Successful Conference Offers Education, Recognition, and Reunions

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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PMO's Purduettes serenade Dr. John Scharding of the Golden Anniversary Class of 1968 during the Meet Me @ the Mixer event

Members of the Purdue Musical Organization’s Purduettes serenade Dr. John Scharding of the Golden Anniversary Class of 1968 during the Meet Me @ the Mixer event honoring the College’s reunion classes.

The 2018 Purdue Veterinary Conference attracted more than 1,000 attendees, with veterinary professionals traveling from across the country to attend the continuing education program September 18-22 on Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus. The attendees included 276 veterinarians, 148 veterinary nurses, and 155 PVM faculty, staff, and faculty emeriti, as well as 176 students and 105 other guests. Nearly 80 exhibitor representatives staffed booths in the Exhibit Hall in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom, which served as a popular break location.

The conference schedule was packed with nearly 120 continuing education sessions led by 67 speakers. Attendees could choose between various tracks, including small animal, swine, ruminant, professional development and communication, exotics, APHIS modules, emergency preparedness, and topics of interest to veterinary nurses.

Dean Willie Reed with faculty award recipients (left-right) Drs. Laurent Laurent Couëtil, Michael Childress, Kevin Hannon, and Larry Adams.

Dean Willie Reed with faculty award recipients (left-right) Drs. Laurent Couetil, Michael Childress, Kevin Hannon, and Larry Adams.

As part of the Emergency Preparedness track, Director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) shared about his experiences with disaster response and Hurricane Harvey. Dr. Bissett is associate professor of emergency management at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He described how the Veterinary Emergency Team searched for stranded animals and rehabilitated rescued animals of all types. Noting that the small team was spread over 400 miles, Dr. Bissett said the challenges they faced included dealing with power outages and getting clean water.

Additionally, the conference featured keynote lectures on diversity in veterinary medicine and veterinary wellness. Another highlight was the Dr. Jack and Naomi Stockton/ Class of 1971 Lecture featuring Dr. Kate Creevy, the lead veterinarian for the Dog Aging Project, which studies aging and age-related disease in thousands of companion animals throughout the country.

Conference week kicked-off with the Elanco Human-Animal Bond Lecture Tuesday evening, September 18, which was free and open to the public. Dr. Sally Irvin, founder of the Indiana Canine Assistant Network, spoke about how assistance dogs help with healing during her talk entitled, “What Prisoners’ Dogs and People with Disabilities Tell Us About the Healing Role of Assistance Dogs.”

Drs. Jean Stiles and Harm HogenEsch pictured

Professor of Ophthalmology Jean Stiles and Associate Dean for Research Harm HogenEsch both received research awards at the Awards Celebration held during the Purdue Veterinary Conference.

The Purdue Veterinary Conference, which doubles as the College’s Homecoming, also featured a variety of special events and award presentations. The Meet Me @ the Mixer on Thursday evening, September 20, featured entertainment by the Purduettes and included an opportunity for Dean Willie Reed to honor reunion classes and give special recognition to the Golden Anniversary Class of 1968 and the Silver Anniversary DVM Class of 1993.

The annual Awards Celebration, which was held Wednesday evening, September 19, honored the following Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty members and distinguished alumni:

Faculty Awards

Dr. Larry Adams | Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award
Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine

Dr. Michael Childress | Excellence in Service Award
Associate Professor of Comparative Oncology

Dr. Laurent Couëtil | Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence
Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine
Director of Equine Research Programs/ Equine
Sports Medicine Center

Dr. Kevin Hannon | Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award & Excellence in Teaching Award
Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences

Candice Targgart's family pictured. She was honored posthumously.

The children of Candice Targgart, RVT, who was honored posthumously, hold the Distinguished Veterinary Technology Alumna Award plaque, accompanied by Candice’s husband, Travis, and her sister, Caitlin Kritzman.

Dr. Harm HogenEsch | Excellence in Research Award
Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Immunopathology

Dr. Jean Stiles | Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence
Professor of Ophthalmology

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Candice Targgart, RVT (PU BS-VT 2005) | Distinguished Veterinary Technology Alumni Award

Dr. Amelia Woolums (PU DVM ‘88) | Distinguished Alumni Award
Professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine
Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dean Reed pictured with Dr. Amelia Woolums

Dean Willie Reed with Distinguished Alumna Award recipient Amelia Woolums.

Bookending the conference were two fun recreational outings. The annual Indiana Animal Health Foundation/ PVM Golf Outing Tuesday, September 18, provided an opportunity for golfers and golfer-wannabes to enjoy the September sunshine while playing the Ackerman-Allen Course (formerly the South course) while raising funds for scholarships and the support of student activities.

Conference week concluded Saturday, September 22, with the 46th annual Dr. Skip Jackson Dog Jog, which attracted 170 human participants and 80 canine companions. Participants included faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community residents. The event also raised nearly $8,000 for the College’s PetSafe and Priority 4 Paws Programs. PetSafe is a community service offered by Purdue Veterinary Medicine to meet the short-term housing needs of pets whose owners are affected by natural disasters, domestic violence, or the pet owner’s need for hospice care. Priority 4 Paws (P4P) is a shelter animal mobile care unit providing surgical services free-of-charge to Indiana animal shelters. The annual run/walk is named in honor of Dr. Horace (Skip) Jackson, professor emeritus of veterinary physiology and biochemistry, who again was on-hand for the event.

The Purdue Veterinary Conference was made possible by the generous support of Banfield Pet Hospital, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Nutrena, Purina Veterinary Diets, Elanco, Zoetis, Coyne Veterinary Services, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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