Local veterinarian, Dr. Henry Ceelen, recently joined a very elite group of veterinarians when he received the 2018 Bovine Practitioner of the Year award! This award was presented at the annual American Association of Bovine Practitioners conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Ceelen is one of only six Canadians to have received this prestigious award that has been presented annually since 1978.
Recipients are selected by a committee that reviews nomination packages consisting of letters from veterinary colleagues and clients, each explaining why that person is worthy of such an honour. This award is presented to bovine veterinarians that have made significant impacts on the lives of his/her bovine clients and colleagues, the dairy or beef industry, as well as the bovine veterinary community. In short, it is awarded to a person that is highly respected by their peers and clients, and there is no more prestigious and honourable award for a North American bovine veterinarian to receive.
Dr. Ceelen was born and raised on a dairy farm near Hallville. During his formative years, he was an avid 4-H member and participated in multiple 4-H clubs each year. He graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in 1981 and joined the mixed animal practice of Dr. John Henry in Kemptville. He was one of the first graduates of the Dairy Health Management Certificate Program hosted by OVC. This program revolutionized dairy veterinary practice by emphasizing preventative animal care and production medicine in contrast to a sick animal and emergency care model. In 1985, Dr. Ceelen assumed ownership of the practice and, in 2009, amalgamated the large animal portion of the practice with that of Prescott Animal Hospital to form Rideau-St. Lawrence Veterinary Services.
Dr. Ceelen is the Past President of the Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners (OABP), a Past President of the Central Canada Veterinary Association and a Past President of the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians (CABV). He has served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. He is currently the Secretary-Treasurer of the CABV, he sits on the Executive of the OABP and he is the incoming Chair of the National Issues Committee of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. He is also still actively involved in veterinary practice at the Rideau-St. Lawrence Veterinary Services and provides invaluable mentorship to veterinary students, new graduates and veterinary staff.