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A veterinarian and a paraprofessional are celebrated for their innovation

News
Article
dvm360dvm360 January 2024
Volume 55
Issue 1
Pages: 14

Award program partners dvm360 and Chewy Health their pair for their respective work at the Fetch Long Beach conference

The winners of the 2023 Innovator of the Year Award program were recognized at the Fetch dvm360 conference in Long Beach, California, in a special midday presentation. Program partners dvm360 and Chewy Health honored the 2 veterinary professionals— Philip J. Bergman, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology); and Ellen M. Carozza LVT, VTS(CP-Feline)—for their innovative work that is propelling the veterinary industry forward.1,2

Emcee Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, chief veterinary officer for dvm360, told the audience the event was “celebrating the incredible achievements and groundbreaking contributions” of the 2 award recipients. “Their unwavering commitment to advancing the wellbeing of our animal companions aligns seamlessly with the spirit of innovation we celebrate this afternoon,” said Christman, during the event.1

John Hydrusko, vice president of sales for dvm360 and MJH Life Sciences; and Katy Nelson, DVM, associate director, veterinary services for Chewy, were also on hand to recognize the pair of award recipients. Addressing the audience, Nelson noted that Bergman and Carozza have made a lasting impact on the lives of many animals and their human companions.1 “The 2 winners are absolutely incredible people,” she later said, in an interview with dvm360.

Photo: Kristen Coppock, MA

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, chief veterinary officer for dvm360 (left), and Katy Nelson, DVM, associate director of veterinary relations for Chewy Health, present an Innovator of the Year Award to Phillip J. Bergman, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology), at the 2023 Fetch dvm360 conference in Long Beach, California.

Photo: Kristen Coppock, MA

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, chief veterinary officer for dvm360 (left), and Katy Nelson, DVM, associate director of veterinary relations for Chewy Health, present an Innovator of the Year Award to Phillip J. Bergman, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology), at the 2023 Fetch dvm360 conference in Long Beach, California.

Philip J. Bergman, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology)

Bergman is the director of clinical studies for VCA Animal Hospitals and has been championing veterinary and comparative oncology for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in the development of the ONCEPT Canine Melanoma Vaccine, the first DNA-based canine cancer vaccine that is now fully licensed by the USDA, and he continues to act as principal veterinary investigator for the groundbreaking treatment.2 “Dr. Bergman is incredibly inspiring for all the work that he has done, for years and years, with pet cancer,” said Nelson.

Bergman has also held leadership roles in several veterinary boards and organizations, including the Veterinary Cancer Society.2 In receiving the Innovator of the Year Award for veterinarians, Bergman thanked the colleagues he has worked with over the years. “That includes a lot of amazing assistants, technicians, doctors, and a lot of folks I work with on a daily basis,” he said, before also acknowledging his wife as his “rock.”1

Photo: Kristen Coppock, MA

Ellen Carozza, LVT, VTS(CP-Feline), (left) an Innovator of the Year Award winner for 2023 addresses the audience during the 2023 Fetch dvm360 conference in Long Beach, California, while Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, Katy Nelson, DVM, associate director of veterinary relations for Chewy Health, and John Hydrusko, vice president of Sales for dvm360 and MJH Life Sciences, (from left to right) look on and listen.

Photo: Kristen Coppock, MA

Ellen Carozza, LVT, VTS(CP-Feline), (left) an Innovator of the Year Award winner for 2023 addresses the audience during the 2023 Fetch dvm360 conference in Long Beach, California, while Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, Katy Nelson, DVM, associate director of veterinary relations for Chewy Health, and John Hydrusko, vice president of Sales for dvm360 and MJH Life Sciences, (from left to right) look on and listen.

Ellen M. Carozza LVT, VTS(CP-Feline)

Carozza is a veterinary technician and consultant specializing in feline medicine. She founded The Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation, a nonprofit that provides medical care for neonatal at-risk kittens,2 in tribute to a late colleague, who reportedly died by suicide. Additionally, Carozza led the creation of a new veterinary technician credential, VTS Feline that focuses specifically on cat care. She is currently 1 of only 3 veterinary technicians in the world to obtain this certification, which requires completion of a rigorous process.

In an interview with dvm360, Carozza said that she was surprised when she heard she was receiving the award. “I have never received an award of this caliber that recognizes the work that I do,” Carozza said. “[The award] just goes to show that somebody is paying attention to the work that we’ve been doing for the past 10 years with the foundation for Chris Griffey and that we are spreading the word that pediatric medicine really matters… It is such an honor to get more cats noticed in practice.”

Support for innovators

Chewy Health is committed to improving the lives of pets and the people who work tirelessly to care for them. “I think that we are known as a fairly innovative company ourselves. For us, [at Chewy Health], this was a natural progression to be able to recognize some of these innovators in the veterinary field,” said Nelson.

During the awards presentation, Nelson announced 2 donations of $5000 from Chewy Health were being made to charities chosen by each of the winners. Bergman selected Not One More Vet, a nonprofit organization that addresses well-being in veterinary medicine through inclusive pathways. Carozza chose The Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation for the second donation.

“Ellen is such a kind soul,” said Nelson. “It meant so much to her to have these funds given to this foundation… These funds are going to be used to buy anesthetic equipment and bring surgical packs to an area that really is in desperate need of it.”

In addition to the donations, Chewy Health presented both winners with hand-painted portraits of their respective pets. Bergman and Carozza also received customized glass trophies to take home from Long Beach.

RELATED VIDEO: Company focuses on innovation

References

  1. Innovator of the Year 2023 Award Presentation. Presented at: Fetch dvm360 conference; Long Beach, CA. December 1-3, 2023.
  2. dvm360® and Chewy Health announce the 2023 Innovator of the year AwardTM recipients. New release. MJH Life Sciences. December 4, 2023. Accessed December 4, 2023. https://www.dvm360.com/view/dvm360-and-chewy-health-announce-the-2023-innovator-of-the-year-award-recipients

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