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Annual Awards Ceremony Recognizes CVMA Members for Outstanding Contributions to Veterinary Medicine

July 26, 2019

For over 30 years, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has proudly recognized its members for their exceptional contributions to the veterinary profession, and animal health and welfare. This year was no exception as individuals were honored at the CVMA Awards Ceremony in Toronto, Ontario, which took place during the 2019 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and CVMA Congress in July.

Dr.  Kate Lupton was honored with the CVMA Small Animal Practitioner Award, sponsored by Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, for bringing awareness of better handling, diagnosis, and treatment of felines through educating her clients and colleagues. Dr. Lupton grew up on a farm in southern Alberta before attending the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. She excelled in feline medicine and was awarded the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Student Award in 2012 upon graduating with distinction. Dr. Lupton has been practicing in Lethbridge, Alberta and obtained Gold Standard Cat Friendly Practice status for the clinic in 2013, a first in western Canada. She has written articles on cats for various local magazines and is a monthly contributor to Neighbors Magazine and Quirk. Dr. Lupton is the primary veterinarian for several local feline rescue groups including Last Chance Cat Ranch, Purrfect Endings, and the PAW Society. She hospitalized and treated over 30 cats with injuries after Last Chance Cat Ranch experienced a devastating fire that destroyed its main adoption house in 2013. Every cat made it to discharge. Dr. Lupton is kept busy by her teenage daughter, her 6 cats, and a jungle of houseplants.

Dr. Dennis Will was awarded the CVMA Humane Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, for his contribution to the Canadian veterinary infrastructure that assures the welfare of animals at the time of slaughter. Dr. Will, a 1978 graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, has worked in mixed-animal practice, for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and Agriculture and AgriFood Canada in various capacities. He has worked in disease control and food safety, including work in beef, hog, poultry, and alternative livestock plants. The development of a specific animal welfare policy and training manual was undertaken by the CFIA in large part due to Dr. Will’s dedication and diplomacy. He researched and spearheaded the publication that is science-based and reflects current best practices and international (World Organisation for Animal Health) standards for animal welfare at slaughter. Dr. Will’s animal welfare experience also includes work with the Domestic Inspection Program, as well as consulting work, plant reviews, and advice and training for provinces concerning animal welfare and slaughter. His international development work includes periods of time in China and Mongolia where he was part of a Canadian team based in Calgary that provided training in animal health, disease control, food safety, and public health. He is chairperson of the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee, which is actively involved in several animal welfare related projects.

The Merck Veterinary Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, was given to Dr. Karin Orsel for her work in animal health and welfare, and sustainability of animal production. Dr. Orsel completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University in 1996 and did locums in several veterinary clinics in the Netherlands. In 1997, she returned to her alma mater to work in the ambulatory clinic of the Department of Farm Animal Health. Her active involvement in an epidemiologic study during a foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001 motivated her to enroll in graduate studies on this topic. She received a Master of Science in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics in 2004 and subsequently a PhD in 2007. The following year, Dr. Orsel, along with her husband, moved to Canada to join the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary (UCVM) where she works with a focus on epidemiology, concentrating on infectious diseases of cattle. She passed the board exam of the European College of Bovine Herd Management in 2009. Currently, Dr. Orsel leads the UCVM’s Cattle Health Research Group. As a veterinary epidemiologist, her main interests are herdlevel approaches to health, disease transmission, and identifying risk factors for multi-factorial diseases using multi-disciplinary approaches. Currently, her research includes both beef and dairy cattle, with a focus on lameness, specifically digital dermatitis, Johne’s disease, bovine leucosis, and other infectious diseases at the herd level.

The Practice of the Year Award, sponsored by Scotiabank, was presented to the Veterinary Specialty Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador (VSCNL) for the exceptional care it provides as the only specialty referral hospital in Newfoundland and Labrador where patients can access a wide range of advanced, specialist, diagnostic, and treatment options locally, and often in one visit. Dr. Trina Bailey, founder and managing director of the VSCNL, grew up on the west coast of Newfoundland. She completed a Bachelor of Science at Dalhousie University before completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island, in 2000. She worked at AVC as a clinical instructor and research assistant, followed by a small animal rotating internship in 2002. Following her internship, Dr. Bailey and her family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2003. There, she completed a surgical residency and a Master of Science degree in 2006. Dr. Bailey became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2007. She worked as a professor at the AVC and travelled to Newfoundland 3 to 4 times a year to provide surgical services from 2006 until 2014. During these trips, a need for advanced veterinary care was expressed by both veterinarians practicing in the province and pet owners. Travel with sick and injured pets was difficult and sometimes impossible. In 2014, Dr. Bailey moved back to St. John’s, with the support of her husband, John MacKenzie, and her family, to provide full-time referral surgical services for animals in her home province. This grew to include radiology and 24-hour emergency services, as well as visiting specialists in other areas. The VSCNL is the only referral hospital and emergency centre in the province and was opened to help provide advanced care for pets in Newfoundland and Labrador. The ultimate goal is that no pet will have to leave home for the care they need.

Dr.  Jim Brackett was honored with a CVMA Life Membership this year for an exemplary career as a clinician and mentor to aquaculture veterinarians, as a leader in the pharmaceutical environment, and in taking the Canadian veterinary profession into novel areas of practice. Dr. Brackett graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, in 1980 and after a few years in mixed practice he began fish farm health management consulting and managed a fish disease diagnostic laboratory in British Columbia. He was a consultant for the provincial government on fish regulatory issues and served as a special advisor to Fisheries and Oceans Canada on fish health regulations. Dr. Brackett founded Atlantic Fish Health Inc. at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, and he founded and served as the first CEO of the British Columbia Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences. Until retiring in 2018, he was an owner and president of Syndel Laboratories Ltd., an aquaculture pharmaceutical company. Dr. Brackett was a member of the CVMA, and the British Columbia and New Brunswick Veterinary Associations, along with membership and various roles in the Association of Aquaculture Veterinarians of British Columbia, Eastern Aquatic Veterinarians Association, Canadian Association of Aquatic Veterinarians, World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Over the years, Dr. Brackett assisted the CVMA in its active involvement with fish health and welfare, and drug approval and use issues. He was the CVMA’s representative on the AVMA Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee.

Dr. Lloyd Keddie was awarded the 2019 CVMA President’s Award for his years of service to the veterinary community and the CVMA. Dr. Keddie was raised on a mixed animal farm outside of Fairview, Alberta. After attaining a Bachelor of Science and teaching certificate in 1970, Dr. Keddie taught high school sciences for 4 years. He was accepted into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, in 1974 and graduated with distinction in 1978. After graduation, Dr. Keddie worked in a mixed animal practice in Vegreville, Alberta and then moved back to Fairview, where he became co-owner of The North Peace Animal Hospital where he practiced until 2019. Prior to his involvement in the CVMA, Dr. Keddie served on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) as a councillor and then president in 2000. In 2006, he was appointed as the Alberta representative on the CVMA council. He joined the CVMA executive in 2008 and became president in 2011. Dr. Keddie has been a recipient of the ABVMA meritorious service award, the AAAHT Sandy Haas Award and received an honorary degree from Fairview College, Alberta. Currently, Dr. Keddie does limited practice and is involved with the ABVMA as a practice inspector and as a member of the Hearing Tribunal. Dr. Keddie and his wife Linda have one son, Tyler, who is married to Jill. They have 2 children, Ethan and Nolan.

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. This award features 2 recipients — a plaque is presented to the president of the SCVMA and a cash award is made available to the veterinary college where the president is registered to provide financial assistance to a student veterinarian in need. The recipient of this year’s R.V.L. Walker Award plaque is Ms. Kate Rundle from the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). Ms. Rundle has dreamed of becoming a veterinarian since she was a small child. She gained experience with a variety of small, large, and exotic animals throughout high school and her undergraduate years, which cemented her choice to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Ms. Rundle completed an undergraduate degree in Biology with a specialization in Life Sciences at UPEI in 2014 and returned in 2015 to add an honors to that degree. After completing the honors degree, she spent 7 weeks at a local wildlife rehabilitation centre and fell in love with wildlife medicine. In the fall of 2015, Ms. Rundle began a Master of Science in AVC’s Department of Biomedical Sciences where she studied the effects of naphthenic acids, a toxicant found in oil sands’ wastewater, on mitochondria isolated from fish samples. She presented her research in Orlando, Florida at the 2016 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) World Congress and has since published a paper in Environmental Science and Technology. In 2017, Ms. Rundle’s dream of becoming a veterinarian was realized when she was accepted to study at the AVC. While at AVC, she has continued to work on her Master’s part-time and will be defending in the coming months. She has become involved with numerous clubs at the AVC and has spent her summers since beginning veterinary school at Hope for Wildlife helping treat and rehabilitate Nova Scotia’s wildlife.

Nominations for the 2020 CVMA Awards will open in the fall of 2019. The submission deadline is January 31, 2020. Visit the CVMA website to learn more.