Veterinary Technician Contest Winners
Congratulations to the first place winner of our contest, Carrie Robinson of Patriot PAWS!
Patriot PAWS is a nonprofit that trains and provides service dogs at no cost to disabled veterans. Carrie is our full time staff Veterinary Technician with over 20 years of experience. She works with our volunteer veterinarian to manage our onsite veterinary clinic and is responsible for coordinating the care of our service dogs in-training. Carrie helped initiate and implement our Avimark software program to record and manage the health data of our dogs program-wide, the number of which averages 85-90 at any one time. It takes 18-24 months and costs $35,000 to train and provide one of our service dogs to a disabled veteran, so keeping these dogs healthy and happy is vital to their training success. Carrie brings so much passion and commitment to her job. She cares deeply about the dogs we train. If there is a concern about a dog’s health, no matter the hour, Carrie is there. If a dog needs to be observed over the weekend, you will find that dog at Carrie’s home under her watchful eye. If a new puppy is being transported to us via airplane, Carrie is at the airport to meet it and to make sure that pup feels safe and secure during the initial transition into our program. In the veterinary community, as well as in the community of nonprofits that work with animals, it is sometimes difficult to find “animal people” who are also “people people” – not true with Carrie! Carrie is just as dedicated to serving our veterans as she is to caring for our dogs. She is available 24/7 to our veterans who have a Patriot PAWS Service Dog and is there when they have any questions about their dog’s health. For those veterans who live locally, she will drop everything if they need to come into the clinic, or will even make a house call if needed. For veterans who are out of the area, she is just a phone call away and will make sure the issue is communicated clearly and addressed quickly with their local veterinary clinic. Carrie brings that same concern and care when it comes to her co-workers’ pets. She patiently listens to our worries and questions and takes them to our veterinarian when needed. Her sense of humor is contagious and adds a much needed element of laughter to our sometimes stressful days. Finally, Carrie is an amazing mom of two wonderful, busy teenagers. Most nights she goes straight from the clinic to the soccer field or volleyball court, and somehow manages to balance her weekends between puppies and sports without missing a beat. Carrie is a valued, indispensable member of our team. Her dedication to our dogs, to our veterans, to our mission and to her family, inspires us all – everyday!
Thank you Sharon Satterwhite and Terri Stringer of Patriot PAWS for nominating Carrie!
Patti Di Lulio
Nominated by Jessica Wallace, Churchville Veterinary Hospital in Churchville, NY
Patti is not only our practice manager but also the best LVT I know! She has been a tech for 15+ years and still arrives every day with the same passion and enthusiasm. She always rises to any challenge presented to her. She promotes a work life balance within our staff, which is not only rare in the field but SO important. She also has a special interest working with the more difficult animals (fractious cats, aggressive dogs.) Patti was my mentor as an intern and I feel so lucky to have had her guidance for the last 5 years. I have learned so much from Patti and I have watched countless other interns come through our practice who have also benefited greatly from Patti’s mentorship. In addition to working at our practice, she also spends time working at 2 different low income clinics in our area. She is my tech hero!
Nominated by Summer Cowman, Sunrise Pet Clinic in Tuscon, AZ
Barbara is celebrating her 40th Anniversary with Sunrise Pet Clinic this year! She has been a technician for our clinic since its opening in 1979. Her wealth of knowledge and experience are exceptional. Her positive attitude and commitment to compassionate and excellence in veterinary medicine make her a wonderful role model. Barb is always open to progressive changes. She is one of the most caring people I know and shows her love to our staff, clients and patients! Barb is simply inspiring!
Gregory Scot Woodham of Wonderwood Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, FL
Greg has graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Vet at University of Florida. His father is the Veterinarian and I am the Clinic Manager and Greg’s mom. Greg, since first grade, has always wanted to be a vet. He has worked for us since his teens and will inherit our family owned hospital. Greg is invaluable. He runs our lab and does patient care, laboratory work and surgical prep and recovery. He also goes way beyond by sitting with a sick pets all night and monitoring fluids, vitals and meds. In addition, he has worked for Capital Veterinary Specialists and Southeast Veterinary Oncology, and has volunteered and assisted on Manatee rescue and Dolphin autopsies for Florida Fish and Wildlife through the Jacksonville Zoo. Greg has the compassion to work with pets young and old. He doesn’t mind cleaning up vomit or diarrhea. He has worked with older animals and takes time to keep them clean. And … If our computer goes down we call Greg. Greg works well with clients and is instrumental in keeping them updated and informed concerning their pet’s hospitalization and care. Greg deserves this honor. He is an unsung hero and truly lives to take care of animals and their owners. We work with rescue and I have seen him spend hours shaving matted stinky animals who have been neglected and forgotten and scared. He is always patient and kind . He comes in early and will often miss lunch to stay and care for a critical patient. He is humble and no task is too small or menial. He is everything a Veterinary Technician should be. Greg’s birthday is October 26th what a wonderful birthday that will be if he is chosen.
Sarah Mezzapessa of Animal Hospital of San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, CA
Sarah began her journey in the veterinary field as a teenager. Fifteen years later, she is a licensed RVT with clinical experience across the United States. Sarah is an incredible veterinary technician because of her ability to leave her ego at the clinic door. Even with over a decade of experience, Sarah is always looking for ways to grow her practice and improve the care we provide. She recognizes that our field is constantly evolving, and she holds herself to a high standard in keeping up with any advancements in treatment. We consider our practice to be a teaching hospital, and Sarah takes it upon herself to personally mentor our pre-veterinary student assistants. She consistently demonstrates a high level of compassion and empathy in her handling of patients, and she routinely goes above and beyond in treating even our most difficult clients like family. It is this legacy of excellence that she passes along to our students, who will become the next generation of vets, techs, and support staff. Sarah’s hard work and dedication, coupled with her ability to always prioritize patient care, makes her an invaluable member of our team and our profession.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated! We received many incredible nominations making it a very difficult decision to choose only 3 winners. Covetrus wishes a Happy National Veterinary Technician Week to each and every one!