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2018 Hall Of Fame Awards
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The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation proudly presented the 2018 Hall of Fame Awards During our annual Hall of Fame Luncheon, which was held at the Keystone Veterinary Conference (KVC) on August 16, 2018. Together they recognized some of Pennsylvania’s and veterinary medicine’s finest!

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Meet This Year's Winners...


President’s Awards are given to honor and recognize an achievement or activity of any individual or company that deserves more than a letter of commendation but does not qualify for an existing PVMA award.

The Honorable BunnyPeople

The first recipient of the 2018 President’s Award is presented to the BunnyPeople in recognition of the organization’s dedicated efforts to educate the public and create awareness about owning and caring for domestic rabbits, providing shelter and medical care to those who are unwanted, abused, or abandoned, and adopting them into forever homes.

BunnyPeople is a non-profit 501(c)(3) non-profit domestic rabbit rescue, adoption and education organization, which was founded in 1992. They educate the public through speaking engagements at businesses, church youth groups, children’s organizations, schools, and also retirement communities.

BunnyPeople also takes in unwanted, abused, abandoned, and discarded domestic rabbits; ensuring they receive necessary veterinary care, are spayed/neutered, and adopted into forever homes where they will be loved as an integral part of the family. They are a no-kill shelter so any rabbit not adopted, lives out its life at the shelter with love, caring, compassion, respect, and dignity. This 100% volunteer driven organization is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  All of BunnyPeople’s funding comes from adoption fees, fundraising efforts, membership fees, grants, their Guardian Angel Program, and generous donations from members and supporters.

Congratulations BunnyPeople!

The Honorable Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF)

The second recipient of the 2018 President’s Awards is the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF), PVMA’s charitable sister organization which was founded in 1983. 2018 marks the 35th anniversary of its creation and it is only fitting to recognize how far PVF has come because of the dedicated leadership and hard work of its Board, staff, and supporters. 

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation was selected for this award in recognition of 35 years of excellence providing support to the veterinary profession, developing community-based programs that provide care and food for animals in need and their owners, and working tirelessly as a dedicated group of individuals committed to the thoughtful evolution of the organization and its mission.

This year, PVF has embarked on rebranding and renaming the organization to reflect the evolution of the Foundation from a scholarship based foundation to one that also focuses on community-based programs. These include The Last Chance Program which provides veterinary care grants to animals in need – both unowned and owned - through a network of participating veterinary practices and Henry’s Helping Paws Program which provides pet food to senior citizens through senior centers and Meals on Wheels in Chester County. In addition to these programs, PVF has also expanded to partner with PetSmart Charities and through a generous grant, able to host Share the Love events where volunteers provide veterinary care to pets of senior citizens with financial need.  The PVF Board and management team have spent extensive time in the last two years going through the development of a strategic plan, creation of a new name and logo to be launched in 2019, identification of new funding sources, and development and execution of new fundraising campaigns. In addition, another area of focus has been increasing the number of animals who receive necessary care and food and veterinary and veterinary technology students helped through their scholarships.

Learn more about how to get involved and help PVF achieve their mission.

Congratulations PVF!

Christine Gacono, CMP

Christine Gacono, CMP is the third recipient of the 2018 President’s Award in well-deserved recognition and sincerest appreciation of her long-standing commitment and tireless efforts as a valued member of our team, her outstanding professional excellence, and her integral role in PVMA’s success for the last 15 years.

Christine has been with PVMA since 2003 and serves as Director of Education and Events. In this capacity, she has grown PVMA’s professional development offerings to include four major annual conferences a year – Thrive, Spring Clinic, Keystone Veterinary Conference, and Three Rivers Veterinary Symposium, four annual trade shows, as well as special events such as the 2016 Zoobiquity, student events, district meetings, and webinars. Christine also coordinates our Power of Ten Leadership Academy for recent graduates each year. In addition, she has played an instrumental role in the development and coordination of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation’s Bark in the Park 5K and 1 Mile Fun Walk each fall. As PVMA’s Director of Education and Events, she has cultivated relationships with our corporate partners and is responsible for PVMA’s reputation as a leader in conference experiences. Her warm demeanor, conscientious approach, excellent problem solving skills and many other talents she brings to PVMA make her an invaluable asset to the Association and to the team she works with every day. 

Prior to coming to PVMA, Christine worked for the Pennsylvania Medical Society as a Meeting Manager in the Association Management Department from 1994-2000. After working at the Society, she took break to stay home with her young children, then joined PVMA in October 2003 to assist with conference planning. Her love of animals and her appreciation of working with the veterinary profession have motivated her to stay with PVMA for the last 15 years and PVMA is grateful to have her as such an important part of our success.

Christine lives in Annville, Pennsylvania, her childhood hometown, with her husband, Kris, and 3 children, Andrew, Ellie, and Devin. She’s also a dog mom to 3 dachshunds, Boots, Paco, and Daisy. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, working in her sister-in-law’s bakery on weekends, hiking, kayaking, and heading to Cape May, New Jersey (or any beach!) every chance she gets.

Congratulations Christine and Happy 15th Year Anniversary with PVMA! 

Lifetime Achievement Award

James A. Orsini, DVM

The PVMA Lifetime Achievment Award is given to a member of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association who has demonstrated a lifetime of selfless dedication to Pennsylvania’s veterinary profession. The 2018 recipient of this award is Dr. James A. Orsini in recognition of his unwavering commitment to Pennsylvania’s veterinary profession as a knowledgable professor, dedicated leader, respected author, and tireless champion of veterinary medicine. 

Dr, Orsini is an Associate Professor of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Orsini received his DVM degree from Cornell University in 1977 and completed his internship and surgery residency training at Penn’s New Bolton Center campus and a two-year fellowship/lectureship before joining the faculty. He is board certified in surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons with a special interest and expertise in orthopedics, reconstructive surgery and laminitis. Dr. Orsini has published extensively on multiple equine subjects including pediatric surgery, antimicrobials, laminitis, gastric ulcers, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, and related fields with more than 400 publications. He is co-editor of Equine Emergencies: Treatment and Procedures, in its fourth edition and published in six languages and currently co-editor on a book soon to be published entitled Veterinary Clinical Anatomy. 

Giving back to society was something learned early in childhood with great parents as mentors who taught and practiced the importance of volunteer work or as Ben Franklin said: ‘The noblest question in the world is: What good may I do in it?” Dr. Orsini has and continues to serve on multiple regional and national charity boards beginning with the United Way of Southern Chester County as Vice President for Campaign, Appropriations and Endowment and then President to serving as a member of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine as Secretary and Vice-Chair for more than 8 years. Other charities with leadership roles including Vice President, Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) ; Director and Chair of Fundraising Committee, Kennett After-School program– After-the-Bell; and Director, Chester County Community Foundation. 

He currently serves as Vice-Chair, Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF); Co-Chair, Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF); Advisory Board Member, The Barn at Spring Brook Farm for autistic children; and Trustee and Vice-Chair, Wilson College Trusteeship/Governance and Student Development Committee. 

He is a self-described ‘devoted family person’ living on the grounds of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center with my wife Toni and Cabo – black lab. His son Colin is a Fire Marshall in Anne Arundel County Maryland and married to Angela – pediatric ICU nurse, with two grandchildren – Marco and Joanna.

Congratulations Dr. Orsini!

Distinguished Leadership in One Health Award

Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD

Dean Joan Hendricks retired from her 12-year tenure as The Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious School of Veterinary Medicine this July. As Dean, one of her greatest passions was and continues to be advancement of the One Health initiative. Because of her passion, PVMA created the Joan C. Hendricks Distinguished Leadership in One Health Award. The creation of the award will allow Dean Hendrick’s legacy to live on within our organization.

The award was given to Dean Hendricks at the Friends of Veterinary Medicine Reception at the state capitol building on June 19 in grateful appreciation of her critical role as a true advocate and champion of the One Health initiative who established Penn Vet as a global leader in pioneering translational research and comparative medicine, innovative education, and collaborative partnerships spanning both human and animal health.

Dean Hendricks is a leader of “firsts”. She is the first woman dean of Penn Vet, the first woman at Penn Vet to hold an endowed professorship, and only the third woman to serve as dean at any veterinary school in the nation. In 1974, she received her veterinary degree at Penn, followed by a PhD from Penn, was involved in Penn Vet’s sleep studies research and internal medicine, intensive care, was an endowed professor, and finally reached the pinnacle of success by being selected as Dean in 2006. That is 44 impressive, committed years of being Penn Vet proud! That type of commitment and dedication to one institution is a rarity and in itself makes her commendable.

To say that Dean Hendricks embraces One Health is an understatement. During her tenure she has helped bridge the veterinary and non-veterinary professions while focusing on five major One Health areas which benefit human and animal health, and the health of our world – infectious and zoonotic diseases, food production, environment, human-animal bond, and translational research.  In addition, during her time as the School’s leader, the endowment grew by 73% or $167.8 million, $205 million was raised in gifts and grants, and $22 million was given to students by way of scholarships. 

While her list of accomplishments is many, PVMA is most grateful for the partnership we developed with Penn Vet during her time as Dean. She ensured that Penn Vet paid for all of their faculty to be members of PVMA, partnered with PVMA on advocacy issues, student initiatives, and most notably, Dean Hendricks and Penn Vet played a major role in bring the nationally recognized One Health focused Zoobiquity Conference to Philadelphia with PVMA in April 2016. 

Congratulations Dr. Hendricks!

Distinguished Veterinary Service Award

Marie Weber, DVM

The Distinguished Veterinary Service Award is presented annually to a member of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association for an outstanding act or achievement to the veterinary profession over a period of years. Dr. Weber was selected for this award in recognition of her unwavering commitment to the veterinary profession as compassionate veterinarian, patient teacher and mentor, and a generous contributor to her local community. 

Dr. Marie Weber began her fulfilling career after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, in 1985. Since then, she has worked as a small animal veterinarian in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos for over thirty years. Presently, Dr. Weber works as a part-time veterinarian at the Highland Animal Hospital in Slatington, Pennsylvania. 

Outside of the office, Dr. Weber founded the Lehigh County 4-H Veterinary Science Club over twenty-five years ago. The 4-H Club introduces middle and high school students to career opportunities in veterinary medicine and teaches students how to care for their own animals. Topics of study include genetics, reproduction, infectious diseases, behavior, and first aid. Notable past members of the club include Drs. Laura Pollock, Stacey Scanlon, and Crystal Press. Many club members have chosen careers in veterinary nursing and shelter work, largely due to the encouragement of Dr. Weber. Highlights of club activities include volunteering at the local animal shelter, behind-the-scene tours of the veterinary clinics at the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley Zoos, and special guest presentations by other veterinary professionals. 

Dr. Weber has also been involved in other community service ventures, working as a Penn State University Master Gardener and serving as a board member for the Lehigh County Humane Society. She is proud to have imparted her knowledge and shared her experiences with so many young people through 4-H, and is honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many veterinarians in the past thirty years. Dr. Weber feels extremely fortunate to receive this prestigious award and looks forward to continuing to share her passion for veterinary medicine. 

Congratulations Dr. Weber!

Veterinarian of the Year Award

Michael J. Topper, DVM, PhD, DACVP

The Veterinarian of the Year Award is given to a PVMA member for an outstanding achievement in veterinary medicine within the year in which the award is given. The 2018 Veterinarian of the Year Award is presented to Michael J. Topper, DVM, PhD, DACVP, in recognition of his long-standing dedication to the veterinary profession, his passionate leadership in Pennsylvania and nationally, and his commitment to finding solutions to issues such as veterinary student debt and wellness.

Dr. Topper served as AVMA President from July 2017 – July 2018. During his tenure, the AVMA made great progress in addressing issues important to its members and to the veterinary profession, including wellbeing and student debt. The AVMA launched a new website for veterinary students and early career veterinarians to help develop their careers, maintain their wellbeing and manage the financial stresses of personal and professional life. A veterinary wellbeing summit co-hosted by the AVMA in April 2018 allowed participants to engage in critical conversations and explore ideas they can implement in their own lives, to enhance both their personal wellbeing and their workplace cultures. And, through efforts like the Veterinary Debt Initiative the AVMA is co-leading with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and Veterinary Medical Association Executives, the AVMA remains focused on efforts to find solutions and strategies for addressing the student debt issue.

Prior to his election as President-Elect in 2016, he was elected to the AVMA House of Delegates’ House Advisory Committee in 2010 and served six years, culminating as Chair in 2015. He has served on other AVMA committees in leadership positions, including the Governance Performance Review Committee, the Member Services Committee and the Veterinary Leadership Planning Committee. Besides his service to the AVMA, Topper’s experience with organized veterinary medicine includes leadership positions with the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Associations, the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and the Alumni Association of the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Topper is a board-certified veterinary pathologist. He retired in 2017 after serving 12 years as Director of Clinical Pathology at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps for 22 years, where he worked in clinical practice, preventive medicine, food safety, and biological and chemical defense as a military veterinarian. In his last military assignment, he was Director of the Division of Pathology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and he retired as a Colonel in 2002.

During his military career, Topper completed a three-year residency in veterinary pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C., and a combined three-year clinical pathology residency and PhD program in pathology at the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also received his veterinary degree. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Congratulations Dr. Topper!

George B. Wolff Legislative Leadership Award

James F. Wilson, DVM, JD

The George B. Wolff Legislative Leadership Award is given to a PVMA member who has shown dedicated leadership in legislative advocacy at the state or federal level. This year’s Legislative Leadership Award is given to Dr. James Wilson in recognition and sincere appreciation of his continuous dedication to our advocacy efforts as a long-standing and valued member of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee, knowledgeable expert on national trends and emerging issues, and strong supporter of the Commonwealth’s veterinary community and animals. 

James F. Wilson, DVM, JD graduated from the Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, in 1967 and the UCLA, School of Law, in 1973. During the 16 years he lived in California, Dr. Wilson practiced small animal emergency medicine for two years, worked as an associate for four, and was a partner in Four Corners Veterinary Hospital in Concord, California for 10 years. In 1986, Dr. Wilson moved to Pennsylvania where he served as medical director at the University of Pennsylvania’s small animal hospital for two years. Currently, he teaches veterinary law, ethics, business management, and career development at 18-20 veterinary schools each year throughout the US with sponsorship from the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company.

Dr. Wilson has authored six books and over 130 articles in various veterinary journals. He reviews and/ or helps draft approximately 40 employment contracts/year for lawyers, practice owners, specialists, and new graduate veterinarians. His authorship began with the Business Guide For Veterinary Practice in 1982 (out of print). In 1988, he researched, wrote, and with his wife Elise, published the Law and Ethics of the Veterinary Profession textbook. In 1996, he added Legal Consent Forms for Veterinary Practices and coauthored The Veterinary Receptionist’s Training Manual, the latter still published through and available from AAHA Press. The Contracts, Benefits and Practice Management for the Veterinary Profession textbook was added in 1998 and has been updated most recently in 2009.

In 2005, he coauthored the Job Descriptions and Training Schedules for Veterinary Practices, also published through and available from AAHA Press. In 2006, he and his wife, Elise, expanded and published the Legal Consents for Veterinary Practices, 4th Edition. 

In 1994, Dr. Wilson was a founder of the American Veterinary Medical Law Association (AVMLA). During 1996, he was awarded the prestigious Clinical Sciences Teacher of the Year Award by the Student AVMA House of Delegates, the only time this has been awarded to a non-clinician. In 2000, he co-founded the Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors (now called VetPartners ™) with Lou Gatto, CPA and Larry McCormick, DVM, MBA, CBA. He currently serves on the VetPartners™ Career Development Committee, Veterinary Pet Insurance’s (VPI) Veterinary Advisory Board, and as a national advisor for the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA).

Congratulations Dr. Wilson!

Certified Veterinary Technician of the Year Award

Nick Rivituso, CVT, VTS (ECC)

The Certified Veterinary Technician of the Year Award is presented annually to a PVMA member for an outstanding achievement in veterinary technology. The 2018 recipient of the Certified Veterinary Technician of the Year Award is Nick Rivituso, CVT, VTS (ECC) in recognition of his commitment to excellence in the field of veterinary technology as an enthusiastic mentor, patient and inspiring teacher, and valued leader and team member. 

Nick graduated from the Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh, in December 2009. He sat for his VTNE and became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2010. He immediately began his career in emergency medicine. In 2013, he joined the Vet Tech Institute as an adjunct Instructor and continues to teach there today. In 2015, he completed a Critical Care intensive and became a Board Certified Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care in 2016. Since then, Nick has served on various advisory boards and committees, helping guide other veterinary programs as they advance. 

He is currently a mentor for the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and assists in a VTS mentorship program through Allegheny Veterinary Emergency and Trauma Specialty (AVETS), helping other technicians to achieve their goal of becoming specialized in Emergency and Critical Care. Nick also acts as an externship liaison between AVETS and the Vet Tech Institute, helping students and new technicians realize their dreams in emergency medicine. 

Nick was recently a contributing author for 2 chapters in an upcoming emergency care textbook for technicians, which will be released this fall. He has also begun speaking as a continuing education lecturer in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. His professional interests include transfusion medicine and mechanical ventilation. Nick’s belief is that if we want to improve patient care, we must advance our knowledge and expertise through education and mentorship. 

Congratulations Nick!

Practice Manager of the Year Award

Donna Steckley

The Practice Manager of the Year Award honors a PVMA member who has shown excellence and leadership in the field of practice management in the last year. Donna Steckley was selected for this year’s award in recognition of her dedicated and strong leadership in the field of practice management across Pennsylvania as an inspiring mentor and guide within CARES and Pet Partners, and a shining example of excellence. 

Donna has been part of the veterinary community since 1983. Like many of us, she began her career as a kennel attendant in a busy general practice. From this position, she became a skilled veterinary technician (and also developed a unique expertise in pigeon racing!) Following this experience, she worked for many years as an animal lab technician. Finally in 2000, she joined CARES as an overnight ER nurse and an internal medicine nurse. As the practice expanded, a leader was needed to support the team. Donna was the perfect candidate to fill the Practice Manager position. Donna is not only an amazing Practice Manager, but a true team player. It is not unusual for her to step into any of the roles in the hospital. She frequently picks up the phone to help the CSRs, and will show up in the middle of the night to deliver puppies, or can be found with some tools in her hand performing emergency repairs. Donna also makes the team feel like a family. She will fire up a grill for those working on a summer holiday or pick up team members when they can’t get to work in the winter snow. Donna is a great role model to her team of over 100. She balances business with compassion, allowing her to develop a progressive clinic and team. Her sense of humor promotes a positive atmosphere. The team often jokes that she has her own language, referred to as “Donna-isms.” 

In addition to guiding the team at CARES, Donna is also an Area Leader for Pet Partners. Her passion is fulfilled each time she helps build new leaders and teams throughout the Pet Partners family.

Donna has a strong work ethic and is very dedicated, but also finds time to enjoy life. While not at work she enjoys spending time with her partner, Lisa, and daughter, Dani. Whether it be weekend sporting events for her daughter or a week-long cruise, Donna treasures each and every moment. Donna has a soft spot for little rescue dogs and currently has a furry family of four. 

Congratulations Donna!

Veterinary Industry Partner Award

Stephanie Jones-Covelli, Zoetis

The Veterinary Industry Partner Award is presented to a Veterinary Industry Partner member of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association for showing steadfast commitment to the Association and the veterinary profession. Stephanie Jones-Covelli was selected for this year’s award because of her steadfast commitment to ensuring the vitality of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, the Northwest Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, and the Commonwealth’s veterinary community.

Stephanie is a Territory Business Manager with Zoetis. Stephanie graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Youngstown State University. She has been with Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health) for 21 years covering northwestern Pennsylvania hospitals from Wexford to Erie. She has served as an area expert, North Region Advisory Council member and Master. She has achieved multiple President’s Circle awards, teamwork awards and has served as a mentor to fellow colleagues. 

Stephanie partners with her hospitals as well as state and local VMAs to provide quality continuing education programs to her customers. She has delivered numerous in-clinic seminars to veterinarians and technicians in addition to organizing and delivering web-based education, wet labs, boarded speaker programs, and large group events. 

Stephanie is customer obsessed. Her goal is always to educate her customers on disease states and the most safe and effective way to use Zoetis products. Working for Zoetis has afforded her the opportunity to offer extremely innovative products and financial solutions to help improve the lives of veterinarians, owners and pets. 

Stephanie lives in New Castle, PA with her 3 children, Madyson, Morgan and Travis and her husband John. She enjoys watching her kids participate in sports and is an avid Penguins fan. She also enjoys volunteering frequently in her community and her church. 

Congratulations Stephanie!

Public Service Award of Merit

Jennifer Lettich-Snyder, CVT

The Public Service Award of Merit is presented annually to a member of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association for an outstanding act of public service. This year’s award recipient is Jennifer Lettich-Snyder, CVT in recognition of her generous service and passionate dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of her local community’s animals and people as an educator, mentor, animal care giver, volunteer, emergency responder, and search and rescue handler.

Jennifer is a 2003 graduate of Tri-Valley High School and a 2005 graduate of Lehigh Carbon Community College/Northampton Community College where she earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science specializing in Veterinary Technology. In 2009, Jennifer also attended Geisinger School of Phlebotomy in Bloomsburg. Jennifer also has completed the Canine Rehabilitation Program offered through the University of Tennessee in June 2013 as well as the Fear Free Certification Program. Jen has a strong devotion to the profession and helping animals in need. 

In her personal life, Jen is happily married with 9 dogs, 5 rabbits, chickens and 2 horses. She also enjoys volunteering in the community and is involved with the fire department. She is also a K-9 handler for Middle Creek Search and Rescue with her dog, Charlotte. Jennifer was a 2018 Finalist for Petplan’s Veterinary Technician of the Year.

Jennifer currently holds a full-time position as Head Technician at Anthracite Animal Clinic. She works part-time at Sunbury Animal Hospital and is a part-time teaching assistant for the Veterinary Technician Program at Penn Foster College. She also is a member of PVMA, HSVMA, and NAVTA.

Congratulations Jennifer!

Animal Welfare Advocacy Award

David Wolfgang, VMD, MPH, DABVP (Dairy)

The Animal Welfare Advocacy Award recognizes a PVMA member who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and/or developed programs for the welfare of animals. David Wolfgang, VMD, MPH, DABVP-Dairy, was selected for this year’s award in recognition of his outstanding compassion and dedicated commitment to the advancement of animal well-being as an experienced educator, inspiring mentor, and ethical developer of quality assurance programs and animal care standards within the agricultural and veterinary communities.

Dr. Wolfgang has assisted in applied research in a number of on-farm food safety and animal health initiatives that complement livestock welfare principles. These topics have been promoted within Pennsylvania, regional and national research initiatives. These projects have been ongoing in some form over the past 15 years. He has shared a proactive and positive message concerning quality of care for all production species no matter their economic value, to producers, veterinarians, and consumers. Promoting a win-win-win strategy allows producer goals as well as larger industry/social objectives to be achieved. He has been a featured speaker with audiences as varied as 4-H, humane organizations, producer groups, veterinary groups, and governmental agencies. He also taught undergraduate classes, organized local and state veterinary continuing education programs, and served on national committees on livestock welfare issues. He promotes how an efficient, proactive, and compassionate system can produce excellent animal care and health, high levels of safety and quality for consumers, and profitable returns for the producer.

Dr. David Wolfgang is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Penn State University, College of Medicine-Hershey. He was in private veterinary practice with an emphasis on food animals from June 1982 through October 1995. From October 1995 through July 2016, he was Director of Field Investigations and an Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Penn State. He also served as Co-Director of the University’s Center for Animal Care and Health. In August 2016, he accepted the position as Pennsylvania State Veterinarian. He has been active in local and state veterinary organizations, and served as President of the Pennsylvania State Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) in 2006. He was Chair of the National Mastitis Council-Residue Avoidance Committee (2005-2009) and is a former Chair of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine. His primary areas of professional emphasis include cost-effective preventive health and diagnostic programs for livestock species, on-farm food safety and quality, emerging and zoonotic diseases, animal well-being, and continuing education programs for veterinarians. 

Congratulations Dr. Wolfgang!

Wodan Animal Hero Award

The Wodan Animal Hero Award was created in 2001 to recognize the courageous and heroic acts of Pennsylvania animals in the preservation and protection of animal or human life. The award was named after its inaugural recipient, Wodan, a Harrisburg City police dog who was injured in the line of duty. The Wodan Animal Hero Award includes a commemorative plaque and a $200 donation in the animal’s honor to an animal-related charity.

K-9 Krabi Chown

The 2018 Wodan Animal Hero Award is given in memory of K-9 Krabi Chown in recognition and sincere appreciation of her lifetime of services as a search and rescue canine with the Middle Creek Search and Rescue specializing in the location of missing persons and the recovery of human remains and training other search and rescue canines to develop these vital skills. 

K-9 Krabi worked and trained with her handler Greg Chown. They worked as a team and resource for the Middle Creek Search and Rescue for the location of missing persons and recovery of human remains until she retired in 2017. From May 2017 till July 2018, Krabi then went on to pass her skills to new search and rescue K-9s as a trainer. Over the course of her career as a search and rescue K-9, she earned 11 certifications, belonged to 5 organizations, and was involved with 11 workshops with Bay Area Recovery Canines and the American Working Dog Association. In addition, she was a part of the search and rescue team on 14 missions to find human remains or missing people. 

Sadly, on July 14, while at a training session teaching other K-9s her invaluable skills, Krabi passed away so she cannot be here with us today to receive her award. The award is given in her memory as a token of our sincere appreciation for her life’s work in helping save human lives as an active part of the Middle Creek Search and Rescue team and as a trainer of other K-9s who will carry on her legacy through involvement in this important service in the community.

Congratulations K-9 Krabi Chown!

Richard H. Detwiler Cornerstone Service Awards

There are two Richard H. Detweiler Cornerstone Service Award recipients for 2018. 

Sima Thakkar, PetSmart Charities, LLC

The first recipient is Ms. Sima Thakkar of PetSmart Charities, Inc. in recognition and sincerest appreciation for her dedicated commitment as a collaborative and enthusiastic partner and an outstanding ambassador for PetSmart Charities, Inc.

Ms. Thakkar has been an instrumental part of the relationship which the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF) has developed with PetSmart Charities, Inc. over the course of the last year. Through the generous support of PetSmart Charities, PVF has been able to assist more pets in the Chester County area with their needs for veterinary care and food by way of events like our Share the Love Day at the Phoenixville Senior Center in April. Ms. Thakkar helped PVF through the grant application process every step of the way, worked with the organization to ensure PetSmart Charities’ participation in our Share the Love event, and is now exploring possible future collaboration with PVF to expand our model of providing food and veterinary care to pets of senior citizens in need.

Ms. Thakkar is a Regional Relationship Manager for PetSmart Charities, a leading funder of animal welfare initiatives in North America. In this role, she oversees a grantmaking portfolio for the eastern part of the US, including 16 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. She is an Urban Planner with a Master of Regional Planning degree from Cornell University and over a decade of experience in affordable housing and community development initiatives. Prior to joining PetSmart Charities in 2016, she managed the City of San Diego’s Community Development Programs, including federal programs focused on affordable housing, economic development and homelessness programs. 

Congratulations Sima!

Amanda Bosak, Sherri Mullen, and Dr. Darren Remsburg and the entire team at Zoetis, Veterinary Medical Information Product Support

The second Richard H. Detweiler Cornerstone Service Award is given to Amanda Bosak, Sherri Mullen, and Dr. Darren Remsburg and the entire team at Zoetis, Veterinary Medical Information Product Support in recognition and sincerest appreciation for their generous support as a valued partner and for committing their talents, time, and resources to the betterment of pets and their owners. 

When asked to help with the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation’s Share the Love event which took place on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Phoenixville Senior Center, the Veterinary Medical Information Product Support (VMIPS) team stepped right up and made sure that Zoetis generously donated vaccines and supplies for the event. Our Share the Love Day provided care for 35 cats and dogs of senior citizens with financial need and Zoetis was a big part of the event’s success. In addition, when it came time to volunteer at the event, one of the Zoetis VMIPS team’s own, Sherri Mullen, CVT, donated her personal time to help with pet wellness exams. 

Special thanks to Dr. Darren Remsburg and Amanda Bosak for coordinating Zoetis’ generous donation of vaccines and supplies and to Sherri Mullen for donating her entire day to help pets in need at this year’s Share the Love event! Our thanks goes out to the entire team at Zoetis for their generous support of PVF and the veterinary and pet owning communities!

Congratulations Amanda, Sherri, Dr. Remsburg and Zoetis!

Power of 10 Leadership Academy

Thank you to our third class of the Power of Ten Leadership Academy for taking the time to focus on your professional and personal development with PVMA. Based on an initiative generously supported by Elanco Animal Health as part of their commitment to the veterinary profession and state veterinary associations, the Power of Ten Leadership (P10) Academy is designed to cultivate leadership capacity in recent graduates and provide learning experiences that will enrich them as individuals and benefit the practices where they work, the communities where they live, and the profession they love. 

2017-2018 Power of Ten Class

Left to Right:
Dr. Michael Handke > Dr. Nate Kapp
Dr. Sarah Moser
Dr. Dawn Fiedorczyk
Dr. Jayne Kubat
Dr. Charlotte Sanford-Crane
Dr. Laura Pollock
Kneeling Left to Right:
Dr. Jenelle Izer
Dr. Betsy Charles
Dr. Kimya Davani
Not Pictured:
Dr. Tony Domday

Congratulations on completion of your Power of Ten Experience!