OVMA Past President, respected authority on animal welfare passes away

Then-President Dr. Scott Pendleton presented Dr. Lord with the 2016 Veterinarian of the Year Award—OVMA’s highest honor.

Ohio Veterinary Medical Association Past President Dr. Linda Lord of Columbus has passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

Dr. Lord completed a bachelor’s degree from Miami University, after which she earned her master’s degree, DVM and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. After a five-year stint practicing small animal medicine, she returned to OSU as a faculty member of the College of Veterinary Medicine, where she served in several roles, including professor and associate dean.

A staunch advocate of companion animal welfare, Dr. Lord was well known for her extensive research on pet identification, reunification, overpopulation and shelter medicine. Later in her career, she became interested in health and wellness issues affecting the profession—in particular, veterinary students—and was instrumental in establishing the OSU CVM’s first health and wellness summit. She was widely published on the subjects of microchipping, free-roaming cats, and animal adoption and lectured on wellbeing topics at veterinary conferences nationwide.

“Dr. Lord was a true champion of veterinary medicine, and our hearts are broken with this loss to the profession. Her influence has deeply impacted shelter medicine, veterinary students, organized veterinary medicine and the wellbeing of all veterinarians. She was a friend and mentor to so many and had a genuine gift for sharing her knowledge and opinion. Dr. Lord’s passion and legacy will continue to move veterinary medicine forward well into the future.”

Dr. Ellen Yoakam, OVMA President

After 13 years at OSU, she joined the team at Merck Animal Health, where she took on the role of liaison to veterinary academic institutions and associations. During her tenure, she spearheaded the organization’s Veterinary Wellbeing Study, which was released in 2018.

Dr. Lord was an active member of the veterinary community on a local, state and national level for nearly two decades. She served on the OVMA Board of Directors in several capacities, including President and AVMA Alternate Delegate, as well as on a number of committees and task forces. Outside of OVMA, Dr. Lord sat on the boards of Capital Area Humane Society (now Columbus Humane), the National Council of Pet Population Study and Policy, and NAVC’s Veterinary Innovation Council; chaired the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ Veterinary Wellness Advancement Group; and was a member of the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine, the Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, and AVMA.

“Linda was not just an exceptional veterinarian who served the profession in countless ways—she was an exceptional person. She intuitively grasped what was truly important and was not afraid to advocate for the ideas, people and animals she believed in. Linda clearly made a difference as a teacher, a practitioner, a leader and a friend. She will be dearly missed.”

Jack Advent, OVMA Executive Director

Dubbed a trailblazer by her colleagues, Dr. Lord’s highest goal was to make a difference in everything she did. She was recognized for her contributions with a myriad of awards, including the OSU Career Services Committee Career Services Award for her success in implementing a first-of-its-kind career services office for veterinary students, the Dean’s Award for Creativity in Teaching, and OSU’s William L. Ingalls Award for Exceptional Service. Dr. Lord was also given an OVMA Distinguished Service Award and was named 2016 Ohio Veterinarian of the Year—an honor she said was the proudest moment of her career.

Service & Memorial

A service celebrating Dr. Lord’s life will be held on Saturday, June 8, at 3 p.m. at Schoedinger Northwest Chapel, 1740 Zollinger Rd. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Central Ohio and Columbus Humane

Memorial Scholarship Donations

At its June meeting, the OVMA Board of Directors approved matching member contributions to a memorial scholarship established in recognition of the exceptional career and contributions of Past President Dr. Linda Lord.

Established by The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the Dr. Linda K. Lord Veterinary Student Leadership Scholarship will be given to students who demonstrate leadership in the areas of health and well-being, diversity and inclusion, community outreach, shelter medicine, organized veterinary medicine, or other student initiatives—all of which were important to Dr. Lord throughout her career.

The Board will match up to $25,000 in donations to the student scholarship fund. Click below to learn more about the scholarship and to make a donation. Please include “OVMA member match” in the special instructions box of the online form or the memo line if sending a check.*

*Checks should also reference fund #316660. Mail to the Office of Advancement, College of Veterinary Medicine, 127H Veterinary Medicine Academic Building, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus OH 43210.

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