Woodsworth is a wellness veterinarian, PhD candidate and program lead for the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Northern Engagement and Community Outreach Program (NECO). She is a 2008 WCVM graduate and joined the college’s staff in 2012 to create clinical and teaching programs in wellness and remote service learning as well as NECO.
Sponsored by Merck Animal Health, the CVMA Human Award is annually presented to a veterinarian whose work significantly contributes to the welfare and well-being of animals.
“Because of Dr. Woodsworth, thousands of animals in remote areas of Saskatchewan with no access to veterinary services have received care. She not only runs a program which transports up to 100 staff, students and volunteers to a remote community, houses them and creates a mobile clinic out of a hockey rink, but she ... sees patients, meets with Elders, visits schools and liaises with local media while there,” exclaims Dr. Dayle Borchardt, regional director of Community Veterinary Outreach in Saskatoon.
“Regardless of the obstacles, challenges or barriers that present, she always focuses on what can be done to ensure animals get what they need.”
Woodsworth’s work in northern Saskatchewan is an area of true passion, and she strives to use her role as a veterinary educator to provide opportunities for veterinary learners and practitioners to develop and practice culturally safe approaches to veterinary care.
“Dr. Woodsworth’s dedication to providing and advocating for veterinary care in remote communities is vital to advancing animal health, animal welfare, public health and equity in Saskatchewan. The model she has developed for building relationships with Indigenous communities and Métis regions in a non-biased, unprejudiced, and collaborative manner should be the gold-standard in Canada,” says Dr. Erica Sims, animal health veterinarian with the Livestock Branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.
“Dr. Woodsworth has also turned this passion for improving access to veterinary services, anti-racism and community-driven modelling into a PhD research project which she successfully defended in April 2023. On top of leading the WCVM service learning group and completion of her graduate studies, Dr. Woodsworth continued to work as a small animal associate at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre, further demonstrating her dedication to animal welfare and well-being.”
Woodsworth has been part of the Canadian Collective for Equity in Veterinary Medicine for the past year, and she serves as chair of the WCVM Committee on Indigenous Engagement. She volunteers her time as part of the Northern Dogs Working Group established by the Saskatchewan SPCA, and she's a member of the Companion Animal subgroup of the provincial Animal Welfare Engagement Committee, facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture's Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer.
Woodsworth’s professional interests include community engagement and social accountability through an anti-racist, anti-oppressive lens; clinical communications; interprofessional work in One Welfare; and culturally safe approaches to fostering and sustaining human-animal bonds.
“Dr. Woodsworth is a leader in our community, advancing veterinary medicine, improving animal health and welfare by improving access and advocating for under-represented populations of animals and people," says Sims.
"There is no one more deserving to receive this esteemed award."