Wellness Crusader to Receive 2019 WSAVA, Hill’s ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award

26 April 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. (26 April 2019) – Dr. Cynthia (Cyndie) Courtney , a US veterinarian, wellness campaigner, entrepreneur and educator, is to receive the 2019 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), Hill’s Pet Nutrition Next Generation Veterinary Award.  The award acknowledges the work of a veterinarian who graduated within the past ten years and who has contributed significantly to the betterment of companion animals, the veterinary profession and society at large.

“In eight short years since her qualification, Dr. Courtney has used her clinical expertise, communication skills and passion for veterinary wellness to make an outstanding contribution towards improving veterinary wellbeing and, in so doing, enhancing animal health and welfare,” said Dr. Iveta Becvarova, ‎Director of Global Academic and Professional Affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.  “From her involvement in the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) while still a student and her subsequent selection for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA’s) Future Leaders program in 2015-2016, through to the range of clinical and educational roles she now holds, her passion to serve and advance the profession is clear. We are delighted to recognize her work and congratulate her on receiving this prestigious Award.”

Dr. Courtney graduated from the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011.  She is currently Associate Veterinarian at Grandview Animal Hospital, Missouri, which offers compassionate animal health and client care to a socio-economically diverse community.  She is also a field veterinarian for Nationwide Pet Insurance, a role which involves educating veterinary students about pet insurance.

In addition to her clinical work, she is the founder of two veterinary social media businesses, focusing on personal wellness, the wellness of animal healthcare teams and veterinary business skills.  Through one of these –  www.vetchangesworld.com – she has launched a range of welfare-focused volunteer initiatives, including a project to teach pet sitters occupational safety and another to raise awareness of leash laws.  She also helped to facilitate the creation of a local World Vets textbook drive for developing nations and is active in the empowerment of veterinary women through collaboration with the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Initiative (WVLDI) and the Snout Squad.  Dr. Courtney is an Alumni Supporter of the VBMA and a student mentor.  She speaks regularly on topics focused around wellbeing, team management and motivation and veterinary leadership.

Dr. Geeta Saini, Chair of the WSAVA’s Leadership and Nomination Committee, said: “We are all only too familiar with the challenges faced by members of the veterinary profession globally in terms of their personal wellbeing.  Through her work as a veterinarian and through her educational social platforms, lectures and podcasts, Dr. Courtney is able to highlight the problems, share her perspectives and offer solutions and approaches to help colleagues navigate the difficulties they may face.  She is a natural and insightful communicator, a passionate advocate of our profession and a worthy recipient of this Award.”

As the winner of the 2019 ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award, Dr. Courtney will receive an engraved plaque and a WSAVA certificate.  She said: “I’m grateful to WSAVA, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and to the family, friends, mentors, and colleagues whose example, advice, and encouragement have empowered me to do this work. They showed me just how contagious positivity can be and I look forward to a lifetime of paying forward that gift.”

Candidates for the WSAVA, Hill’s Next Generation Award can come from any country and must meet the following criteria:


  • Graduated within the past 10 years
  • Active in continuing education
  • Have a strong record in community service
  • Working to bridge the gap between their generation and others

The WSAVA works to enhance the clinical care and welfare of companion animals globally, representing more than 200,000 veterinarians around the world through its 110 member associations. Its core activities include the creation of Global Guidelines which set standards for veterinary care in key areas of practice, including nutrition, pain management and welfare. Hill’s is the WSAVA’s most long-standing industry partner.

For more information about the 2020 Next Generation Award, click here.


About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, Hills’ mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. The right nutrition combined with the devotion of veterinary professionals can transform the lives of pets; and healthier and happier pets can transform the lives of pet parents. Hill’s is dedicated to pioneering research and ground-breaking nutrition for dogs and cats based on a scientific understanding of their specific needs. HILL’S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods, HILL’S® Science Diet® and HILL’S® Ideal Balance™ wellness pet foods are sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers worldwide.

For more information about Hill’s, our products and our nutritional philosophy, visit us at HillsPet.com, HillsVet.com or Facebook, keywords “Hill’s Pet Nutrition.”