|Vet Tech of the Year|
Fill out the downloadable form PDF to submit your nomination for Veterinary Technician of the Year!
2015 Veterinary Technician of the Year:
Janet McConnell, CVT
NAVTA is thrilled to name Janet McConnell, CVT as Veterinary Technician of the Year for 2015. Janet is being recognized not only for her accomplishments in 2015, but also for her continued dedication to the profession over the course of her career.
Janet has been an active member of NAVTA for many years and is currently the New Jersey State NAVTA Representative. She is also currently on the executive board of the NJVTA and was the vice president of this organization in the past.
When asked what Janet has contributed to in regards to professional development and continuing education, Libby Landry states “What’s ironic is this is actually her job title! Janet has been the driving force for technicians both within our network and in the state of NJ for the 14 years I’ve known her. Since her involvement with our state organization NJVTA, she has taken our membership numbers from 80 to almost 800. She is constantly promoting and recruiting members.”
Janet realized early on the potential role and value of the Veterinary Assistant, both an entry way into the field, and in the support an Assistant would be able to provide the Technicians. Because of this vision, she co-developed a Veterinary Assistant program offered through a local community college. With hard work, dedication, and a belief in the program, she obtained NAVTA’s approval for the curriculum earning for the state of NJ, the first NAVTA approved Veterinary Assistant program where graduates could earn the AVA credential. As a result of her efforts and desire to improve the veterinary medicine performed by both Technicians and Assistants, she has opened the door and paved the way for over 80 AVA’s in the state of NJ. She is also working closely with other program directors on achieving NAVTA approval for their programs. This program fills its maximum seating within hours of opening up registration every semester since it has been in existence.
Within the Red Bank Network, Janet has developed an “in-house” CE requirement for all Technicians and Assistants. In addition, she has developed and implemented a CE fund policy, which is a benefit to every Technician and Assistant – providing financial assistance and enabling him or her to continue to learn and grow. She counsels Technicians daily on options for educational and career growth. In fact, she is responsible for helping 20+ technicians with in the Red Bank Network to gain their LVT and CVT credentials.
Janet works closely with the two AVMA accredited Veterinary Technician programs in New Jersey (as well as neighboring states), to be a hosting site for their clinical externships and externs. She has also developed several in house externship programs to allow students ranging from high school to future veterinarians that are still in their undergraduate programs to come through the Red Bank doors to shadow and gain experience working alongside Technicians and Doctors.
Besides Janet’s commitment to developing team members, she is also a prominent figure within her community. She realized that there was little to no exposure for young kids regarding all that veterinary medicine has to offer. She developed a weeklong summer camp at the local community college called “Journey to Veterinary Medicine” which also fills within hours of registration opening. It allows kids ages 9 to 13 to spend the week doing hands on activities and learning from people in the veterinary field. Campers are introduced to all roles of the Veterinary Healthcare team in traditional practice, as well as other areas such as equine medicine, physical rehab, exotic species, shelter medicine, animal control, wild life, and much more.
She has participated in and recruits volunteers for charity and fund raising events for the SPCA and Save-Us-Pets, which helps provide financial assistance to pets and owners in need. She has also coordinated client education lectures for the local SPCA. In 2015, Janet became a Merial Tech Champion, and presented lunch and learns at major conferences around the country about the importance of the technician’s role in effectively educating clients about heartworm prevention for dogs and cats.
Janet’s passion for the highest standards for the hospital and patient care lead her to drive the RBVH team to AAHA Accreditation in 2012, with the most recent accomplishment of Specialty/Referral Accreditation for 14 specialties in December of 2015.
We asked Libby Landry, CVT “Why did you Nominate Janet”?
You would think that this part of the form would be the easiest section to write, but it is overwhelming to put into words how deserving Janet is of this honor and be named, Technician of the Year. It’s easy to list all of her accomplishments that she’s earned over her 25+ year career as a Technician. Trying to convey and accurately portray someone who lives their life dedicated 100% of the time to the recognition, advancement, importance, value, and promotion of the Veterinary Technician and the role they play in making pets and owners lives better is almost impossible. Janet is, for so many Technicians and Assistants, an educator, a role model, a cheerleader, an inspiration, a visionary, and a great friend. I hope that I’ve been able to successfully put into words what an amazing Veterinary Technician and voice for our profession Janet has become.