Dr. Cathy King named recipient of 2024 AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) June 11, 2024—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today named Dr. Cathy King, founder and CEO of World Vets, as the winner of the 2024 AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award.

The Global Veterinary Service Award was established initially as the XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize after the 1934 International Veterinary Congress (former name of the World Veterinary Association), recognizing outstanding service by an AVMA member who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine. It was renamed in 2019 in honor of the visionary international leadership exemplified by Dr. René Carlson and Dr. Leon Russell, both past presidents of the AVMA and World Veterinary Association. The AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs selects the recipient.

"Dr. King's trailblazing efforts as founder and leader of World Vets have had a tremendous global impact in providing veterinary aid and training in underserved regions worldwide," said Dr. Rena Carlson, AVMA president. "Her steadfast commitment to promoting One Health principles by protecting animal, human and environmental health makes her an exceptionally deserving honoree for this award."

Dr. King established World Vets in 2006, which has grown into one of the largest veterinary aid organizations globally. Her pioneering vision started with funds from a donation jar at her veterinary clinic in Deer Park, Washington, and has since expanded to programs spanning 50 countries across 6 continents. Key achievements under Dr. King's leadership include:

  • Providing veterinary care to hundreds of thousands of animals globally: World Vets has provided veterinary care around the globe for many thousands of animals, impacting both animal and human health in underserved regions.
  • Protecting biodiversity in the Galapagos Islands: World Vets Conservation Medicine Program in the Galápagos Islands works at the critical interface of wildlife populations, domestic animals and humans to help protect the vast biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands.  In addition to a full-service veterinary hospital established in 2021, World Vets also provides 24/7 emergency response for sick and injured wildlife and disease investigations and is currently building the first wildlife rescue center on San Cristobal Island.
  • Conducting rabies vaccination campaigns in endemic areas: World Vets has conducted rabies vaccination campaigns in countries like Cambodia, Laos and Nepal, where rabies is endemic.
  • Establishing the World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center: The World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Nicaragua trained over 700 Latin American veterinarians in surgery and anesthesia techniques to improve animal welfare and manage street dog populations while benefiting the local community.
  • Partnering with the U.S. Navy on humanitarian aid missions: Over the last 15 years, World Vets has deployed 14 times as the veterinary NGO represented on a variety of U.S. Navy-led humanitarian aid missions, providing veterinary medical care alongside medical and dental services in a One Health effort to advance animal and human health globally.
  • Launching the Marine Mammal Rescue and Response Program: World Vets marine mammal stranding response program in Washington has provided veterinary support statewide, vessel support, and urgent care for sick and injured marine mammals.

"I'm deeply honored to receive this prestigious award from the AVMA," said Dr. King. "My driving passion is harnessing the power of veterinary medicine to create a world where animals and people can thrive together. This recognition will help expand our mission of delivering vital veterinary aid and training globally."

To learn more about the AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award and past recipients, visit www.avma.org/awards.

For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell/text) or msanfilippoatavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).

About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.