This prestigious award recognizes veterinary professionals implementing innovations to advance animal care
Before the keynote presentation on the first day of the 2022 Fetch dvm360® Conference in San Diego, California, dvm360® and Chewy Health presented the inaugural dvm360® Innovator of the Year Award. The 2 winners selected were Katherine Cutter, DVM, DACVO, CEO of BoosterPet (DVM winner); and Peter Carlos, RVT, of Taylor ER Veterinary Emergency Hospital (paraprofessional winner).
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, chief veterinary officer at dvm360® said, “This special recognition honors those who are advancing the veterinary profession through groundbreaking measures, such as introducing new ideas and ways of working, creating new solutions that open access to care, [or] educating veterinary technicians or veterinarians around the country and the world."
These veterinary professionals were nominated by colleagues, and the dvm360® senior leadership vetted all nominations and voted to determine the 2022 awardees. The winners were based on the following criteria:
Katherine Cutter, DVM, DACVO
A North Carolina native, Cutter earned her bachelor’s degree from North Carolina (NC) State University and her DVM from NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh. She then completed her small animal rotating internship and comparative ophthalmology residency at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York. That same year, she became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. Cutter’s clinical career spans from serving both as an employee and clinic owner in private practice to teaching veterinarians graduate ophthalmology courses to software development.
Most recently, she founded BoosterPet, aiming to create improved work opportunities for veterinarians and technicians by leveraging technology in the workplace. BoosterPet currently has 4 clinics in the Seattle, Washington, area and plans to expand in the Pacific Northwest in 2023. Cutter and her husband have 3 children, a boxer named Sophie, and a new puppy named Penelope.
“I am both humbled and honored to receive the Innovator of the Year Award,” said Cutter. “As most colleagues in our field recognize, advancing change in the veterinary industry is remarkably difficult. Challenging vet industry-specific obstacles requires tremendous perseverance along with a community of colleagues that help promote the critically needed change.”
“We face our daily challenges head on, while simultaneously balancing our personal commitments to our families,” Cutter added. “National recognition and support for the collective hard work that has gone into the past several years validates the novel work that BoosterPet has started. What began as a disruptive vision has come to life with our ability to provide novel career opportunities to both veterinary technicians and veterinarians.”
"Thank you to dvm360® for recognizing what BoosterPet is doing out there," said Cutter, accepting her award. "We at our core believe that veterinarians and veterinary [professionals] are the heart of this industry....Every person in this room can make a huge difference to their veterinary teammates."
Peter Carlos, RVT
Since 2013, Carlos has served as a full-time veterinary technician at Taylor ER Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Turlock, California. During his junior year of high school, he began his career in the animal care realm as a sales associate at a Petco pet store. While at Petco, he was continuously asked pet medical questions from customers, inspiring him to pursue an associate degree in animal science and achieve registered veterinary technician (RVT) credentials from Carrington College in Stockton, California. Carlos was offered a full-time position at Taylor ER Veterinary Emergency Hospital after completing his student externship hours there for the technician program. At this hospital, he specializes in surgery with his medical director, performing anything from routine spays, neuters, and dentals all the way to specialty orthopedic procedures. Carlos met his wife at this veterinary hospital who works as a practice manager there, and together they have 3 children.
Carlos met a colleague at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, who used to work with him at Taylor ER Veterinary Emergency Hospital, veterinary assistant Jaycee Leonardo, and they became great friends as they bonded over a shared sense of humor and enjoying each day in the veterinary profession. Soon after, the duo became renowned on social media from launching a joint TikTok account (@vet_techs_pj), which now has over 2 million followers and serves as an educational tool and positive outlet for veterinary students and professionals. From the social media page’s popularity, Carlos has had the opportunity to partner with numerous veterinary companies to support staff hiring, veterinary merchandise, and conferences.
“Winning this award gives me great satisfaction to know that my content and stories are meaningful to the veterinary community,” said Carlos. “My goal for my social media page (@vet_techs_pj) has been to educate the world about the realities of veterinary medicine as well as provide support to the veterinary workforce. The recognition from this award validates all the work I have done.”
“I feel that my contributions to veterinary medicine lie in the education I provide in my videos,” Carlos said. “Many of my followers are students and they comment all the time that they have learned something new from a video that I have posted. I like to think I am helping to bring up the next generation in veterinary medicine.”