MIRAMAR BEACH, Florida — Dr. Cathleen "Cricket" Forester, DVM, of Fairhope was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association's 2022 awards. The …
MIRAMAR BEACH, Florida — Dr. Cathleen "Cricket" Forester, DVM, of Fairhope was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association's 2022 awards. The ALVMA awards luncheon was held in conjunction with the Emerald Coast Veterinary Conference at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Miramar Beach, Florida.
The Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the Association, is presented only to ALVMA members that have given of their time and energies beyond all reasonable expectations and have made exceptional achievements and contributions to the advancement of the profession.
Since 2013, Forester has been the director of the Veterinary Technology Program at Coastal Alabama Community College. She has been integral in building the program, taking the program through initial accreditation.
"The level of veterinary medical care in the tri-state Gulf area has been raised significantly by the efforts of Dr. Forester," says Dr. Andy Duke of Mobile.
Forester received her DVM from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. After graduation she began her career in Georgia living on St. Simons Island but moved back to Alabama in 1997 settling in Fairhope in 1998.
In her 30-plus years in veterinary medicine she has worked in private and corporate practice environments in a variety of roles from owner of a mobile vet practice to associate veterinarian to relief veterinarian. Forester used the insight gained from those experiences to prepare for her role as veterinary technician educator.
Forester was hired as the director of the Veterinary Technology Program in November of 2013 at Faulkner State Community College, which is now Coastal Alabama Community College, and was instrumental in building the online hybrid program from the ground up.
The first class began in Spring of 2014 and since that time the program has graduated eight classes consisting of a total of 99 students. Working with Coastal Alabama Community College and veterinary clinic partners in Mobile and Baldwin counties, Forester is dedicated to continuing to improve and enhance the education of students. She makes sure her students are exposed to all areas of the veterinary field where technicians are utilized from traditional practice to laboratory medicine, to industry and beyond by inviting licensed veterinary technicians in non-traditional roles to come speak to her students.
A few of the favorite opportunities she arranges for her students are the behind-the-scenes tour of the Montgomery Zoo Veterinary Clinic, tour of the Alabama Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, touring the Small and Large Animal teaching hospitals at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, and participating in a dolphin necropsy at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Forester continues to focus on promoting the benefits of increased utilization of licensed veterinary technicians in practice.
Since 1907, the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association has been committed to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine.
More than 1,030 members work to ensure that laws and regulations promote the health and well-being of all animals and protect public health and human welfare. Large and small animal practitioners, students and veterinary school graduates make up ALVMA membership. For more information visit alvma.com.