Members of veterinary profession honored for excellence


Insurance companies host events in Las Vegas to recognize veterinary honorees.

Pet insurance providers Pets Best Insurance and Petplan recently awarded honors to outstanding members of the veterinary field.

Irvin Ingram, DVM, was named best veterinarian of 2012. Founder of All Creatures Animal Hospital in Phoenix, Ingram was honored as the winner of the 2012 My Vet's the Best title at the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas and awarded a check for $1,000 to support philanthropic work. A veterinarian for more than three decades, Ingram regularly provides free vaccinations and spaying and neutering services at Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona. He also travels internationally to treat and vaccinate pets in impoverished areas.

"You will never find a more compassionate and devoted doctor," client Judy Johnson said earlier this year in her nomination entry for Ingram. "He is always willing to go the extra mile for each of his patients and clients."

Petplan introduced the winners of its 2013 Veterinary Excellence Awards at a dinner Feb. 17 in Las Vegas. The Petplan judging panel chose Natalie Marks, DVM, from Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago as Veterinarian of the Year; Suzanne Cross, from Brighton-Eggert Animal Clinic in Tonawanda, N.Y., as Practice Manager of the Year; and Kim Franck, from Adamstown Veterinary Hospital in Denver, Pa., as Veterinary Technician of the Year, from more than 2,200 nominations.

>>> Marks is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been with Blum Animal Hospital for six years—a partner since July 2012. She recently won the ISVMA Erwin Small First Decade Award. Judges noted her level of compassion for clients and patients.

"I have had to learn a true work-life balance and how to find strategies to relieve emotional stress. While challenging, my personal investment in my clients has truly become one of the reasons I feel this career is so rewarding," Marks said in a release.

>>> For the past 17 years Cross has worked her way from kennel assistant to receptionist to licensed veterinary technician and now to award-winning practice manager. Cross graduated from Medaille College and plans to obtain certification as a veterinary practice manager. Cross's colleague Beth Amherst nominated her. "Suzanne puts the best of herself into everything she does," Amherst says.

>>> Franck is a surgical and dental technician actively involved in patient care and diagnostics, client communication and education as well as assisting in procedures including soft-tissue surgery, CCL stabilization and surgical dental extractions and restorations. A certified veterinary technologist, Franck was nominated by a client that emphasized her connection to patients and clients.

"The more communication I have with our clients, the more we can offer them," Franck says. "I strive to be clear, thorough and understanding when talking with clients about their needs, concerns and goals regarding their pets' health and well-being. even in the busiest of our days."

Go to and to get information on how to nominate next year's winners.

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