Dr. José Arce, 2021-22 AVMA president, gave his three President’s Awards during the President’s Reception July 29 at AVMA Convention 2022 in Philadelphia. The award recognizes individuals or groups for making a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, or the profession.
This year’s recipients are Dr. James Brett, a food animal veterinarian active in organized veterinary medicine; the late Phil Hinkle, long-serving executive director of the Florida VMA; and Dr. Martha Littlefield, a Louisiana veterinarian who has had a multifaceted career.
Dr. Brett (Mississippi State ’83) spent more than 24 years in private practice in Montezuma, Georgia, the last 22 as the owner of a rural mixed animal practice. His primary focus was large animal ambulatory service and food animal production medicine. He is a past president of the Georgia VMA, served on the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine, and was the Georgia alternate delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates. In 2007, he returned to Mississippi State University, where is a clinical professor for the large animal mobile farm call service and lectures students in various subjects. Dr. Brett served as the Mississippi alternate or delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates and was a member of the Mississippi VMA’s executive board.
Hinkle served the Florida VMA for 34 years. He oversaw the FVMA membership more than doubling during his 13-year tenure as executive director. Under Hinkle, the FVMA repositioned its grassroots outreach to a veterinary community that serves diverse professionals with some from international backgrounds. He placed a priority on innovation in veterinary medicine. A proponent of protecting veterinary professionals at the legislative level, Hinkle was responsible for many protections granted to those across the veterinary field in Florida. He partnered with the AVMA to have FVMA members connect with Florida’s members of Congress regarding legislative issues. A people person above all, Hinkle placed emphasis on the human element of veterinary medicine, making it a priority to connect with the people who spend their careers caring for other people and their animals. He died in 2020 at the age of 58.
Dr. Littlefield (Louisiana State ’82) has practiced small animal medicine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; served as Louisiana assistant state veterinarian; and taught at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, from which she retired in 2019 as a clinical associate professor of anatomy. She teaches students remotely at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in the Cayman Islands and continues to teach acupuncture anatomy to fourth-year veterinary students at Louisiana State. In addition, Dr. Littlefield has served on numerous councils and committees of local, state, and national veterinary organizations. In 1986, she established the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, which provides disaster training, response, and shelters to state, parish, and local areas.