Dr. Link Welborn named recipient of 2022 AVMA Award

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AVMA Award recipient Dr. Link Welborn
View Dr. Link Welborn's AVMA Award acceptance speech below.

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) July 30, 2022—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today named Dr. Link Welborn, chief executive officer of Veterinary Study Groups, Covetrus Chief Veterinary Officer North America and past president of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), as the winner of the 2022 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. Welborn’s service to the AVMA with advocacy and industry partners has been paramount in our advances in animal health and the economics of veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Jose Arce, president of the AVMA. “It is my pleasure to present him with the 2022 AVMA Award.” 

Dr. Welborn has served in numerous leadership roles with the AVMA and AAHA. In addition to serving as AAHA president, Dr. Welborn has represented AAHA in the AVMA House of Delegates and served on the AAHA-AVMA Preventive Healthcare Guidelines Task Force. He has been the chair of AVMA’s House of Delegates Allied Groups Caucus, AVMA Workforce Advisory Group and AVMA Economics Strategy Committee.

With AAHA, Dr. Welborn has chaired task forces that produced the most recent major enhancements and revisions to the standards of accreditation for primary care small animal practices, the first standards of accreditation for small animal specialty practices, and the 2017 Canine Vaccination Guidelines.

As CEO of Veterinary Study Groups (VSG), the umbrella organization for the over 60 Veterinary Management Groups, Dr. Welborn helped spearhead the development of the AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts, AAHA-Accredited VMG Groups and the VSG/AVMA Principles of Veterinary Data Ownership & Stewardship.

A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in canine and feline practice, Dr. Welborn earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine with honors from the University of Florida in 1982, and currently owns six AAHA-accredited animal hospitals in Tampa, Florida.

Dr. Welborn has previously been recognized with the AVMA President’s Award, AAHA Practitioner of the Year Award, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Achievement Award and Florida Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year Award.

“Over the last 40 years, I’ve been privileged to participate in numerous collaborative efforts with an unwavering focus on win-win outcomes for all the stakeholders in the veterinary profession including the animals and people for which we care,” said Dr. Welborn. “I am honored and humbled to receive the AVMA Award.”

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.