Dr. Gary Vroegindewey named recipient of 2023 AVMA Public Service Award

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) July 17, 2023—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today honored Dr. Gary Vroegindewey, director of the One Health Program at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, as the winner of the 2023 AVMA Public Service Award.

The award, established in 1968, recognizes an AVMA member veterinarian for outstanding public service or contributions to the practice or science of public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.

"Dr. Vroegindewey embodies the spirit and dedication that this award seeks to honor," said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the AVMA. "His wide-reaching contributions and his visionary leadership have advanced the fields of public health and veterinary medicine not just in the United States, but on a global scale."

Dr. Vroegindewey's acceptance acceptance speech

Dr. Vroegindewey's career spans from military veterinary medicine to academic veterinary medicine to public health, with a reach extending across the globe. After more than 20 years running a bustling multi-veterinarian clinical practice in Columbia, Missouri, Dr. Vroegindewey was appointed as the assistant chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in 1999. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, he developed and oversaw food safety and security and disaster operations training programs to prepare over 650 Veterinary Corps (VC) officers in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

In 2005, Dr. Vroegindewey was appointed as director of the Department of Defense Veterinary Service Activity for the Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon. For the next several years, he served as a consultant for the U.S. Army Surgeon General and served on the White House Security Council Food and Agriculture working group. In this role, he helped to develop food safety policy and oversight for $12.5 billion of military subsistence and global zoonotic disease surveillance in more than 80 countries where all branches of the U.S. military were serving. He completed his military career as the assistant corps chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in the Office of the Surgeon General, where he oversaw the effort to merge two large medical commands consisting of over 2,200 military personnel at over 475 installations.

In 2010, he assumed the role as director of global health initiatives at the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maryland. In this position he led global initiatives toward coordinating international educational opportunities for veterinary students. He also taught various courses which prepared veterinarians to participate successfully in overseas activities.

In 2014, Dr. Vroegindewey joined the new Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) as professor and director of the One Health Program and later assumed the role of director for the Center for Animal and Human Health (CAHA) in Appalachia. Among other responsibilities, he developed One Health course content to round out the curriculum for the new CVM program at LMU and oversaw CAHA research and outreach programs to improve animal and human health. He was invited to lecture on One Health to faculty and students at the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. Finally, he also nurtured several international collaborative programs for LMU with the OIE, and international organizations.

Beyond his roles in academia, Dr. Vroegindewey has made significant contributions to the field of public health and regulatory veterinary medicine at the global level. His work with the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) includes chairing groups focused on veterinary emergencies and biological threat reduction. The initiatives led by Dr. Vroegindewey have shaped the future of veterinary medicine and continue to impact public health worldwide.

Dr. Vroegindewey's passion for teaching, his dedication to mentoring students and his impact on the global veterinary medical community are hallmarks of his distinguished career. His consulting record spans projects with the UN, WHO, OIE, FAO, International Atomic Energy Agency, White House and beyond. He has been recognized with numerous awards, including the AVMA XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize, the LMU Distinguished Service Award and the University of Missouri Alumnus of the Year.

"I am very honored and humbled to receive this recognition," said Dr. Vroegindewey. "This reflects not only my activities, but the impacts of the organizations I have worked with, and I recognize I am only one of thousands of veterinarians who contribute to public service across a wide range of venues each year."

To view Dr. Vroegindewey's acceptance video, click here [https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/846714261/e8a02795fe].

To learn more about the AVMA Public 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.