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Former association president named 2023 AVMA Award recipient


Joseph Kinnarney, DVM, MS, was awarded the honor for distinguished advancement of veterinary medicine

Joseph Kinnarney, DVM, MS, winner of the 2023 AVMA Award. (Photo credit: AVMA)

Joseph Kinnarney, DVM, MS, winner of the 2023 AVMA Award. (Photo credit: AVMA)

Joseph Kinnarney, DVM, MS, an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) past president, was named the winner of the 2023 AVMA Award, during the association's conventin in Denver, Colorado. According to the AVMA, this award is presented to, “distinguished members of the association who have contributed to the advancement of veterinary medicine in its organizational aspects, exerting outstanding leadership in building stronger local, state or regional associations, or contributing to the improvement of the national organization.”1

Kinnarney graduated from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. Shortly after graduation, he began his career at Reidsville Veterinary Hospital in North Carolina. While practicing mixed-animal medicine there, he worked as a general practitioner, but Kinnarney’s primary interest is in small animal surgery, especially complex orthopedic cases. In addition to his surgical case load, Kinnarney worked extensively with national show dogs and in turn, holds an MS in reproductive physiology.2

"Dr. Kinnarney’s unwavering dedication to our profession, combined with his commitment to servant leadership, has had an immeasurable impact on the AVMA and the veterinary community at large,” said Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP (Canine and Feline), CVJ, outgoing AVMA president, in a news release. “We are incredibly proud to honor Dr. Kinnarney with this award, recognizing his life-long contributions to veterinary medicine."1

In 1990, Kinnarney joined the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) as an alternate delegate for North Carolina, serving until 1999, when he was elected vice president of the AVMA. Upon completing his term as vice president in 2001, he rejoined the AVMA HOD as a delegate through 2007, while also serving as president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association from 2001-2007. He next served on the AVMA Board of Directors from 2007-2013 and was voted president-elect of the AVMA in 2014, serving his term as president in 2015-2016.1

“Veterinary medicine has been my passion for over 40 years,” said Kinnarney in the release. “I am very honored to receive this prestigious award."1

Kinnarney was also selected to be chair of the newly established AVMA Trust in 2018, where he led the merger of AVMA LIFE and AVMA PLIT. Under his direction, the Trust has grown and transitioned to meet the current and future needs of AVMA members. During his tenure, Kinnarney established the introduction of an association retirement plan and group healthcare offerings as well as expanded coverage for veterinary students.1

In a video acceptance speech in the AVMA release, Kinnarney stated, “My message to you today will be: stick together, make a consensus, and any of the issues that face our profession will be solved by veterinarians. Once again, thank you for this award.”


  1. Dr. Joseph Kinnarney named recipient of 2023 AVMA Award. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. July 15, 2023. Accessed July 18, 2023. https://www.avma.org/news/press-releases/dr-joseph-kinnarney-named-recipient-2023-avma-award
  2. Joseph H. Kinnarney DVM, MS. Reidsville Veterinary Hospital Inc. Accessed July 18, 2023. http://www.reidsvillevet.com/about-us/our-staff/joseph-h.-kinnarney--dvm--ms.html
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