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News Article

Nominations for 2011 Penn Vet World Leadership in Animal Health Award Open

The award, which was established in April 2008, is given annually to the most influential veterinarian in the world.

The World Leadership Award evolved from a wish to empower veterinary students and promote the veterinary profession as a whole. The goal of the World Award is to raise the profile of the veterinary profession and to make people aware of the impact the profession has in the world. The initial question was "Would $100,000 change a student's life?" according to Joan C. Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

The award totals $100,000 in unrestricted funding and was designed in tandem with the Penn Vet Student Inspiration Awards. A committee comprised of government and academic officials from around the globe evaluates nominees and determines the award recipient every year, based on each individual's achievements and contributions to the veterinary profession. The committee usually receives about 15 nominations per year from an array of sources and nominations come from the people who have seen the impact of the person's work. Llast year's recipient, Mo Salman, professor of epidemiology at Colorado State University,  was nominated by a colleague in Bosnia who witnessed Salman's efforts during the rebuilding of the war-torn country's veterinary system. "I was flattered," Salman was quoted as saiying "But I'm not given this award for me. I'm given the award because of my profession. The award made me pay more attention to how we are forgetting the profession," Salman added. "I realized how the world has not recognized how we contribute to the well-being of society and the health of both animals and humans."
Salman is planning to give his $100,000 award back through small awards given to veterinary students and he also plans to organize a workshop to determine what gaps exist in the promotion of the veterinary profession. He also hopes to come up with a plan of action for future resources.
The initial funds for the World Award came directly from the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation. According to Hendricks, the Hills have a history with the University of Pennsylvania and were involved with the award design from the beginning.
Hendricks said that while it may be too soon to define the effects this award will have on the veterinary profession, she hopes it will increase the likelihood that veterinarians are consulted when world issues regarding animal health arise.
"This is an incredibly important profession and people should be aware of what you can do when you're trained as a veterinarian," she was quoted as saying.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • M Djuric, DVM
  • Date
  • 21 January 2011
  • Subject(s)
  • Veterinary Affairs, and Other