DENVER, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- It's not every day that we meet extraordinary people, but according to Gary Anthon of South Jordan, Utah, he found an extraordinary veterinarian in Dr. Amara Estrada. In recognition of Estrada's work, Anthon submitted an essay to the third annual Thank Your Vet for a Healthy Pet® contest, and Estrada was chosen as the 2009 Southeast regional winner. The nationwide essay contest, conducted by Morris Animal Foundation, allows clients to honor outstanding veterinarians for their dedication to helping animals and strengthening the human–animal bond. A complete list of nominees and the winners' profiles are posted at www.ThankYourVet.org.
"It's a great honor to be recognized with this award, and it makes me realize that my passion for veterinary medicine, in particular veterinary cardiology, is recognized and appreciated by my clients," says Estrada, an assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and chief of the UF Veterinary Medical Center's cardiology service.
Hundreds of pet owners throughout the country submitted nominations. The contest is co-sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition and Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy and Veterinary Practice News magazines, published by BowTie, Inc.
Estrada knew she wanted to be a doctor when she was 10 years old. After contemplating attending medical school for a brief stint, she realized human medicine wasn't for her.
"While I wanted to practice cutting-edge medicine and be involved with student learning, I really wanted to do this with animals," stated Estrada. She attended veterinary school at UF, then completed her residency in cardiology at Cornell. Eventually she returned to UF to work in academia. Estrada also is currently conducting MAF-funded research that looks at the placement of pacemakers in dogs with complete heart block. Anthon's dog, Scooby, participated in the study.
"One of the most rewarding things in my life is being able to utilize my profession in so many different ways," said Estrada. "From being a doctor to being a teacher, mentor and researcher, I love all of the hats I get to wear."
Estrada was one of five regional winners. The others include:
- Kristin Quisenberry, DVM, of Hidden Valley Animal Clinic in McMurray, Pa., for the Northeast
- Patrick Hourigan, DVM, of Richmond Veterinary Clinic in Richmond, Ill., for the Midwest
- J. Robert Yack, DVM, of Jackson Creek Veterinary Clinic in Jackson, Calif., for the West
- Kirk Weicht, DVM, of Brown Trail Animal Hospital in Bedford, Texas, for the Southwest and the National winner
"Morris Animal Foundation is excited to honor these outstanding veterinarians because they help us provide a healthier tomorrow for animals," said Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD, president/CEO of Morris Animal Foundation.
All of the winners will be honored in front of their peers at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, January 16, 2010.
Tina M. Martinez, 800.243.2345
SOURCE Morris Animal Foundation