Washington State VMA

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Dr. Smith
Dr. Victoria L. Smith
Dr. Lee
Dr. Pamela Lee
Dr. Nelson
Dr. Lynne Nelson
Dr. Plante
Dr. Christina Plante


Ms. Fairchild
Raychel Fairchild
Ms. Adams
Alexis Adams
Mr. Hoge
Doug Hoge
Ms. Halela
Sally Halela


Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference, Sept. 28-30, 2018, Tacoma


Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Victoria L. Smith (Texas A&M '04), Olympia. Dr. Smith is an associate veterinarian at Steamboat Animal Hospital in Olympia, also serving as a veterinary officer with the Army Reserves at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. She has advanced training in veterinary forensics and investigates animal cruelty cases involving abuse and neglect in her community. Dr. Smith also deploys worldwide to provide veterinary care to communities in remote geographical areas.

Washington State University Faculty Members of the Year
Dr. Pamela Lee (Ohio State '08), Dr. Lynne Nelson (Auburn '90), Dr. Christina Plante (Montreal '14), and Raychel Fairchild, cardiology team at the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Lee is an assistant professor. Following graduation, she completed a cardiology residency at the Animal Medical Center in New York. Dr. Nelson, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is a professor of cardiology. She is known for her research on cardiac function in hibernating bears. Dr. Plante is a cardiology resident, and Fairchild is a licensed veterinary technician.

Distinguished Veterinary Staff Award
Alexis Adams, Pullman. A licensed veterinary technician, Adams has worked at the WSU veterinary college's Veterinary Teaching Hospital for the past 12 years. She was recognized for outstanding patient care, responsiveness to clients, dedication to the hospital's Wildlife Services, training of fourth-year veterinary students, and service to her community.

Allied Industry Award
Doug Hoge, Vancouver, won this award, given for exceptional service to the veterinary profession and/or the WSVMA. Hoge is territory manager for Henry Schein Animal Health. He was recognized for his knowledge, honesty, and dedication to veterinarians and their patients in Washington state.

Humane–Animal Welfare Award
Sally Halela, Maple Valley, for advancing animal welfare through extraordinary service. Halela is the founder and director of South County Cats, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce euthanasia rates at local shelters. She was recognized for her work to reduce euthanasia rates by providing low-cost spay and neuter options for low-income families and for her efforts to educate the community on the importance of spaying and neutering cats.


For 2018-19, the goals for the association's strategic plan will be advocacy, education, membership, innovation, and communication. Advocacy will focus on updating bylaws and policies of the WSVMA Political Action Committee to maximize effectiveness when interacting with legislative candidates, increasing support for veterinary technicians, and exploring ways that member veterinarians can help pets in underserved populations. Education will work toward establishing long-term goals for the success of the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference. Membership will focus on increasing membership among corporate associate veterinarians. Innovation will involve reviewing the mission and purpose of the Washington State Animal Health Foundation for its effectiveness and developing the capability to live stream WSVMA events. Communication will focus on exploring various methods to increase diversity and enhance inclusion within the profession and developing an educational campaign on responsible pet ownership.


Dr. Jean Gulbransen, Duvall, president; Dr. Gary Marshall, Mercer Island, vice president; Dr. Diane Pinkers, Montesano, secretary; Dr. Michael Kiefer, Olympia, treasurer; Dr. Paul DeMaris, Snohomish, immediate past president and director; Candace Joy, Snowqualmie, executive vice president; directors—Drs. Richard DeBowes, Pullman, and Jennifer Koenig, Snohomish; and AVMA delegate and alternate delegate—Drs. Saundra Willis, Tacoma, and Diana Thome, Richland