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Dr. Sue Stover Receives Prestigious ACVS Founders’ Award

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Sue Stover (right) receives congratulations from her nominator, Sheila Laverty, at the awards ceremony on October 16 at ACVS Surgical Summit in San Diego.

November 2014

Professor Sue Stover recently received the 2014 Founders' Award for Career Achievement from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in recognition of an outstanding career in orthopedic research spanning equine and small animal surgical research, basic bone biology, musculoskeletal diseases, and human orthopedics. Stover is an international authority on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and biomechanics of equine musculoskeletal injuries and prevention of catastrophic injuries in racehorses.

The first woman selected for this award, Stover serves as director of the JD Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory at UC Davis. She is a graduate of Washington State University (WSU) and completed an equine surgery residency and a PhD in comparative pathology at UC Davis.

Stover has been recognized with the Bayer Excellence in Equine Research Award, Outstanding Women in Racing Award, Pfizer Excellence in Veterinary  Research Award, Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, Louisiana State University (LSU)  Chancellor's Distinguished  Lectureship, and Distinguished  Alumni Awards from WSU and UC Davis.

She has provided clinical training to 26 ACVS residents and has been a research advisor for 37 ACVS residents and an orthopedic research supervisor of 79 graduate academic and 36 DVM students. Of her trainees, 29 hold faculty positions: three in small animal orthopedic  surgery, 18 in equine surgery, four in orthopedic research, two in diagnostic pathology, and two in diagnostic imaging.

Author of more than 193 scientific reports in internationally recognized veterinary and high-impact human orthopedic journals, Stover has given more than 202 scientific presentations. Translation of her work to the end user has been her trademark, with delivery of many tutorials to horse owners and trainers.

"I believe Dr. Sue Stover's contributions to the advancement of equine musculoskeletal health and injury prevention can only be described as monumental," her colleagues noted.“This level of advanced training to veterinarians and ACVS residents is unparalleled."

Serendipitously, Stover’s WSU mentor, emeritus professor Barrie Grant (UC Davis surgical residency 1967-68), received the ACVS Legends award for his work on ‘wobbler’ surgery in horses. Stover did her first research project with him on carpal chip pathophysiology in horses and he was responsible for convincing her to apply for a surgical internship at UC Davis. The Legends Award recognizes an ACVS Diplomate who has developed a surgical or diagnostic procedure of significant value proven by becoming the treatment or test of choice for a given condition - the procedure or test has to “withstand the test of time” and, although possibly modified over time, remains the treatment or diagnostic method of choice or the scientific basis for the current treatment of choice.

The ACVS Founders' Award for Career Achievement was established to recognize the service of ACVS Diplomates who have distinguished themselves in the pursuit of surgery by making significant contributions to the development of surgical techniques and methodology, and disseminating  knowledge to colleagues, residents, and students.Much of this article was adapted from the ACVS Awards Program.