Dr. Joseph Kinnarney named recipient of 2023 AVMA Award

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) July 15, 2023—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today named former AVMA President Dr. Joseph Kinnarney as the winner of the 2023 AVMA Award.

Established in 1931, this award recognizes distinguished members of the association who have contributed to the advancement of veterinary medicine in its organizational aspects, exerting outstanding leadership in building stronger local, state or regional associations, or contributing to the improvement of the national organization.

"Dr. Kinnarney’s unwavering dedication to our profession, combined with his commitment to servant leadership, has had an immeasurable impact on the AVMA and the veterinary community at large,” said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the AVMA. “We are incredibly proud to honor Dr. Kinnarney with this award, recognizing his life-long contributions to veterinary medicine."

Dr. Joseph Kinnarney acceptance speech

A 1980 graduate of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kinnarney’s commitment to the veterinary profession began as Student AVMA president in 1979, and he has continued his service for more than four decades.

In 1990, he joined the AVMA House of Delegates as an alternate delegate for North Carolina, serving until 1999, when he was elected vice president of the AVMA. Upon completing his term as vice president in 2001, he rejoined the AVMA HOD as a delegate through 2007, while also serving as president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association from 2001-2007. He next served on the AVMA Board of Directors from 2007-2013. He was voted president-elect of the AVMA in 2014, serving his term as president in 2015-2016.

Because of his extensive experience with the AVMA, his business acumen and his passion for the profession, he was selected to be chair of the newly established AVMA Trust in 2018, where he successfully led the merger of AVMA LIFE and AVMA PLIT. Under his direction, the Trust has grown and transitioned to meet the current and future needs of AVMA members. Highlights of his tenure with the Trust include the introduction of an association retirement plan and group healthcare offerings as well as expanded coverage for veterinary students.

Dr. Kinnarney has a special place in his heart for the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, having served the AVMA’s philanthropic arm as a director between 2008 and 2018. His service to both the Foundation and the Trust helped both entities evolve into the vital, relevant entities they are today.

In addition to his service within the AVMA and the veterinary profession, Dr. Kinnarney has made significant contributions to his local community, serving on the boards of the Reidsville (N.C.) Rotary Club, Annie Penn Memorial Hospital, FNB Southeast Bank, Reidsville Chamber of Commerce and the Newbridge Bank. He also served as president of the Reidsville Veterinary Hospital (where he worked as a mixed-animal practitioner since 1980), Bel-Aire Veterinary Hospital, Mebane Veterinary Hospital, The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt and Carolina Equine Hospital.

Dr. Kinnarney was previously recognized for his service to the profession with the AVMA President’s Award in 2019, Veterinarian of the Year by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association in 1991 and the NCVMA Distinguished Veterinarian Award in 2006—the association’s highest honor.

“Veterinary medicine has been my passion for over 40 years,” said Dr. Kinnarney. “I am very honored to receive this prestigious award."

To view Dr. Kinnarney’s acceptance video, click here or visit https://vimeo.com/843311431/e6f9166bc4.

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

For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell) 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.