[Wyckoff, NJ; Hillsborough, NJ; May 7, 2019] Winn Feline Foundation (Winn) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) are proud to announce the two recipients of the 2019 joint scholarships for clinical practice and clinical research scientist. Both organizations believe in a future where the advancement of feline medicine is commonplace across veterinary practices. Toward that vision, they support veterinary students who focus on feline clinical practice and research science, which are vital to feline health and welfare.This year’s recipients show exceptional promise: Laurel Krause, a junior at Colorado State University, was awarded the clinical research scientist scholarship; Summer Marsh, a senior at Colorado State University, was awarded the clinical practice scholarship.
Ms. Krause is planning to complete a small animal rotating internship in Southern California and intends to specialize in small animal internal medicine with special interest in geriatric feline medicine and endoscopy. She says, “Cats are the entire package: cute, goofy, soft, sweet, independent, loyal…the list goes on! My life is much richer with my feline friends. This award is a true honor and encourages me to continue pursuing excellence in feline medicine. As a student, this support from the feline practitioner community welcomes me to the profession and means that throughout my career, I will work to give back much more than I have been given.”
Ms. Marsh has always dreamed of working with cats and has held many community events in support of feline care. After graduation, she will work for a small animal veterinarian at Firgrove Veterinary Hospital in Puyallup, WA, where she will continue her passion of advocating for cats. She says she loves cats “because every cat is a different puzzle. Cats are so intelligent, and I love forming a connection with them and showing them trust and safety in going to the vet. I often speak to them in ‘meow’ language, and I am endlessly intrigued by their strong, diverse personalities. This award is a huge honor to me because I have devoted so much of my heart to caring for cats, and I am thankful that I will continue to help cats every day of my career.”
“Both Laurel and Summer have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills that have led to many early accomplishments; their zealous pursuit of understanding the unique needs of cats through science will open many doors to them as veterinarians and to the welfare of cats. We aim to support and highlight their enthusiasm for feline medicine so that others will continue on the same path,” said Julie Legred, Executive Director of Winn.
In 2016, the Boards of Directors of both Winn and the AAFP approved the development and implementation of a joint scholarship offered by the two leading feline-dedicated organizations. After an unprecedented number of applicants and positive feedback from veterinary education programs, the boards decided to continue offering this opportunity, expanding the selection to two recipients in the categories of clinical practice and clinical research scientist. The application process prompts students to answer two essay questions explaining their specific interest and background in feline health and welfare, as well as their plans for future participation in feline medicine. Recipients of the $2,500 scholarships are selected based on individual academic achievement, strong leadership, and deep dedication to the study of feline medicine, health, and welfare. For more information, visit: catvets.com.
“We are all impressed by the lifelong passion both Laurel and Summer have shown for cats. This is apparent even in the early stages of their careers where their focus and dedication on advancing feline health and welfare is remarkable,” said Heather O’Steen, CAE and Chief Executive Officer of the AAFP. She continues, “Their passion for clinical research and clinical practice, respectively, has already led to phenomenal success. We’re excited about what they will bring to the future of feline medicine and research.”
The AAFP and Winn are both dedicated to advancing and enhancing standards in feline care. AAFP has numerous resources for veterinary students, such as discounts to the AAFP Annual Conference, and practical resources housed in the Student Center on its website, which includes complimentary webinars and a toolkit for veterinary students. The toolkit contains materials to help veterinary students embrace a feline perspective and obtain further knowledge about the standards needed to elevate care for cats. Winn also offers various educational resources on its website, including the Cat Health News Blog, educational articles, podcasts, videos, and an annual continuing educational symposium. Information regarding research grant awards and cat health study findings are also available on the website or through subscribing to the monthly e-newsletter. Other educational opportunities from Winn and the AAFP can also be found on each website.
About Winn Feline Foundation
Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, Winn Feline Foundation has funded over $6.5 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions worldwide. This funding is made possible through the support of dedicated donors and partners. Research supported by Winn Feline Foundation helps veterinarians by providing educational resources that improve treatment of common feline health problems and prevent many diseases. Grants are awarded at least twice yearly with the help of the foundation’s expert review panel. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.
About the American Association of Feline Practitioners
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) supports its members in improving the health and welfare of cats through high standards of practice, continuing education, and evidence-based medicine. As a trusted leader in the veterinary community, the AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record for facilitating high standards of practice and providing educational resources to veterinary teams, including guidelines for practice excellence and an annual conference. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinary professionals to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine. Launched in 2012, the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) program (catvets.com/cfp/veterinary-professionals) was created to improve the treatment, handling, and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to reduce the stress of the veterinary visit for cats, caregivers, and the veterinary team and provide veterinary practices with the tools and resources to elevate the standard of care provided to cats. With the belief that cat caregivers are instrumental to feline health and welfare, the AAFP launched catfriendly.com, a consumer-focused reliable educational resource powered by feline veterinarians branded Cat Friendly Homes. This educational resource is tailored to the needs of cat caregivers who want to provide the very best care for their cat and is accompanied by a monthly newsletter, The Cat Column, as well as educational content on Facebook and Instagram.