NAVTA announces Veterinary Technician of the Year
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America has announced the recipient of their inaugural Veterinary Technician of the Year Award. "This award was created to honor a NAVTA member who greatly contributes to the veterinary technician profession at large," said Andrea Ball, executive director of NAVTA. "A very deserving technician and an incredible advocate for NAVTA, Kara Burns, has been the recipient of our award this year."
Kara Burns, M.S., M.Ed., L.V.T., actually began her professional career in human medicine as a counseling psychologist in an emergency department in Maine and as a poison specialist for the Maine Poison Control Center. "Working at the poison center provided me with the opportunity to work with people and animals," Kara said. "My passion for working with animals led me to work in a small animal clinic in Maine and pursue my veterinary technician license. I was especially drawn to nutrition in practice because nutrition affects every animal, whether healthy or ill." Her passion for nutrition led Kara to Hill's Pet Nutrition where her current role is as a veterinary technician specialist. "My current position has given me a unique opportunity to help veterinary technicians across North America," Kara said. "I work with technicians at the local, state, specialty and national level. I speak and write about nutrition and disease, the importance of utilizing technicians in practice, and personal and professional leadership."
Kara is a member of a number of associations, including NAVTA, the American Association of Veterinary Nutrition, the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Dental Society, the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, and the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps, to name a few. She also serves on a number of national committees. Kara is currently the president of the Kansas Veterinary Technician Association and is a member of the organizing committee for the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians. She is frequently invited to speak at national and state conferences and has penned a monthly nutrition column, 'Dear Kara,' in Firstline magazine. In addition to receiving the NAVTA Veterinary Technician of the Year Award, she recently received the Cambridge Who's Who of Executives and Professionals VIP Award for 2010-2011.
Julie Legred, C.V.T., nominated Kara for this award, explaining that if she was asked to describe "the perfect example of a technician, Kara immediately pops into my head. Kara is an integral part of veterinary technician education by coordinating funding and special events for many veterinary technician associations and national meetings. Her passion for our profession goes above and beyond. Kara genuinely cares about every technician in our profession."
In addition to her work and association duties, Kara and her partner, Dr. Ellen Logan, volunteer for many organizations in their community including their children's sports team and 4-H Kansas, where they serve as veterinary services program co-coordinators. Kara is involved in lay ministry at Mother Teresa Catholic Church, as a storm spotter for the National Weather Service in Kansas, and volunteers for pug rescue. Their family includes three children, four indoor cats, two pugs, one greyhound cross, three horses, one bearded dragon and four birds.
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America is a not-for-profit organization that represents and promotes the profession of Veterinary Technology. NAVTA provides direction, education, support and coordination for its members. Incorporated in 1981, NAVTA is the national organization devoted exclusively to developing and enhancing the profession of veterinary technology. For more information about NAVTA and the veterinary technician specialties, visit their Web site at www.navta.net.
Sandy Sponaugle, NAVTA Communications Director
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