OVMA Awards of Excellence: 2015 Recipients

At ceremonies held during the 2015 Oregon Veterinary Conference in Corvallis, the OVMA honored the following for their service to the veterinary profession and animals.

2015 Animal Welfare Award

Dr. Deborah LaPaugh

Dr. Deborah LaPaugh

LaPaw Animal Hospital, Bend


Nominated by: Dr. Keith Sides

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

In 2007, a pastor in Bend reached out to Dr. Deborah LaPaugh and asked for her help with examining pets of the homeless in the Central Oregon community.

For the past eight years, Project Connect has provided everything from a hot meal to a haircut to personal medical care for approximately 2,000 homeless or nearly homeless people in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. During this same period Dr. LaPaugh has overseen the veterinary service for the annual outreach program.

During the formative years of Project Connect, Dr. LaPaugh and a handful of her clinic’s staff provided all veterinary care for the pets in need. But the required care soon became overwhelming, so Dr. LaPaugh recruited other veterinarians in Central Oregon and additional volunteers to help. Now, along with organizing anywhere between 4 and 8 veterinarians, and up to as many as 40 other volunteers, she spends countless hours fundraising and seeking donations of medical supplies. Whenever there is a shortfall, she personally contributes the necessities.

Every year, through Dr. LaPaugh’s efforts, 400 to 600 animals receive examinations, vaccinations, medications, pet food, blood work, nail trims, and deworming.  This core of dedicated volunteers also alters 40 to 60 animals as well. The majority of animals are cats and dogs, but iguanas, hedgehogs, ferrets, snakes, rabbits, guinea pigs and parrots have also benefited from veterinary care.

Since Project Connect’s inception, Dr. LaPaugh has provided compassionate care to thousands of animals. While doing so, she also has assisted people in her community – individuals who have experienced challenging day-to-day struggles – and their animal companions.

2015 Veterinary Service Award

Patti Loverink, Fences for Fido board member

Fences for Fido


Nominated by: Dr. Steve Amsberry

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

In May of 2009, a small group of female friends were gathered in a kitchen discussing how they could improve the life of a neighborhood dog that was chained up pretty much around the clock. From their deliberate discussion, they agreed to approach the owner and offered to build a fence – at no cost to him – provided that he unleash the male dog from the chain. The owner eventually consented, and Chopper became the poster “boy” for the soon-to-be formed nonprofit group named Fences for Fido.

Fences for Fido has a simple but life-changing mission: To improve the lives of dogs living outdoors on the end of chains, tethers or in small kennels, by building them a free fenced yard and an insulated dog house.

Since its humble beginnings in that kitchen, Fences for Fido now operates with a quarter of a million dollar budget. It has built fences for and unleashed nearly 1,000 dogs from Southern Washington to the mid-Willamette Valley and from the Oregon Coast to Central Oregon, its most recent outreach area.

The dedication of this all-volunteer organization of 100 plus compassionate people is rooted in making a kind of change between a dog and its family. But the work doesn’t stop there. Fences for Fido creates safer and improved conditions for chained dogs by providing them with shelter, veterinary care, and, when necessary, spay and neuter services. Volunteers educate families on how best to care for their four-legged family members during the heat of the summer and the cold, wet winter months. Twice a year the organization’s team of volunteers visits all of the dogs in the Fences for Fido family to make sure that the dogs remain unchained, safe and healthy.

Two years ago, Fences for Fido spearheaded legislation – supported by the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and various animal welfare organizations – to revise the state’s standards of care for animals, including placing restrictions on the amount of time a dog can be chained and left outdoors. The legislation was resoundingly approved by the Oregon legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

Present to accept this honor on behalf of the organization was Patti Loverink, a past president of Fences for Fido and a current board member.

2015 Practice Manager of the Year

Brandy Kagerer

Brandy Kagerer

Sandy Animal Clinic

Nominated by: Dr. Jennifer Betz

This award recognizes the role of the practice/office manager in clinical practice and salutes an individual who has exhibited exceptional professionalism in leading the practice.

Ten years ago Brandy Kagerer joined Sandy Animal Clinic as a receptionist. But it wasn’t long – only a few months – before she demonstrated leadership abilities and was quickly promoted to practice manager.

Brandy knows all about service. While she doesn’t have formal training or a certification in veterinary hospital management, she does have extensive training in large hotel management. During her tenure with Sandy Animal Clinic, Brandy has continued to seek to enhance her hospital manager abilities by taking educational courses, and she dreams of becoming a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.

According to Dr. Jennifer Betz, the clinic’s owner, Brandy has broadened her skills by becoming proficient in areas of care and treatment of patients as well. This includes catheter placement, radiography, dentals, blood draws, etc. With exemplary skills in customer service, she has an uncanny knack for addressing client concerns and turning a negative situation into a positive experience.

Brandy has created a positive work environment, and adeptly fills in wherever as needed, whether it is as an assistant or technician or when the clinic is short-staffed up front – all the while meeting the clinic’s management needs.

One thing that perhaps sets Brandy apart from other hospital managers is the authority she has gained to be in complete control of the practice – from interviewing to hiring, training, and, when necessary, discharging staff, including veterinary associates. Dr. Betz notes that Brandy has gained her full trust in her decision-making abilities and is given the discretion to make pertinent decisions without discussing them beforehand with Dr. Betz. “She keeps me abreast of all decisions and workings of the clinic, while keeping the drama away.”

This past year, when Dr. Betz was on leave for eight months because of illness, Brandy again stepped up to the plate and helped to maintain the clinic in full working order as if Dr. Betz were still present.

Brandy’s performance has helped grow Sandy Animal Clinic into the successful practice it is today.

2015 President's Award

Dr. Steve Amsberry (l) & Dr. Keith Sides (r)

Dr. Keith Sides

Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic

Presented by: Dr. Steve Amsberry

The President's Award is given at the discretion of the president to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the OVMA.

Following is an excerpt from Dr. Amsberry's remarks:

"Along with his wife, Holly – also a veterinarian – Keith is owner of Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic, a six-doctor, 23-healthcare team in Redmond that focuses on excellent service and veterinary care and whose mission is to foster and enhance the human-animal bond.

Keith’s professional interests include orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, and reproduction. But it is his broader interests in organized veterinary medicine and community service that I want to recognize.

Keith is a past regional representative on the OVMA Board of Directors and he served as the Association’s president in 2010-2011. He also is a current trustee of the Oregon Animal Health Foundation – the OVMA’s charitable arm. In addition, a few years ago he stepped forward to chair our ad hoc committee on scope of veterinary practice.

In his service to the Association, he has exemplified many aspects of servant leadership. Some of these characteristics of effective leadership include, among others: listening, empathy, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, and stewardship, and building community.

Dr. Keith Sides’ dedication to our profession has also been far beyond his commitment to the OVMA. He has served in essentially every official capacity with the Central Oregon Veterinary Medical Association. This has included elected office as president and as the organization’s representative to the Redmond Humane Society and to Central Oregon Community College as it was developing its veterinary technology program.

At the local level, Keith has served as president of the Kiwanis in Redmond and as a wrestling coach at the high school level.

For his commitment and dedication to organized veterinary medicine and to his community at large, I am honored to present Dr. Keith Sides with the President’s Award."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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