OVMA Awards of Excellence: 2020 Recipients

At ceremonies held during the 2020 Oregon Veterinary Conference in Corvallis, the OVMA honored the following for their service to the veterinary profession and animals.

2020 Animal Welfare Award

Dr. Kirk Miller

Dr. Kirk Miller


Oregon Humane Society/OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine


Nominated by: Dr. Kris Otteman

The Animal Welfare Award recognizes a veterinarian who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and/or developed programs that have been for the welfare of animals.

Dr. Kirk Miller is a clinical instructor of small animal primary care and shelter medicine at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine and a practicing veterinarian at the Oregon Humane Society. Dr. Miller has been an integral part of the Medical Learning Center at OHS when he began teaching a required course for fourth year veterinary students from Oregon State University shortly after the collaborative program began in 2005. He has been responsible for developing and innovating the two-to-three-week rotational course that provides experiential learning in a high-volume, high-quality shelter based medical center.

In these ensuing 15 years, Dr. Miller has provided oversight and guidance to this course, which has now graduated more than 1000 veterinary students. His influential and inspirational leadership has become a teaching model that has been replicated in a variety of ways at most veterinary colleges across the country. The course has been consistently ranked as a number one favorite by OSU CCVM students.

Dr. Miller provides consistency, quality and compassionate teaching to the students while helping each of them grow in their confidence and competence in the areas of surgery, medical exams, dentistry and high volume, high quality medical care to pets. The students utilize primary care skills including completing more than 40 surgeries, caring for dozens of hospitalized patients, and completing many physical examination and treatment plans.

In addition, he has also made scholarly contributions in the areas of research and published articles that advance the understanding and knowledge of important topics in our profession—such as the benefits of pedicle-tie spays to reduce the patient’s time under anesthesia. Dr. Miller is a regular speaker at national conferences, where he addresses advances in spay-neuter surgeries and tackles the important challenges with animal hoarding.

Outside of work, Dr. Miller, along with veterinary cardiologist William Rausch, are part of the Lost Creek Bluegrass Band, in which he plays the mandolin.

2020 Veterinary Service Award

Dr. Gregg Takashima

Dr. Gregg Takashima

Parkway Veterinary Hospital, Lake Oswego
Nominated by: Dr. Laird Goodman

The Veterinary Service Award recognizes an individual, group or organization that has promoted the veterinary profession and/or the well-being of animals.

Two common threads have remained consistent throughout Dr. Takashima’s career as a practitioner and in his volunteer service in the profession—the value of high standards of care in medicine and the importance of the human-animal bond.

Dr. Greg Takashima was following his dream as a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota when he encountered a serious dilemma about whether to remain silent while his “surgery” dog was to be returned to the local shelter for euthanasia or to rescue the small dog against school policy. The dog had been purchased from the shelter and was the university’s property.

Dr. Gregg Takashima, who worked part time at the college and had keys to the ward where the dog was kept, liberated Freddy and brought him home.

Facing expulsion, Gregg was called before the Dean, Dr. Carl Osborne, and asked to explain why he stole university property. He told the Dean that the human-animal bond mattered—that it was an important part of the profession—and that he also had become rather fond of the dog. Gregg was not expelled and was able to adopt Freddy. A few years later, the school revised its policy and allowed students to adopt these animals.

Shortly after moving to Portland, he opened Parkway Veterinary Hospital in Lake Oswego in 1986. The solo practice grew into an eight-veterinarian business and today is part of Animal Care Group of Lake Oswego, with Dr. Takashima as CEO.

He has been president of the Portland Veterinary Medical Association, served as board president of Dove Lewis, and chaired the advisory board of Portland Community College. Starting in 2005, Dr. Takashima served on the board of the American Animal Hospital Association, and was this organization’s president in 2010. From 2004 to 2011, Dr. Takashima was a board member of the Delta Society – now known as Pet Partners. He followed this up with two years as president of the nonprofit’s board of directors.

Accepting this award in absentia, Dr. Takashima said, “We are in interesting times, where the importance of collaboration and the ‘world view’ are more important than ever. We can no longer act alone as veterinarians, as an association, or as a profession. What we do impacts many, as we are impacted by what others do. While technology has helped our profession advance, just as it has with other professions, to remain relevant we must stay true to our values of personal compassion, pursuit of excellence, and understanding and embracing the value of the human-animal bond.”

2020 Practice Manager of the Year

Traci Medeiros CVT

Traci Medeiros CVT

Animal Dental Clinic, Lake Oswego


Nominated by: Dr. Kathryn Atkinson

The Practice Manager Award salutes an individual who has exhibited exceptional professionalism in leading the practice.

What makes a veterinary practice a success? The veterinary TEAM is the answer.

At Animal Dental Clinic in Lake Oswego, practice manager Traci Medeiros helps to direct quality patient care and exceptional service, ensures that the practice runs smoothly, manages human resources, and helps to financially grow the business.

For the past five years, Traci has successfully balanced the different elements of management, including time management, mediating conflicts with clients, and supporting team members. She is detail-oriented, has the necessary initiative to get things done, and an excellent customer service.

Traci’s high personal ethics sets important leadership standards and expectations for the team. As part of her role with Animal Dental Clinic, she organizes and coordinates continuing education events throughout the greater Portland community and in Bend. She additionally has continuous membership and active involvement in the local veterinary practice managers’ group.

Traci has also been instrumental in helping to grow the clinic from a two-doctor, two-staff practice to a three-veterinarian and nine-staff practice that sees cases referred from the entire Pacific Northwest. In conjunction with Dr. Jean Battig, the clinic’s owner, Traci was integral in the planning, design and implementation of a practice relocation into a free-standing dedicated clinic, with state-of-the-art dental and surgery equipment, including a cone-beam CT scanner.

Traci also maintains her CVT license and doesn’t hesitate to help out on the floor when the team is short-staffed. She is an exceptional ambassador for highlighting the veterinary technician’s role as a valued professional of the healthcare team. Prior to joining the Animal Dental Clinic team, Traci was a lead veterinary technology instructor at the Sanford-Brown program in Portland, and before that she served as the practice manager for Sorrento Animal Hospital in Tigard.

2020 Veterinarian of the Year & 2020 Technician of the Year

Lisa Caton CVT

Dr. Sarah Bonner & Lisa Caton CVT

Animal Dental Clinic, Lake Oswego


Nominated by: Dr. Kathryn Atkinson

The Technician of the Year Award recognizes a staff person who has gone above and beyond the expected responsibilities of the practice to provide outstanding client and patient service.

The Veterinarian of the Year Award is awarded to a veterinarian who has made outstanding contributions to the profession through service.

At a November 2019 staff meeting at the Animal Dental Clinic in Lake Oswego, Practice Manager Traci Medeiros developed sudden cardiac arrest from ventricular fibrillation. Traci had no prior clinical symptoms or history of heart issues, but that evening she informed everyone she wasn’t feeling well, lowered her head, and collapsed to the floor, unresponsive and without a pulse.

Lisa Caton, a certified veterinary technician with the clinic, has always valued CPR training. In fact, she first learned CPR at the age of 10 from her father, a firefighter and first responder. Lisa right away recognized that Traci was in serious trouble and required immediate action and started to administer CPR.

Dr. Sarah Bonner, one of the board-certified veterinary dentists with the clinic, assisted Lisa with resuscitation efforts. In the meantime, another team member contacted emergency medical services.

Dr. Sarah Bonner

The first seven minutes of resuscitation efforts are the most critical. According to the CDC, for every 60 seconds that pass, chances of surviving drop by 10% without CPR or defibrillation. After just four minutes, brain damage begins to occur. After 10 minutes, it is unlikely that the individual can be saved.

It took 19 minutes for EMS to respond and take over resuscitation attempts, and the paramedics later commented on how impressed they were with the team’s resuscitation skills.

Today, Traci Medeiros is doing well—far better than expected. She did not suffer any loss of function, has made a full recovery, and has returned to work in her role as practice manager. All team members at Animal Dental Clinic have subsequently received certification in CPR.

Lisa Caton and Dr. Sarah Bonner are accomplished in their respective fields of veterinary dentistry. Each is passionate about the care they provide to their clients and patients and are equally dedicated to teaching others about enhanced standards of dentistry.

But perhaps their greatest accomplishment occurred that day in November of last year, when they saved a friend’s life.

We encourage practices to consider holding CPR training for their staff. You never know when it might save someone's life.

Red Cross CPR Training

American Heart Association: Find CPR Classes Near Me


2020 President's Award

Ellie Alvey & Michelle Degnin

OSU CCVM Students


Presented by: Dr. Connie White


The President's Award is given at the discretion of the president to an individual or group who has made an exceptional contribution to the OVMA and veterinary medicine. Dr. White honored the OSU CCVM students en masse for their dedication and enthusiasm for the profession.

CCVM students Ellie Alvey and Michelle Degnin accepted the award on the students' behalf.

Past Award Winners

Centennial Award

1963    Dr. Vic Oliver

Honorary Membership

1952    S.L. Brown, Charles Evans, T. Sims
1954    E.L. Peterson
1972    Walter Leth, James Short
1989    Morrie Craig
1993    Nan Dewey
2000    Kelvin Koong

Award of Merit

1961    Dr. Herb Muth
1966    Dr. E. Derflinger, Dr. Ralph Plamondon
1970    Dr. Gary Bryan
1973    Dr. Dallen Jones
1976    Dr. Ed Wedman
1983    Dr. Linda Blythe, Dr. Daryl Leu
1985    Dr. Elwyn Coon, Dr. Norm Hutton, Dr. Charles Seagraves
1989    Dr. Jack Hardesty, Dr. Fay Rankin, Dr. Ron Schmidtke
1991    Dr. Gordon Cunningham, Dr. Richard Hillmer, Dr. DuWayne Penfold
1995    Dr. Andrew Mach, Dr. Ed Wedman, Dr. Robert Whittaker

Meritorious Service

Presented to a veterinarian who has generously contributed time and energy for the advancement of the profession and community.
1996    Dr. Richard Werner
1997    Dr. Billy Kuhl
1998    Dr. Dick Reid
1999    Dr. Roy Peterson
2000    Dr. Richard Coon
2001    Dr. Don Bailey
2002    Dr. Stan Blinkhorn
2003    Dr. Leo van Dijk
2004    Dr. DuWayne Penfold
2005    Dr. Marty DeWees
2006    Dr. Jerry Boggs
2009    Dr. Scott Hendy
2010    Dr. Susan Loomis
2011    Dr. Steve Brown
2013    Dr. Robert Franklin
2014    Dr. Bill Young
2019    Dr. Leon Pielstick

Outstanding Industry Representative

Recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding service to the OVMA and the profession.
1996    Terrie Corcoran, Burns Veterinary Supply
1997    Leroy Ostrem, The Butler Company
1998    Rick Casey, Hoechst Roussel Vet
1999    Jim Houts, Summit Medical Equipment
2000    Linda Melton, IDEXX Veterinary Services
2001    Loren Heryford, The Butler Company
2003    Marge Strother, Merial
2004    Bruce Mackey, Hill's Pet Nutrition
2005    John Herkner, Pfizer Animal Health
2011    Vern Mason, Butler Schein Animal Health
2013    Jay Donkers, Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis)

President's Award

Given at the discretion of the president to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the OVMA.
1996    Dr. Martha DeWees, Dr. Scott Hendy
1997    Dr. Jerry Boggs
1998    Dr. Merry Crimi
1999    Mr. Glenn Kolb
2000    Dr. Doug McInnis
2001    Mr. Dave Barrows
2002    Dr. Kurt Schrader
2003    Dr. Steven Brown
2004    Ms. Marcia Keith
2005    Dr. Gordon Cunningham
2006    Spouses and Partners of Veterinarians
2007    Dr. Rich Holdren
2008    Ms. Marge Strother, Lilly Companion Pet
2009    Dr. Matthew Fricke
2010    Ms. Lara Smith
2011    Dr. Cyril Clarke, OSU CVM Dean
2012    Dr. Donald McCoy & Dr. Larry Anderson
2013    Salem Friends of Felines
2014    Dr. Tom Keck
2015    Dr. Keith Sides
2016    Dr. Brad LeaMaster
2017    Judy Tate CVT
2018    Dr. Emilio DeBess
2019    Dr. Sue Tornquist
2020    OSU CCVM Students

Veterinarian of the Year

Awarded to a veterinarian who has made outstanding contributions to the profession through service to local, state and/or national organizations.
1969    Dr. E.R. Derflinger
1996    Dr. DuWayne Penfold
1997    Dr. Doug Corey
1998    Dr. Don McCoy
1999    Dr. Andrew Clark
2000    Dr. Marty DeWees
2001    Dr. Scott Hendy
2002    Dr. Brad Frank
2003    Dr. Heidi Buehner-McKenzie
2004    Dr. Leon Pielstick
2006    Dr. Paul Jones
2007    Dr. Jon Betts
2011    Dr. Gregg Takashima
2020    Dr. Sarah Bonner

Animal Welfare Award

Recognizes a veterinarian who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and/or developed programs that have been for the welfare of animals.
1998    Dr. Doug Evans
1999    Dr. Laird Goodman
2000    Dr. Bob Franklin
2002    Dr. Brad Pope
2004    Dr. Ken Fletcher
2009    Dr. Doug McInnis
2010    Dr. Doug Evans
2011    Dr. Scott Hansen
2012    Dr. Barbara Kahl
2015    Dr. Deborah LaPaugh
2018    Dr. Tom Holechek
2019    Dr. Brian Reister
2020    Dr. Kirk Miller

Veterinary Service Award

Recognizes an individual, group or organization that has promoted the veterinary profession and/or the well being of animals. Emphasis for this award is placed on educating the public, research, or the practice of veterinary medicine.
1998    Kim Singer, KPTV-12
1999    Feral Cat Coalition
2000    Deborah Wood, The Oregonian
2001    Dr. Barclay Slocum
2002    The Halo Group
2003    Evan Kalik, Cat Adoption Team
2005    Dr. Howard Wagner
2006    Oregon Humane Society
2008    Dr. Matthew Maberry
2009    Dr. Jerry Boggs
2010    Larry Chusid, The Pongo Fund
2011    Dr. Bill McCulloch, Delta Society co-founder
2012    Susan Faria, Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon
2013    Britta Bavaresco, ASAP
2014    Monique Balas, The Oregonian
2015    Fences for Fido
2016    Dr. Debbie Cochell
2017    Dr. Ben Braat
2018    Sound Equine Options
2019    The PAW Team
2020    Dr. Gregg Takashima

Practice/Office Manager of the Year

Recognizes the role of the practice/office manager in clinical practice and salutes an individual who has exhibited exceptional professionalism in leading the practice.
2006    Linda Parisotto
2007    Lee Barg
2008    Debee Brown
2011    Jessie Merritt CVPM
2012    Diane Fowler CVT
2014    Gina Schluckebier
2015    Brandy Kagerer
2016    Brenda Bailey
2017    Dena Coyner
2018    Beth James (Fandrey)
2020    Traci Medeiros CVT

Technician/Staff of the Year

Recognizes a veterinary technicians and/or veterinary staff in clinical practice who has risen above and beyond the expected responsibilities of the practice to provide outstanding client and patient service, with community service also considered.   
2006    Leah Kennon CVT
2007    Gillian Cook CVT
2008    Kathy Charpilloz
2010    Kimberly McKay 
2011    Carey Blake CVT
2012    Juan Lopez AHT
2013    Dolores Galindo CVT
2020    Lisa Caton CVT

Updated: 2020-03-09 07:00:00

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association