AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award goes to Magda
The AVMA presented the AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award to Dr. Scarlett Magda on July 17 at a reception following the Global Health Summit at AVMA Convention 2023 in Denver. The award recognizes outstanding service by an AVMA member who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Magda (Guelph ’09) is a clinician at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island, East End Veterinary Center, and VCA Manhattan Veterinary Group, working in emergency medicine and general practice throughout Long Island and New York City. She previously served as an emergency clinician at East End Veterinary Center in Riverhead, New York.
Dr. Magda is the co-founder and president of Veterinarians International (VI), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to globally enhance the health and welfare of animals and the communities they inhabit. The organization recognizes the importance of the One Health approach—that the health of people, animals, and our shared environment are closely connected. Some of VI’s accomplishments include the following:
Vaccinating more than 50,000 cats and dogs globally against rabies and distemper virus
Building two mobile elephant clinics in Surin, Thailand, enabling hundreds of elephants to receive daily veterinary care
Providing food and medical aid for chimpanzees rescued from illegal pet and bushmeat trades in partnership with Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue
Providing health care services, including vaccinations to more than half a million sheep, goats, and donkeys, in Kenya in partnership with the Marsabit County government and the local branch of Sauti Moja, a nongovernmental organization
Supporting veterinarians from Sri Lanka to receive a master’s in wildlife health and management from the Royal Veterinary College and advanced training in wildlife anesthesia
In addition, Dr. Magda has created national One-Health veterinary training programs. Beginning in Kenya, she has worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the University of Nairobi Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, county governments, and various conservancies to double the number of wildlife veterinarians serving the country. She also founded Vet Angels, a network of veterinary specialists to help veterinarians in remote areas to navigate challenging cases.
In nominating Dr. Magda for the AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award, Dr. Jason Berg, founder of Guardian Veterinary Specialists in New York, commented that he has worked with Dr. Magda since 2010 and "followed her journey into starting and growing Veterinarians International into a world-renowned organization dedicated to helping the world’s population of animals and humans."
Dr. William B. Karesh, executive vice president of EcoHealth Alliance and co-founder of VI, said "What she has achieved in less than a decade is extraordinary. Our world needs more veterinarians like Dr. Magda and your award offers the opportunity to inspire the next generation of veterinarians to recognize how much they each can accomplish."
A version of this story appears in the August 2023 print issue of JAVMA.