Dr. Francois Elvinger, an associate professor of epidemiology and production management medicine in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, recently received the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s annual Animal Health Award.

Elvinger was honored during the recent joint general session of the United States Animal Health Association and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians in Reno, Nev.

Elvinger was recognized for the contributions he has made to animal health improvement in the United States in the areas of information management, animal disease surveillance, and the appropriate responses to the identification of disease.

In 1995, Elvinger coordinated a workshop entitled “Identification and Consolidation of Existing Data Sources and Standardization of Disease Definitions and Reporting,” which led to the creation of the U.S. National Animal Disease Reporting System.

“NAHRS has become invaluable in APHIS’ ability to accurately report the status of animal health in the United States,” said APHIS Administrator Cindy Smith during the presentation ceremony. Elvinger has co-chaired the NAHRS steering committee since 1998.

He also serves as co-chair of the AAVLD Epidemiology Committee and the joint USAHA-AAVLD Committee on Animal Health Information Systems. Elvinger also has chaired the National Animal Health Surveillance Steering Committee since its inception in 2004. This committee represents stakeholders and includes representatives from livestock and poultry industries, state animal agencies, diagnostic laboratory organizations, academic institutions, private practitioner organizations, and relevant federal agencies. The steering committee is responsible for guiding APHIS’ National Surveillance Unit in the design, planning and implementation of efficient and accurate surveillance for relevant animal diseases.

“It is in this capacity that Dr. Elvinger’s leadership, vision, and passion for making things right has most benefited U.S. animal health in the twenty-first century,” said Smith.

Elvinger earned his D.V.M. degree from the Hannover Veterinary School in Germany and his Ph.D. in dairy science from the University of Florida. Prior to joining the faculty of the VMRCVM in 1997, he was in private practice in Germany and Luxembourg, was a graduate research assistant at the University of Florida and was an associate professor in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine at the Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory in Tifton, Ga. He is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine and the European College of Veterinary Public Health.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.


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