Patient advocate receives Bustad award

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Dr. Nancy D. Kay wrote "Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life" to help dog owners navigate veterinary medicine—and she has since lectured and written extensively about patient advocacy.

In recognition of her efforts to promote the human-animal bond, Dr. Kay received the 2011 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Practitioner of the Year Award during the July 16 opening session of the AVMA Annual Convention. Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. sponsored the opening session and co-sponsors the Bustad award with the AVMA and Delta Society. The Delta Society seeks to improve human health through therapy and service animals.

Dr. Kay
Dr. Nancy D. Kay

Dr. Kay's "Speaking for Spot" came out in late 2008. The book covers topics ranging from medical decision making, finding a veterinarian, and the office visit to second opinions, money matters, and euthanasia.

Dr. Kay is an internist at VCA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency and specialty center in Rohnert Park, Calif. She founded a support group there for people struggling emotionally with the illness or loss of a pet. For employees, she facilitates rounds on client communication.

In addition, Dr. Kay provides financial support for animal-centered nonprofit organizations via the Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program.

Dr. Kay is a 1982 graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.