Veterinary emergency, critical care groups hold symposium


27th International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, Sept. 11-15, 2021, Nashville, Tennessee


This year’s symposium focused on pharmacology. The symposium was conducted jointly by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses, American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia, International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, and Association of Veterinary Hematology and Transfusion Medicine. Cary Aarons, MD, Philadelphia, presented the Knowles Memorial Keynote Lecture, discussing strategies to ensure success in diversifying the workforce.


Dr. Otto
Dr. Cynthia Otto

Ira M. Zaslow VECCS Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Cynthia Otto (Ohio State ’86), Philadelphia. Dr. Otto is a professor of working dog sciences and sports medicine and director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. From 1991-2014, she served as an attending clinician in the Penn Vet Emergency Service. Dr. Otto is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the American College of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Her research interests are focused on the health, genetic, and behavioral aspects of performance in detection dogs.

Dr. Hall
Dr. Kelly Hall

Dr. Jack Mara ACVECC Scientific Achievement Award
Dr. Kelly Hall (Minnesota ’98), Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. Hall is an associate professor of critical care in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. A diplomate of the ACVECC, she also serves as executive director of the ACVECC Veterinary Committee on Trauma. Dr. Hall co-leads the Translational Trauma Research Alliance, and her research efforts include multicenter translational clinical trials.

T. Doug Byars Equine Emergency & Critical Care Educator of the Year Award
Dr. Rose Nolen-Walston (Georgia ’01), Landenberg. Dr. Nolen-Walston is an associate professor of large animal internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

VECCS Practice Manager of the Year, sponsored by Nationwide Insurance
Suzanne DeCook, Chicago. DeCook is the clinical manager of nursing at MedVet Chicago.

ACVECC Research Grant Awards
Dr. Joaquin Araos, Cornell University ($10,000), for “Comparison of the effects of CPAP versus oxygen therapy alone on postoperative recovery in brachycephalic dogs undergoing surgery”; Dr. Yu Ueda, North Carolina State University ($9,968), for “Urinary oxygen tension as a novel biomarker for medullary hypoxia and acute kidney injury in dogs”; and Dr. John Thomason, Mississippi State University ($5,664), for “Impact of three different wash solutions on canine erythrocytes in units of stored whole blood.”

ACVECC Health & Wellbeing Research Grant Award ($2,700)
Dr. Amy Alwood, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, for “Improving team member well-being through an associate-driven ‘care council’ and integrated well-being practices in daily emergency and specialty clinical practices.”

ACVECC CPR Research Grant Award 
Dr. Jessica Sands, Cornell University ($8,401), for “Assessment of optimal chest compression depth and rate during CPR in a feline perfused cadaver model,” and Dr. Jessica Eisenbarth, Tufts University ($1,930), for “Evaluation of CPR techniques in domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus)”

Small Animal Resident Abstract Award, sponsored by Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital 
A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Noel Vezzi, University of Georgia, for “Validation of the test & treat rapid detection kit for the diagnosis of septic effusions in dogs and cats.”

Small Animal Poster Abstract Award, sponsored by Animal Blood Resources International
A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Claire Puzio, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, for “Delay of definitive care in cats and dogs with gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction following antiemetic administration: a retrospective review.”

Large Animal Resident Abstract Award
A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Rebecca Bishop, University of Illinois, for “Characterizing the core microbiome of equine gastric juice.”

Veterinary Case Report Award, sponsored by Animal Blood Resources International
A stipend of $500 was awarded to Dr. Kaitlyn Mazzaccari, University of Florida, for “Mechanical ventilation in a ferret secondary to THC toxicity.”

Technician Case Report Award, sponsored by Animal Blood Resources International
A stipend of $300 was awarded to Chloe Alexander, MedVet, for “Imperforate cor triatriatum dexter in a Bulldog mix.”

Royal Canin Nutritional Case Report Award
A stipend of $500 was awarded to Dr. Rebecca Sepuya, North Carolina State University, for “Successful management of a dog with severe burn injury.”

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society


The society has more than 6,000 members. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, two in-person continuing education events with appropriate health screening and safety precautions were held last April and September in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee, respectively. The society continues to be in a strong financial position. Online continuing education offerings to membership have risen and will continue to expand. Participation in social media continues to be strong. A task force was convened to look at diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a report was presented to the board of directors last December. Strategic planning is underway.


Dr. Mazzaferro
Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro
Kenichiro Yagi
Kenichiro Yagi

Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, Norwalk, Connecticut, president; Kenichiro Yagi, Ithaca, New York, president-elect; Dr. Matt Booth, Boulder, Colorado, treasurer; Leslie Carter, Fort Collins, Colorado, recording secretary; Dr. Linda Martin, Pullman, Washington, immediate past president; Dr. Chris Gray, DeWitt, Michigan, chief executive officer; and members-at-large—Dr. Julie Dechant, Davis, California, and Cindy Hauser, Denver, Colorado

American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care


The ACVECC held its annual business meeting. The president of the ACVECC, Dr. Ken Drobatz, and ACVECC executive secretary, Dr. Armelle de Laforcade, moderated the meeting. The college conducted its certification examination remotely Sept. 7-8, 2021.

New diplomates

Forty-seven individuals passed the certification examination. They are as follows:

Samantha Almeida, Cazenovia, New York
H. Grady Bailin, East Lansing, Michigan
Alexander James Barnes, Culver City, California
Noa Berlin, Westborough, Massachusetts
Maria Brandifino, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 
Megan Burke, Raleigh, North Carolina
Victoria Chu, Ithaca, New York
Naomi Crabtree, Athens, Georgia
Catherine Crecraft, New York City
Kimberly Denroche, New York City
Adrienne Felix, Los Angeles
Christiana Fischer Wilson, Philadelphia
Aaron Galton, Mesa, Arizona
Sarah Gradilla, Stamford, Connecticut
Jennifer Groover, Naples, Florida 
Andrea “Emma” Henriksson, Auburn, Alabama
Michael Kato, Raleigh, North Carolina
Morgan Kelley, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Audrey Koid, Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts 
Natalie Kovak, Philadelphia 
Amanda Kuhl, Aviston, Illinois
Elyzabeth Lemieux, Westborough, Massachusetts
Barbara Li, Los Angeles 
Tasia Lukwik, Blaine, Minnesota
Alexis McLaine, Mesa, Arizona    
Stephen Millar, Fort Collins, Colorado
Ana Moreira, Newbridge, Ireland
Sophia Morse, Petersham, Australia
Nama Oppenheimer, Rishon LeZion, Israel 
Lily Parkinson, Athens, Georgia
Emma-Leigh Pearson, Chicago
Julie Pfeifer, East Lansing, Michigan
Helen Philp, Davis, California
Natosha Richardson, Nottingham, Maryland
Kaela Shaw, Guelph, Ontario 
Timothy Sherer, Las Vegas
April Summers, Ithaca, New York
Jessica Sun, Providence, Rhode Island 
Katherine Tallaj, Paramus, New Jersey
Avalene Tan, Davis, California
Andrew Taylor, Madison, Wisconsin
Margaret Thies, Rockville, Maryland
Clare Timothy, North Grafton, Massachusetts
Carissa Tong, Edmonton, Alberta
Alyxandra Tracy-Reinhardt, Raleigh, North Carolina
Karin Unger, Pullman, Washington
Jacob Wolf, Philadelphia


ACVECC standing committees provided updates for 2021.


Drs. Ken Drobatz, Philadelphia, president; Beth Davidow, Seattle, president-elect; Lenore Bacek, Tampa, Florida, vice president; Scott Shaw, Woodstock, Connecticut, treasurer; Dan Fletcher, Ithaca, New York, immediate past president; Armelle de Laforcade, North Grafton, Massachusetts, executive secretary; and regents—Drs. Lisa Powell, Golden Valley, Minnesota; Annie Wayne, North Grafton, Massachusetts; Erica Reineke, Philadelphia; Anusha Balakrishnan, Durham, North Carolina; Kira Epstein, Athens, Georgia; and Jenefer Stillion, Calgary, Alberta

Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians


The academy conducted its certification examination remotely. A pinning ceremony and reception were held for the class of 2020. Kenichiro Yagi, Ithaca, New York, was honored as Technician of the Year.


Committee reports were presented and ratified at the virtual business meeting.


Megan Brashear, West Lafayette, Indiana, president; Erin Spencer, Derry, New Hampshire, president-elect; Kenichiro Yagi, Ithaca, New York, treasurer; Andrea Steele, Guelph, Ontario, executive secretary; Amy Newfield, Tewksbury, Massachusetts, immediate past president; and members-at-large—Justin Chandler, Matawan, New Jersey; Leslie Wereszczak, Knoxville, Tennessee; and Courtney Waxman, West Lafayette, Indiana

Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia


On offer were several special-focus lectures, many of which were livestreamed to extend continuing education opportunities in a virtual and on-demand setting.


The AVTAA held its credentialing examination with both virtual and in-person proctored testing options. Voting results on a complete reorganization of the bylaws and constitution were announced, with 98% of voters in favor. A business and financial update was provided. The president of the academy, Jennifer Sager, outlined several short-term and long- term goals for the academy.


Jennifer Sager, Gainesville, Florida, president; Jody Nugent-Deal, Davis, California, president-elect; Lindsey Howard, Louisville, Kentucky, treasurer; Darci Palmer, Auburn, Alabama, executive secretary; Katy Waddell, College Station, Texas, immediate past president; and members-at-large—Brynn Hogan, Los Angeles; Amanda Shelby, Avon, Indiana; and Sharon Kaiser-Klingler, Whitesboro, Texas

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Foundation


The foundation provided an emergency care and CPR workshop in Nashville for the city’s operational K9s and first responders, showcasing care for working K9s and initial, pre-hospital first aid for injured animals in emergency situations. A virtual raffle raised $15,000 that was donated to the Southern Alliance for People and Animal Welfare, a nonprofit organization that provides pet food, supplies, and veterinary care free of charge to pet owners who are homeless or living with limited means in Tennessee’s Davidson County.


Deanne Pawlisch, Schaumburg, Illinois, president; Dr. Deborah Silverstein, Philadelphia, secretary; Dr. Robert Messenger, Charlotte, North Carolina, treasurer; Alyce D’Amato, Appleton, Wisconsin, immediate past president; and board members—Dr. Bill Smith, Seale, Alabama; Dr. Susan Barnes, Leesburg, Virginia; Dr. Cole Taylor, Leesburg, Virginia; Chris Kotnaur, Crystal Lake, Illinois; Dr. Lorna Lanman, Sun City West, Arizona; Julie Black, Island Lake, Illinois; and Mary Stamp, San Antonio

A version of this article appears in the May 2022 print issue of JAVMA.