AVMA presents 3 honorees with the President’s Awards

The winners have made a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, and the profession

Among his final acts as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Jose Arce, DVM, bestowed 3 individuals with the organization’s President’s Awards. The honorees were announced during the 2022 AVMA Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are as follows:

Phil Hinkle

Phil Hinkle, former executive director of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA), was posthumously chosen by Arce for an AVMA President’s Award in recognition of his leadership, commitment, and advocacy on behalf of the veterinary profession, the FVMA and the AVMA, according to to an association press release1 .

“Phil was a visionary leader, who continues to be admired by many in our profession, including veterinarians, University of Florida faculty and students, industry, and AVMA volunteers and staff,” said Arce, in the release. “He was a tireless supporter of Florida’s veterinary community and his passion served as an inspiration to many past and present veterinary leaders.”

Hinkle served on FVMA for 34 years, including 13 years as executive director, and oversaw a doubling of that organizaiton’s membership. The FVMA shifted its grassroots outreach, under Hinkle, to a veterinary community that serves diverse professionals. He was also an advocate of protecting veterinary professionals at a level and was responsible for many protections given to individuals in this realm in Florida, according to the AVMA.

Hinkle cooperated with the AVMA to support the ties between FVMA members and Florida’s members of surrounding Congress issues. Hinkle stressed the human aspect of veterinary medicine, focusing on connecting with the people who spend their careers caring for others and their pets, according to the release. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 58. His wife, Janet Fricke-Hinkle, accepted the award on his behalf.

Martha Littlefield, DVM, MS

Martha Littlefield, a retired professor from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, received an award from Arce for the guidance, plus high standards she established and inspiration she provided him while he was a student at the school.

“The professionalism, dedication and servant leadership she has provided to veterinary medicine, the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and the state of Louisiana have been an inspiration to many,” shared Arce, in the release.1 “Her mentorship has been instrumental in the development of many veterinarians and leaders of our profession.”

A graduate of Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982, Littlefield has practiced small animal medicine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; worked as Louisiana assistant state veterinarian; and was a clinical associate professor of anatomy at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine until 2019. Currently, she teaches students remotely at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in the Cayman Islands and teaches acupuncture anatomy to fourth-year veterinary students at Louisiana State.

Additionally, Littlefield has served on a multitude of councils and committees of local, state, and national veterinary organizations. In 1986, she initiated the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, which offers disaster training, response, and shelters to state, parish, and local areas.1

James Brett, DVM

James Brett, DVM, associate clinical professor at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, was gifted a AVMA President’s Award from Arce for his dedication to leadership in various volunteer roles, including the AVMA House of Delegates representing Georgia and Mississippi, the AVMA House Advisory Committee, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, and the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association.

“His field, teaching and research experiences have made him a respected expert in food animal medicine and a strong advocate in support of food animal veterinarians, resulting in a stronger and more inclusive AVMA,” said Arce, in the release. “He has influenced many current and future veterinarians, and is the most deserving of this award.”

According to the release,1 Brett spent nearly 25 years in private practice in Montezuma, Georgia, and for more than 20 years was the owner of a rural mixed animal practice, with a main focus on large animal ambulatory service and food animal production medicine. He is a past president of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, served on the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine and was the Georgia alternate delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates. He went back to his alma mater of Mississippi State University to serve as a clinical professor in 2007. Additionally, Brett served as the Mississippi alternate or delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates and was a member of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association’s executive board.


Dr Arce honors 3 with 2022 AVMA President’s Awards. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. July 29, 2022. Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.avma.org/news/press-releases/dr-jose-arce-honors-three-2022-avma-presidents-awards


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