2010 Award Winners

The CVMA honors individuals and organizations who make significant contributions to veterinary medicine and/or the human-animal bond at the Pacific Veterinary Conference. The latest inductee into the California Animal Hall of Fame is also recognized.

Congratulations to the CVMA 2010 award winners! They illustrate the very best of the veterinary profession in California and the human-animal bond. Each winner was honored with a special presentation during the Gala Awards Celebration on June 19.


RVT_2010Jan Yaroslav, RVT

A graduate of Foothill College Los Altos Hills, with a Science Degree in Animal Health Technology, Jan is a Veterinary Dental Technician Specialist, one of a select group of RVT’s in the country to earn this distinction from the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians Board.

Jan has a reputation for her commitment to her career, her employers and co-workers, and her clients. She is loyal to the practice, and professional in every situation. Her respect and pride in her career is an inspiration to her co-workers.

Prior to joining the staff at the Mangrove Veterinary Hospital in Chico, Jan was the Senior RVT Director of Inpatient Services at Companion Animal Medical Group for over 10 years, and worked with a variety of species, including primates at Stanford University’s Department of Comparative Medicine in the Veterinary Department. After moving to Chico she went to work for the Mangrove Veterinary Hospital. She quickly rose through the ranks and is currently the Senior RVT Technical Supervisor and Director of Training.


VET SOS – Veterinary Outreach ServicesSOS_2010

VET SOS is a project of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium’s Street Outreach Services program. They educate homeless people about responsible pet ownership and offer referrals and transportation for free spay/neuter surgery and other free medical services. Since VET SOS began in 2001, they have provided physical examinations, basic medical procedures, vaccinations, and acute medical care to homeless pets through the use of a specially equipped mobile outreach van.  The Project Coordinator is Dr. Ilana Strubel.

The healing bond between humans and animals is powerful. The benefits of animal companionship are intensified for people who are homeless, and companion animals are often their only source of ongoing love and support.

VET SOS serves as a model, offering training opportunities to ensure that future veterinarians, vet techs, and human health care providers have the practical skills to support homeless families. By combining the efforts of animal health care providers and human health care providers, VET SOS builds trust, enabling further outreach and education. Supporting the human-animal bond in homeless families also promotes public health and improves the health of the entire community.   VET SOS is truly an example of the best that can happen when California veterinarians and other community members come together to improve animal and human health.


The CVMA’s California Animal Hall of Fame, created in 1990, celebrates the companion and working animals of California and the veterinarians who care for them. The winning animal is inducted into the Hall of Fame and the care provider receives a plaque.

2010 Inductee: MooreaMorea_2010

Therapy Cat
Owners: Mike and Nancy Denen
San Diego, CA

Veterinary Sponsor: Kim Dembinski, DVM
Carmel Mountain Ranch Veterinary Hospital, San Diego, CA

Nominating Organization: Love On A Leash, San Diego, CA

Moorea was abandoned until her owners, Mike and Nancy Denen gave her a new home. Her special ability to comfort patients became evident when Nancy’s aging father became ill. Moorea went along to the nursing home and her new life as a therapy cat began. Moorea is now a senior member of the Love on a Leash San Diego Chapter. Both Mike and Nancy went through specialized training to become a certified pet therapy team. Along with Moorea, they have visited hundreds of individuals at various nursing facilities, senior centers, and Alzheimer’s facilities. Moorea also visits libraries to read with children.

It is exceptional to see a cat on a leash calmly enter a busy health care center. But Moorea is a calm and even tempered cat who gives tremendous love and comfort to hospice patients. She seems to sense when residents need more time with her and she is reluctant to leave their side. Though not many words are spoken, the connection and touch is so valuable. Moorea illustrates the amazing connection that animals have with people who are nearing the end of their journey.


Mike Dillon- Sacramento, CAMike_Dillon_2010

In 1977 the CVMA hired Mike Dillon, a new legislative advocate. He was hired to “secure passage of legislation favorable to the veterinary profession and oppose legislation that would work against it”. He has done that and more.

The CVMA has sponsored important legislation throughout the years and Mike has represented us well at the Capitol. Here are just a few of his efforts:

  • to create continuing education for veterinarians,
  • to protect your veterinary drugs from being taxed,
  • to upgrade the enforcement provisions of the Veterinary Practice Act
  • to keep veterinary records confidential and
  • to secure state, not local, control over the practice of veterinary medicine

Some of the high-profile measures that Mike worked to defeat on behalf of the CVMA include:

  • a multi-year battle which would have allowed a lay person to clean a dog’s teeth,
  • an intensive lobbying effort which led to the defeat of legislation that would have required the Veterinary Medical Board to recognize graduates from non-accredited foreign veterinary medical schools and allow them to sit for the California licensing examination,
  • defeating bans on the use of antibiotics in food animal production,
  • and of course a successful effort to stop a ban on cat declawing which preserved the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

Through Mike Dillon’s long-standing advocacy efforts, and by establishing lasting personal relationships at the Capitol, the CVMA enjoys a visible presence that has endured for over 30 years.   Everyone at the Capitol knows Mike Dillon and many legislators have told the CVMA staff – “You are so lucky to have Mike in your corner. He’s the best!”


Awards Nomination criteria and timeline


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