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Petplan gives North American awards at VMX

dvm360dvm360 April 2019
Volume 50
Issue 4

The pet insurance providers annual awards dinner for the Veterinary Excellence Awards at VMX in Orlando, Florida, highlighted a kitten-loving volunteer and a lot of Canadians.


Hey, HEY! Get that out of your mouth! Wait, you won that? Oh. Every industry deserves awards, and Petplan gives out several to veterinary professionals each year, unveiling them at VMX in Orlando, Florida.

This January the pet insurance provider gave awards to a pet parent, a receptionist, a practice manager, a veterinarian, a practice and, for the first time ever, gave the veterinary technician award to a “nurse,” following NAVTA's push for the name change. Here's who took away the glass-paned kudos ...

Pet parent of the year

Jill Bristow is a foster and volunteer with Winnipeg Humane Society in Manitoba, Canada, logging more than 1,300 hours of service. A video showcased Bristow's work, especially with litters of kittens. You missed it. (Wait, you didn't. Thanks, NAVC.)

Receptionist of the year

Lane Kovich is a receptionist at Nanaimo Veterinary Hospital in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. In the nomination, one of Kovich's team members wrote, “She is the first smiling face the client sees when they walk in the door. Rain or shine, she is upbeat and happy to see everyone.”

Practice manager of the year

Jennifer Bruce, RVT, is practice manager at Wellesley Animal Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Bruce's colleague wrote about her multifaceted background-registered veterinary technician, cat parent, pet store experience and life in a farm family. Bruce's passion for pet insurance played into the nomination: “She is always thinking of ways to implement and offer our clients no-cost insurance trials and is always there to help with any insurance-related question.”

But who was the dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year?

Find out who was last year's winner and read more from winners, finalists and entrants in the dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year contest.

Veterinary nurse of the year

Katie Berry, RVT, is a registered veterinary technician at Montgomery Village Veterinary Clinic and Dekens Housecall Services in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her colleague said she excels at managing team members, patients and client care: “As hard as our jobs are, she is always there to make us feel happy and make sure we are OK. She personally checks in on patients after procedures to make sure they're OK, that they're comfortable when leaving our practice and [their owners] fully understand any home care instructions. We would be lost without our Katie.”

Veterinarian of the year

Craig Staehle, DVM, owns Best Friends Animal Hospital and Pet Resort in Belleville, Illinois. His colleagues said he loves on the patients and manages others' tough emotions on the job with skill: “Even on the worst days with angry pets, grumpy coworkers and right-before-you-close emergencies, he stays upbeat and positive to give the best care. It's common to see him on the floor with a pet, offering treats and getting well-deserved licks.”

Practice of the year

Echoing remarks from award presenter Mike Cavanaugh, CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association, that a veterinary hospital is not “the building and all the equipment,” but the passion and compassion of the team inside, a client of Stack Veterinary Hospital in Syracuse, New York, commented in writing about the team's exceptional care of her anxious dog: “As my pup has made progress, the entire team has been fantastic cheerleaders and they celebrate his successes with me. They take the time to answer questions, use humor to defuse stressful situations and make me feel like a partner in my fur babies' care.”

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