2012 Veterinary Awards

Outstanding Faculty-Dr. Stephanie Valberg


This award is given to a faculty member of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and all its related departments; who provide outstanding service to Minnesota veterinarians; who give of their time and talent to the veterinary profession; a leader who makes a difference to the profession; a dedicated contributor to organized veterinary medicine.


Dr. Valberg, professor and director of the U of M Equine Center, is being inducted into the Equine Veterinary Research Hall of Fame, the highest honor for a lifetime of contributions to equine research.  She is also giving the Frank J Milne State of the Art Lecture at AAEP. She is the first woman to receive either of those recognitions.  She has been a pioneer in unraveling the mystery of “tying up” and other muscle disorders in horses.  Her work in equine muscle disease has revolutionized equine practice.  She joined the college in 1993 and because the director of the Equine Center in 2003.


Outstanding Industry- Jana Stambaugh

                This award is given to recognize an individual who has exhibited outstanding service to veterinarians and/or the MVMA. This individual should consistently provide exceptional service to Minnesota veterinarians and promote the profession through liasons with the MVMA, veterinarians, and the profession in general. The recipient of this award does not need to be a veterinarian.

The MVMA’s description of the ideal candidate for the Outstanding Industry Representative Award could not fit Jana Stambaugh with Boehringer Ingleheim more perfectly!  She is deserving of this award because she provides exceptional service to her customers (enabling them to provide exceptional care for their patients), she contributes her time and talents generously to the MVMA, MVMF and other veterinary organizations, and she works hard to promote and support the veterinary profession, in general.  Please see the attached letter for additional information.  


 Veterinary Service Award-Dr. Lara Rasmussen

This award is given to individuals who have promoted the veterinary profession and/or the well-being of animals. The recipient is not required to be active in organized veterinary medicine nor does he or she need to be a veterinarian.

Dr. Rasmussen is a board certified surgeon working with Veterinary Surgical Specialists Group.  She has offered her services as a surgeon on her days off, for any shelter patients that could benefit from her help, donating countless hours to help these groups.  She has performed a number of life-saving procedures on animal patients.  She has been a cheerful teacher and inspiration to those she comes in contact with.


Distinguished Service Award-Dr. John King

This award is given to MVMA members who have given special service to the profession of veterinary medicine, and improving the profession as a result of that service.

Dr. King has served as Executive Director of the Board of Veterinary Medicine for over 10 years.  He has served the Board, licensed veterinarians, and the public fairly and effectively during that time.  His knowledge and experience as a practicing veterinarian has been valuable prior to being appointed to the Board in 2002.  As a result of his knowledge and experience it has earned him the respect and appreciation that is important in being successful in his position.  Dr. King is stepping down this year in his role as Executive Director.  Lastly, his community service is commendable including a long time member of the LeSuerer Fire Department.


President’s Award-Dr. David Fell

This award is given by the president of the MVMA

Dr David Fell graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.   He has practiced in Jackson, MN for years.  He is the past mayor of Jackson.  He has been very involved in the MVMA on such committees at the Veterinary technician committee which he was one of the first veterinarians on that committee and is still one of the most active members of that committee.  He was involved in the MVMA establishing the credenialling of veterinary technicians, the recognition of the value of the veterinary technician on the veterinary team and creating and administering the exams for the voluntary certification of veterinary technicians.  He was a member of the AVMA CVTEA committee for 6 years.  He has been involved in the accreditation of veterinary technician programs.  He has also been active on the MVMA GAC.  He is married, father and very attentive grandfather.  He is a gentle, caring and knowledgable example of what veterinary medicine is in Minnesota.


Veterinarian of the Year Award-Dr. Carl Jessen
This award is given to a MVMA member who has given much to the veterinary profession as well as to his community - a well rounded member who is outstanding in the profession.

We would like to honor Dr. Carl Jessen as our 2012 Veterinarian of the Year.  His contributions to the field of veterinary medicine have enriched the lives of those he has worked with over the years.  For this, we honor him today.

Dr. Jessen is currently retired but that has not slowed him down as he has actively served on the MN Veterinary Historical Museum for nearly 10 years including being on the board and as treasurer.  In this role he has been involved in gaining the corporate charter for the museum and handling many of the financial and tax-related duties.  During his long and successful career Dr. Jessen has served as Director of the College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital where he championed the Medical Record System at the hospital.  He is also credited with keeping the hospital in sound financial condition during his tenure and he maintained the hospital’s performance of medical standards at a very high level.  At the college he continues to provide statistical testing and has assisted with database collection work for student residents and college faculty. He has helped with statistical preparation for project publications.  He has also been active at the MVMA serving on the Government Affairs Committee and the Small Animal Welfare Committee.  Dr. Jessen’s life philosophy has been to “put others first”. Finally, since 1954, Dr. Jessen has attended all but two MVMA state conventions, a fact that as president of this organization I am heartened to learn. 

 It is for his accomplishments and dedication to veterinary medicine and service to others that we would like to honor Dr. Carl Jessen as the MVMA’s 2012 Veterinarian of the Year.