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 AVMA Honors Excellence in Animal Welfare, Public Health, Education and Research

 (CHICAGO, Ill.) July 18, 2013—Compassion, dedication, creativity and determination are the unifying traits that describe the 18 individuals and organizations honored at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Annual Convention, July 19-23, 2013 in Chicago, Ill. Each recipient has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of both animals and people across the country and around the globe.

This year’s award recipients are:


2013 AVMA Award

Recognizes distinguished members of the Association who have contributed to the advancement of veterinary medicine in its organizational aspects.

James Brandt, DVM

Dr. James H. Brandt received his DVM degree from Oklahoma State University in 1964. He has been involved in organized veterinary medicine his entire career and has served his profession with honesty and dedication for 50 years. He held all offices of his local association and was president in 1972. He represented District 7 of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) from 1981–1989 serving on numerous committees and was elected president in 1990. He was the primary founder in the establishment of the Florida Veterinary Medical Foundation in 2000. He served on the FVMA Fiscal Advisory Committee until 2005. Dr. Brandt was honored as the Florida Veterinarian of the Year in 1993, and received the Distinguished Service Award in 2003.  He received Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 from Oklahoma State University.

He served in the AVMA House of Delegates representing Florida from 1990– 2000. He was elected and served as president of the AVMA in 2001 and, with the dedication of many veterinarians, helped guide the AVMA through the aftermath of the horrendous terrorist attack on our country on September 11, 2001. He proposed and was instrumental in the AVMA building beautification. He worked tirelessly to assist the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) in their charge to raise the economic level of the profession. He was elected trustee to the Group Health and Life Insurance Trust (GHLIT) in 2005 and today continues to work for an acceptable source of health insurance for the members of the AVMA.

Dr. Brandt is equally active in his community. He served as president of the Venice-Nokomis Rotary Club, a director of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Sunnyland Boy Scouts of America and as vestryman and senior warden of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He helped found two community banks and has served as a bank director since 1977. He served on the Venice Hospital Board for nine years and is a founding director of The Venice Foundation. He has participated in many welfare events with local animal welfare groups and humane societies. 


2013 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award

Recognizes the outstanding work of veterinarians in preserving and protecting human-animal relationships.

Benjamin Hart, DVM, Ph.D.

Benjamin Hart, after completing his DVM and a Ph.D. in animal behavior and neurology at the University of Minnesota, joined the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California at Davis in 1964. Soon after arriving at UC Davis, he developed the first course in veterinary behavior and then launched the first clinical behavior service in the teaching hospital. Starting in the early 1970s, and continuing for his entire career, he published a long string of papers on clinically relevant aspects of companion animal behavior as well as basic animal behavior. Dr. Hart has 200 research publications, book chapters and books. While Dr. Hart is now retired from UC Davis as distinguished professor emeritus, he maintains an active research, writing and teaching schedule.

Dr. Hart has long emphasized the connection between companion animal behavior and the human-animal bond – resolving a problem behavior, or preventing it, is important in supporting the human-animal bond. As the area of human-animal interactions has evolved over the years, Dr. Hart has acquired a commitment to helping pet owners in being active decision makers, with their veterinarian’s guidance, regarding the age for spay and neuter in the long-term health of their canine family member. The first contribution in this area is a study he led on golden retrievers, published this year in the online journal, PLOS ONE.  

Dr. Hart is a founding diplomate and past president of the board-certifying American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. He has mentored many on the current roster of ACVB diplomates. The clinical research program carried out in the behavior residency training program at UC Davis has resulted in more clinical animal behavior research publications than any other center.

Along with his passion for clinical animal behavior, Dr. Hart was always interested in behavioral defenses that wild animals use to protect themselves from parasites and pathogens. Much of this work is reviewed in his recent invited paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society entitled, “Behavioural defenses against pathogens and parasites: parallels with the pillars of medicine in humans.”

In this paper Dr. Hart lays out the basis for his hypothesis that humans get sick more often than animals (with the ordinary infectious diseases). For his work in basic animal behavior, Dr. Hart was elected as a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society.


2013 AVMA Animal Welfare Award

Recognizes a veterinarian for his/her achievements in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.

Leslie D. Appel, DVM

Dr. Leslie D. Appel is the founder and executive director of Shelter Outreach Services (SOS).  SOS is a high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter (HQHVSN) program dedicated to decreasing the companion animal overpopulation problem in the Finger Lakes area of New York state. Since program inception in 2003, over 82,000 animals have been sterilized through the SOS program. Dr. Appel is also a courtesy lecturer at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Cornell veterinary students rotate through SOS every week, in order to gain more hands-on surgical experience as well as first-hand experience in HQHVSN and shelter medicine.

Dr. Appel is also the founder of the annual Shelter Medicine Conference that is held at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine every summer. This conference, sponsored in part by the ASPCA, is in the tenth year and Dr. Appel now serves on the Conference Planning Committee for this event.

Prior to her current positions, Dr. Appel was a staff member at the ASPCA, where she was the director of shelter veterinary outreach. In this position, she represented the ASPCA with regard to spay/neuter issues as well as other shelter medicine topics. While at the ASPCA, she received the ASPCA’s Angel Award in recognition for her contribution to animal welfare. 

Before joining the ASPCA, Dr. Appel was a full-time faculty member at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine where she served as an instructor in small animal surgery. She enhanced Cornell’s shelter medicine program by teaching the students spay and neuter surgical techniques utilizing animals from local shelters. During her tenure at Cornell, Dr. Appel also started the Cornell Animal Sterilization Assistance Program (C-ASAP), and was the director of Cornell Companions, a pet visitation program. While at Cornell, she received the Public Service Center Faculty Recognition Award, and the Katherine Cole Cortland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) award.

As a frequent speaker at local, regional and national conferences, she lectures on the topics of pediatric spay/neuter; high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter; as well as other shelter medicine topics. Dr. Appel authored the surgery chapter in the first textbook of shelter medicine, “Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff,” as well as the Canine Parvovirus and Coronavirus Chapter in “Infectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters.”  Her updated surgery chapter focusing on pediatric spay/neuter is published in the second edition of “Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff.”

Dr. Appel is a member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She has previously served on the AVMA's Animal Welfare Committee and on the ASV's Board of Directors.

Dr. Appel lives in Ithaca, N.Y. with her husband, Keith, their two compassionate children, Bailey and Boden, their beloved dog, BeeBee, and their treasured cat, Pip.


2013 AVMA Humane Award

Recognizes a non-veterinarian’s achievements in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy.

Mark Tinsman

Born in a rural farming community in Virginia, as a preacher’s kid, Mark Tinsman spent much of his first five years on the farms of family friends, so from an early age interacting with animals was part of his life experience. His first family pet was an adopted barn cat that lived nearly 21 years. After moving from Virginia and settling in Delaware, his first dog entered and shared his life. For most of his years, he has shared his home with dogs (and humans, of course) for the enrichment and companionship that they provide. 

For a majority of the 28 years he spent as a Red Cross volunteer or employee, Tinsman developed an appreciation for the importance of household pets in the lives of disaster victims. After joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a mass care specialist in 2006, one of his primary roles has been facilitating household pet and service animal coordination and support issues. 

He has worked with organizations such as the AVMA, North American Regional Science Council (NARSC), National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP), and numerous federal partners to develop and promote humane options for disaster survivors and their pets to evacuate and shelter before or following a disaster. Given years of interaction with animals, the opportunity to combine a passion for animal welfare and disaster relief activities together has been a unique experience. Whether working with partners on planning activities or deployed to the field following a disaster, the chance to assist people and their pets has made his work life all the more satisfying.


2013 AVMF/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research

Recognizes a candidate’s long-term contribution to the field of canine research.

Kenneth W. Simpson, BVM&S, Ph.D., DipACVIM, DipECVIM-CA

Kenneth W. Simpson graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1984, and gained a Ph.D. in gastroenterology at the University of Leicester in 1988. He completed an internship at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and a medicine residency at The Ohio State University in 1991. He returned to the U.K. as a lecturer at the other Royal Veterinary College and subsequently joined the faculty at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1995.

He is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is a past-president of the Comparative Gastroenterology Society and a recipient of the National Phi Zeta and Pfizer awards for research, and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Bourgelat Award for outstanding contributions to the field of small animal practice. His research interests are centered below the diaphragm, with a focus on inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (including the pancreas and liver), host bacterial interactions in health and disease, and culture independent bacteriology.


2013 AVMF/Winn Feline Foundation Award

Honors a candidate’s long-term contribution to advancing feline research.

William Murphy, Ph.D.

William Murphy received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in 1997 from Tulsa University, and completed his postdoctoral work at the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute. He worked as a senior scientist at National Institutes of Health (NIH) before joining Texas A&M University in 2004.

His research focuses on two broad yet complementary themes: mammalian phylogenetics and conservation genetics, specifically seeking to catalogue the extent of living mammalian biodiversity on Earth, and interpret patterns of correlated genetic and environmental changes that contribute to diversification and extinction of populations and species; and Mammalian comparative genomics, specifically focusing on mapping and annotating the domestic cat genome, towards identifying genes as models of human disorders as well as those relating to species adaptation and reproductive isolation.

Dr. Murphy has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and volumes, including many in Science and Nature. His lab has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Morris Animal Foundation, Cat Health Network, Winn Feline Foundation, American Kennel Club – Canine Health Foundation, and The Snow Leopard Conservancy.



2013 AVMA Lifetime Excellence Research Award

Recognizes a veterinary researcher on the basis of lifetime achievement in basic, applied, or clinical research.

Gustavo Aguirre, DVM, Ph.D.

Dr. Gustavo D. Aguirre is professor of medical genetics and ophthalmology at The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his undergraduate, veterinary, and doctoral degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed a residency in ophthalmology in the School of Veterinary Medicine before serving as a post-doctoral fellow at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Aguirre joined the faculty at Penn in 1973, where he rose to hold joint professorial appointments in the veterinary and medical schools. From 1992–2004, he was at the James A. Baker Institute of Cornell University as the Caspary professor of ophthalmology. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and the The Seeing Eye, Inc.

Dr. Aguirre has received numerous awards including an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from the faculty of mathematics and natural sciences, University of Göteborg, Sweden; the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)/Waltham International Award for Scientific Achievement; The Foundation Fighting Blindness Trustee Award; Scientist of the Year; Heart Sight Miami/Foundation Fighting Blindness Award; The O.N.C.E. International Prize for R&D in Biomedicine and New Technologies for the Blind; the International Prize in Canine Health; and he was a co-recipient of the Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research. He is an elected fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies.


2013 Inaugural William F. McCulloch Award for Excellence in HAI Practice or Education

Acknowledges outstanding achievements of practitioners and educators in the field of human-animal relations.

Elizabeth Ormerod, BVMS, MRCVS, FRSA

Dr. Elizabeth Ormerod is a Scottish veterinary surgeon with 37 years of experience in companion animal practice. She became attuned to the importance of the human-animal bond (HAB) in 1975 while managing the University of Glasgow’s inner city charity clinic. In 1984 she and her husband, a veterinary pathologist, purchased a companion animal practice. Strategies were developed to assess, support and strengthen clients’ human-animal bonds, creating a bond-centered practice.

As a Churchill Fellow and during subsequent study trips, Dr. Ormerod has had opportunities to visit outstanding Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) programs in the United States, Europe and Japan. Working with colleagues from the other health and social care professions, she has introduced AAI programs to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and prisons.

Dr. Ormerod is co-founder of Canine Partners, the U.K. assistance-dog program, is a visiting lecturer on the HAB at U.K. veterinary schools and is a trainer on AAI courses offered by the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS). She is the current chairman of the SCAS (, an international, interdisciplinary HAB membership organization, the first of its kind to be established in the world and the largest outside North America.



2013 Distinguished Scholar Award

Recognizes a corpus of published work (books, journal articles, and/or book chapters) that is judged to have made a particularly significant or scholarly contribution to our understanding of human-animal interactions and relationships

Harold Herzog, Ph.D.

Dr. Harold Herzog received a B.S. in psychology from the American University of Beirut and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. Originally trained in animal behavior, his ethological studies ranged from investigations of personalities in snakes to the vocal communication system of alligators. For the past 25 years, his research has focused on human-animal interactions. These have included studies of the psychology of animal activists, the moral thinking of cockfighters, gender differences in attitudes towards animals, the decision-making processes of animal care and use committees, and factors that fuel rapid shifts in dog breed popularity. His articles have appeared in journals such as Science, the American Psychologist, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Anthrozoös, Society and Animals, Animal Behavior, the American Scholar, and Biology Letters.  He serves on the editorial boards of Society and Animals and Ethics and Behavior, and is associate editor of Anthrozoös.  His book “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals” (Harper) has been translated into nine languages, and he writes a blog on human-animal interactions (“Animals and Us”) for Psychology Today magazine.

An award-winning teacher, he is professor of psychology at Western Carolina University. He lives in the Smoky Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Mary Jean, and their cat, Tilly. 


2013 AVMA Public Service Award

Recognizes an AVMA member veterinarian for long terms of outstanding public service or unusual contributions to the practice or science of public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.

Millicent Eidson, MA, DVM, DACVPM

Dr. Millicent Eidson is a research scientist with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), serving as a co-lead on climate change and health. She is also associate professor and associate chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany School of Public Health.

Her broad perspective on One Health began with a focus on social psychology, followed by her 1983 DVM degree from Colorado State University. As a veterinary student, she explored public health through a Giardia study and a birth defects externship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the National Cancer Institute, she participated in cancer research and characterized mortality risks from tornadoes. In 1985 she joined the New Mexico Health Department as its environmental epidemiologist, and became state public health veterinarian in 1986. She conducted studies on feline plague, food and water-borne diseases, and lead contamination. Her proudest accomplishment was the first investigation associating l-tryptophan consumption with a new disease, eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, leading to an FDA ban.

After joining NYSDOH in 1997, she established the first dead bird reporting system as an early indicator of human risk to West Nile virus. Her leadership with the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, the Epidemiology Specialty of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, and the American Association of Public Health Veterinarians has rewarded her with opportunities to work collaboratively on One Health issues with public health and regulatory veterinarians in local, state, federal, academic, and non-governmental organizations.


2013 AVMA Meritorious Service Award

Recognizes an individual veterinarian who has brought public honor and distinction to the veterinary profession through personal, professional, or community service activities that are conducted outside the scope of organized veterinary medicine or research.

Cathy King, DVM, MS, Ph.D.

Dr. Cathy King is the chief executive officer and founder of World Vets, an international veterinary aid organization. She grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho and attended the University of Idaho where she completed her B.S. in veterinary science. She is a 1997 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and also completed a M.S. in animal science and Ph.D. in animal physiology from the University of Idaho, having completed her second doctorate by the age of 25.

Before starting World Vets, she was a mixed animal practitioner for seven years and then started Hometown Animal Hospital, a progressive small animal hospital located in Deer Park, Wash. She sold her practice in 2008 to provide full time leadership for World Vets.

The organization currently provides veterinary aid in 36 developing countries worldwide with programs focused on small animals, horses, livestock and public health.  World Vets is the veterinary NGO that provides civilian veterinarians for U.S. military humanitarian aid missions (Pacific Partnership and Continuing Promise) each year and also provides international disaster relief services.

World Vets runs an International Veterinary Medicine Program geared toward veterinary and technician students and also runs the Latin America Veterinary Training Center, which is a year-round clinic in Nicaragua that provides surgical and anesthesia training programs for veterinarians and upper level veterinary students from all over Central and South America.

Over 900 veterinarians volunteer with World Vets, which deploys a veterinary team nearly every week of the year to locations worldwide.


2013 AVMA Advocacy Award

Recognizes an individual for his/her contribution to advance the AVMA’s Legislative Agenda and advocate on behalf of the veterinary profession.

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader

From the first day U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), a veterinarian, won election to Congress in 2008, he has shown himself to be a diligent and conscientious lawmaker who steadfastly works to advance policies and initiatives beneficial for the veterinary profession, food safety and animal health and welfare. Rep. Schrader is a reliable and trusted resource for fellow lawmakers who seek his counsel on issues concerning veterinary medicine and small business management.

In March, Congressman Schrader introduced the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act, which would make the Veterinary Medicine Loan Prepayment Program tax exempt. In April, Rep. Schrader introduced the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which would allow veterinarians to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice without a separate registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Rep. Schrader has also cosponsored the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act and the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013, two of AVMA’s high-priority bills for animal welfare.

Rep. Schrader’s persistent work and political acumen has helped to ensure that key provisions of importance to the veterinary profession were included in the House version of the Farm Bill during the last congressional session. Among these provisions is the establishment of a competitive veterinary services grant program to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services. Those efforts during the last session continue in the current Congress.

Rep. Schrader is a member of the House Agriculture Committee where he is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture. He also sits on the House Small Business Committee. Along with fellow veterinarian U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Rep. Schrader is a founding member of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus.


2013 XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize

Recognizes outstanding service by a member of the Association who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine.

Corrie Brown, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP

Corrie Brown received her Bachelor of Science in animal behavior from McGill University and her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.  She completed a combined residency/Ph.D. in comparative pathology at the University of California at Davis. 

She was an assistant professor of pathology at Louisiana State University briefly before joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture at Plum Island, where, as head of the Pathology Section, she specialized in the diagnosis and pathogenesis of transboundary animal diseases. In 1996, she joined the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine as professor of veterinary pathology. 

In 2003, she was honored with the university’s highest teaching award, being named a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Brown has worked internationally in building animal health infrastructure and diagnostics for more than 25 years. She has conducted workshops on basic field necropsy and diagnostic techniques in 30 countries. Dr. Brown has served on many national and international expert panels about animal health and has received numerous awards for her efforts. She is happiest when working on animal health issues with veterinarians in a developing-country setting.


2013 Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Headed Cane Award (two awards)

Recognizes the achievement of an individual concerned with animal health who has significantly advanced human health through the practice of veterinary epidemiology and public health.

Yoshihiro Ozawa, DVM, Ph.D.

Dr. Yoshihori Ozawa graduated with his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Tokyo in 1954, following that with his M.S. from Colorado State University in 1957 and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1959. Throughout his career, he has spent almost all of his time in the international community with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Japan National Institute of Health working for the prevention and management of high impact animal diseases.

 For example, he spent nine years (1962–1972) working on a tissue culture-based vaccine for African Horse Sickness. This resulted in the eradication of the disease in the Near East and in most Mediterranean countries. His most recent achievement and the most important of his career is his role in the eradication of Rinderpest in the world, a joint campaign of the FAO and OIE, which was announced by OIE in 2011. 

 Dr. Ozawa has been a prolific scientific writer for his entire career, with over 200 publications in print including three books. “Highly Infectious Diseases of Animals” came out in 1996 followed by “International Veterinary Medicine” in 2006. His most recent book is entitled “Exotic Diseases of Animals,” which came out in 2011.

 Dr. Ozawa has received many distinguished awards and recognition throughout his career. For example, he received the FAO Medal for Global Eradication of Rinderpest in 2011. He was named an Honorary Diplomate of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society in 1988.

William McCulloch, DVM, MPH

After two years in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and one year in a private small animal practice, Dr. William McCulloch developed a penchant for more knowledge in a quest to better understand the dynamics of the human-animal interface. It was only logical for him to complete a master’s in Public Health in 1960 as a Public Health Service extern at the University of Minnesota. This experience piqued his interest in zoonotic diseases. For the nearly 30 years, he conducted significant research on many zoonoses such as leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, ringworm and giardiasis leading to influential publications in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Medical Education, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Journal of Applied Microbiology and others. He developed the first course on zoonotic diseases ever taught in a college of pharmacy. In addition, he consulted extensively for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in South America and the Caribbean basin. He is co-author/editor of “Diseases Transmitted from Animals to Man” published in 1975, one of the only texts of its kind in the world at the time. Dr. McCulloch has over 100 scientific publications to his credit, including chapters in three books.

 Dr. McCulloch has always been a team player, an agent for healthy change, and always ready to donate his time and expertise to help advance organized veterinary medicine. For example, he chaired the AVMA Continuing Education Advisory Committee from 1968 to 1978. Under his rein, the AVMA Executive Board created the first full-time position overseeing continuing education for the AVMA and also approved this historic addition to the Veterinarian’s Oath in 1969: “I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.”

 Dr. McCulloch was the chair and/or an active member of the AVMA Council on Education, 1976 to 1984. As president of the Association of Teachers of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, he organized a PAHO workshop to develop the first competency-based curriculum in veterinary public health in 1973. In 1974, he created the first urban-based veterinary extension position at the University of Missouri for the purpose of advancing the field of animal control and a better understanding of the human/animal interface. In 1976, he brought the Texas A&M colleges of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine together to host the first ever Symposium on Ethics and History of Medicine, Veterinary and Human. This early One Health endeavor is further evidence of how Dr. McCulloch always seemed to be decades ahead of his contemporaries. In the same vein, he became the first director of the newly created Institute of Comparative Medicine in 1974, a collaborative effort with Texas A&M University and Baylor College of Medicine as partners. He also served as a professor of environmental health at the University of Texas School of Public Health and a professor of microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine.

 As science and field research projects began winding down later in his career, Dr. McCulloch began exploring his passion to better understand the complexities of human-animal relationships and how they can lead to better physical and mental health for people. He teamed up with his brother Michael, a leading psychiatrist, and Dr. Leo Bustad, a well-known visionary in veterinary medicine. Dr. McCulloch discovered early on that very little was published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature on this subject.  Working closely with his brother and colleagues, the Delta Foundation was formed (later renamed the Delta Society) in 1977. Four years later, Dr. McCulloch led the way to initiating the AVMA’s Human-Animal Bond Task Force and became its founding chair.  He worked behind the scenes with the Delta Society to help pass the Housing and Urban Rural Recovery Act of 1983. This legislation set the stage for promoting the therapeutic significance of pets. The rest is history. The collective impact of the Delta Society and other organizations with similar missions is enormous. Truly, Dr. McCulloch will go down in history as having helped to birth the vital concept we now refer to as the human-animal bond. His pioneering work has led to improved quality of life for millions of people all over the world.

 At a time in his career when most folks are slowing down, Dr. McCulloch accepted the position of associate dean for medical programs at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. From 1987 to 1989, he worked to improve curricula and student programs. In 1990 he became administrative director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center of Oregon where he helped nurture a complex joint research program involving two hospitals and Oregon Health and Sciences University. In 1997, he became development director of the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital, a non-profit group in Portland, Ore. that is heavily involved in promoting animal-assisted therapy and more. While in this position, the hospital received a $7.6 million bequest.


2013 AVMA President’s Award (three awards)

Recognizes individuals and groups inside and outside veterinary medicine who have made a positive impact on animal, human or public health, veterinary organizations and the profession.

Link Welborn, DVM, DABVP

The award states: "In recognition of his outstanding contribution of time, wisdom and leadership as Chair of the Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee and the Workforce Advisory Group, 2012- 2013."

Dr. Link Welborn is the owner of four American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited small animal hospitals in Tampa, Fla. and is a past president of AAHA. A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in canine and feline practice, he earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine with honors from the University of Florida in 1982.

Dr. Welborn has served in numerous leadership roles with AAHA and AVMA.

These include serving as chairman of the AAHA 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 2011 Canine Vaccination Guidelines.

Dr. Welborn was also a member of the AAHA/AVMA Task Force that developed the Canine and Feline Preventive Healthcare Guidelines for the Partners for Healthy Pets initiative.

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI), is currently a member of Veterinary Management Group 1, and is the vice president and chairman of the Strategic Opportunities Committee of Veterinary Study Groups.

He is the AAHA Delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates and the chair of the AVMA Economics Strategy Committee and chaired the AVMA Workforce Advisory Group, which was responsible for the 2013 Veterinary Workforce Study. 

Dr. Welborn has received the 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. 

Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS

The award states: "For recognizing the value of our heritage and, in our sesquicentennial year, helping us to better understand and preserve our past and the people whose contributions built the veterinary profession."

Dr. Donald F. Smith earned his DVM with distinction from the University of Guelph and completed a large animal residency at the University of Pennsylvania. His early career focused on food animal and equine surgery at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Returning to Cornell as department chair and associate dean in 1987, he led the development of the new veterinary curriculum now in its 21st year.

As dean (1997-2007), Dr. Smith repositioned Cornell as the premier veterinary college in the country and as the academic medical center on the Cornell campus. He established academic priorities in cancer biology and oncology, genomics and medical genetics, and pathogenic bacteriology, and reconfigured the departmental structure to align with 21st century medicine. It was the most substantial departmental reconfiguration in the history of the college. Extramural research funding increased substantially, and a $55-million life sciences building was completed in 2007. Funding was also obtained for a new diagnostic laboratory. Clinical residency and graduate programs expanded significantly, and a DVM/Ph.D. program was established. Cornell regained number one ranking among U.S. veterinary colleges in 2000, a position it holds to the present.

As dean emeritus, Dr. Smith devotes his time to teaching and to researching the history of veterinary medicine largely through oral interviews. He teaches a course called Veterinary Medicine, The Versatile Profession and his blog has readers in over 100 countries. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the AVMA, Smith authors “Perspectives in Veterinary Medicine” ( He is a member of the National Academy of Practices.

American Association of Equine Practitioners

The award states: "In recognition of strong initiatives that promote the health and wellness of horses and for effectively collaborating with AVMA to advance our common interests."

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to equine veterinary medicine. Founded in 1954, the AAEP is comprised of nearly 10,000 veterinarians and veterinary students who dedicate their life's work to caring for the horse. The AAEP brings together its diverse membership from private practice, academia, regulatory medicine and research in the pursuit of one mission – to improve the health and welfare of the horse. 

It is through this mission that the AAEP serves as a respected source of information for the equine industry. From animal welfare to uniform medication rules in equine competition, the AAEP dedicates resources to provide a consistent veterinary perspective to contemporary issues affecting horse health. The professional development of today’s equine veterinarian also is a primary goal of the association. The AAEP Annual Convention and the association’s six ancillary education events attract veterinarians from around the world who want to stay current on the latest clinical information and trends in equine medicine. 

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