October 17, 2017

2017 Champions of the Cause Winners Announced

Award recognizes veterinary technicians and assistants demonstrating excellence in equine health care.

DULUTH, Ga. (Oct. 17, 2017) — Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and EquiManagement magazine are pleased to announce this year’s Champions of the Cause Award winners, Darla Garon and Hannah Schlanger.

Garon is an associate clinical specialist, Level 3, with the Louisiana State University (LSU) Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She was nominated by Rebecca McConnico, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, now a professor and veterinarian at Louisiana Tech University. Schlanger is a lead veterinary technician/assistant with the Colorado Equine Clinic in Littleton, Colorado, and was nominated by Emma Kate Baer, DVM, cVMA.

“We are pleased to honor Darla and Hannah as Champions of the Cause,” says John Tuttle, DVM, director of Equine Professional Services for BI. “They both clearly have a love for the equine industry and a passion for patient care. And, they both show exceptional leadership in their respective clinics.”

About the Winners
Darla Garon
Garon has worked for the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for six years. She is currently an equine medicine and ambulatory technician, and coordinator of the Equine Critical Care Team, which trains 20–30 student workers each year to help with critical patients during foaling season. 

When asked what motivates her, she explains, “Every day at LSU presents an opportunity to expand my own knowledge and experience; create, build and nurture relationships with coworkers, patients and clients; and share my passion for horses.” 

Her nominator, Dr. Rebecca McConnico, says she recommended Garon for this award because “Darla is superior in her dedication to patient care. She is proactive in preparing for patient procedures, communicating patient status, and assisting with all aspects of nursing care.” She continues, “Darla’s commitment to patient care should be credited for a large part of the exceptional success of our equine neonatal case outcomes over the past several years, due not only to her compassionate and diligent patient care, but also her mentorship of other technical team members.”

Hannah Schlanger
Schlanger has worked for Colorado Equine Clinic for three years, and is currently the lead veterinary technician/assistant. “One of the things I love most about my job are the interactions with the horse owners, and building those client relationships,” she says.

Her nominator from the clinic, Dr. Baer, says “Schlanger takes initiative to discuss preventive care and answer questions. Clients are always comfortable handing their horses to Hannah, knowing she will treat their horse as her own. She demonstrates skill in anticipating patient needs and potential complications.” 

Besides interacting with clients, Schlanger’s additional responsibilities include human resources and staff training, managing the in-house laboratory, and coordinating the veterinary technician internships and veterinary student externships. Dr. Baer adds, “Hannah is dedicated to improving the equine health industry in all that she does. Since she took over the internship/externship program, it has grown from just a few students per year to a fully booked summer. These are just a few of the many ways Hannah continually demonstrates her passion for equine health.”

Launched in 2015, the Champions of the Cause Award program was created by BI, in partnership with EquiManagement and the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and Assistants (AAEVT). The annual award spotlights the essential work that equine veterinary technicians and assistants devote to their clinics. The contributions from individuals in these roles are crucial to the equine health community. 

The winners receive an all-expenses- paid trip to the 2017 AAEVT Annual Conference during the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention in San Antonio, Texas.