(Hillsborough, NJ, Aug. 1, 2011) Winn Feline Foundation and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) join together annually to present two awards designed to promote and encourage feline health studies by both established veterinary research scientists and by those entering this field of study. The “Winnie” and $2500 cash are awarded to a distinguished researcher in feline medicine selected by the AVMF, and a matching cash award from the AVMF is selected by Winn from a large group of student applicants.
The scholarship award this year goes to a newly minted DVM from the Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, Jessica Balter. Dr. Balter was president of the student chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and coordinated numerous events to educate veterinary students and the community on important aspects of feline medicine. She has been active in trap-neuter-return programs and feral colony care, demonstrating a devotion to the needs of felines in the shelter setting and rescue operations. Her interest in cats dates back to her high school days, when she fostered kittens and worked for her local shelter. Dr. Balter says, “I hope to build a strong foundation of medical knowledge which I can use to guide me through the unique aspects of shelter medicine while simultaneously advancing the treatment of shelter animals….” Having lived with many rescued felines, Dr. Balter has gained a deep appreciation of the behavioral needs of cats and a keen appreciation of the need for specialists dedicated to feline medicine. Dr. Balter will be completing a year-long, small animal rotating internship at Brightheart Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center, a specialty hospital on Long Island, NY.