TOPEKA, Kan. | January 18, 2004
Because of his unrivaled and exemplary lifetime of service, Dr. Jack Mara has been chosen as recipient of the 2004 Mark L. Morris, Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Extraordinary, visionary, a tireless advocate for the proper nutrition of pets, and one of the veterinary profession’s greatest ambassadors are just a few phrases to describe the much beloved small-animal nutritionist. An icon in the veterinary community and cherished friend to many, the late Dr. Mara devoted his 50-year career to educating the pet-owning public and his practitioner colleagues about the critical role proper nutrition plays in maintaining a pet’s health.
The Mark L. Morris, Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted in 1995 and is presented annually at the North American Veterinary Conference to the veterinarian who has made significant contributions to the health and well-being of companion animals through a lifetime of service. Past recipients have included veterinarians from every aspect of veterinary medicine including world-renowned researchers, academic clinicians and small animal practitioners.
Dr. Guy Pidgeon, President and CEO of the Animal Medical Center in New York City, accepted the award on behalf of the Mara family at the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 North American Veterinary Conference.
“I had the pleasure of knowing Jack as a friend and professional colleague for more than 20 years…I feel certain that the body of work accomplished in his career stands with the past recipients of this prestigious award,” said Pidgeon.
With nominations submitted by dozens of colleagues, Dr. Mara’s life work was described by a veritable “who’s who” in the veterinary profession: twelve deans; six of the eight living previous Mark L. Morris, Sr. Lifetime Achievement award winners; fourteen associate deans or department chairs; past presidents of every major veterinary organization: the executives of the North American Veterinary Conference, Western Veterinary Conference, the Animal Medical Center, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and numerous private practitioners from across the country.
At the time of his death in March 2003, Dr. Mara was one of the most recognized names in veterinary medicine. Dr. Mara graduated from Cornell in 1951, and owned a companion animal practice in Huntington, New York for 28 years. After joining Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. in 1979, he spent the rest of his life improving the health of companion pets through proper nutrition.
Initially, Dr. Mara’s efforts were focused on pet owners. He was a frequent and eagerly sought guest for radio, TV, and other public media where he captivated audiences with his charming stories and clear advice about pet health and well-being.
Soon, however, Dr. Mara recognized that the key to improving the lives of companion pets lay with their veterinary caregivers. He embarked on a 20-year journey to educate an entire profession on the concept that good nutrition, both for well and sick pets, plays a vital role in improving health and increasing longevity. As Dr. Mara saw it, “I am grateful that Hill’s gave me the freedom to develop programs to serve the veterinary profession and to aid veterinarians in providing the best medical care for their patients.”
In recognition of his lifetime of service, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is making a $20,000 donation to the Morris Animal Foundation in Dr. Mara’s name. The Morris Animal Foundation, founded in 1948, improves the health and well-being of companion animals and wildlife by funding humane health studies and disseminating information about these studies.
For almost six decades Hill’s has provided the most technologically advanced therapeutic and wellness foods to veterinary professionals. Hill’s Prescription Diet® brand offers a complete line of therapeutic pet food to nutritionally manage more than 50 disease conditions. Science Diet® products are specially formulated to provide superior nutrition for a wide range of lifestage and special wellness needs. To learn more about Hill’s products and our commitment to companion animal health and to the veterinary profession, please contact us at 800-548-8387. You can also visit us online 24 hours a day at www.hillspet.com.