2017 PVMA Award Recipients

2017 PVMA Award Recipients

We are thrilled to celebrate our amazing members and affiliated individuals by recognizing just a few of those who have given to our community and profession in exceptional ways.

Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. Jo-Anne Wisniewski, Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
Nominated by: Dr. Nicole Chamberlin, Bethany Family Pet Clinic

“I first met Jo-Anne 10 years ago, when I was a young veterinarian with two kids under the age of two years.  I submitted my CV and a cover letter for relief work at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin. I was trying to find a way back into the work force and was struggling with the cost of daycare. I had little emergency medicine experience but I told her that I was a hard worker and she gave me a chance. I have continued to work for her, doing relief for 10 years. I have learned so much from her, from emergency veterinary medicine, being a “practical” clinician and about life in general.

Jo-Anne was born in El Paso, TX and spend most of her childhood in the Seattle, Washington area.  She played clarinet and oboe in high school and college and was active in hunter-jumper equestrian competitions. She met her late husband, John, in high school. She did her undergraduate at the University of Washington and graduated from Cornell University for vet school. She worked in mixed animal practice in Illinois and New Mexico before returning back to the Pacific NW, where she became involved in small animal emergency medicine at Dove Lewis.  In 1995, she and Dr. Pam Williams opened the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin. She is now the sole owner of the practice and works with her son Jon Wisniewski, who is also a veterinarian, at the practice. Jo-Anne is active in Oregon swimming and officiates throughout the year.  She enjoys reading and keeping Irish Wolfhounds, who are often blood donors at her practice. “

Veterinary Team Affiliate of the Year

Ginny White-Martin CVT, VCA NW Veterinary Specialists


Outstanding Service Award

Dr. Heidi Houchen, VCA NW Veterinary Specialists
Nominated by: Dr. Steve Kochis, Blue Pearl Veterinary Specialists


“Dr. Houchen has been practicing in the Portland community since 1995. Since graduating from WSU in 1992, Heidi has always had a passion for emergency medicine and more specifically anything related to blood. From 1995 to 2005 Heidi took care of our community of veterinarians, their patients and clients at Dove Lewis.  She worked nights, holidays and weekends so that the rest of us could go home to our families and loved ones. Heidi was also involved in the formation and administration of the Dove Lewis Blood Bank. For most of those years Heidi contributed informative and witty articles monthly to the PVMA Newsletter about toxicology and poisonous plants.

Virginia White-Martin (Ginny) graduated with a BS in Anthropology from Portland State.  She has been a certified veterinary technician since 1988. She started her career at Southeast Portland Animal Hospital in their ER-ICU. She joined the ER-ICU team at NWVS in 1999 when the partners opened the new location here in Clackamas.

In 2005 Dr. Houchen joined Northwest Veterinary Specialists, initially as an ER-ICU veterinarian but her love of the red blood cell got the better of her and she created a community blood bank here at NWVS. It is here that Ginny and Heidi combined their superhero powers to start the new blood bank program in January of 2007.  In its 11 year history, the NWVS Blood Bank has administered over 8600 transfusions to our region’s pets saving countless lives. 480 dogs and 127 cats have been screened to enter the program.  Currently there are 90 canine donors and 20 feline donors (including Ginny and Heidi’s personal pets). Ginny has adopted two type B cats into her home to help with the local supply of this rare blood type. Ginny has attended pet related public events all over the metro area to educate and recruit. Ginny’s particular fondness of Greyhounds and working with the breed’s rescue organization led to the adoption of two Greyhounds, “Jester” and “Roxi” who have both generously given to the program. I know they have personally delivered units of blood to all corners of the metro area. Having conquered NWVS, Dr. Houchen and Ginny have helped several other hospitals in the Pacific Northwest start up their own blood banks.  While I don’t have exact numbers, their hard work and dedication have saved thousands of lives across the region. Heidi also created a pet first aid curriculum for the Oregon Humane Society and a First Aid/CPR curriculum for Oregon and SW Washington First Responders. Heidi and Ginny are frequently out in the community educating pet owners and public servants on how to provide immediate first aid for pets and canine officers in the field.

As blood bank coordinator Ginny is the heart, soul and work engine of the program.  In addition to all the administrative duties, she ensures that all the pets in the program are supplied with year round parasite prevention, she processes all the various blood components and maintains them, and she does all the scheduling and client communication with donors.

In addition to Heidi’s contributions as a veterinarian, blood banker, and educator, Heidi is a mentor for young eager veterinarians trying to make their way in a very demanding and often emotionally draining world of veterinary medicine.  Heidi was intimately involved in creating the first internship at Dove Lewis in 2000 and did the same at NWVS in 2011. Over the years she has personally mentored over 40 interns many of whom are still in the community or have gone on to board certification in a variety of fields. “