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College of Veterinary Medicine Alumna Dr. Suzanne Russo one of those awarded when Lesbian and Gay VMA Honors Veterinary Leaders

For Immediate Release                                                               July 18, 2017                                                                                     San Francisco, CA                                                       

Lesbian and Gay VMA honors Veterinary Leaders

The Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association (LGVMA) is proud to announce   the 2017 LGVMA Achievement and Service Awards to Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, Dr. Tracy Witte, Dr. Suzanne Russo, Dr. Michael Dibler and Dr. Sandy Hazanow for their commitment to an inclusive, welcome, and open professional environment for LGBTQ+ people.

The LGVMA awards are for individuals who provide leadership or community service to advance the LGVMA mission of fostering "acceptance and inclusivity for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities within the veterinary medical profession."  Dr. Kinnarney and Dr. Witte receive the 2017 LGVMA Leadership Award. Dr. Russo, Dr. Dibler and Dr. Hazanow receive the 2017 LGVMA Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Joseph Kinnarney is a mixed animal practitioner in Reidsville, N.C. He graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and has served the veterinary profession through leadership roles in the SAVMA, his state veterinary medical association and in the AVMA. He served as president as the AVMA Board President from 2015-2016 term. He became a role model for LGBTQ individuals in the profession as the first 'out' AVMA President.  His advocacy work has included helping the AVMA update their non-discrimination policy to include gender identity and gender expression and officially support the 2015 Equality Act. Dr. Kinnarney and his husband, Bradley Marlow-Kinnarney reside in Greensboro, NC, and enjoy showing horses and traveling.

Tracy Witte, PhD received her B.S. in Psychology from the Ohio State University in 2005 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Florida State University in 2006 and 2010, respectively. Dr. Witte's research is broadly concerned with understanding and preventing suicidal behavior.  Dr. Witte is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Auburn University. She is a member of the AVMA Wellness Committee, and is the primary author of the 2016 LGBTQ Veterinary Wellness Survey. Her current research is helping to identify risk assessment and suicide in the LGBTQ veterinary profession as part of the greater wellness movement. Dr. Witte lives in Opelika, AL with her husband and newborn daughter.

Dr. Suzanne Russo is an Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine graduate and has a MS degree in Human Resource Management from the Golden Gate University. After 13 years in small animal private practice, she Joined Pfizer Animal Health and in 2010 she joined the Academic and Professional Affairs Team.  Dr. Russo has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ people within the veterinary profession. Dr. Russo was a pioneer in the profession by initiating the annual LGVMA-Zoetis grant, which helps support outreach at the AVMA conference, and also the supports LGVMA veterinary student leadership grant program. In 2016, she joined VCA to lead the Veterinary Recruitment Team where she initiated the VCA-LGVMA-Broad Spectrum grant to support LGBTQ advocacy at the 2017 Iverson Bell Symposium. These events helped educate veterinary academia on how to best create inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly campus environments.   Dr. Suzanne Russo resides in San Francisco, CA.

Dr. Mike Dibler is a 2017 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Dibler served as an executive board secretary for the national Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association. He has also participated in numerous LGBTQ+ panel discussions at Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and at the 2017 Iverson Bell Symposium.  Dr. Dibler receives this award for his brave and empowering advocacy in promoting LGBTQ+ people within the veterinary profession- especially regarding transgender advocacy and support. Dr. Dibler lives with his wife in Orlando, Florida and will be starting as a small animal practitioner at Banfield Pet Hospital in Winter Springs, Florida.

Dr. Sandy Hazanow, a 1992 graduate of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuft's University, is a co-owner of Seven Hills Veterinary Hospital in San Francisco where she practices small animal medicine. Outside of practice, she has been the president of the Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association (LGVMA) since 2012 and a delegate to the California Veterinary Medical Association (VMA) and past-president to the San Francisco VMA. Through her leadership and service, Dr. Hazanow has represented the LGVMA and the LGBTQ+ veterinary community at the AVMA and AAVMC/Iverson Bell Symposium. The veterinary profession has become a more inclusive and friendly towards LGBTQ+ veterinary students, colleagues, staff and clients under her leadership.

Please join us at the official awards presentation scheduled for Monday, July 24 at 6:00 PM at the JW Marriott in Room 201 during the LGVMA Annual Networking Reception. The keynote speaker is scheduled at 6:30 PM featuring Lynne Bowman of the Human Rights Campaign. She will speak on "The State of Our Union is..." and take a look at the current federal, state and professional landscape for LGBTQ+ and discuss how changing is happening close to home. The reception sponsored by Zoetis will continue until 8:00 PM.

LGVMA, 584 Castro St. #492, San Francisco, CA 94114 ,,   (415) 851-2367

Last updated: 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 10:04am