ISVMA Announces 2021 Award Scholarship Winners & Board Member Changes

ISVMA Announces 2021 Award Scholarship Winners & Board Member Changes


ISVMA Announces 2021 Award Scholarship Winners & Board Member Changes (Springfield, IL) – The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA) presented its annual awards to four Illinois veterinarians and presented scholarships to veterinary college students. It also recognized new and retiring Board of Directors before membership at its recently held virtual convention.

Award winners recognized are outstanding veterinarians who provide compassionate, humane care with leading-edge medical practices for companion animals and livestock, and whose actions impacted organized veterinary medicine in the state in 2021.

“The ISVMA acknowledges distinguished individuals or teams of degreed, licensed and experienced people in Illinois’ veterinarian profession who exemplify outstanding veterinary medical service,” said Dr. Colleen Lewis, ISVMA’s Immediate Past President, Galva. “These professionals are advocates for animals and the people who care for them by providing years of medical training backed by humane practices, ensuring the health of the animal in their care. Congratulations to all of these talented and skilled veterinary award recipients!”

2021 ISVMA Veterinary Service Award

Presented to ISVMA members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the veterinary profession.

Mark Ernst, DVM, Illinois State Veterinarian, Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Springfield.  Dr. Ernst earned his DVM degree from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. After leaving private practice as a veterinarian in central Illinois in 1989, Dr. Ernst accepted the position as a field veterinarian for central and northern Illinois with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and is responsible for all regulatory animal health activities in these areas. During this time he was also trained in foreign animal diseases and performed investigations when suspicious cases were brought to his department. Eventually, Dr. Ernst was named to his current position in 2005. The ISVMA recognized Dr. Ernst for his help in drafting animal-friendly legislative policy and support for the veterinary profession in the state.

2021 ISVMA President’s Award
Presented to an individual or group that has significantly advanced the interests of the veterinary profession in Illinois.

Connie Austin, DVM, Illinois State Public Health Veterinarian, Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield.

Dr. Austin is a graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, holding a master’s in public health and a PhD in epidemiology. She started her work in public health as an epidemic intelligence service officer with the Centers for Disease Control while assigned at the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Division of Infectious Diseases for two years. Dr. Austin eventually became Illinois’ Public Health Veterinarian and Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, holding this position for past 24 years. The ISVMA recognizes her work during her career and specifically during the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it has affected animals and the veterinary profession in the state.

2021 Dr. Erwin Small First Decade Award
Awarded to a young veterinarian who has been practicing veterinary medicine in the last 10 years and has become a leader in supporting the profession through contributions to organized veterinary medicine.

Valerie Eisenbart, DVM, Banfield Pet Hospital, Frankfort. Dr. Eisenbart is a 2011 graduate of the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine who has been promoting the profession through her involvement with the ISVMA in legislative programs and events, and with the U of I’s Alumni Association by promoting the veterinary profession to the next generation of veterinary professionals. She currently serves as the Area Chief-of-Staff at Banfield Pet Hospital, which she joined upon graduation from the U of I.

2021 Dr. Cecil Ingmire CVT Award

Presented to a certified veterinary technician who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the profession through involvement in organized veterinary medicine.

Jeanice Wiard, CVT, Charge Auditor, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Champaign.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Canton, Wiard became a CVT while working in private veterinary practice with a bachelor’s in veterinary management. She served six years in New York’s Air National Guard, relocating to Illinois in 2010, working in general veterinary medicine. Wiard moved into academia in 2014 at the U of I, working in veterinary emergency and critical care diagnostic imaging and equine medicine and services. During her current capacity as Charge Auditor at the U of I’s teaching hospital, Wiard earned a master’s of education with a focus on human resources development. Wiard is being recognized by the ISVMA for her efforts in organizing standardized veterinary service charges across all clinical departments at the hospital and by promoting and advancing the CVT profession as a critical part of any veterinary clinic.


All award recipients were nominated by peer ISVMA member veterinarians and professionals and then selected by the ISVMA Nominations and Awards Committee, comprised of volunteer veterinarian professionals.

Scholarship Award Winners

The ISVMA awards four $1,000 scholarships through its Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation to help students with tuition at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. In turn, these students serve as liaisons between fellow students and the ISVMA, helping to promote the association with fellow veterinary school students and to network with member veterinarians within its membership.

All are elected by their peers at the University for a four-year term. They include:

· Darec Edwards, Downers Grove; fourth-year student;
· Lauren McKay, Joliet; third-year student;
· Jessica Diepholz, Mattoon; second-year student; and
· Brianna Huff, Ringwood; first-year student.

Four $500 Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) scholarships were also awarded from the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation to four students currently enrolled in classes in American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited veterinary technology programs, with five such higher education schools within Illinois.

This year’s recipients are:

· Rachel McCann, Sterling; attending Black Hawk College in Moline;
· Lackenzie Phillips, Mount Zion; attending Parkland College in Champaign;
· Jordan Pruitt, Pekin; attending Parkland College in Champaign; and
· Britton Reiss, Chicago; attending Vet Tech Institute at Fox College in Tinley Park.

The scholarships are awarded on an annual basis by the Foundation to provide tuition assistance towards veterinary medicine education for eligible college students. Awardees are student members of the ISVMA and can apply every year in efforts to compete for financial scholarships to assist with costs associated with tuition when enrolled in CVT courses.

New, Retiring Board Members

The ISVMA also announced its new Board of Directors for the association’s state-wide leadership panel for 2022 while recognizing the contributions of its retiring board members for their past years of service.

The ISVMA’s Board of Directors collaborates with professional staff to promote and protect the veterinary profession in Illinois by:

  • Closely monitoring public policy,
  • Offering the latest in continuing education; and
  • Providing services to member veterinarians, enabling them to run their veterinary clinics in small towns, farms and metropolitan areas in Illinois.

Incoming Board Members

  • President: Devon Hague DVM, DACVIM, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • President Elect: Joanne Carlson DVM, Loving Care Animal Clinic, Palatine
  • Vice President: Nicole Johnson DVM, Pekin Animal Hospital, Pekin
  • Immediate Past President (2021): Colleen Lewis DVM, Tuition Genetics, Galva
  • Treasurer: Lynda Gould DVM, Ashton Animal Clinic, Ashton
  • Region 1 Representative: Edmar Schreiber DVM, Schreiber Veterinary Service, Sorento (2nd Term)
  • Region 2 Representative: Kristi McCullough DVM, Auburn Veterinary Service, Auburn
  • Region 3 Representative: Kate Brucker DVM, Albin Animal Hospital, Mattoon (2nd Term)
  • Region 4 Representative: Peter Nichols DVM, Washington Veterinary Medical Clinic, Washington (2nd Term)
  • Region 5 Representative: Marianne Krumdick DVM, Sandwich Veterinary Hospital, Sandwich
  • Region 6 Representative: Katie Harbach-Shulz DVM, Mulford Animal Hospital, Rockford
  • Region 7 Representative: Allyson Harris DVM, Woodlawn Animal Hospital, Woodlawn
  • Student Representative: Lauren McKay, Class of 2023, Joliet, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Retiring Board Members

  • Immediate Past President (2020): Olivia Rudolphi DVM, Rudolphi Veterinary Services, Noble
  • Treasurer: Lynette Hemker DVM, Greenville Veterinary Clinic, Greenville
  • Region 2 Representative: Jennifer Schirding DVM, Cornerstone Animal Hospital, Pleasant Plains
  • Region 4 Representative: Nicole Johnson DVM, Pekin Animal Hospital, Pekin
  • Region 5 Representative: Heidi Pulito DVM, CHPV, Sandwich Animal Hospital, Sandwich
  • Region 6 Representative: Lynda Gould DVM, Ashton Animal Clinic, Ashton
  • Region 6 Representative: Kelli Kramer DVM, Perryville Pet Hospital, Rockford
  • Region 7 Representative: Amanda Hampton DVM, Guardian Mobile Veterinary Services,
    Evergreen Park
  • Region 7 Representative: Marina Jaworsky DVM, Green Tree Animal Hospital, Libertyville
  • Student Representative: Darec Edwards, Class of 2022, Downers Grove, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

ISVMA Announces 2021 Award, Scholarship Winners & Board Member Changes

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