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Sally Lester Receives Anniversary Award at AAFP Conference


November 6, 2019

Press release: American Association of Feline Practitioners

To mark 20 years of publishing the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) presented a special anniversary award to Sally Lester, DVM, MVS, DACVP, for her exceptional contributions to the Journal in advancement of veterinary health care for cats around the world during the past two decades. The award was presented to Dr. Lester on November 1, 2019, during the AAFP 5th World Feline Veterinary Conference in San Francisco.

The JFMS 20th Anniversary Award commemorates Dr. Lester’s many years of service as an editorial board member for the JFMS. Since the early years of the JFMS, Dr. Lester has been a prodigious reviewer and has reviewed more articles than any other reviewer since the AAFP began tracking the articles in 2012 (the year JFMS moved to its current publisher, SAGE). Between August 2006 and December 2012, when this category was discontinued, she was distinguished as one of five associate editors. Since the end of 2011, she has reviewed 63 originally submitted articles in addition to all of their numerous subsequent revisions.

“Dr. Lester’s generosity with her time and expertise has made a tremendous difference to the practice of feline medicine, and we could not be more thrilled to recognize her contribution during the special AAFP conference,” said Heather O’Steen, CEO of the AAFP. “We extend our gratitude for all she has done to improve the lives of cats and the people who love and care for them.”

Dr. Lester has always been a trailblazer with a passion for cats, particularly Abyssinians. She graduated from Washington State University in 1967 and went back to school to obtain her Masters in Veterinary Science from the University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 19­­­79. She opened Central Laboratory for Veterinarians in Langley, BC, Canada in 1982, which under her guidance, grew into an extremely successful, veterinarian owned lab providing services to all of British Columbia and Alberta. While in her care, the lab was ISO 17025 certified, the first full-service veterinary diagnostic facility to achieve the highest level of laboratory accreditation in North America. She was certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) as a clinical pathologist in 1980 and as an anatomic pathologist in 1988, one of the few dual certified veterinary pathologists in the world (fewer than 30 in 1988 and currently 53 worldwide).

In addition to her extensive reviewing contributions, Dr. Lester educates practitioners on the pitfalls of sample collection and handling and laboratory equipment, and what should be taken into consideration when interpreting laboratory results that may impact management and outcome for patients. She has developed diagnostic tests to help veterinarians care for their patients. Dr. Lester has contributed as a consultant on Veterinary Information Network (VIN) for many years and reviews for several journals.

“As an analytical thinker who is extremely well read, her reviews are very helpful as they offer insight into basic science. Additionally, as a pathologist who interacts directly with practitioners, she has an extraordinary grasp of practical, clinically relevant needs. She represents everything the AAFP stands for by improving the health and welfare of cats through high standards of practice, continuing education, and evidence-based medicine and, because she has served the JFMS consistently since its inception, we are honored to present her with the 20th anniversary JFMS award,” said Margie Scherk, DMV, DABVP (feline practice), co-editor of the JFMS for the AAFP.

Dr. Lester also cares about the health and welfare of all animals and creatures in need. She volunteers at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary every year and is involved in the TNR program on Kauaii.

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