Kincardine Veterinarian Recognized for Humanitarian Work in Tanzania

    TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Dr. Roger Thomson, a veterinarian from
Kincardine, Ontario will receive a prestigious award this week for his
dedication to veterinary medicine and humanitarian work in Tanzania, Africa.
    The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) will honour three other
individuals for their contributions to veterinary medicine and animal welfare:
Dr. Linda Bolton (Walkerton), Dr. Kathleen Delaney (Hamilton), and Dr. Stan
Henderson (Ilderton).

    Dr. Roger Thomson, Technical Services Veterinarian, Wyeth Animal Health, 
Kincardine, ON - OVMA Award of Merit

    The OVMA Award of Merit is awarded to individuals who the general public
feels are deserving of recognition for their practice of, or contribution to
animal welfare or veterinary medicine.

    Since 1977, Dr. Thomson has held a number of leadership roles in his local
veterinary community, including:

    -   Various roles (including president) at the Grey-Bruce Veterinary
    -   Volunteered for over 25 years for the Bruce County 4H Veterinary
    -   Served as a member of the Board of Directors of LifeLearn Inc. (a
        continuing education group).
    -   Served as a member of the Complaints Committee at the College of
        Veterinarians of Ontario (the regulatory and licensing body in
    -   Served as the Treasurer of the Ontario Veterinary College's Alumni

    Undoubtedly, Dr. Thomson's most notable accomplishment has been his
volunteer work in Tanzania. In 1988, Dr. Thomson made contact with the
Tanzania Veterinarian Association, and began what would become over twenty
years of volunteer work in the African country. In 2003, Dr. Thomson and his
wife Cathy travelled to Tanzania and toured a primary school in the village of
Ilima. The school was in desperate need of assistance, and Dr. Thomson
committed to providing 90 desks for its students. When Dr. Thomson returned in
2006, he and his wife began a second project to rebuild two of the classrooms.
This project was completed at the end of 2008.
    Dr. Thomson's contributions have made a significant impact on the village
and the students at Ilima Primary School. When Dr. Thomson first visited the
school in 2003, none of its students were able to pass the high school
entrance exams. By 2006, 75% of the students passed the entrance exams. The
overwhelming number of students moving to high school has resulted in a new
project for Dr. Thomson: helping to build a new secondary school in the ward.
    In addition to his work with local schools, Dr. Thomson is now the
Canadian Project Leader of the Ilima Poultry Project, a three-year project to
integrate Rhode Island Reds (a chicken variety) to the local free range
chicken flock. Dr. Thomson is also sharing his international expertise with
others, as a member of the Board of Directors of Veterinarians without

    Dr. Linda Bolton, Mullen Small Animal Clinic, Walkerton, ON - OVMA Award 
of Merit

    Besides being very active in the Grey-Bruce Veterinary Association where
she has held a number of voluntary positions, Dr. Bolton is highly esteemed by
her peers for her role in developing new programs and initiatives in her local
community, including the Cat Lake Project.
    The Cat Lake Project takes volunteering veterinarians to Cat Lake, a
native community in Northern Ontario accessible only by air, to bring services
to the community which would otherwise not have access to veterinary care.
Supplying necessary veterinary care in this remote area has had the effect of
encouraging residents to take greater responsibility for their animals, as
well as for their families and their community's future.
    Besides the Cat Lake Project, Dr. Bolton always finds new ways to assist
her community, including:

    -   Supporting the St. John's Ambulance Pet Therapy Program by enlisting
        one of her own pets to visit nursing homes as a therapy dog, and by
        holding fundraising events for the program at her clinic.
    -   Providing assistance to students at the Ontario Veterinary College.
    -   Appearing regularly on a local radio talk show, where she provides
        advice to pet owners.
    -   Volunteering for her local church group.
    -   Looking after flower beds planted for the Walkerton Heritage Water
    -   Organizing the Hanover Fall Fair pet show.

    Dr. Kathleen Delaney, Hamilton, ON - OVMA Award of Merit

    Dr. Kathleen Delaney is the University Veterinarian and Director of the
Central Animal Facility at McMaster University. After graduating from OVC in
1989, she began her career as a clinical practitioner and surgeon in Halton
Hills. In 1993, she completed her Diploma in Laboratory Animal Pathology at
the University of Guelph, and since then has dedicated herself to laboratory
research and the betterment of human and animal health.
    Dr. Delaney is dedicated to ensuring the ethical treatment of laboratory
animals, as well as ensuring that the number of animals used in laboratory
research is kept to a minimum. In addition to being involved with the Animal
Research Ethics Board and the Laboratory Animal Facility Users Committee, she
is very involved with local and national veterinary animal welfare
    Dr. Delaney's contribution to animal care includes acting as a consultant
to various research facilities, including the Centre for Phenogenomics in
Toronto, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Dr. Delaney also sits
on the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Assessments, the Advisory
Committee for Hamilton Biomedical Research Facilities, and acts as a journal
referee for the Comparative Medicine and Contemporary Topics Journal.
    Closer to home, Dr. Delaney also supports local high schools and
veterinary technician programs by providing co-op and other learning

    Dr. Stan Henderson, Ilderton, ON - OVMA Outstanding Veterinarian

    The Outstanding Veterinarian Award is presented to a veterinarian who
makes exceptional contributions to the veterinary profession by demonstrating
leadership in professional associations at regional, provincial or national
levels, and by demonstrating community involvement that either enhances the
image of veterinarians or benefits the profession as a whole.
    Beginning his career in a mixed animal practice in Prince Edward Island,
Stan moved back to Ontario in 1984, where he joined the Ilderton Equine Clinic
first as an associate and later as a partner.
    After only two years in the veterinary profession, Stan began what would
become over two decades of volunteer work. Appointed to the Society of
Veterinarians of Ontario Board of Directors in 1985, he served as the very
first President of the newly named Ontario Veterinary Medical Association in
1990. Furthering his volunteer involvement on the provincial level, he was
appointed to CVO Council in 1991, and served a term as President in 1996.
    Dr. Henderson has been an influential figure in equine medicine
throughout North America. In 1998, he spoke at the American Association of
Equine Practitioners Annual Conference, and in 2006 became the first equine
practitioner to teach, mentor and provide internship opportunities to
participants of the VStep Program - a provincial program aimed at assisting
internationally-trained veterinarians to complete the educational and
practical requirements necessary to become licensed to practice veterinary
medicine in Ontario. Dr. Henderson has also volunteered for the Animal Health
Technician Advisory Committee at the Ridgetown Campus of the University of

    OVMA Awards Ceremonies

    OVMA will honour these four individuals at three separate awards
ceremonies during the 2009 OVMA Conference & Trade Show in Toronto. Media
personnel must register on-site at the OVMA Registration Desk.

    Location - Westin Harbour Castle Hotel (Toronto)

    OVMA Award of Merit, Dr. Linda Bolton - Thursday, January 29, 8 a.m.

    OVMA Award of Merit, Dr. Kathleen Delaney - Friday, January 30, 8 a.m.

    OVMA Outstanding Veterinarian, Dr. Stan Henderson - Friday,
    January 30, 8 a.m.

    OVMA Award of Merit, Dr. Roger Thomson - Saturday, January 31, 8 a.m.

    Founded in 1980, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association represents
more than 3,300 Ontario veterinarians in private practice, government,
academia, industry and public service. Its mandate is to advance and promote
excellence in the veterinary profession in Ontario, and contribute to the
betterment of animal health and the protection of human health.

For further information:

For further information: Nadia Vercillo, OVMA Manager of Communications
& Public Relations, 1-800-670-1702, ext. 15, or c. (416) 838-3925 or

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