2015 Annual Conference Recap

WA Veterinarian Magazine

by Candace Joy

Nov/Dec 2015

Attendance at the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference & Trade Show in Tacoma broke all records this year. Over 850 veterinarians, technicians, staff, students, exhibitors and guests from around the country descended on the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center to learn, network, and socialize at the first state meeting held in western Washington in over twenty years. Seventy-two companies were represented in the exhibit hall providing attendees a wide range of products and services.

Over forty speakers presented on a wide range of scientific topics including infectious disease, surgery, cardiology and reproduction. An intensive workshop on equine pre-purchase exams and the physical condition of the horse provided attendees the latest information on lameness evaluations, ophthalmology, cardiology and neurology. Large animal topics included milk quality consulting, diagnostic testing, cow-calf BRD and exams and treatment of small ruminants. All day tracks in social media/marketing, occupational health and safety, workplace safety, business finance and HR rounded out the weekend.

After sessions ended on Friday, attendees gathered in the banquet and exhibit halls for Happy Hour. Wine or beer with food pairings gave everyone a taste of northwest vintners and brewers along with a sampling of perfectly matched bites designed to bring out the unique flavors of each pairing.

WSU veterinary students in the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) on Saturday made the trek from Pullman and helped us put on a successful student-practitioner networking event. VBMA president-elect Melissa Guest, student Lance Kidder, Dr. Brittany Dawson and Dr. Mike Murphy gave ignite-style speeches that evoked stimulating discussion about hiring new grads.

We thank everyone who attended this year. We can’t wait to see you in Spokane October 7 – 9, 2016 for the next Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference!


Awards from the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA) were presented September 26, 2015 at the Awards Ceremony which took place during the Annual Membership Meeting luncheon in Tacoma in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference. Dr. Lisa Parshley presided over both the business portion of the meeting and the awards presentations.

Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Sandy Willis

Veterinarian of the Year Sandy Willis squareAnyone who knows Dr. Sandy Willis won’t be surprised that she was awarded the 2015 Veterinarian of the Year, and the reasons are many. Dr. Willis, internist for Phoenix Central Laboratory in Mukilteo has dedicated herself to supporting the WSVMA and the profession throughout many years of volunteering and service. Twice WSVMA president, chair of the Program Committee, and member of several WSVMA committees and task forces, Dr. Willis lives her passion for the profession. She has helped to organize and plan over fifteen high-quality WSVMA conferences and CE programs, hosted a popular Seattle-based radio show for pet owners, and has worked tirelessly to represent the veterinary profession to local humane groups.

In addition to the WSVMA, Dr. Willis also represents Washington to the AVMA House of Delegates and is one of the newest members of the House Advisory Committee. She also serves on the AVMA Governance Performance Review Committee and is a site visitor for the AVMA Council on Education. Locally, she volunteers for Puget Sound VMA and for the Feral Cat Project in Seattle.

Dr. Willis has provided countless hours of her time along with her enthusiasm to help make the veterinary profession the best place possible for her colleagues to practice medicine. Through her tireless dedication and infectious energy, she brings a positive approach to everything she does.

WSU Faculty Member of the Year
Dr. Dale Moore

WSU Faculty of the Year Award Dale Moore 2 squareDr. Dale Moore was awarded the 2015 WSU Faculty Member of the Year for her dedicated service to veterinarians, veterinary students, farmers and ranchers, and the general public through her work as extension veterinarian at WSU in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. Dr. Moore serves the veterinary community by developing educational assessments, including needs assessments and educational program evaluation methods, which are used by the Washington State Department of Agriculture so veterinarians can obtain accreditation and certification for various programs. She assists ranchers and farmers by developing new disease-prevention strategies and she serves the public through her work in antibiotic resistance. Veterinary students have also gained much from Dr. Moore’s clinical instruction both on the farm and in the laboratory setting. Through her many contributions, Dr. Moore has provided unparalleled service to the state of Washington.

Distinguished Veterinary Staff
Rachel Jensen, LVT

Distinguished Veterinary Staff Award Rachel Jensen 3 squareThe 2015 Distinguished Veterinary Staff award went to Rachel Jensen, LVT, long-time large animal instructional and ICU technician and a key member of the health care delivery and surgical education team. In addition, she is the lead support team member at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine for the clinical communication education group which manages the Clinical Communication Lab and Diagnostic Challenge Education Group. Through Ms. Jensen’s keen organizational skills and her dedication to education and communication, she has enhanced the careers of over 700 veterinary students so they can more effectively and more accurately engage, understand, support and care for colleagues and clients they will meet throughout their careers. Ms. Jensen has made an incredibly positive difference to hundreds of veterinary graduates.

Humane Animal Welfare Award
Linda Spurlin, Stevens County Cat Care

Linda Spurlin and Dr squareThe Humane Animal Welfare award is presented to a non-veterinarian who has advanced animal welfare through extraordinary service. This year the award went to Linda Spurlin, founder and director of Stevens County Care, an organization dedicated to reducing feline overpopulation in the northeastern corner of Washington. Through rescuing cats from hoarding situations, trapping and neutering feral cats, holding spay-neuter clinics with the veterinary community, and reaching out to the low income residents of her local area, Ms. Spurlin’s compassion and collaboration has accomplished much to save the lives of cats and bring safe, high-quality care to the community. In November 2014, the organization proudly announced they had spayed and neutered 10,000 cats.

Awards Nominations are being accepted for the 2016 categories of Veterinarian of the Year, Distinguished Achievement, WSU Faculty Member of the Year, Distinguished Veterinary Staff, Humane Animal Welfare, Recent Grad, and Allied Industry. For more information and to obtain a form, contact the WSVMA office at (425) 396-3191 or email
[email protected]