adviser for the Africa Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Dr. Cynthia R. Ward—Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award, Basic Sciences

Dr. Cynthia R. WardDr. Cynthia R. Ward (UP '87) was the recipient of the 2009 Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award, Basic Sciences, for excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of basic veterinary science and education.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Dr. Ward was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine for several years. Currently, she is an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Ward has an active research interest in small animal endocrinology, concentrating on hyperthyroid disease in cats. She is working on a project, with funds from the NIH, to develop new methods for teaching biology to high school students.  

Dr. Colby G. Burns—Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award, Clinical Sciences

Dr. Colby G. BurnsDr. Colby G. Burns (FL '06) received the Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award, Clinical Sciences, for excellence, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of clinical veterinary science and education.

Dr. Burns is a second-year resident in small animal surgery in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Burns' clinical interests include surgical oncology, wound management, and minimally invasive surgery. After completing her surgical residency, she intends to pursue a fellowship in surgical oncology.