Shirley Johnston, DVM, PhD, Vice President of University Advancement at Western University of Health Sciences, received the 2008 Industry Leadership Award from Banfield, The Pet Hospital® in Portland, Ore.

Johnston, the founding dean of WesternU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, Calif., received a bronze statue by sculptor Jim Gion, a $20,000 scholarship in her name and an engraved Myrtlewood bowl as part of her award at the 7th annual Pet Healthcare Industry Summit on Aug. 19.

“I have attended the Banfield Industry Summit, which brings together many of the leaders of the profession, for a number of years,” Johnston said. “Never did I expect to be one of the people that Banfield honors for making a difference in the veterinary profession. Their recognition is a great vindication of the vision of our veterinary college here at Western University.”

Annually, Banfield, The Pet Hospital® honors partner organizations and individuals that provide the practice with outstanding service and high-quality products with Mutuality Awards. One of Banfield’s Five Principles, Mutuality reflects the belief that “A mutual benefit is a shared benefit; a shared benefit will endure.” Banfield values its relationships and the partner support Banfield receives enables the practice to continue offering high-quality care to pets.

Dr. Johnston was chosen as a Mutuality Award winner because of her dedication and contributions to the profession, according to Banfield. She was the first woman to hold the position of dean at any veterinary college in the United States and helped found a new veterinary school that incorporates problem-based learning, reverence for life and strategic partnerships into its curriculum, establishing a new paradigm for the veterinary profession.

“Both a long-time partner to Banfield, The Pet Hospital and key to the development of the newly constructed Banfield Veterinary Clinical Center of Western University, Dr. Johnston is clearly willing to take risks to help our industry and profession grow,” said John Payne, President and CEO of Banfield, The Pet Hospital.

WesternU students have benefitted from Banfield, The Pet Hospital’s assistance from the beginning, Johnston said.

“Banfield employees have introduced students to high-quality, high-volume, team-based care in the pre-clinical Banfield Wellness Center on campus, they have expanded students’ knowledge in the Practice Management course, and they have mentored our students in high-volume, high-quality pet practices,” she said. “Banfield provides access to pet information in Data Savant™, which collects electronic medical record data from over 100,000 accessions per week. A mission of our college is to educate students who will graduate as outstanding practice-ready veterinarians. We hope that Banfield will benefit by hiring our top-performing grads.”