Nearly 14,500 people gathered in Las Vegas to attend The Dr. Jack Walther 85th Annual Western Veterinary Conference, held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Feb. 17-21.
More than 6,000 veterinarians registered for the WVC, along with some 1,500 veterinary technicians and practice managers, almost 500 veterinary and technician students, and more than 3,500 exhibitors.
The WVC offered more than 800 hours of programming for veterinarians as well as 64 additional hours for veterinary technicians, and 66 hours focused on practice management. Attendees could accrue as many as 39 continuing education hours during the meeting. The program also included 152 hours of hands-on labs, 137 hours of complimentary symposium sessions, and 30 workshop hours.
Naming a conference after an individual is a rare show of appreciation for the person’s work on behalf of the WVC; the 2013 meeting is only the sixth time that this has happened. Dr. Walther of Lamoille, Nev., is the WVC clinical proficiency coordinator and has attended the conference for more than four decades. “My first visit to WVC occurred in 1965, and I have never missed a conference since,” he said.
Dr. Walther also received the Program Dedication Award—the WVC’s highest accolade. Moreover, the Conference Student Scholarship Program, which Dr. Walther initiated in 2002, is now the Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award.
The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Drs. James Creed, Columbia, Mo., and W. Bruce Wren, Overland Park, Kan., for their work for the WVC.
The 2012 Continuing Educators of the Year, selected by WVC attendees, are as follows: Avian and exotics—Dr. Douglas R. Mader, Marathon Key, Fla. Equine—Dr. Robert M. Miller, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Food Animal—Dr. David G. Pugh, Waverly, Ala. Practice management—Dr. Ernest Ward, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. Small animal—Dr. David J. Maggs, Davis, Calif. Veterinary technician—David Liss, Alhambra, Calif. The Food Animal Incentive Award was given to postgraduates Drs. Chance Armstrong, Auburn University; Rachael Gately, Tufts University; Kaitlyn Lutz, University of Pennsylvania; Chad Paetsch, University of Saskatchewan; and Clare M. Scully, Oregon State University.
David Little is the new chief executive officer of the WVC.