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EveryCat Health Foundation and the AAFP Announce 2022 Scholarship Recipients for Exceptional Effort and Dedication in Elevating Feline Care

[Wyckoff, NJ; Bridgewater, NJ; May 24, 2022] The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and EveryCat Health Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 joint scholarships for a feline clinical practice and feline clinical research scientist. Amanda Diaz, a third-year veterinary student at Colorado State University, receives the 2022 clinical research scientist scholarship, and Alison Legett, a doctoral candidate at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, receives the 2022 feline clinical practice award. Selections were made based on academic achievement, financial need, leadership, and a dedication to feline veterinary medicine.

“We are proud to support these exceptional students on their journey to elevate feline medicine and wellbeing,” said Heather O’Steen, CEO of the AAFP. “These scholarships will help Amanda and Alison further their education and fulfill their passion for treating feline patients.”

A third-year veterinary student at Colorado State University, Amanda Diaz is passionate about performing research to advance feline medicine. In her scholarship application, Amanda comments, “My dream is to have a positive impact on how we treat our feline patients, with a special interest in treating and managing cats with chronic kidney disease.” She has been involved in five different research projects aimed at diagnostics, medication effects and dosages, and improving the supportive treatment of cats with chronic kidney disease. “My ultimate career goal is to become a boarded small animal internal medicine specialist and ultimately obtain a staff or assistant professor position at CSU,” adds Amanda.

Alison Legett is a doctoral candidate at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. A fierce advocate for the health and wellbeing of her feline patients, Alison volunteers at a local feline rescue and makes crochet blankets by hand for the cats at another shelter. With an expected graduation date in May 2022, Alison has accepted a full-time position at a feline veterinary clinic starting in July. “There is a large emphasis on client education, which is something I am passionate about,” comments Alison on her new position. “In addition to working at the feline clinic, I plan to get involved with local rescues/shelters and build a working relationship with them.”

“Amanda and Alison represent the best qualities we were looking for amongst the candidate pool,” said Jackie Ott Jaakola, Executive Director of EveryCat Health Foundation. “The passion for feline healthcare they share is inspirational.”

To find more information about educational opportunities, resources available to students, and various feline-specific toolkits, please visit the AAFP and EveryCat Health Foundation websites.


Jackie Ott Jaakola
Executive Director
EveryCat Health Foundation
201-275-0624 ext. 704

Jeff Pane
Marketing Communications Manager
American Association of Feline Practitioners

About EveryCat Health Foundation
EveryCat Health Foundation is the world’s only nonprofit focused solely on funding feline health studies. Nearly 200 million cats bring joy to their companions across the world. Though cat ownership keeps growing, feline health research remains underfunded compared to many other animals. Since 1968, EveryCat Health Foundation has awarded more than $8 million in grants for groundbreaking cat health research at more than 30 partner institutions worldwide. This funding is made possible through the support of dedicated donors and partners. Research supported by EveryCat Health Foundation helps veterinarians by providing educational resources that improve the treatment of common feline health problems and prevent many diseases. Grants are reviewed and awarded with the help of the foundation’s expert Scientific Review Committee.

About the American Association of Feline Practitioners
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) supports its members and improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education, and evidence-based medicine (catvets.com). As a trusted leader in the veterinary community, the AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record for facilitating high standards, including guidelines for practice excellence and educational resources. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinary professionals to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. Launched in 2012, the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) Program (catvets.com/cfp) was created to improve the treatment, handling, and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices, teams, and individuals with the tools and resources to reduce the stress associated with the visit and elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Launched in 2020, the Cat Friendly Certificate Program (catvets.com/certificate) now provides this education to individual veterinary professionals. Catfriendly.com, or Cat Friendly Homes, is the AAFP’s cat caregiver educational resource which is powered by feline veterinarians and includes a monthly newsletter, The Cat Column.