AVMA presents Excellence Awards for 2019

Individuals recognized for contributions in a wide variety of areas
Published on August 14, 2019

During AVMA Convention 2019 this August in Washington, D.C., a number of individuals received AVMA Excellence Awards for contributions in areas such as governmental advocacy, the human-animal bond, animal welfare, public service, and international veterinary medicine.

Dr. Roger K. Mahr received the AVMA Award (see story), and the AVMA Meritorious Service Award went to Dr. Mark Cox (see story). Dr. John de Jong, 2018-19 AVMA president, recognized three individuals (see story). Following are some key achievements of the other award recipients.

AVMA Advocacy Award

Dr. YohoThis award recognizes an AVMA member or nonveterinarian for advancing the AVMA legislative agenda and advocating on behalf of the veterinary profession.

Dr. Ted Yoho
Dr. Yoho (Florida '83) operated large animal practices for 30 years. He now represents Florida's 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He co-sponsored the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which became law in 2014. He is a co-sponsor of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act and sponsor of the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, he worked to ensure veterinary priorities were part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

AVMA Humane Award

Ms. HernandezThis award recognizes a nonveterinarian for achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research, product development, or advocacy.

Sonia Hernandez
Hernandez advocates for those in need and delivers bilingual communication on responsible pet ownership. She builds coalitions among municipalities, shelters, nonprofits, and for-profit groups. Currently, Hernandez is project manager for the Fix.Adopt.Save. initiative in Maricopa County, Arizona, which seeks to end pet homelessness. Her efforts have led to new programs, with a focus on community initiatives including free mobile spay-neuter and pet wellness clinics and services for assisting pets through veterinary partnerships.

AVMA Animal Welfare Award

Dr. Paul-MurphyThis award recognizes an AVMA member for achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research, product development, or advocacy.

Dr. Joanne Paul-Murphy
Dr. Paul-Murphy (Cornell '82), a diplomate of both the American College of Zoological Medicine and the American College of Animal Welfare, was recognized for her research on analgesic options for avian patients and her dedication to educating veterinary students in the principles of avian welfare. She currently serves as chief of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service and director of the Richard M. Schubot Parrot Wellness and Welfare Program at the University of California-Davis.

Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award

Dr. VernauThis award recognizes the outstanding work of an AVMA member in preserving and protecting the human-animal bond.

Dr. Karen Vernau
Dr. Vernau (Ontario '91), a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in neurology, is a clinical professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She serves as a faculty mentor for veterinary students in the Fracture Club, which raises money to care for animals in the Fracture Program for Shelter Animals, and the Orphan Kitten Project, which cares for and assists with adoption of orphaned and abandoned kittens.

AVMA Public Service Award

Dr. MarshThe AVMA Public Service Award recognizes an AVMA member for public service or contributions to the practice or science of public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.

Dr. Bret D. Marsh
Dr. Marsh (Purdue '84) is the Indiana state veterinarian, responsible for all statewide animal health programs and providing inspection services for the meat, poultry, and dairy products industries. He advises the Indiana State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Dr. Marsh was AVMA treasurer for six years and represented Indiana in the AVMA House of Delegates. He is a past president of the Indiana VMA and United States Animal Health Association.

AVMA XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize

Dr. BernardoThis award recognizes an AVMA member who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Theresa Bernardo
Dr. Bernardo (Ontario '84) is chair in emerging technologies and bond-centered animal health care at the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College. She started out working in health informatics for the United Nations and inter-American organizations in the Caribbean and Latin America. She developed trilingual software for global disease reporting and mapping. She also has served as director of information technology at Michigan State University and has contributed to numerous professional organizations, including the AVMA.

Related JAVMA content:

One-health visionary receives AVMA Award (Sept. 1, 2019)

Meritorious Service Award goes to Cox (Sept. 1, 2019)

AVMA staffers, past president receive President's Award (Sept. 1, 2019)