SNOQUALMIE, Wash., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA) held the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference Oct. 2Oct 4 in a virtual, online platform, a change from the usual face-to-face meetings that took place pre-pandemic. Veterinarians, veterinary staff, and citizens were honored at WSVMA’s award ceremonies on Friday, Oct. 2.

Dr. Brian Joseph, State Veterinarian at the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, Olympia, WA, received the 2020 Veterinarian of the Year Award. The award is presented in recognition of an outstanding career in veterinary medicine and contributions made to their practice, stakeholders, and other service directly benefitting their community. Dr. Joseph is an exceptional and compassionate leader with an esteemed career in many facets of veterinary medicine, including aquatic and zoo medicine, agriculture, and as a leader in the U.S. Army Reserve Veterinary Corp. His depth of knowledge combined with his incomparable character has inspired the men and women under his leadership, led to the improved health of animals and the public, and has positively impacted the many communities he’s served. As Washington’s “State Veterinarian,” he not only works to prevent animal disease and protect food safety, but inspires many within the veterinary community and the public.

Dr. Ron Wohrle, Washington’s former State Public Health Veterinarian from Puyallup, WA, received the 2020 Distinguished Achievement award. The award was presented to recognize Dr. Wohrle’s dedication and outstanding contributions not only to veterinary medicine but to the citizens of Washington and beyond through his work in environmental public health. His expertise and wisdom combined with his unwavering commitment to One Health has created a safer Washington for animals and people in the protection from zoonotic diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, and many others. His leadership in combatting antimicrobial resistance led to statewide efforts that brought together health experts from across professions and raised awareness in order to protect Washington citizens, animals and the environment against drug-resistant infections.

Dr. Katie Kuehl, Clinical Instructor and Medical Director for the Shelter Medicine program and the Seattle One Health Clinic in Seattle at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine was awarded the 2020 WSU Faculty Member of the Year Award. Her professionalism, enthusiasm, and passion have created rewarding and critical learning experiences for veterinary students, and her work with animals owned by people experiencing homelessness has created a healthier community in and around Seattle.

Benita Altier, LVT, VTS (Dentistry), Easton, WA, licensed veterinary technician and dentistry specialist technician at Pawsitive Dental Education, LLC, received the 2020 Distinguished Veterinary Staff Award. Ms. Altier is recognized for her exceptional leadership in veterinary dentistry and radiography through her education of veterinary technicians, which has led to the improved care of cats and dogs.

Ann Graves, Director of the Seattle Animal Shelter, was presented the 2020 WSVMA Humane Animal Welfare Award in recognition of her advancement of animal welfare and community wellbeing through her extraordinary career within animal welfare and shelter organizations.

Dr. Shlomo Frieman and Allon Freiman, from Petriage in Bellevue, WA, received the 2020 Allied Industry Partner Award in recognition of their exceptional service to the veterinary profession through their online tele-triage service that connects pet parents with their veterinarian and helps them assess the urgency for veterinary care.

The WSVMA is a statewide, not-for-profit, professional organization for the benefit of veterinary medicine. The WSVMA has over 1,900 members, representing veterinarians, veterinary students and a broad spectrum of veterinary practice. The Association’s mission is to “advance the cause of veterinary medicine to better the lives of those touched by it.” Visit the WSVMA Web site,, to learn more about the association, veterinary medicine, and animal care.

SOURCE Washington State Veterinary Medical Association

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