Vegas conference draws thousands of veterinarians

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Western Veterinary Conference logoThe 86th Annual Western Veterinary Conference offered more than 1,000 hours of educational programming to nearly 15,000 attendees during a five-day event in Las Vegas.

Total attendance increased by 3 percent over last year’s figures. Veterinarians accounted for more than 6,000 of the 14,800 attendees.

More than 10 percent of the attendees were from outside the United States, with more than 40 countries represented.

“We are very pleased with the success of our 86th annual conference,” said WVC CEO David Little. “From an educational perspective, the conference is designed to provide high quality veterinary continuing education in a broad variety of species and topics. With more than 1,000 total CE hours available this year, we certainly accomplished that.”

During the conference, held Feb. 16-20, attendees had the opportunity to earn up to 50 continuing education hours in 12 program areas.

New in 2014 was WVC Live!, an online, live-streaming experience available to those who could not attend the conference. More than 350 daily online visitors tuned in to watch the 20-minute TED-style (technology, entertainment, design) talks covering topics ranging from animal hypnosis to corporate culture.

The conference also honored attendees for their outstanding achievements in the veterinary field.

Dr. James W. Furman, Alliance, Neb., received the Distinguished Service Award recognizing his efforts as a WVC past president who has made important contributions to WVC and veterinary education.

Drs. Dennis Olsen, Las Vegas, and Gary Landsberg, Thornhill, Ontario, were the recipients of the Meritorious Service Award recognizing nonmembers of the WVC board of directors for noteworthy contributions to WVC and veterinary education.

Jim and Judy McGonigle of northern California; Dr. William Fortney, Manhattan, Kan.; and Dr. Allan Drusys, Riverside, Calif., were all honored with the Special Recognition Award for service to WVC that has contributed to the organization’s success.

Ceva Animal Health supports WVLDI

Ceva Animal Health is the first company sponsor of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative, a volunteer organization established in 2013 for the purpose of supporting women in seeking and achieving leadership, policymaking, and decision-making positions within the veterinary profession.

Ceva’s chief operating officer, Dr. Karen Padgett, presented the WVLDI with an inaugural sponsorship of $15,000 at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas Feb. 17. The funds will be used for strategic planning, leadership, and sponsorship of skill cultivation and organizational development to fulfill the organization’s mission.

Also in February, the WVLDI announced the members of its board of directors. They are Dr. Karen Bradley, Middlesex, Vt., president; Dr. Stacy Pritt, Rowlett, Tex., president-elect; Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, Pound Ridge, N.Y., treasurer; Dr. Donald F. Smith, Ithaca, N.Y., director; Dr. Eleanor Green, College Station, Tex., director; Dr. Lori Teller, Houston, Tex., director; Dr. Valerie E. Ragan, Bowie, Md., director; Dr. Rachel Cezar, Riverdale, Md., director; Julie Kumble, Springfield, Mass., director; Cassandra Tamsey, College Station, Tex., student representative; and Dr. Beth Sabin, Schaumburg, Ill., ex officio board member.