In one of his final acts as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Dr. Jose Arce presented three AVMA President’s Awards to those who have made a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations and the profession.
This year’s recipients are Phil Hinkle, Dr. Martha Littlefield and Dr. James Brett.
Dr. Arce selected Phil Hinkle, former executive director of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) for an AVMA President’s Award for his leadership, dedication and advocacy on behalf of the veterinary profession, the FVMA and the AVMA.
“Phil was a visionary leader, who continues to be admired by many in our profession, including veterinarians, University of Florida faculty and students, industry, and AVMA volunteers and staff,” said Dr. Arce. “He was a tireless supporter of Florida’s veterinary community and his passion served as an inspiration to many past and present veterinary leaders.”
Hinkle served the FVMA for 34 years, including 13 years as executive director, where he oversaw a doubling of FVMA membership. Under Hinkle, the FVMA repositioned its grassroots outreach to a veterinary community that serves diverse professionals, many with international backgrounds. A proponent of protecting veterinary professionals at the legislative level, Hinkle was responsible for many protections granted to those across the veterinary field in Florida. He partnered with the AVMA to strengthen the connections between FVMA members and Florida’s members of Congress regarding legislative issues. Hinkle placed emphasis on the human element of veterinary medicine, making it a priority to connect with the people who spend their careers caring for other people and their animals. He died in 2020 at the age of 58. His wife, Janet Fricke-Hinkle, accepted the award on his behalf.
Dr. Martha Littlefield
Dr. Arce presented a 2022 AVMA President’s Award to Dr. Martha Littlefield, now-retired professor at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, for the guidance, the high standards she set and the encouragement she offered him while he was a student at the school.
“The professionalism, dedication and servant leadership she has provided to veterinary medicine, the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and the state of Louisiana have been an inspiration to many,” said Dr. Arce. “Her mentorship has been instrumental in the development of many veterinarians and leaders of our profession.”
Dr. Littlefield (Louisiana State ’82) has practiced small animal medicine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; served as Louisiana assistant state veterinarian; and taught at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, from which she retired in 2019 as a clinical associate professor of anatomy. She teaches students remotely at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in the Cayman Islands and continues to teach acupuncture anatomy to fourth-year veterinary students at Louisiana State. In addition, Dr. Littlefield has served on numerous councils and committees of local, state, and national veterinary organizations. In 1986, she established the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, which provides disaster training, response, and shelters to state, parish and local areas.
Dr. James Brett
“His field, teaching and research experiences have made him a respected expert in food animal medicine and a strong advocate in support of food animal veterinarians, resulting in a stronger and more inclusive AVMA,” said Dr. Arce. “He has influenced many current and future veterinarians, and is most deserving of this award.”
Dr. Brett spent nearly 25 years in private practice in Montezuma, Georgia, and for over 20 years was the owner of a rural mixed animal practice, with a primary focus on large animal ambulatory service and food animal production medicine. He is a past president of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, served on the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine and was the Georgia alternate delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates. In 2007, he returned to his alma mater of Mississippi State University to serve as a clinical professor. Dr. Brett served as the Mississippi alternate or delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates and was a member of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association’s executive board.
Source: AVMA press release