Dr. Frank Nickels (WSU ’69), professor of equine surgery at Michigan State University, received the Distinguished Educator (Academic) Award.
A highly regarded equine clinician and surgeon, Dr. Nickels also is noted for his role as an educator. His biannual Musculoskeletal Clerkship, a three-week rotation in which 12 students work up actual lameness cases, has not only prepared hundreds of MSU students for practice but also has served as a model for similar courses elsewhere.
At Washington State University, Dr. Nickels served as an instructor, assistant, and associate professor until 1981, when he moved to Michigan State. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Dr. Barrie D. Grant (WSU ’67) of Bonsall, Calif., was presented with the Distinguished Educator (Mentor) Award.
As a professor of equine surgery from 1974-1991 at Washington State University, Dr. Grant helped launch the careers of many who went on to leadership roles within the equine veterinary profession.
Also while at WSU, Dr. Grant began working with human orthopedic surgeon George Bagby, MD, and fellow veterinarian Dr. Pamela Wagner to develop the surgical treatment used in horses and people for wobbler syndrome. He has since trained many equine veterinarians in the techniques of cervical stabilization.
Dr. Grant joined San Luis Rey Equine Hospital in Bonsall, Calif., as an equine surgeon in 1991 and became co-owner in 1995. He left in 2008 to start an equine consulting practice. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin Jr. (AUB ’67) of Roaring Gap, N.C., a semiretired racetrack practitioner who served as AAEP president in 2000, was honored with the Distinguished Life Member Award.
During his presidency, the AAEP tackled the issue of medication in racing by developing and approving its “Position on Therapeutic Medications in Racehorses.”
Since joining the AAEP in 1969, Dr. Franklin has served two separate terms on the board of directors and has served on numerous committees, including as chair of the Racing Committee. Currently, Dr. Franklin serves on the AAEP President’s Advisory Council.
Dr. Franklin began practicing in Florida in a racetrack practice with former AAEP President M.B. Teigland. He shared his expertise as an AAEP On Call veterinarian for televised races from Gulfstream Park and Hialeah. Now retired, Dr. Franklin maintains a close affiliation with his former practice group, Teigland, Franklin and Brokken, DVMs, P.A.
Dr. Harry M. Werner (UP ’74) of North Granby, Conn., received the Distinguished Service Award.
Throughout his 35-year membership, which included terms as president in 2009, treasurer from 1999-2002, and director from 1995-1999, Dr. Werner has advocated for the welfare of the horse and the ethical practice of veterinary medicine. He has chaired or served on numerous committees, councils, and task forces. Currently, he serves on the Welfare and Public Policy Advisory Council, on the AAEP President’s Advisory Council, and as the AAEP’s representative on the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee.
In addition, he is the AVMA liaison to the Unwanted Horse Coalition, helped initiate the International Forum for Working Equids, and regularly participates in Project Samana, which serves working equids in the Dominican Republic.
Dr. Werner’s career began as an associate veterinarian with Milkey-Davis P.C. in Granby, Conn. In 1979, he established Werner Equine, a private internal medicine and emergency care clinic in North Granby, which he still owns.
Dr. Kendra Freeman (COL ’09), an equine surgery resident at Virginia Tech, and Dr. Amanda-Jo Joswig (FL ’11), a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M University, received the Equus Foundation Research Fellowships, which come with $5,000 grants to support each researcher’s endeavors in equine research.
Dr. Freeman’s research evaluates the effect of tendon-repair techniques on intrinsic tendon vasculature. The study compares the effects of tenorrhaphy with the three-loop pulley pattern versus the six-strand Savage suture pattern on the intrinsic vasculature of the superficial digital flexor tendon in horses. The project will provide valuable information to veterinarians who treat life-threatening tendon lacerations.
Dr. Joswig’s research investigates the use of mesenchymal stem cells in equine corneal ulcers as well as the safety of allogeneic MSCs used subconjunctivally. The study aims to determine whether horses mount an immune reaction to allogeneic MSCs injected subconjunctivally and to characterize corneal epithelial healing times when MSCs are used therapeutically. The project has the potential to change the paradigm for treatment of equine corneal ulcers, provide a novel use of MSCs, and serve as a basis for applications in other species, including humans.