2018 PVMA Award Recipients

2018 PVMA Award Recipients

The PVMA is honored to recognize three individuals that have gone above and beyond to give back to the veterinary profession. Thank you so much to Jan Latshaw, Dr. Emilio DeBess, and Cristina Keef for everything you each have done to encourage and support our community!


Veterinary Team Member of the Year

Jan Latshaw, NW Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital

Nominated by: Dr. Scott Shuler

“Jan defines honesty and integrity.  Throughout her 10 years as the practice manager at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital, Jan has ensured that our employees are cared for and appreciated.  She has kept us true to our mission and ensures that everyone (staff, clients and animals) are treated with respect and kindness.

Jan has been supporting and advancing the veterinary community for over 20 years. The compassion and devotion she shows her veterinary team parallels her love of animals, especially her beloved Labradors. She is active in the profession and works closely developing meaningful relationships within the veterinary community from the PVMA, to vendors, to the practice managers group.  Jan truly cares about the veterinary profession and strives to improve herself, our practice and the veterinary profession as a whole.”


Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. Emilio DeBess, Oregon Health Authority

Nominated by: Dr. Sue Morgan

“Dr. DeBess has been such a major contributor to this community and I don’t know where to start when listing his contributions. Whether he is exceeding his role as State Public Health Veterinarian, filling in at Multnomah County Animal Service, or in private practice or on the board at Paw Team, or recommending or providing CE material for us, or at great peril vaccinating horses against rabies; he is always ready to jump into action.

I have two vivid pictures of him. The first was at MCAS. They had just raided a hoarder’s home and the shelter was full of small dogs with long hair, covered in urine and feces. I saw Dr DeBess examining one of these dogs with great difficulty and as he glimpsed me, he looked up with a huge smile.

The second was as I was feeding a parking meter near Bud Clark Commons, where I was going to attend a PAW Team meeting. A “homeless man” began to hassle me for change and as I turned to look at him, I realized it was Dr. DeBess pulling my leg…

I think it is time to really say thank you to Dr DeBess.”


Outstanding Service Award

Cristina Keef, PVMA

Nominated by: PVMA Executive Board

The PVMA Outstanding Service Award is awarded to an individual, organization or company that has promoted the veterinary profession and the welfare of animals within the Portland metro area through education, research, practice and volunteerism.

“We can think of no one more deserving of the PVMA Outstanding Service Award than our very own Cristina Keef.  She has been a champion for the veterinary profession for over 20 years. As the executive director of the PVMA for the last twelve and a half years, she has grown our organization to the powerhouse that it is today, and in doing so, directly impacted so many veterinarians here in the Portland Metro Area. This organization would not be as successful and truly focused on the needs of its members as it is today without her support and passion for growth and improvement.

Cristina has been a champion and driving force for the development of the Power of 10 Program, which is a personal and professional development program for early-career veterinarians designed to foster resiliency, leadership, collegiality, career satisfaction, and longevity in the field.  This program is aiming to help give our next generation of veterinary leaders the tools and the skills they need to succeed in their careers. No one knows better the struggles that veterinarians face on a daily basis and the toll that it can take on our physical and mental health than Cristina. She has managed to take this information and focus her energy on empowering us to focus on self-care through educational experiences that step outside the traditional realm and initiating this P10 program locally.

Cristina is always willing to lend a helping hand to our local non-profits, pet-owners, and member and non-member veterinarians to help them get the answers they are looking for. When Cristina is not helping with the multitude of events put on by the PVMA, or addressing our repeated questions about lost passwords to access the PVMA website, she is spending much of her free time volunteering as a Puppy Starter for the Coffee Creek Puppy Program. In this role, she plays host to Canine Companion for Independence puppies in her own home so they has the chance to gain exposure to normal life activities outside the prison, which is paramount to its training. In this way, she is able to share her love of animals and also help those in our society who truly need them most in life.

Cristina is the spokeswoman and face of our PVMA community at every PVMA event, ASAP meeting, many OVMEB public meetings, countless career fairs and other community outreach events, regardless of day, night, or weekend and she also shines when she represents us on a national level. We can think of no one better suited to do so on our behalf.

Cristina – thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the vets and pets in our community! This award represents only the tip of the iceberg of our deep appreciation of your phenomenal dedication to the PVMA and its members.”