Two Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory leaders and Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine faculty members were recently honored by the Utah Veterinary Medical Association (UVMA). Jane Kelly was chosen as the president-elect of the UVMA and Thomas Baldwin was named the Utah Veterinarian of the Year.
Baldwin is director of the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which serves veterinarians, animal owners, public health agencies and animal health researchers in Utah and the region. He is also a professor of veterinary diagnostic pathology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at USU. He was nominated by his peers and fellow UVMA members, and his work and service were reviewed by a selection committee. According to the UVMA website, the Veterinarian of the Year is chosen for their exceptional service within the association and the community.
“I was completely surprised, which rapidly transitioned into being humbled,” Baldwin said. “We have so many great veterinarians in our state that are deserving of such an award.”
Dirk Vanderwall, head of USU’s Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences and associate dean of USU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said, “Through his role as director of the UVDL and a founding faculty member of the USU School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Baldwin epitomizes the type dedicated service to the UVMA, the veterinary profession and the citizens of Utah this award is designed to recognize. He is extremely deserving of this high honor.”
Baldwin said he is grateful for the opportunities his work has provided. He was instrumental in early efforts to established USU’s School of Veterinary Medicine in collaboration with Washington State University. This year, the veterinary diagnostic laboratory became a key resource in USU’s efforts to continue educating students and conducting research in the face of the pandemic. The lab took the steps necessary to use its facilities and staff expertise to process COVID-19 tests, providing results in a timely way and reducing the number of tests going to already-busy facilities. The diagnostic laboratory was also key in diagnosing cases of COVID-19 that emerged in Utah mink populations.
“It is wonderful to be part of something that is larger than yourself,” he said. “I have been privileged to contribute to two such larger things: the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the USU School of Veterinary Medicine and I couldn’t be more pleased with either.”
Kelly is the director of the Central Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, which serves communities in the central and southern parts of the state, focusing on veterinary diagnostics, public health and microbiology. She is also a clinical professor for USU veterinary medicine students and works with the university’s master of public health degree program in the veterinary public health emphasis.
“Dr. Kelly’s election as UVMA president-elect speaks to the high esteem with which she is held by her colleagues in the veterinary profession throughout the state, and her commitment to serving them in this capacity,” Vanderwall said.
Kelly has served as the Central Utah representative on the UVMA board for several years. Kelly will serve as president-elect for one year, beginning in 2021, before taking over as president. After her one-year term as president, she will serve as the past president for another year.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be elected; I wasn't expecting it,” Kelly said. “The UVMA is such a strong advocate for our vets in Utah, it really is an honor to lead the group.”
Her duties as president will include presiding at all UVMA meetings, chairing the Executive Committee, reporting at the annual convention, communicating with the Board of Directors and association members, and visiting constituent associations throughout the year. Kelly would like to increase awareness of the UVMA and its work for veterinarians, increase membership and support her fellow veterinarians.
College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Central Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Lab