OVMA Awards of Excellence: 2018 Recipients

At ceremonies held during the 2018 Oregon Veterinary Conference in Corvallis, the OVMA honored the following for their service to the veterinary profession and animals.

2018 Animal Welfare Award

Dr. Tom Holechek

Dr. Tom Holechek


South Clackamas Veterinary Service, Molalla


Nominated by: Dr. Andrea Duvall

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

According to Dr. Andrea Duvall, who nominated her colleague for this award, Dr. Tom Holechek is an unsung hero in the dairy industry. Unconcerned with bucking tradition, he doesn’t hesitate to challenge the dairy industry to do better – always advocating for the health and welfare of the cows ahead of production results. At his mixed animal clinic in Molalla, Dr. Holechek spends time educating and training dairy workers on proper care and welfare – in part to reach the best yield of milk, but also to provide the cows with better and healthier lives.

A few examples of his work: Dr. Holechek became seriously concerned with the use of the Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin hormone. The cows at Mallories Dairy in Silverton produced slightly more milk, but they also were burning out at young ages, which was unacceptable. Dr. Holechek convinced the dairy to stop using the hormone – the first dairy in Oregon to do so. Soon many other dairies followed suit. With the change, cows were now living longer lives, which meant more milk, and were not being sacrificed for a small initial gain.

Dr. Holechek noticed that the cows under his care were injuring themselves as they navigated inadequate sized stalls – and that their stress level seemed to increase while in a confined space. He insisted that the dairies he worked with enlarge the stalls, which resulted in fewer injuries, less stress, and better milk production.

Dr. Holechek also quickly became an advocate for individual hutches for calves, especially when he began noticing high mortality among them. By sequestering each calf, he could better monitor and manage their development and identify illnesses quicker, which led to more expedient veterinary care and treatment.

It has been said that “there is nothing permanent but change.” Dr. Tom Holechek looks to stay ahead of the curve with regard to the welfare of his patients.

2018 Veterinary Service Award

Elisabeth Wolff & Kim Mosiman, Sound Equine Options

Sound Equine Options

Kim Mosiman, Executive Director


Nominated by: Dr. Bob Franklin

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

This past summer, as a raging wildfire swept through parts of the Columbia River Gorge, Sound Equine Options began alerting its network of partners about immediate and pending evacuations of animals in the area. There was no time to waste, and the nonprofit needed people ready to step into action to gather and haul endangered animals from peril to safety in barns, stables, local fairgrounds – essentially any place where horses, cows, sheep, goats and other livestock could be housed safely. In all, Sound Equine Options, Multnomah County Animal Services, and many other disaster preparedness partners rescued more than 500 animals.

Sound Equine Options was founded in 2009 by Columbia Equine Hospital’s owner, Dr. Scott Hansen, and practice manager and technician, Kim Mosiman, to assist the growing number of area horse owners who no longer could afford to properly care for their animals. Sound Equine Options has grown into a licensed rescue that focuses on ending the cycle of abandonment, neglect, abuse and suffering of horses in the region. The nonprofit assists with neglect and abuse cases, often coordinating efforts with the Oregon Humane Society. They also have broader outreach and working relationships with law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Washington.

2018 Practice Manager of the Year

Beth James (Fandrey)

Beth James (Fandrey)


Osburn Veterinary Clinic, Florence & Reedsport
Nominated by: Dr. Tanya Percifield


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.

As practice manager for 18 years, Beth has helped the Osburn Veterinary Clinic in Florence and Reedsport flourish, growing into multi-doctor businesses. She also provided the oversight and guidance of major remodels at both practice locations. In addition to overseeing the clinics' website and social media presence, Beth is the IT specialist and medical software expert. She oversees all purchasing and manages the financial resources. Other roles include developing a quarterly publication for the clinic’s equine clients, and serving as the liaison between the doctors and the industry representatives who call on the practice. And whenever there is a need for an extra hand either up front, in an exam room, or in the patient treatment area, Beth is ready to roll up her sleeves and step in to assist.

According to Dr. Tanya Percifield, a former associate who nominated Beth for this award, she is a shining beacon for the business: “Beth is a person of high moral character. When I came to the clinic as a new graduate, she was the first person to welcome me and set the tone for the rest of the staff.” This tone includes exceptional client service along with dedicated and compassionate patient care.

Beth is an active member of the Western Oregon Veterinary Managers Association, the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association.

2018 President's Award

Dr. Emilio DeBess

Dr. Emilio DeBess MPVM


State Public Health Veterinarian

Presented by: Dr. Bob Franklin


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

As Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. DeBess started collecting and documenting canine and feline diseases of veterinary importance in 2005 and has continued with his yearly reports. He directs the collection of important information on animal disease and veterinary zoonotic disease reporting in Oregon. In 2007, during a period of pet food recalls due to melamine contamination, Dr. DeBess and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association coordinated efforts to get a better understanding of the direct concern in our state, to inform and educate practitioners about the crisis, and to share a unified message to the media.

This year, Dr. DeBess has provided veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians with helpful updates on the Canine Influenza Virus outbreak that has been spreading in California and Nevada, with one confirmed case reported in Southern Oregon.

In addition to his vital role in public health, Dr. DeBess is a practicing veterinarian -- a relief practitioner and an emergency clinician. He volunteers to assist the Pongo Fund, distributing pet food to those in need, and the PAW Team, providing medical care to pets of homeless individuals. Dr. DeBess is currently serving as the chair of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board and the president of the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

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
2015    Dr. Keith Sides
2016    Dr. Brad LeaMaster
2017    Judy Tate CVT
2018    Dr. Emilio DeBess

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
2018    Dr. Tom Holechek

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

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 Fandrey

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

Updated: 2018-03-03 08:00:00

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association