Purdue Veterinary Nursing Instructor Kara Burns is First Veterinary Technician Named as a Bridge Club Industry ICON

Friday, October 27, 2023

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The Bridge Club, a conversation company, has announced that Kara M. Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, CVT, VTS (Nutrition), VTS Hon (Internal Medicine, Dentistry) will be honored as the 2024 Bridge Club Industry ICON. Kara, who teaches in Purdue’s Veterinary Nursing Nutrition course, is the ninth ICON and the first veterinary nurse/veterinary technician to receive the honor. She will be formally recognized during The Bridge Club ICON event January 13 in Orlando, Florida.

Kara pictured with a Frenchie in her home - both wearing football jerseys
Kara M. Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, CVT, VTS (Nutrition), VTS Hon (Internal Medicine, Dentistry)

The Bridge Club describes itself as a critical conversation company that tackles the most pressing issues in veterinary medicine. The Bridge Club Industry ICON Award is given to a veterinary professional who consistently demonstrates leadership, innovation, and a commitment to elevating and advancing veterinary care.

“Kara is so deserving of this honor,” said Dr. Alex Miller, manager of veterinary services at Blue Buffalo, which is one of the award sponsors. “She has been instrumental in advancing the role of veterinary technicians and increasing the knowledge of all practitioners in the area of nutrition.”

Kara is the wife of Dr. Ellen I. Lowery, director of the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital. During her career, Kara, has held a number of important leadership roles including serving as editor-in-chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse and as current president of the Pet Nutrition Alliance. She also is a past executive board member of PrideVMC.

Additionally, Kara has sought to maximize the role of veterinary technicians/veterinary nurses through her service as past president of the Kansas Veterinary Technicians Association and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). She also is dedicated to her specialty field of nutrition. She founded the Academy for Veterinary Nutrition Technicians and has co-written two textbooks, authored multiple textbook chapters, and written more than 100 professional articles. She also is deeply committed to continuing education and currently serves as the director of veterinary nurse development at WellHaven Pet Health. 

Kara was unanimously chosen for the Bridge Club ICON award after a rigorous selection process. After receiving nearly 50 nominations, The Bridge Club sought input from previous ICON award winners and the award program sponsors: the North America Veterinary Community (NAVC), Blue Buffalo, and IDEXX.

As a newly named award recipient, Kara joins a distinguished group of ICONs. Other honorees are Zoetis CEO Kristin Peck; former CEO of the American Pet Products Association Bob Vetere; former dean of the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Eleanor Green; former IDEXX CEO Jon Ayers; and the 2023 ICON winner, Dr. Ruby Perry, dean of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine.

When The Bridge Club’s 2024 ICON live event takes place in Orlando Saturday, January 13, attendees will have the opportunity to get to know Kara via a moderated conversation that includes the person who knows her best, Dr. Lowery. Click here to read more.

The Bridge Club is dedicated to bringing vital conversations forward to elevate veterinary medicine. The conversations are designed to give everyone in veterinary medicine a voice in advancing the profession. To date, The Bridge Club has hosted over 300 conversations dedicated to veterinary medicine.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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