AVC honours Newfoundland and Labrador veterinarian Dr. Hugh Whitney

Atlantic Award of Excellence in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Care
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Dr. Greg Keefe, dean of AVC, presents Dr. Hugh Whitney with AVC's 2015 Atlantic Award of Excellence in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Care.

Dr. Hugh Whitney, retired chief veterinary officer for Newfoundland and Labrador, was recently honoured by the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) with its 2015 Atlantic Award of Excellence in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Care.

Established in 2005, the award recognizes veterinarians for significant and outstanding contributions to veterinary medicine and animal care in Atlantic Canada. Dr. Greg Keefe, dean of AVC, presented Dr. Whitney with the award on November 5 at the Newfoundland and Labrador Veterinary Medical Association’s annual meeting and gala.

Dr. Whitney was nominated by Dr. Erin Ramsay (AVC Class of 2011), regional veterinarian in the Newfoundland and Labrador Animal Health Division, and Dr. Maggie Brown-Bury, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Whitney served as CVO and director of the Animal Health Division for Newfoundland and Labrador from 1985 until he retired in 2015. As CVO, he greatly expanded the Animal Health Division and the role it plays in the community. He spearheaded projects that promote the importance of animal health and the veterinary profession in the eyes of the community. He was twice engaged in the eradication of terrestrial rabies from the Island of Newfoundland, most recently leading the successful eradication program that lasted from 2002-04.

A leading authority on animal health and related public health issues in Newfoundland and Labrador, he played an integral role in the development of progressive provincial legislation banning cosmetic surgeries, and regulation of non-veterinary antimicrobial sales, under the recently revised Animal Health and Protection Act for the province. And he spearheaded the creation of the province’s new Animal Hero Award, with colleague Lynn Cadigan, which recognizes the positive aspects, and importance, of the relationship between people and animals.

Dr. Whitney’s contributions go beyond his role as CVO. Over the years, he has been involved in the education of veterinary students, graduate students, and veterinarians in Atlantic Canada. An adjunct professor at MUN, he is well respected by his graduate students and faculty, as well as by people in government, his fellow veterinarians, and the community at large.

He has developed a special relationship with the people of Labrador, working with band leaders and town councils on many projects, and visiting schools to talk to children about rabies. He is contributing to a series of books, The Adventures of Uapikun, written for Labrador’s Innu school system. Uapikun Learns About Rabies has been published in English, French, and the Innu-aimun dialects of Sheshatshiu and Mushuau. It has also been adapted for the Inuit population of Labrador. He is currently working on a book about dog safety, Uapikun Has A Question, which will be published in English, French, and the two Innu-aimun dialects, and distributed across Canada.

He is dedicated to the advancement of the veterinary profession, serving on provincial Atlantic, and federal committees and task forces, and on professional organizations at the provincial and national levels.

Anna MacDonald
AVC External Relations Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College
(902) 566-6786
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