C. Thomas Nelson, DVM Power of Pink Honoree Bio
Dr. C. Thomas Nelson has been named a #Germinder20 #PowerofPink Honoree for his dedication to research and education about heartworm disease and his volunteerism in both veterinary medicine and his community. He has designated his Honoree donation to the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (NEABA) Building Fund to restore a building that will bring ecotourism and wellness programming to Anniston, Alabama.
Dr. Nelson is a past president (2004 – 2007) of the American Heartworm Society (AHS). He has been an executive board member since 2001 and is chair of the research committee. Dr. Nelson began practicing in Beaumont, Texas, in 1979 and then expanded his practice to the Animal Medical Center in Anniston, Ala., in July 1999. He is presently the hospital and surgical director of the Animal Medical Center.
He is considered a pioneer for his clinical work in the study of heartworm disease in cats. In 1997-98, after doubting the validity of the incidence of heartworm in cats, he conducted his own study by performing necropsies on 259 cats to determine true incidence. This study reported adult heartworms in 10 percent of the cats examined and exposure to heartworm larvae in 26 percent of the cats. He also determined there was a higher prevalence of heartworm than feline leukemia or AIDS and that there was no correlation between heartworm and AIDS. His work resulted in a paper presented at the 1998 Heartworm Symposium, and published in “Recent Advancement in Heartworm Disease.”
Dr. Nelson has lectured at veterinary conferences and meetings throughout the United States and internationally. He has authored, co-authored and edited a number of important guidelines including the American Heartworm Society’s Guidelines, several peer-reviewed papers and contributed to several textbooks on the subject of heartworm disease. His full C. V. is available upon request.
He has hosted his own radio show and appeared on other local television and radio broadcasts. He is a strong advocate of educating the public about veterinary medicine and was awarded the 2002 Public Relations Award by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association for his work in establishing co-operative marketing television campaigns for local VMAs throughout the state of Texas. He has been quoted in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune, the Desert Sun, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cat Fancy and Animal Sheltering magazine.
He developed the KNOW Heartworms campaign sponsored by Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health), the American Heartworm Society and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) working in concert with then agency Germinder + Associates president Lea-Ann Germinder and the late Jim Richards, DVM, DACVIM representing AAFP. He also worked with Germinder and appeared via satellite media tour with Robert Wirtz, former Robert Wirtz, PhD, retired chief of the Entomology Branch of the Centers for Disease Control to discuss heartworm in dogs on behalf of Ceva Animal Health.
He is a member of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC). While he had his practice in Texas, he chaired several task forces and committees with the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Nelson’s volunteer civic activities include the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (President), Anniston Museum of Natural History (Provide pro bono veterinary services for live animal collection), Rotary Club of Anniston, Southeast Texas Nature & Wildlife Center (President), Rotary Club of Beaumont (Past Board of Directors), Keep Beaumont Beautiful (Past Chair), Beaumont Independent School District (resource volunteer & mentor), Beaumont Chamber of Commerce (Past Director), Boy Scouts of America (Assistant Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Den Leader, Philmont Trek Advisor, Scuba Staff National Jamboree).
Dr. Nelson graduated cum laude from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. He received his bachelor’s of science degree in Zoology also from Texas A&M University.
He and his wife Brooke, a communications expert, a dedicated civic volunteer, an accomplished marathon runner and Ironman finisher, have been married for 36 years and have three grown sons who share their love of the outdoors and an active lifestyle.