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SDVMA Holds 130th Annual Meeting

SDVMA Holds 130th Annual Meeting

The South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association held its 130th Annual Meeting at the Ramkota Convention Center in Sioux Falls August 15th – 18th. The meeting included continuing education opportunities for over 200 veterinarians and veterinary technicians, recognized outstanding accomplishments by professionals in the veterinary fields, and included the annual membership meeting. The SDVMA also presented various awards at the meeting to recognize the commitment to, and excellence in veterinary medicine in South Dakota. Since the SDVMA was not able to meet in person last year both 2020 and 2021 award winners were announced and celebrated at this meeting.

2020 Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Julie Ann Williams



Dr. Julie Ann Williams, Chamberlain, received the 2020 Distinguished Service Award posthumously given by the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association. Her husband, Larry Wagner, (pictured) accepted the award on her behalf.

The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to honor an individual who has brought distinction to the veterinary profession through devotion to the care and well-being of animals, support for the profession, and contributions to the community. This individual exemplifies the profession, both personally and professionally, through support of veterinary medicine, research, colleagues, and/or students and through civic participation. This individual’s contributions have advanced the profession and serve as an inspiration to veterinarians and the clients he serves.

Dr. Julie Ann Williams was presented with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award posthumously, her husband Larry Wagner accepted the award on her behalf. Dr. Julie was born in Winner, SD. She earned her DVM degree from Iowa State University in 1982. Dr. Williams returned to SD after graduation to work with Dr. Dorwart at Chamberlain Veterinary Supply. She was a determined, independent, strong willed and at times bullheaded individual. Thus in 1983, when SD had few woman veterinarians, let alone woman practice owners; Dr. Julie opened Mid River Veterinary Clinic in Chamberlain. Dr. Williams was a solo practitioner, she set a high standard of practice for herself and expected as much from her staff. Due to health and injury issues, Dr. Julie had to retire and sell her beloved practice in 2012. She remained involved with veterinary medicine, attending CE and meetings until her health no longer allowed.



Dr. Julie believed it was important to educate her clients. She regularly sent out newsletters and had drug representatives sponsor meetings on current disease or animal health issues. When there was an outbreak of heartworm disease in the area in the early 90’s, she made Merck send out a technical service veterinarian to investigate and give a presentation on heartworm disease for her clients. She was a member of the SD Animal Industry Board from July 1988 to October 2015. She served as President of the board from 1998 to 2001 and was Vice President from 2001-2006. Even though attending the meetings meant leaving her practice unattended, Dr. Williams felt her presence on the board was important for the livestock industry of the state.

In her community, Dr. Julie was a big supporter of 4-H, sponsoring trophies and various awards. She would also provide free health certificates to 4-H kids in Brule and Lyman counties. She also was a supporter of the local Future Farmers of America clubs. When one of her former employee’s daughters was killed in a car accident, Dr. Julie donated the funds necessary to establish a barrel racing event in her honor. In the early 90s, Julie was instrumental in establishing the Brule, Buffalo, Lyman Counties Bootstraps program. She was a member of the SD Grassland Coalition and she and her husband Larry Wagner started Bijou Hills Grass Fed Meats. Dr. Williams was also a member of the Prime Cowbelles.

2021 Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Russ Daly

Dr. Russ Daly, Brookings, received the 2021 Distinguished Service Award given by the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association.

The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to honor an individual who has brought distinction to the veterinary profession through devotion to the care and well-being of animals, support for the profession, and contributions to the community. This individual exemplifies the profession, both personally and professionally, through support of veterinary medicine, research, colleagues, and/or students and through civic participation. This individual’s contributions have advanced the profession and serve as an inspiration to veterinarians and the clients he serves.

Dr. Russ Daly was presented with the 2021 Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Daly is a native of Columbia, SD, and practiced for 15 years as a partner in a mixed-animal veterinary practice in Montrose, SD, before joining the faculty at SDSU. He became board certified through the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 2010.

At SDSU, Dr. Daly is the Extension Veterinarian, a professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, and State Public Health Veterinarian for the South Dakota Department of Health.

In these roles, Dr. Daly has assisted countless veterinarians across the state and served as a mentor to many students as they begin their path to a career in veterinary medicine. His impact to the health of production agriculture and public health in the state are tremendous. He is a driving force in the One Health Collaborative and has been instrumental in the SDVMA/SDSU Stethoscope Ceremony for new veterinary students.

In addition to these roles, Dr. Daly has also served as the Chair of the SDVMA Continuing Education Committee for over a decade. His commitment to bringing the highest quality continuing education to our membership is a cornerstone of our association. We cannot thank him enough for all the work he does to help us all continue to learn and engage in the profession.

His contributions to veterinary medicine in all these roles exemplify this award’s goal to recognize individuals whose contributions have advanced the profession and serve as an inspiration to veterinarians and the clients.

2020 Veterinarian of the Year – Dr. Heidi Hanson

The Veterinarian of the Year award recognizes an SDVMA member for service and accomplishments benefitting the profession of veterinary medicine. Dr. Heidi Hanson received the 2020 Veterinarian of the Year award.

Dr. Hanson loves the challenge certain cases can bring and she works quickly to find a solution to an animal’s ailment. Dr. Hanson started the blood donation program for dogs and cats at the Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Sioux Falls. Now, thanks to her, the hospital can provide sick patients with much needed blood products. She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University.

Dr. Hanson is married to another veterinarian, Dr. Paul Nantke, and they have two boys. She also has two fur babies; one of them is a blood donor. In her spare time, she likes to express her creative side doing art projects and gardening. She also enjoys being active and playing sports.

2021 Veterinarian of the Year – Dr. Eric Heath

Dr. Eric Heath, Winner, was honored as the 2021 Veterinarian of the Year at the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting recently.

The Veterinarian of the Year award recognizes an SDVMA member for service and accomplishments benefitting the profession of veterinary medicine. Dr. Eric Heath received the 2021 Veterinarian of the Year award.

Dr. Eric Heath was raised in southern Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. He practiced in Canistota and Miller SD before moving to Winner in 1999. Dr. Heath became a partner in the Animal Clinic in 2000.

Dr. Heath’s clients noted he is “an enthusiastic ambassador for the veterinary profession” and he is highly respected by both clients and staff. He is well known for mentoring staff and new veterinarians. Generations of producers vouch for his professional excellence in providing advice and treatments for their livestock.

When not working, Dr. Heath enjoys hunting, horses, and herding. He is married to his lovely wife Becky. They have two grown daughters, Emily and Kallista and one growing granddaughter Lola.

He is a member of SDVMA, NVMA, AVMA, AABP, SFT and AVC and currently sits on the Merck Large Animal Advisory Board. In his community, he is active in his church, 4-H, and he and his wife serve as foster parents when needed.

2020 Emerging Leader Award – Dr. Kayla Brown

Dr. Kayla Brown, Hot Springs, received the 2020 Emerging Leader Award given by the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association.

The Emerging Leader award is made to an SDVMA member who graduated from veterinary school in the last 10 years and has displayed outstanding accomplishments in veterinary research, private practice, regulatory services, civic activities, and/or organized veterinary medicine.

Dr. Kayla Brown received the 2020 Emerging Leader Award. Dr. Brown has developed a solid reputation in the area of bison medicine. She is a sought-after speaker on the topic. Dr. Brown has also done applied research in canine brucellosis prevalence demonstrating her exemplary service for stray and rescued dogs.

Despite a busy and expanding practice and family, Dr. Brown goes above and beyond to benefit the profession and its collective knowledge for the greater good.

2021 Emerging Leader Award – Dr. Laura Handcock

Dr. Laura Handcock, Winner, received the 2021 Emerging Leader Award given by the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association.

The Emerging Leader award is made to an SDVMA member who graduated from veterinary school in the last 10 years and has displayed outstanding accomplishments in veterinary research, private practice, regulatory services, civic activities, and/or organized veterinary medicine.

Dr. Laura Handcock received the 2021 Emerging Leader Award. Dr. Handcock is known for her straightforward approach to her practice and her commitment to being a positive addition to her community. A native of Australia, Dr. Handcock is a key part of the Winner community and her veterinary practice. She handles the emergency calls in the wee hours of the night with the same joy as a regular office call.

Dr. Handcock is an asset to her client, with her expansive knowledge and willingness to answer client questions and search for answers to questions. She is an excellent example of leadership in her community and the profession.

2020 Outstanding Veterinary Technician – Tonya Jark

Tonya Jark, Aberdeen, was presented the 2020 Outstanding Veterinary Technician award at the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting.

Tonya Jark received the 2020 Outstanding Veterinary Technician Award in recognition of her support of veterinary medicine through her dedicated care and professional knowledge of the animals in her care. A good technician can make or break a veterinary clinic. Tonya is an example of a tech that is a cornerstone of any clinic she serves. She has a caring personality, extensive knowledge, and years of experience, which make her an outstanding technician. She has been contributing these skills to enhance the practice of veterinary medicine for over 30 years.

2021 Outstanding Veterinary Technician – Sherri Mayes

Sherri Mayes, Winner, was presented the 2021 Outstanding Veterinary Technician award at the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting.

Sherri Mayes received the 2021 Outstanding Veterinary Technician Award in recognition of her support of veterinary medicine through her dedicated care and professional knowledge of the animals in her care.

For over 20 years, Sherri has provided outstanding services to her clinic. She is dedicated to helping the clients improve the health and welfare of their animals. As a large animal technician, she goes out in the cold, rain, blowing snow and other elements to assist with preg checking, bull testing or working calves. She does this without complaint and with the best interests of the clients top of mind. Sherri has been a valuable asset to her clinic and the profession over her career.

2020 Life Members

Drs. John Voegeli, Pedmont, Christopher Chase, Brookings, Vicky Wilkey, attained life membership status in the SDVMA for their years of practice.

 

David Zeman, life member

Drs. Dave Barz, Parkston, SD; James Beaty, Mitchell, SD; Ronald Ford, Lemmon, SD; Roy Peters, Sioux Falls, SD; Mark Rieb, Watertown, SD; John Voegeli, Pedmont, SD and David Zeman, Brookings, SD attained life membership status in the SDVMA for their years of practice. Life members have attained the age of 65 and have been members of SDVMA for at least 20 years.

2021 Life Members

 

Life Member John Allan
Theodore Warkenthien Life Member.

Drs. Jay Alberda, Platte, SD; John Allan, Hermosa, SD; Christopher Chase, Brookings, SD; Darrel Kraayenbrink, Platte, SD; Sharon Leiferman, White, SD; Mei-Yao Louis, Watertown, SD; Kenneth Odde, Pollock, SD; Frank Robison, Scappoose, OR; Ladd Siebert, Eureka, SD; Gary Straight, Gregory, SD; Christine Teets, Rapid City, SD; Theodore Warkenthien, Clark, SD; and Vicky Wilkey, Blunt, SD attained life membership status in the SDVMA for their years of practice. Life members have attained the age of 65 and have been members of SDVMA for at least 20 years.

2020 Bill Davis Award – John Rehmeier

2020 Bill Davis Award – John Rehmeier.

The Bill Davis Memorial Award is given annually to a sales representative of a veterinary supply company who has demonstrated an unusual degree of service and assistance to veterinarians and the veterinary profession in South Dakota.

The 2020 Bill Davis Memorial Award went to John Rehmeier of Boehringer Ingelheim. John’s reputation for excellent customer service is appreciated by his customers and the clients they serve. John consistently goes above and beyond to make sure veterinarians and their clinic staff have the information, products, and competitive pricing they need.

John previously won this award in 2014 for his dedication and he has continued to serve the profession well.

2021 Bill Davis Award – Rich Konechne

The Bill Davis Memorial Award is given annually to a sales representative of a veterinary supply company who has demonstrated an unusual degree of service and assistance to veterinarians and the veterinary profession in South Dakota.

The 2021 Bill Davis Memorial Award went to Rich Konechne of Animal Health International. Rich is known for his up-to-date knowledge on industry trends and his individualized approach to helping veterinarians set themselves up for success. As we all struggled with supply chain issues in the last year, Rich went above and beyond to make sure his customers had what they needed, when they needed it.

SDVMA Foundation Auction

The SDVMA Alliance raised over $11,000 in a benefit auction as part of the event. The money is used for scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students.

Board Members Elected

The following board members were elected for the coming year: Dr. Carolyn Geis, Pierre, SD, president; Dr. Matt Stork, Sioux Falls, SD, president-elect; Dr. Heather Lerseth, Groton, SD, vice president; Dr. Lisa Stanley, Fort Pierre, SD, secretary-treasurer; and Dr. Sandra Wahlert, Hot Springs, District 3 representative. Other board members are Dr. Anna Braunschmidt, Garretson, SD, District 1 representative; Dr. Heidi Sorensen, Watertown, District 2 representative; Dr. Chris Chase, Brookings, AVMA delegate; Dr. Cindy Franklin, Yankton, AVMA alternate delegate; and Dr. Chanda Nilsson, Groton, SD, past president.

The SDVMA President for the coming year, Dr. Carolyn Geis, Pierre, SD.

The 2022 SDVMA Annual Meeting will be held August 7-10 in Sioux Falls, SD.

–SDVMA

 


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