WSVMA Award winners recognized at the 2021 Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference

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Awards from the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA) were presented Friday, Oct. 1 at the annual event held virtually this year in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference. Over 100 people joined in to view the awards ceremony online. WSVMA president Dr. Richard DeBowes presided over the awards presentations. Here are the 2021 WSVMA award recipients:

Sonnya Wilkins, DVM, owner of Grays Harbor Veterinary Services and co-owner and co-founder of Twin Harbors Wildlife Center, in Montesano, Wash., received the 2021 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. Wilkins is well-known throughout the community for her many contributions, including fundraising to provide an emotional support dog for the children’s court advocacy center, educating the community on animal caretaking, creating the “Vet for a Day” program for local students, and providing veterinary care to local K-9 units. She also rescues and rehabilitates local wildlife, including helping injured raptors found on the land of the Quinnault Indian Nation. Dr. Wilkins embodies passion for her profession, compassion for her patients, clients, staff, and the community for the betterment of animals.


Cathy King, DVM, MS, Ph.D., CEO and Founder of World Vets, an international veterinary aid organization based in Gig Harbor, Wash., was presented the 2021 WSVMA Humane Animal Welfare Award in recognition of her extensive efforts to bring veterinary services to underserved areas around the globe and in Washington State through her work in disaster and emergency response, education, and training, and long-term capacity-building. In 2020, with international travel curtailed by the pandemic, Dr. King brought her veterinary team to Omak, Wash. to assist in the Cold Springs Fire relief efforts, providing clinical assessments for and treatment of animals affected by the fires as well as providing general recovery assistance to the community.




Sarah Mantovani, DVM, MS, veterinarian at Seattle Animal Shelter in Seattle, Wash. received the 2021 Distinguished Achievement award. The award was presented to recognize her work in the field of veterinary forensics and the pursuit of cases of animal abuse and neglect. Her work in veterinary forensics, including performing necropsies and drafting comprehensive reports, resulted in a record number of cases entering the legal system this past year and having successful outcomes. Dr. Mantovani is a tireless advocate working to improve the lives of animals.





Janean Fidel, DVM, DACVIM, DACVR, and Rance Sellon, DVM, MS, Ph.D., DACVIM, Associate Professors and Clinical Instructors at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, were presented the 2021 WSU Faculty Member of the Year Award. As the oncology team at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Drs. Fidel and Sellon went above and beyond for their canine and feline patients referred by Washington veterinarians despite the major obstacles posed by the pandemic, including staffing shortages, and guaranteed the continuance of care despite the hardships.


Teresa Casson, LVT, Seattle, Wash., licensed veterinary technician, recently retired after serving 24 years at Animal Surgical & Orthopedic Center in Shoreline, Wash., received the 2021 Distinguished Veterinary Staff Award for her unwavering dedication to the patients, their owners, the practice and the community. Her uplifting attitude combined with her excellent skills and compassion towards all exemplifies her deservedness for this award.






Jessica Reed, DVM, Chief of Veterinary Medicine at Seattle Humane in Bellevue, Wash., received the 2021 Outstanding Veterinary Service Award for her leadership of the shelter during the pandemic while simultaneously increasing access to veterinary care for low-income clients at a time of unparalleled need. Her hard work and dedication were instrumental in launching several new initiatives geared toward helping the community with vital services and resources for many pets and families in need of support.





Nominations for 2022 awards are being accepted. It only takes a few minutes to nominate a deserving colleague. Please submit nominations to the WSVMA office using the online nomination form no later than April 1, 2022. Be sure to include a description of why the nominee should be considered for the award.


Posted October 22, 2021