Veterinary emergency, critical care groups hold symposium – September 7-11, 2023


The 29th International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium was held September 7-11, 2023, in Aurora, Colorado.


This year’s symposium focused on emergency and critical care (ECC) and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The symposium was conducted jointly by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS), American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC), Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses (AVECCTN), Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia (AVTAA), International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM), and Association of Veterinary Hematology and Transfusion Medicine (AVHTM). Temple Grandin, PhD, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and a well-known animal advocate and behaviorist, presented the keynote lecture. She talked about how animals make us human and that we have to get away from words to understand them.


Gary Stamp Award

Dr. Kenneth J. Drobatz
Dr. Kenneth J. Drobatz

Dr. Kenneth J. Drobatz (California-Davis ’85), Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Drobatz is a professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure at the veterinary school, he served as a professor and chief of the section of critical care, was director of the emergency service, and served as the associate chair for education in the Department of Clinical Studies. Dr. Drobatz is a diplomate of the ACVECC and American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).

Ira M. Zaslow VECCS Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Kate Hopper
Dr. Kate Hopper

Dr. Kate Hopper, Davis, California. A 1991 veterinary graduate of the University of Melbourne in Australia, Dr. Hopper is a professor of small animal emergency and critical care at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Her research interests include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, clinical acid-base and electrolyte disorders, and mechanical ventilation. A diplomate of the ACVECC, Dr. Hopper is a co-editor of the textbooks “Small Animal Critical Care Medicine” and “Small Animal Emergency Medicine.”

Dr. Jack Mara ACVECC Scientific Achievement Award, sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Dr. Søren Boysen
Dr. Søren Boysen

Dr. Søren Boysen (Saskatchewan ’96), Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Boysen is a professor of small animal emergency and critical care in the Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He previously served as chief of small animal emergency and critical care at the University of Montreal. Dr. Boysen’s research interests include emergency point of care ultrasound, hemorrhage, coagulation, and perfusion. He is a diplomate of the ACVECC.

T. Doug Byars Equine Emergency & Critical Care Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by Loomis Basin Equine Medical Group

Dr. Jamie Kopper (Michigan State ’13), Ames, Iowa. Dr. Kopper is an assistant professor of equine internal medicine and emergency and critical care in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research interests include modeling and improving GI barrier function and overall care and survival of critically ill patients. Dr. Kopper is a diplomate of the ACVIM in large animal internal medicine and the ACVECC.

VECCS Practice Leader of the Year

Lisa M. Smith
Lisa M. Smith

Lisa M. Smith, Wilmington, Delaware. A licensed veterinary technician, Smith serves as a technician manager at BluePearl Pet Hospital Christiana in Newark, Delaware. She is a Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER) certified instructor and serves as the technician representative on the board of directors of the Delaware VMA.

ACVECC Research Grant Award

Dr. Armelle de Laforcade, Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University ($16,080), for “Detection of von Willebrand disease in dogs using ristocetin-modified viscoelastic testing”

ACVECC RECOVER CPR Research Grant Award

Drs. Sabrina Hoehne, Washington State University ($8,956), for “Effect of traditional versus electronic cognitive aids on objective measures of basic and advanced life support in a high-fidelity simulation of canine cardiopulmonary arrest;” and Zachary Wilcox, Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University ($6,500), for “Cardiac rhythm interpretation in CPR: Effect of advanced training and RECOVER certification”

Louise O'Dwyer VTS Aspiration Award, sponsored by AVECCTN

Kelsey Landry, West Allis, Wisconsin, won this award, given in memory of Louise O’Dwyer, an ECC veterinary nurse. Landry is a supervisor for the ECC teams at Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Small Animal Resident Abstract Award

A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Candice Wimbish, North Carolina State University, for “Pharmacokinetics of a continuous intravenous infusion of hydromorphone in healthy dogs”

Small Animal House Officer Poster Abstract Award, sponsored by Animal Blood Resources International

A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Rebecca Bishop, University of Illinois, for “Quantification of inflammatory biomarkers calprotectin and myeloperoxidase in equine feces by ELISA: A validation study”

Small Animal Poster Abstract Award, sponsored by Animal Blood Resources International

A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Erin Double, The Ohio State University, for “Utility of the respiratory rate-oxygenation (ROX) index as a predictor of treatment response in dogs receiving high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy”

Large Animal Abstract Award

A $500 stipend was awarded to Dr. Rebecca Bishop, University of Illinois, for “Evaluation of the peritoneal proteome of horses with colic”

Veterinary Case Report Award, sponsored by Animal Blood Resources International

A stipend of $500 was awarded to Dr. Ashika Seshadri, University of Georgia, for “Water, sugar, salts: A recipe for problems”

Technician Case Report Award, sponsored by Animal Blood Resources International

A stipend of $300 was awarded to Mary Follin, Veterinary Emergency Group, for “The mysterious neurotoxin triage”

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society


It was announced that the society has more than 7,300 members. The society held two, in-person continuing education (CE) events in 2023, including the spring symposium in March in Australia. Finances continue to be strong. Online CE offerings to membership have risen and will continue to expand. Participation in social media remains strong. The number of staff has increased and will continue to do so to support ongoing membership and conference initiatives that have resulted from strategic planning in June 2022 in Denver.

The VECCS Gives Committee provided an emergency care and CPR workshop during the symposium for operational K9s and first responders. This event showcased care for working K9s and initial, prehospital first aid for injured animals in emergency situations. The committee raised $26,391 via the VECCS Gives Raffle. The entire amount was donated to Believe Ranch and Rescue, a horse rescue organization. Also raised were $3,762 via donations during registration and $2,786 via the IVECCS 5k & Fun Run. The committee donated $80,000 toward disaster relief this year.  


Kenichiro Yagi
Kenichiro Yagi
Dr. Steven Epstein
Dr. Steven Epstein

Kenichiro Yagi, Ithaca, New York, president; Dr. Steven Epstein, Davis, California, president-elect; Dr. Matt Booth, Boulder, Colorado, treasurer; Dr. Lori Waddell, Richboro, Pennsylvania, recording secretary; Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, Norwalk, Connecticut, immediate past president; Dr. Chris Gray, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, chief executive officer; and members-at-large—Alyce D’Amato, Appleton, Wisconsin; Trish Farry, Gatton, Australia; and Dr. Nicolette Zarday, San Francisco, California

American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care


The ACVECC held its annual business meeting. The immediate past president of the ACVECC, Dr. Beth Davidow, and ACVECC executive director, Dr. Armelle de Laforcade, moderated the meeting. The college conducted its certification examination remotely August 30-31, 2023.

New diplomates

The ACVECC welcomed the following new diplomates in 2023:

Anahita Aghilli, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Dave Beeston, Ellesmere, England
Lauren Ann Bracchi, Chicago
Amanda Burke, Sacramento, California
Katie Carignan, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Nolan Chalifoux, Levittown, Pennsylvania
Jeannie Clark, Santa Fe, Texas
James L. Cooper, Fremantle, Australia
Akaterina Davros, Athens, Georgia   
Gina Kathryn Dinallo, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Caryn M. Ehrhardt, Brandon, Florida
Jessica Eisenbarth, Chicago   
Yanshan Er, Torrance, California      
Joanna B. Finstad, Columbus, Ohio  
Fabrice T.J. Fosset, Belleville, New Jersey   
Rebecca R. Gele, Sandy Springs, Georgia    
Jiah Yin Goh,  Newport, Australia
Stefan Gordon, San Diego
Miriam Guedra Allais, London
Georgina Hall, St. Albans, England
Stephanie Ann Harris, Fountain Hills, Arizona
Noelle Daun Herrera, Columbia, South Carolina
Wan-Chu Hung, Gainesville, Florida
Tyler Ellis Johnson, Cary, North Carolina    
Jessica Jones, Carmichael, California
Nadine Jones,  St. Albans, England
Samantha Jude, East Lyme, Connecticut
Shannon Kelly, Mississauga,  Ontario
Jessica Kerley, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Caitlan Koontz, San Jose, California 
James Matthew Lange, Calgary, Alberta
Chele N. Lathroum, Eden, Utah        
Jack Lee, Baton Rouge, Louisiana    
Wan Ting (Annie) Lin, Vancouver, British Columbia
Alicia E. Long, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Christine Lovatt, South Melbourne, Australia
Beth Lozano, Bryan, Texas   
Elizabeth Mannucci, Pasadena, California    
Briana Marie McConnell, New York City    
Jack Meagher, Oakland, California   
Brett Montague, Scottsdale, Arizona
Megan Elizabeth Murray, Stamford, Connecticut           
Bridget O'Neil, Meridian, Idaho        
Joshua L. Parra, Estero, Florida        
Kaitlyn Elizabeth Rank, Raleigh, North Carolina           
Alexandra Riggs, Columbus, Ohio    
Natalie Anne Rosenstein, Pawtucket, Rhode Island 
Michael Sahagian, South Salt Lake, Utah     
Jessica Catherine Sands, Chicago      
Emily Anna Schaefer, Leesburg, Virginia    
David Sender, Parker, Colorado        
Paula Simons, Dedham, Massachusetts         
Rebecca Smith, Milford, Connecticut
Rachel Soh, Wentworth Point, Australia
Katherine Eleni Sotos, Boulder, Colorado    
Marisa D. Stone, Bedford, New Hampshire  
Stasia Nise Sullivan, Athens, Georgia           
Beverly Jane Thompson, Vancouver, Washington           
Ashlei T. Tinsley, Encino, California
Kaoru Tsuruta, Sacramento, California         
Maria Laura Vega Suarez, Blacksburg, Virginia           
Maria Dolores Vegas Comitre, Ames, Iowa 
Andrea Marie Voss, Milwaukee        
Lance Ross Wheeler,  Bryan, Texas  
Whitney York, Charlestown, Massachusetts 
Chelsea Zorn,  Saratoga Springs, New York


ACVECC standing committees provided updates for 2023.


Drs. Bobbi Conner, Blacksburg, Virginia, president; Marie Kerl, Fulton, Missouri, president-elect; Elizabeth Rozanski, North Grafton, Massachusetts, vice president; Scott Shaw, Woodstock, Connecticut, treasurer; Beth Davidow, Seattle, immediate past president; Armelle de Laforcade, Westborough, Massachusetts, executive director; and regents—Drs. Kira Epstein, Athens, Georgia; Rita Hanel, Raleigh, North Carolina; Tandi Ngwenyama, Corvallis, Oregon; Virginia Sinnott, Plymouth, Massachusetts; Deb Silverstein, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Annie Wayne, Needham, Massachusetts

Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses


The academy conducted its certification examination remotely. A pinning ceremony and reception were held for the class of 2022. Carolyn Tai, Hudson, Massachusetts, was honored as Technician of the Year.


Committee reports were presented at the business meeting.


Erin Spencer, Derry, New Hampshire, president; Justin Chandler, Matawan, New Jersey, president-elect; Marlaina Hrosch, Pleasant Valley, New York, treasurer; Lisa Kernaghan, Mesa, Arizona, executive secretary; Megan Brashear, West Lafayette, Indiana, immediate past president; and members-at-large—Dave Cowan, Hillsborough, North Carolina; Leslie Wereszczak, Knoxville, Tennessee; and Courtney Waxman, West Lafayette, Indiana

Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia


An in-person business meeting was held and livestreamed for members not in attendance.


The AVTAA held its credentialing examination entirely virtually for the first time in 2023. The academy provided a business and financial update. The president of the academy, Jody Nugent-Deal, outlined several short- and long-term goals for the academy.


Jody Nugent-Deal, Davis, California, president; Anita Parkin, Kenmore, Australia, president-elect; Katie Brakenhoff, Edmond, Oklahoma, treasurer; Darci Palmer, Auburn, Alabama, executive secretary; Jennifer Sager, Gainesville, Florida, immediate past president; and members-at-large—Amanda Shelby, Avon, Indiana; Sharon Kaiser-Klingler, Whitesboro, Texas; and Tasha McNeary, Philadelphia