Contact: Kelly E. Lindner
Managing Editor
8104 Exchange Drive
Austin, Texas 78754
Phone: 512/452-4224
Fax: 512/452-6633

Feb. 9, 2012

TVMA’s 2012 Award Winners and Executive Committee

The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) held the annual Awards and Installation Banquet Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Hilton in College Station. Dr. John M. Morton, 2011 TVMA president, along with Dr. Orlando Garza, 2012 TVMA president, presented awards at an honorary dinner for practitioner winners, colleagues, family and friends. Recipients were nominated by colleagues and chosen by the Awards Committee for their outstanding contributions in their respective areas.

 2012 TVMA Awards:

 2012 TVMA Distinguished Career Achievement Award: Dr. Thomas Hairgrove

 Dr. Hairgrove’s veterinary career has spanned 38 years and he’s spent more than 30 as owner of a rural northwest Texas mixed practice with an emphasis on bovine medicine and surgery. Since 2008, Dr. Hairgrove has served as the program coordinator for Livestock and Food Animal Systems with Texas AgriLife Extension/Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in both beef cattle practice and food animal practice. He is currently serving as the American Association of Bovine Practitioner’s designated member of the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Dr. Hairgrove has earned national recognition by improving the health of Texas’ livestock populations. In addition to his veterinary skills, he also has expertise in agro-terrorism, bio-security, emergency management, interstate and international trade, toxicology, herd health and overall livestock production. Dr. Hairgrove is dedicated to animal agriculture, veterinarians and the veterinary profession.

2012 TVMA Companion Animal Practitioner of the Year: Dr. Wendy Blount

 Dr. Blount is a superior companion animal practitioner who donates countless hours to her clients and helping the animals as medical director of the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter. She also volunteers her time to help other practitioners, mentor veterinary students and even guide high school and college students who are interested in veterinary medicine. Because of her moderation and participation on the VetWitness4Him and TexasVet listserves, she has also done a great deal to bring Texas veterinarians together as friends and colleagues. She is a tremendous benefit to her veterinary colleagues, the citizens of Nacogdoches and the animals of east Texas. Her relentless pursuit of excellence in the field of veterinary medicine and her willingness to share her knowledge with her colleagues serve clients and the profession.  

TVMA 2012 Equine Practitioner of the Year: Dr. Benjamin Buchanan

Dr. Buchanan’s expertise and commitment to equine practice is unparalleled. After graduation from Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (TAMU CVM) in 2001, he subsequently completed a one-year Rotating Internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Tennessee. He stayed at UT to work on an ex vivo Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome research project with Frank Andrews and complete a Large Animal Internal Medicine Residency. During his vacation and free time, he managed to complete a second residency in Large Animal Emergency and Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania. He became a diplomate of the ACVIM in 2005, and of the ACVECC in 2006. In 2005, he returned to practice in Navasota with his father, Terrell (T-Bone) Buchanan, DVM, and brother, Charlie Buchanan, DVM. The practice has grown into one of the largest equine practices in the state of Texas with multiple hospitals in Stephenville, Rockdale and Navasota. As the chair of the TVMA Equine Practice Committee, Dr. Buchanan was very involved with the TVMA efforts regarding Equine Dentistry in the 2011 Legislature. He is a founding board member of the Texas Equine Veterinary Association and the editor of their quarterly publication. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

TVMA’s 2012 General Practitioner of the Year: Dr. Darrell Kinnard

Dr. Darrell Kinnard has been in the general practice of veterinary medicine for 38 years. With a practice that is 50 percent large animal (bovine and equine) and 50 percent small animal (small and exotic), his hospital is truly non-specialized, though he does enjoy the occasional orthopedic or soft tissue trauma case for animals both large and small. Dr. Kinnard is very passionate about veterinary medicine and also takes a proactive stance to educating future veterinarians by mentoring veterinary students. For TVMA, he has chaired the Brucellosis Control, Farm and Ranch and Bovine Practice Committees. His veterinary clinic, Mabank Animal Hospital, Inc., has recently celebrated its 36th year.

TVMA’s 2012 Medical Specialty Practitioner of the Year: Dr. Elaine Caplan

Dr. Caplan owns and operates Capital Area Veterinary Specialists and Texas Veterinary Oncology, a specialty hospital in Austin, and is well-known for her expertise and surgical skills. In fact, many veterinarians refer cases to her. She is a highly sought-after surgeon with a great deal of experience in neurological, soft tissue surgery, and orthopedic as well as surgical oncology. Dr Caplan is also certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and is trained in veterinary Chinese herbal medicine. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. Caplan is a veterinary professional who frequently gives back to her professional community.

TVMA’s 2012 Non-Traditional Species Practitioner of the Year: Dr. Joe Ables

During his nine years of practice, Dr. Joe Ables has become one of the premier “deer vets” in the state. He owns them, breeds them and enjoys treating white tail and other breeds of exotic deer. Since the deer industry in Texas has grown, Dr. Ables has been involved in herd health management, laparoscopic artificial insemination, nutritional consultation and educating deer owners at state and national meetings. He is currently a practicing veterinarian at Wise County Animal Clinic in Decatur with a special interest in cervid medicine and surgery. In fact, his practice has grown from five percent deer to 30, and he is very active in the Texas Deer and National Deer Farmers Associations. He teaches a third-year course on cervid medicine for veterinary students at TAMU CVM and often receives fourth-year veterinary student externships at his practice. In 2011, he also privately conducted research and developed the very first treatment for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in deer with a treatment success rate of more than 84 percent. His dedication to the veterinary profession and the deer industry has had a very positive impact.

TVMA’s 2012 Industry Representative of the Year: Kevin Walter, Infintech, LLC

Not one for sketchy sales techniques, Kevin Walter represents the industry with clarity, integrity and reliability. This seems to work well for him, since the vast majority of his business comes through referrals and he’s achieved President’s Club sales levels numerous years. For TVMA, he has helped generate a great deal of non-dues revenue, he’s been involved in the Industry Advisory Committee and the TVMA Auxiliary and he’s often contributed articles to the Texas Veterinarian about the business side of the profession. Outside of TVMA and work, he is an ambassador to his local Chamber of Commerce and a participant in WATCHDOGS, a program that increases father participation in schools.

TVMA’s 2011 Clinical Referral and Consultation Award: Dr. James Wright

Dr. James Wright was nominated by his colleagues for providing outstanding consultation advice and referral services to veterinarians in the state of Texas. Dr. Wright is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and its Epidemiology Specialty. Except for one and one-half years as a staff veterinarian in a mixed practice in East Texas, Dr. Wright’s career has been that of a “people veterinarian.” He got his first taste of “people veterinary medicine” in the U.S. Air Force, where he served for 22 years and retired as Colonel. In 1992, Dr. Wright joined the Texas Department of Health as a meat safety assurance veterinarian. After a few years of doing meat inspection, he transitioned into the Zoonosis Control program, serving as a zoonosis veterinarian in Arlington, Austin and Tyler, where he is now lives. When he entered the Zoonosis program, his duties included a great deal of consultation with veterinarians, animal control officers, patients bitten by animals and their physicians about zoonotic diseases (especially rabies) and animal issues. In addition to providing information from his office, Dr. Wright carried his cell phone, and was available for consultation at any time. His knowledge of state laws and scientific recommendations was invaluable, as was the fact that he applied logic and common sense in his consultations.

The 2012 Executive Committee:

At the banquet, the 2012 Executive Committee was also installed by AVMA President Dr. René Carlson. But Dr. Orlando Garza, Jr., was installed personally by world veterinary leader, Dr. Leon Russell, as the new TVMA president. (An article about Dr. Garza’s appointment will appear in this month’s issue of the Texas Veterinarian). Dr. P. Jed Ford is the new TVMA president-elect, Dr. John M. Morton is the immediate past president, and Dr. Michael Joyner was again selected as the TVMA treasurer. Dr. Tracy Colvin is the newly-elected chairman of the board, Dr. Aaron Rainer will serve as the newly-elected council chair of external affairs, Dr. Russell Ueckert will serve as the council chair of professional advancement, Dr. Sam Miller will serve as council chair for association affairs and Dr. Dan Posey will serve as the council chair of veterinary practice.

TAVP and TVMF Boards:

The Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice also installed a new board at the banquet, which can be seen below, and Dr. Scott Mellina was installed as the new president of the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation. (An article about Dr. Mellina’s appointment will appear in this month’s issue of the Texas Veterinarian).

2012 TAVP Board

President: Dr. Kipp Wingo (An article about Dr. Wingo’s appointment will appear in this month’s issue of the Texas Veterinarian).

Immediate Past President: Dr. Deborah Besch           

President-Elect: Dr. Pamela Henricks

Vice President: Dr. W. Scott Mays

Treasurer: Dr. Deborah Forster

Representative for TAMU CVM: Dr. Brandon Dominguez

About TVMA
Founded in 1903, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association is a professional association composed of more than 3,700 veterinarians committed to protecting public health, promoting high educational, ethical and moral standards within the veterinary profession, and educating the public about animal health and its relationship to human health. For more information, call 512/452-4224 or visit

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