Dr. Scarlett Magda named recipient of 2023 AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) July 17, 2023—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today named Dr. Scarlett Magda as the winner of the 2023 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. Scarlett Magda's acceptance speech

“Dr. Magda’s pioneering efforts and contributions to global veterinary service have left a remarkable impact worldwide,” said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the AVMA. “Her extraordinary work in promoting the ideals of One Health—focusing on human, animal and environmental health—and her instrumental role in establishing Veterinarians International and Vet Angels show her to be a true leader in the field and a well-deserved recipient of this prestigious award.”

In 2014, Dr. Magda cofounded Veterinarians International to help train and empower veterinarians in ecologically sensitive regions around the world and to strengthen education and the quality of animal healthcare and human health worldwide. Her vision and leadership have resulted in a series of significant achievements, which include:

  • Vaccinating over 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.
  • Training law enforcement officials in forensic investigation to help with the illegal poaching of Asian elephants.
  • Helping enable the largest Asian elephant release back into to the wild after treatment and rehabilitation in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka.
  • Providing food and medical aid for chimpanzees rescued from illegal pet and bushmeat trades in partnership with Liberia Chimpanzee and Rescue.
  • Providing health care services including vaccinations to over a half a million sheep, goats and donkeys in Kenya in partnership with the Marsabit county government and local NGO Sauti Moja.
  • Enabling the first elephant blood transfusion to take place in Sri Lanka and is in the process of creating the first biomechanically sound hind-limb prosthesis with 3-D printed components made for an Asian elephant.
  • Supporting veterinarians from Sri Lanka to receive advanced training in wildlife anesthesia (avian, reptile and mammalian medicine) and a masters in wildlife health and management from the Royal Veterinary College.

Dr. Magda’s commitment to expanding veterinary expertise and education extends to her establishment of Vet Angels, a network of world-class vet specialists designed to aid veterinarians in remote regions navigate challenging cases. This has resulted in notable breakthroughs, enabling veterinary professionals in underserved areas to tackle complex procedures and improve their skill sets.

Beyond her roles in Veterinarians International and Vet Angels, Dr. Magda is also known for her work in delivering low-cost veterinary services to impoverished communities in Valdivia, Chile, South America's only temperate rainforest through the GAAP/VI Clinic. Dr. Magda's work has not only resulted in significant animal health improvements but has also had substantial implications on human health and community welfare.

More recently, Dr. Magda’s work has expanded to creating a national One Health veterinary training program starting in Kenya where she has gathered the Kenya Wildlife Service, University of Nairobi Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, county governments and various conservancies in an effort to double the number of wildlife veterinarians serving the country.

“It is an honor and a privilege to do this work and receive this meaningful award,” said Dr. Magda. “My dream now is to elevate our profession, empower each other and expand our ability to heal and protect.”

To view Dr. Magda’s acceptance video, click here or visit https://vimeo.com/843301730/1c14951988

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.