Veterinary conference draws 15,000

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Members of the 2011–2012 Western Veterinary Conference board of directors: Front row—Drs. Joe M. Howell, director; Dennis McCurnin, president-elect; Cynthia Sprigg, immediate past president; James E. Creed, president; Robert Linford, director; John G. Kirkpatrick, director; and Jack O. Walther, Clinical Proficiency Examination coordinator. Back row—Ginny Price, director; and Drs. Brad White, director; Randall G. Ezell, vice president; Jon R. Pennell, director; James Peddie, secretary-treasurer; and George Dyck, director. (Not pictured—Drs. James E. Nave, parliamentarian, and Don Waldron, director.)

The 83rd Annual Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 20-24 in Las Vegas, set a conference attendance record by drawing nearly 15,000 attendees, compared with 13,515 last year.

WVC registered more than 6,000 veterinarians, 1,500 veterinary technicians, hundreds of practice managers, and several thousand other attendees directly linked to the animal health industry.

The conference featured more than 875 hours of continuing education instruction in small and large animals, exotics, and other species areas, as well as practice management sessions, a stepped-up veterinary technician program, and sponsored symposia and industry seminars focused on practical topics. More than 30 hands-on learning laboratories were conducted at the WVC's Oquendo Center for Clinical Education.

Entertainment was provided by Mike Rowe, the creator and host of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" fame, and the rock band Styx.

Five veterinary postgraduates received Food Animal Incentive Awards for their dedication to food animal practice: Drs. Leslie N. Charles, University of Florida; Brandon C. Fraser, Kansas State University; Amanda M. Kowalski, University of Illinois-Champaign; Rachel Record, University of Prince Edward Island; and Aaron S. Lucas, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

WVC Special Recognition Awards were presented to Drs. Kathy Gloyd, Wilmington, Del., Jerry Vestweber, Manhattan, Kan., and Rochen Heers, Henderson, Nev., for their leadership, service, and assistance to the WVC.

The 2010 Continuing Educators of the Year, selected by conference attendees, were also honored. They are Dr. James Carpenter, Avian and Exotics; Dr. Debra Taylor, Equine; Dr. Kevin Washburn, Food Animal; Katherine Dobbs, Practice Management; Dr. Tony Johnson, Small Animal; and Brenda Feller, Technician.