COLUMBUS, OHIO — MARCH 6, 2013 — Dr. Patricia Haines was recently elected to the position of President of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA). At an awards ceremony at OVMA’s annual Midwest Veterinary Conference (MVC) in February, Dr. Haines formally accepted the position from outgoing President Dr. Ryan Zimmerman of Fremont.
“I am honored to represent the veterinarians of Ohio as President of the OVMA,” Dr. Haines said. “Our profession will be continually called upon to provide leadership and education in the care and treatment of all animals. We must provide responses that are reasoned and responsible to encourage resolution, not conflict.” Dr. Haines will lead the OVMA’s 22-member Board of Directors, the governing body that guides the Association’s policies, resources and future strategies. She will fill the post as president until March 2014. A small animal practitioner at Country View Pet Hospital in Wilmington, Dr. Haines also owns a farming operation with her husband, which allows her to practice large animal medicine as well. In addition to her OVMA membership, she is an active participant in both the American and Cincinnati kennel clubs. In addition to the passing of the gavel, OVMA’s outgoing president presented three awards recognizing Ohio veterinarians for their contributions to the profession:
Former State Public Health Veterinarian Kathy Smith was recognized with the OVMA’s highest honor, the Veterinarian of the Year Award. The award recognizes one individual for outstanding contributions, dedication and service to the veterinary profession, the community and the animal kingdom.
“For more than three decades, Dr. Smith has devoted her life to veterinary medicine and improving the health of both animals and humans across Ohio,” Dr. Zimmerman said in presenting the award.
After a stint in private practice following graduation, Dr. Smith transitioned into the public health sector. As State Public Health Veterinarian, a role she took over in 1988, she was instrumental in developing programs that raised public awareness and helped curb the spread of zoonotic diseases. Her multi-agency program to control the spread of raccoon rabies successfully halted the westward advancement of the disease and still protects Ohio and surrounding states from it.
Dr. Gwen Myers, known for her work in zoological medicine, species protection, and tracking programs, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for her efforts to educate Ohio’s lawmakers on exotic animals during the development of the state’s new dangerous animal law. Through a series of one-on-one meetings with legislators and in public testimony, Dr. Myers helped OVMA shape this legislation by shedding light on the veterinary concerns.
“Today, Ohio is a leader in the responsible care and containment of dangerous and wild animals,” Dr. Zimmerman said. “That is due in no small part to Dr. Myers, whose efforts on behalf of OVMA and all veterinary medicine helped us reach this important legislative accomplishment.”
Retired veterinarian Tom Connair was presented a second Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the Association. Dr. Connair’s career in veterinary medicine spanned more than half a century, including more than 10 years of service to the OVMA.
“A tireless champion for his profession and colleagues in southwestern Ohio, Dr. Connair served as a reminder and inspiration to many of his peers that veterinary medicine is not just a job, but a calling for life,” said Dr. Zimmerman.
ABOUT THE OVMA
The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) is a non-profit organization providing services to its members in the areas of continuing education, advocacy on public policy matters, and access to variety of professional resources. The OVMA represents more than 2,400 veterinarians practicing in various fields and specialties. The OVMA’s principal purpose and mission is to foster life-long learning, stewardship, compassion and community in veterinary medicine.