News & Events

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

August 2, 2017

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 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, which took place during the 2017 CVMA Convention in July.

Dr. David Condon was honored with the CVMA Small Animal Practitioner Award, sponsored by Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, for his compassion and dedication to animals since early childhood. Growing up on a small family farm on Prince Edward Island, Dr. Condon decided at the age of 6 that he wanted to become a veterinarian and he graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) in 1991. After graduation, he worked at a mixed animal practice in Seaforth, Ontario, for 1 year. Being a true Islander, he returned to Prince Edward Island and worked in Montague for the next year. Dr. Condon purchased the Abegweit Animal Hospital in 1993, which moved him away from large animal practice into primarily small animal practice, which he enjoys to this day. He has developed a strong interest in veterinary dentistry and has devoted a significant portion of his time pursuing continuing education in this area. He was instrumental in the formation of the student chapter of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry for AVC students and hosts dental wet labs for students at his clinic and offers lunch lectures on veterinary dentistry at AVC. Dr. Condon travels with the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation to provide free veterinary dental care to captive large cats (tiger, lions, etc.). He is a member of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry, the CVMA, the PEI Veterinary Medical Association, and the Canadian Veterinary Reserve. He currently serves on the board of directors of his local watershed group and has had past involvement with the PEI Wildlife Federation.

Veterinarian Dr. Anne McDonald was awarded the CVMA Humane Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health. Dr. McDonald graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in 1976 and completed a 1-year internship at Texas A&M University in small animal clinics, followed by a 2-year residency in surgery. After leaving Texas, she worked in Red Deer, Alberta, for 6 months, and then returned to Vancouver, British Columbia to work at the Vancouver Animal Emergency Clinic for the next 11 years. Dr. McDonald purchased the Night Owl Bird Hospital in 1990, which has been her focus ever since. Dr. McDonald has been recognized for her tremendous efforts in the treatment of, caring for, and re-homing of almost 600 parrots from the World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island after the death of its owner in May 2016. Many of the birds from the Refuge had health issues, with over 100 small and large birds being hospitalized for the first few months.

The Merck Veterinary Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, was presented to Dr. Stephen LeBlanc for his work as a professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, and as research program director — Animal Production Systems at the University of Guelph. He received a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) in Animal Science from McGill University in 1992, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (1997) and Doctor of Veterinary Science (2001) from the University of Guelph. After 5 years of private dairy veterinary practice, he joined the faculty at the University of Guelph where he teaches veterinary and agriculture students and provides clinical farm service. He is past-president of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council and serves as section editor for the Journal of Dairy Science. His research focuses on transition dairy cow metabolic and reproductive health and management, including field validation of precision technologies. With graduate students and collaborators, this work has resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed papers. He has given invited talks in 20 countries.

The Practice of the Year Award, sponsored by Scotiabank, was presented to the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer (MCCAC) for creating a comprehensive veterinary cancer centre serving central Canada and beyond, while creating unique clinical trial research opportunities for the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and the University of Guelph. The Centre offers surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and investigational therapies in conjunction with clinical trials to diagnose and treat cancer in animals. The MCCAC provides experiential oncology teaching in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program and provides postgraduate training for veterinarians seeking further clinical training in oncology in residencies, internships, and for students seeking postgraduate degrees. Clinicians and researchers at the MCCAC continually seek better ways to treat cancer in pets (some of which may translate into helping people with cancer) through clinical trials. The Centre is the only international member of the National Institutes of Health Center for Cancer Research Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium. The clinical caseload has facilitated the creation of the Companion Animal Tumour Sample Bank in the MCCAC, which is a unique resource providing access to clinical specimens from naturally occurring cancers to the scientific research community. Since inception, the veterinarians, students, and staff who serve in the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer have worked in conjunction with veterinary cancer patients and their families to create an internationally recognized comprehensive veterinary cancer centre with the goal of compassionately treating companion animals with cancer while advancing the understanding of cancer and improving treatment options to benefit both animal and human patients.

Dr. Jeanne Lofstedt, a native of Benoni, South Africa, was honored with a Life Membership this year for her significant contributions to the CVMA and the veterinary profession. Summers spent on the sheep and dairy farms of close relatives, the influence of an uncle who was a veterinarian, as well as the opportunity to volunteer at a mixed animal practice during high school inspired Dr. Lofstedt to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. In 1975, she received a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree with honors from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and was awarded the Sir Arnold Theiler Medal for the student with the highest academic standing overall. After 7 months in a mixed animal practice in Krugersdorp, South Africa, she was accepted into a rotating internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1981, she completed a 3-year residency in Food Animal Medicine and Surgery and received a Master of Science degree in Pathology, both at Iowa State University. She then joined Tufts University as an assistant professor in Large Animal Medicine from 1981 to 1987 and became board certified in Large Animal Internal Medicine in 1987. That same year she moved to Prince Edward Island to assume a faculty position at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) where she is currently professor of Large Animal Medicine in the Department of Health Management. Dr. Lofstedt has held various leadership positions at the AVC and volunteer positions with the CVMA and other veterinary organizations. Among other activities, she served as the associate dean of Academic Affairs at AVC, was a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Examination Committee, a member of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education Editorial Board, a North American Veterinary Licensing Examination item writer, a site visit team member for the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education and the CVMA, a member of the CVMA National Issues and Professional Development Committees, and CVMA president from 2002–2003. She has been the scientific program coordinator for the CVMA since 2004.

Dr. Bob Bellamy was awarded the 2017 CVMA President’s Award for his expertise and  outstanding dedication to the veterinary profession. Shortly after graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), University of Saskatchewan in 1976, Dr. Bellamy established a mixed animal practice in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. A former Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) president (2004), he has chaired the SVMA Practice Economic Committee for the past 25 years and served as the chair of the CVMA Business Management Committee until its status was changed to an Advisory Group in 2015. After 40 years in practice, Dr. Bellamy remains passionate about the value veterinary medicine returns to both humans and animals. He established the SVMA’s social media initiative, SaskVets, and remains the project coordinator. The SVMA is proud to boast one of the highest number of followers of any veterinary group in the country with the popularity of SaskVets. Dr. Bellamy, turning a photography hobby into video production, produced a series called “Just Like You” informational videos that focus on client information and are available to any veterinarian. The videos are hosted on the CVMA’s YouTube channel and a variety of Vimeo sites. The goal is to “not only tell clients what is being done, but show them.” Dr. Bellamy is adamant that the veterinary profession retain the privilege to both prescribe and dispense. He coordinated the production of the Saskatchewan Dispensing Manual for Veterinarians, which reviews the relevant federal and provincial legislation regulating veterinary drug sales.

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 Students of the CVMA 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. Elizabeth Hartnett, from the Ontario Veterinary College. Ms. Hartnett decided she wanted to be a veterinarian at the age of 5 and has always been fascinated by the natural world. Growing up in a military family, she lived in several different places — from Germany to Manitoba to Québec — before her family settled in Kingston, Ontario. She completed her undergraduate studies in Environmental Biology at Queen’s University and received a Master in Environmental Studies degree from York University, where she focused on humane education and environmental ethics. For several years, Ms. Hartnett worked in environmental research and policy, while volunteering at the Toronto Wildlife Centre on weekends. Realizing her interests in the environment, public policy, and wildlife health were compatible with a career in veterinary medicine, she decided to finally apply to veterinary school. Ms. Hartnett enjoys being involved at OVC and in the wider community, and loves to practice her clinical skills by volunteering with Community Veterinary Outreach.

Nominations for the 2018 CVMA Awards will open in the fall of 2017. The submission deadline is January 31, 2018. Visit the CVMA website (canadianveterinarians.net/about/awards) to learn more.