WVC annual conference wraps up 88th year

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Thousands of veterinary professionals descended on Las Vegas for the WVC Dr. Randall G. Ezell 88th Annual Conference, held March 6-10.

Attendance at the Western Veterinary Conference’s flagship event increased 10 percent over 2015, totaling nearly 15,000, with nearly 6,300 veterinarians.

Attendees could earn up to 58 continuing education hours in six topic areas: small animal, equine, veterinary technology, practice management, food animal, and avian and exotics. Conference highlights included an exhibit hall featuring more than 500 veterinary companies, new 20-minute sessions of credited CE, a vintage Vegas–themed networking event, a new app, mealtime seminars, workshops, and hands-on labs.

Infographic: WVC attendance numbers
(Courtesy of WVC)

Veterinary professionals were honored at the conference for their contributions to the WVC organization and the veterinary profession as a whole. Dr. Ezell, for whom the 2016 event is named, received the Conference Program Dedication Award for his commitment to the WVC as a past president, treasurer, and board member, and for his leadership in the design and construction of the WVC’s Oquendo Center, which has propelled the growth of the organization.

The Dr. W. Bruce Wren Food Animal Incentive Award, named after the longtime WVC food animal program manager, was awarded to five recent veterinary graduates for demonstrating leadership in food animal medicine. Another 35 students took home the Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award in recognition of their school involvement and overall leadership potential.

Dr. Randall G. Ezell (right), for whom the 2016 Western Veterinary Conference was named, receives the Conference Program Dedication Award from Dr. Jon R. Pennell, immediate past president of the WVC. (Courtesy of WVC)

A Special Recognition Award was given to Dr. Richard Simmonds, Reno, Nevada, for his dedicated service to the WVC.

Dr. Darwin R. Yoder, Filer, Idaho, was elected vice president of the WVC board. Dr. Yoder is a consultant for the country’s largest organic sheep operation. Drs. Gary D. Weddle, Henderson, Nevada, and William Wright, Spring Creek, Nevada, were both elected directors. Dr. Weddle is chair for the Oquendo Center’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, while Dr. Wright is the owner of a large animal mobile practice with an emphasis on food animal herd health.

“The WVC board, committees, and staff work tirelessly throughout the year to produce the annual conference, and we are very proud of the result. All of our measurements increased over 2015: participants, CE hours, and exhibitors,” said WVC CEO David Little. “In addition, we offered 29 labs at the Oquendo Center, which was buzzing with energy and excitement throughout the week. It was a truly momentous conference and a fitting way to honor Dr. Ezell.”