Vet Tech Conference Draws Experts to Becker

Published on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Becker College will soon host 20 notable experts in a number of veterinary fields to its first annual Continuing Education Conference for Veterinary Technicians, presented Sunday, March 6, in partnership with the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association (MVTA).

“Veterinary technicians are lifelong learners; we must continually update our skills and learn new technologies,” said Melissa Supernor, CVT, AS, BS, VTS (SAIM), president of the MVTA and a clinical instructor at Becker. “The MVTA and Becker College joined forces to bring in well-respected professionals in our community and from across the country.”
“As one of the few undergraduate programs in Massachusetts, hosting such a conference at Becker is long overdue,” said James Q. Knight, DVM, director of animal sciences at Becker and a past president of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA). “In addition to clinical practices, our vet tech graduates go on to work in animal management, at zoos and teach at veterinary schools.”

The conference tracks mirror the diverse range of skills technicians need to keep current in their field: clinical pathology, nutrition, surgery, practice management, internal medicine and laboratory animal care.

Among the long list of veterinarians and vet techs presenting lectures and labs at the conference are Mary Labato, DVM and Heather Prendergast, RVT, CVPM, as well as Gail Hartman, DVM, former director of the Lenfest Animal Health Center at Becker College and a past MVMA president and Jane CL Kelly, AS, CVT, a clinical instructor in pathology at Becker.

Dr. Mary Labato is a veterinary internist at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Science and will lecture on kidney injuries. Over 23 years, she has helped bring a range of technologies to New England to advance the veterinary field. She specializes in all areas of internal medicine, with a primary interest in disorders of the kidneys and bladder, on which she has co-authored numerous publications. Dr. Labato is president of the MVMA and a graduate of Tufts’ first veterinary class in 1983.

Heather Prendergast is author of Front Office Management for the Veterinary Team, a practice management resource guide. She will present two lectures, on client-tech communication and on leadership. Prendergast teaches online courses for St. Petersburg College and is a nutritional consultant for Nestle Purina.

Supernor recognized the conference’s corporate partners, “We were also fortunate to have supportive sponsors on board, including Royal Canin, Novartis Animal Health, VPI Pet Insurance, InTown Veterinary Group and Hills Pet Nutrition.”