Nearly 1,100 Help Set the Pace in Veterinary Medicine at 2019 Purdue Veterinary Conference

Friday, September 27, 2019

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This year’s Purdue Veterinary Conference celebrated 60 years of Purdue Veterinary Medicine and 150 years of Giant Leaps at Purdue.  The annual conference attracted attendees from across the country September 17-21 on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

The number of registrants totaled 1,091 and included 321 veterinarians; 218 veterinary technicians; 155 PVM faculty, staff, and faculty emeriti; 155 students; and 105 additional guests.

The sold-out Exhibit Hall in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom was staffed by 64 exhibitor representatives who networked with and provided opportunities for conference attendees to learn more about the latest products and services available to veterinary professionals.

Conference sessions were led by 69 speakers who offered 117 continuing education (CE) sessions.  Tracks included small animal, swine, ruminant, practice management and communication, equine, behavior, exotics, APHIS modules, emergency preparedness, and topics of interest to veterinary nurses.  Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in two interactive workshops, one focusing on basic and advanced life support techniques and the other on proper laboratory sample preparation and shipping. 

In addition to the impressive line-up of continuing education sessions, the conference also featured special lectures on diversity in veterinary medicine and veterinary wellness, as well as the Dr. Jack and Naomi Stockton / Class of 1971 Lecture featuring wildlife veterinarian and epidemiologist Sharon Deem, who is director of the Institute for Conservation Medicine at the Saint Louis Zoo.  She spoke on the topic, “Veterinary Medicine in the Age of the Anthropocene.”

The public also had a chance to participate in the conference by attending the Elanco Human-Animal Bond Lecture Tuesday evening, September 17.  Jennifer Arnold, founder of Canine Assistants and New York Times bestselling author, reviewed the ways in which dogs are capable of improving human life and how we can best encourage them to do so.  Jennifer shared the stage with “Robb,” a Canine Assistants trained service dog, who illustrated the remarkable ability that dogs have to provide needed assistance and comfort for people. 

This year’s conference also was filled with special events and activities that celebrated the college’s 60th anniversary.  The Awards Celebration held Wednesday evening, September 18, honored twelve awardees, including several faculty members and distinguished alumni.  Additionally, the Meet Me @ the Mixer reception on Thursday evening, September 19, featured entertainment by a specialty group of the Purdue Musical Organizations’ Glee Club that provided a musical walk down memory lane as reunion classes were recognized and guests perused “PVM Through the Decades,” a special exhibit celebrating the college’s history. 

Bookending the conference were two other special events. The annual Indiana Animal Health Foundation / PVM Golf Outing Tuesday, September 17, offered a fun way for golf enthusiasts to raise funds for PVM student scholarships and activities. The Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog 5K fun run / walk on September 21 ended the week with a bang. A total of 209 runners and 74 dogs joined in the fun to help raise funds for two College of Veterinary Medicine programs: PetSafe, a community service that meets short-term housing needs of pets whose owners are temporarily unable to provide care; and Priority 4 Paws (P4P), which is a shelter animal mobile care unit providing surgical services free-of-charge to participating Indiana animal shelters.

The conference was made possible with the generous support of Elanco, Banfield Pet Hospital, the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, IDEXX, Nutrena, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and THRIVE Affordable Vet Care.

Writer(s): Andrea Brown and Kevin Doerr |

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