The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) named Dr. Judith Batker the 2018 WVMA Veterinarian of the Year during it’s 103rd annual convention in October.
A 1995 graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Batker co-founded Country View Veterinary Service, located in Oregon, Wis., with Drs. Larry Mahr and Rene Reynolds in 1999. In 2017, she left that practice and co-founded Country View Equine Clinic, also located in Oregon, Wis., with Drs. Laura Anderson and Stephanie Miesen.
“Judy’s skills in managing the personnel and day-to-day operations of our practice were a reflection of her calm, steady, caring personality, yet she was always attentive to order and detail,” said Dr. Mahr. “Her success in organizing and providing staff training were very beneficial to the practice as well as to the individual development of our clinic staff.”
Dr. Batker is a mentor to many, serving as a clinical instructor for students who are part of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine Ambulatory Rotation, hosting students from around the U.S. and abroad for externships, organizing and presenting wet labs for regional equine veterinarians and farriers, and giving her time and skills to 4-H and FFA youth training. She is a past WVMA Executive Board and Executive Committee member and is currently serving on the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Foundation’s inaugural board.
Dr. Batker is also very involved in Equitarian Initiative, serving as an active member and past board member. The nonprofit corporation works both internationally and in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation to provide veterinary care for working horses, donkeys and mules and to teach local owners and handlers how to provide better health care. Dr. Batker has worked in the Pine Ridge Reservation for eight years and in Haiti for five years.
“Dr. Judy Batker is very deserving of Wisconsin Veterinarian of the Year,” said 2017-2018 WVMA President Dr. Robert Leder. “Besides being a well-respected mentor to many students here, Judy’s impact extends beyond Wisconsin. Her volunteer services to Native Americans in South Dakota and her ongoing outreach to Haiti have improved the lives of both people and their work animals. The world is a better place because of Dr. Judy Batker.”
The Fox Valley Animal Referral Center was awarded the Corporate Partnership Award. This award is given to a business that has demonstrated outstanding support for veterinary medicine and organized veterinary medicine.
“The Fox Valley Referral Center has been a stalwart supporter of organized veterinary medicine in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Leder. “Besides offering their facilities for meetings and events, they have shared their staff’s expertise for continuing educations programs and important legislative efforts at the capitol. We are grateful for all they do for organized veterinary medicine in Wisconsin.”
Dr. Katrina Geitner is the recipient of the 2018 WVMA Presidential Award. Outgoing WVMA President Dr. Robert Leder presented Dr. Geitner with the award, which is given to an individual or company who the president feels has gone above and beyond to help him and the WVMA.
“This past year the WVMA implemented the committee structural changes of 2107, which included the condensing of several administrative committees into an expanded executive committee. Dr. Katrina Geitner served as the chair of this newly structured committee and deftly guided it through multiple tasks this past year,” Dr. Leder said. “Her time, efforts, and insights are greatly appreciated.”