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CVMA Members Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Veterinary Medicine
July 9, 2014

Annual Awards Ceremony in St. John’s

July 9, 2014

For over 20 years, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has proudly recognized its members for their extraordinary contributions to the veterinary profession and to animal health and welfare. This year was no different as individuals were honoured at the CVMA Awards Ceremony in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador which took place during the 2014 CVMA Convention.

The Merck Veterinary Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, was given to Dr. Gord Atkins for his work in Alberta’s livestock industry. He is well known for his 40 years of excellence in dairy practice, as well as being a beloved teacher at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), and more than 35 years providing volunteer services for both the dairy and chuckwagon committees at the Calgary Stampede. Dr. Atkins’ passion for excellence in dairy practice led him to be one of the first practitioners to combine high-end individual animal medicine and surgery with leading herd health practices. Over the years, Dr. Atkins developed a special interest in bovine gastrointestinal surgery and has saved the lives of numerous high profile champion Holstein show cows. In September 2008, Dr. Atkins joined the Faculty at UCVM where his enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and his love of teaching veterinary students has been recognized by several major teaching awards.

The Practice of the Year Award was presented to New Brunswick’s Grey Cove Veterinary Health Centre for providing pet owners with a high standard of animal health care and customer service. Dr. Karine Eusanio opened the practice in early 2012, and in a year and a half, with the help of her staff, created a comprehensive veterinary health centre with over 2000 patients. The practice offers a full spectrum of general practice and referral services, including 24 hour staffing. Dr. Eusanio has completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery and has completed courses in external fixation and ultrasound. She is one of only three veterinarians in New Brunswick who offers Tibial Tuberosity Advancement, an orthopedic procedure to repair deficient cranial cruciate ligaments in dogs.

Dr. Elizabeth O’Brien was honoured with the CVMA Small Animal Practitioner Award, sponsored by Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, for her dedication as a feline specialist to improve the health and welfare of cats. In 2011, Dr. O’Brien started a national organization with an initiative “to increase the value of cats in Canada.” One of its first campaigns concentrated on permanent identification and licensing, cat adoptions from shelters and increasing sterilization rates to control cat overpopulation. In 2013, this initiative expanded to create Cat Healthy Canada, which resulted in the first feline preventive care guidelines for cats in Canada. Dr. O’Brien is the owner of two successful feline-only practices in Ancaster and Hamilton, Ontario where she continues to be a passionate advocate for the welfare of cats and an in demand speaker.

Dr. Patricia Turner, a laboratory animal veterinarian and pathologist, was awarded the CVMA Humane Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, for her national and international efforts to improve the understanding and care of laboratory animals. Dr. Turner has participated in guideline development to enhance research and agricultural animal welfare in Canada and internationally, and she is the co-editor of ‘Laboratory Animal Welfare,’ a text published in 2013. She teaches at the Ontario Veterinary College, and she is also an associate faculty member in the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare and past Chair of the University of Guelph Animal Care Committee. Dr. Turner is a member and past Chair of both the CVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee and the Association of the American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ Animal Care and Welfare Committee. She is a current member of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee and is part of its Animal Welfare Veterinary Curriculum Development Task Force. In 2007, she was the inaugural recipient of the North American Animal Welfare Award.

Dr. Joël Bergeron was awarded the 2014 CVMA President’s Award for his ongoing commitment to the veterinary profession through his practice and involvement on many notable boards and associations. Dr. Bergeron graduated from Faculté de médecine vétérinaire in 1991 and opened l’Hôpital Vétérinaire des Seigneuries in Boucherville, Québec with his wife in 1993. In 1995, he returned to the University of Montréal to specialize in veterinary dentistry and in 2006, he acquired a certificate in veterinary acupuncture from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Dr. Bergeron has integrated acupuncture and herbology into his practice so that his patients receive a complementary approach to traditional medicine. Dr. Bergeron has been the president of l’Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec for the past six years. He has also been the vice-president and president of Académie de médecine vétérinaire du Québec. He served as Chair of a Collaboration Task Force during negotiations surrounding the Quebec-France labour agreement. The Task Force included representatives from the provincial veterinary regulatory bodies and CVMA.

Two CVMA members were honoured with Life Memberships this year. Dr. Clayton Mackay, a second generation veterinarian graduating from Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), is known for being a leader, pioneer and teacher for many generations of veterinarians. He entered private practice after graduation and became a partner in MacKay Animal Clinic. In 1993 he returned to the veterinary teaching hospital at OVC as their Director. From 1997 until 2010, he also served as the Canadian Director of Veterinary Affairs for Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. Dr. MacKay has volunteered countless hours, serving as president on many notable organizations and an advisor to the Pickering, Ajax and Whitby Animal Control for 15 years. Dr. MacKay has been a welcomed public face of the veterinary profession with regular appearances in newspaper columns, on all major Canadian TV networks and serving as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations veterinary expert on Radio Noon in Toronto from 1986 to 1998.

Dr. Duane Landals received a CVMA Life Membership for dedicating over 40 years of enhancing global health through the advancement of veterinary profession. At the provincial level, Dr. Landals had served as Councillor and President of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. At the national level, he was appointed as the 57th CVMA President. His involvement in veterinary governance also made Dr. Landals the ideal individual to Chair the 29th World Veterinary Congress. He is currently serving his second term as vice-president of the World Veterinary Association.

The R.V.L. Walker Award is presented annually to the president of the Students of the CVMA (SCVMA) for his/her work to promote student interests in the Association. There are two recipients of this award – the plaque is presented to the president of the Students of the CVMA and the cash award is made available to the veterinary college where the president is registered in order to provide financial assistance to a student veterinarian in financial need. The recipient of this year’s R.V.L. Walker Award plaque is Mr. Bruno Ouimet from the Atlantic Veterinary College, the 2013-14 President of the Students of the CVMA.

Nominations for the 2015 CVMA Awards will open in November 2014. The deadline is January 31, 2015. To learn more, visit the CVMA website.


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