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Dr. Doug Myers of Boehringer Ingelheim (left) presents the award to Dr. Michael Jelinski. Photo courtesy of WCABP.

Dr. Michael Jelinski: WCABP Vet of the Year

Dr. Michael Jelinski of Airdrie, Alta. — an alumnus of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) — is the 2013 recipient of the Boehringer Ingelheim WCABP Veterinarian of the Year award.

The award was presented to Jelinski during the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners' 2013 conference that was held in Saskatoon, Sask., earlier this year.

Jelinski was born and raised in Regina, Sask., where he attended the University of Regina for his Bachelor of Science degree. After graduating from the WCVM in 1986, he worked for two years at Valley Veterinary Clinic in Drumheller, Alta., before moving to Crossfield, Alta., and joining Davis-Rairdan and Nagel.

In 1993, Jelinski left Crossfield to follow his dream: starting a beef consulting practice called Veterinary Agri-Health Services (VAHS) that provides high quality animal health services to a limited clientele. Twenty years later, the beef practice has now grown to include Drs. Craig Dorin, Nathan Erickson and Cody Creelman.

Part of Jelinski's award citation included the following paragraphs:

Mike has always looked ahead to see what was required to ensure VAHS and its clients were among the most progressive in the beef industry. He developed his first health software program in 1996. The ability to provide computerized records and data analysis has been the backbone of VAHS from the beginning. Nutrition recommendations, comprehensive health programs, custom trace mineral formulations and ultra sound pregnancy evaluations are examples where Mike has been an "early adopter" of technologies for supporting the animal health needs of his clients.

Mike has numerous strengths as a beef practitioner. His investigative diligence and diagnostic skill ensures any health problems his clients incur will have the best possible outcome. Mike also realizes the value of outside consultants and readily utilizes nutritionists, agrologists, industry technical service support and university faculty both at the WCVM and the University of Calgary's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) as a part of the team that formulates his recommendations.

Mike has always been involved in mentorship. He has encouraged young people in the area who have an interest in agriculture or veterinary medicine. This interest has evolved into formal mentorship relationships with the CCA Cattlemen's Young Leaders program and with students in the University of Calgary's veterinary program. He currently holds a clinical instructor appointment with UCVM's Distributed Learning Community. He also provides advice and support to many of his colleagues.

The Boehringer Ingelheim WCABP Veterinarian of the Year Award has been annually presented to outstanding western Canadian veterinarians since its creation in 1995. Jelinski is the 19th practitioner to receive the honour.
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