VETERINARY professionals who have gone above and beyond the call to help animals and their owners have been recognised at a special awards ceremony.
Organised by Susie Hill, Business Development Manager at Agria Pet Insurance, with support from BVNA Regional Representative Louise Taylor and the Association of Practitioners in Northern Ireland (AVSPNI), the much-anticipated aw-ards continue to grow year-on-year.
Nominated by their peers, owners, and others their work touches, the awards recognise the veterinary professionals that make a significant and positive impact on the lives of animals and their owners.
The virtual judging team from
Agria, BVNA, and AVSPNI, com-mented on the exceptionally high quality of the nominations representing practices all over Northern Ireland, from Maghera to Royal Hillsborough.
The awards were kindly presented by Shane Murray, MRCVS, who is also President of AVSPNI.
NI Veterinary Nurse of the Year
Finalists – Asli Yavaz, Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic; Caroline Crossin, Cedarmount Veterinary Clinic; Kai Keenan, Coleraine Veterinary Clinic.
Winner – Asli Yavaz, Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic, Belfast
“Asli has shown us how important our mental health is. She has developed a series of regular one-to-one sessions with all our nursing team, checking to see each individual is managing and what support is required in a very caring and confidential manner.
“It is this and her expertise that makes us want to nominate Asli for this award.
“The community around Cedar Grove is a better place for having Asli” – Comment from nomination.
Special award – Olga Keenan, Cedar Grove, and Lynne Montgomery, Firmount.
“Both of these ladies are worthy winners who are held in the highest regard by their peers and their nominations demonstrating a true passion for Veterinary Nursing” – Judges comment.
NI Student Nurse of the Year
Finalists – Christine O’Neill, V4P, Boucher Road; Rebekah Hemsworth, Glenburn Veterinary Surgeons; Lyn Thompson, Millburn Veterinary Cl-inic
Winner – Rebekah Hemsworth, Glen-burn Veterinary Clinic, Glengormley
“Nothing’s ever too much, fantastic attitude and loves her job.” – Comment from nomination.
NI Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year
Finalists – Helen Turtle, Cromlyn House Veterinary Hospital; Lauren Blake, Cromlyn House Veterinary Hospital; Jazmine Davidson, Rath-gael Veterinary Clinic
Winner – Jazmine Davidson, Rath-gael Veterinary Clinic, Bangor.
“Jazmine is more than an ANA in the practice. She is a friend to all clients and adores all animals. She is passionate about providing exemplary care and wants nothing more than to study to become a veterinary nurse.
“Nothing would give me more pleasure than being able to nominate Jazmine as Student Veterinary Nurse of the Year next year!” – Comment from nomination.
NI Veterinary Receptionist of the Year
Finalists – Bridget Murphy, Castle Vets, Castlewellan; Pauline Heg-garty, Glenshane; Suzi Mercer, Cedarmount.
Winner – Bridget Murphy, Castle Vets, Castlewellan
“When Bridget is on call, the comments from farmers that have phoned out of hours is always that they receive the same helpful service. When farmers are under pressure and ring us, hearing a pleasant and helpful person at the other end of the phone is always welcome, especially as they will be facing a stressful enough situation to call for assistance” – Comment from nomination.
NI Re-homing and Charity Champion of the Year
Special Award – Lauren Newell, Wil-lows
“Lauren is only 16-years-old and works for us at the clinic. From the day she started working at the clinic she has been a little ray of sunshine. She would bend over backwards to help you out. With rescues she is just amazing.
“She took on a dog which also had six pups; mummy had a broken leg, which she nursed back to health, and she also got all the pups great homes. She takes on all strays from cats to birds – she’s just amazing and so caring and is working hard to hopefully to become a vet someday” – Comment from nomination.
New award for 2021
Clinical Coach of the Year
Finalists – Anna Kenny, Ashwood; Rebecca McKee, Ashwood; Lynne Montgomery, Firmount.
Winner – Rebecca McKee, Ashwood.
“Rebecca is a battle-hardened clinical coach, who, so far, has coached three nurses to registration and currently has another well on her way, all while raising three young children and running the practice as co-owner with her husband.
“Not only that, but she is supporting and advising our new clinical coach with her first student. Rebecca is approachable, practical, pragmatic, and endlessly patient. Without her,
our registered nursing team would not exist” – Comment from nomination.
Susie Hill, Business Development Manager at Agria Pet Insurance, said: “Veterinary practice has been busier than ever with the increase in pets and the Covid precautions that make the working day ever more complex and demanding for the team.
“The heart-warming attitudes of our nominees were incredible to read, and it is great to be able to recognise such talent.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate an individual.
“We know how much this means to them and would like to congratulate every one of our nominees and winners – you are inspirational. We can’t wait for next year!”