Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine


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The official newsletter for the faculty, staff and students of
K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine


March 2008 - Vol. 3 No. 2


 Top Stories

 Dr. Hammer named CVM alumni fellow 

 Fresh steps taken in bovine orthopedics

 Cattlemen's Day is this Friday!

 Continuing Education conference dates 

 Students spend a ‘Day at CDC’

 Telefund 2008 raises more than $75,000 for the CVM

 SCAVMA hosts movie night

 ‘Dude, wash your hands!’
 Dr. Powell's handwashing tips

 Regular Features

 Check it Out at the Library
 Emergency action plans

 Under the Microscope:
 Yonghai Li, Research assistant professor

 CVM News Ticker

 New Arrivals

 Lifelines back issues


Lifelines Bonus FeatureExtra stories and photos*

 *Not included in the print or PDF versions of Lifelines.


PDF Version of this Issue




Dr. Hammer gets CVM Alumni Fellow award

The last 12 months have been very significant for Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, a veterinary practitioner who earned his DVM at K-State in 1973. In July 2007, he reached a pinnacle in his profession by being named president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This month, he was named as a K-State Alumni Fellow.

As a deserving alumnus, the college and university hosted Dr. Hammer and his family on campus from Feb. 27-29 for a series of lectures, festivities and other activities. The K-State Alumni Fellows program, sponsored by the Dean's Council, the President's Office and the Alumni Association, presented its Alumni Fellows awards to Dr. Hammer and recipients from K- State’s eight other academic colleges.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Dr. Hammer, who grew up in Bonner Springs, Kan. “I was blessed with a loving family and tremendous mentors while I was at K-State. Without Dr. John Noordsy, the late Dr. Russell Frey and my class of 1973, I could never have accomplished what I have. I am humbled to represent the College of Veterinary Medicine as the 2008 Alumni Fellow.”

“Dr. Hammer’s accomplishments are self-evident,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “His appointment as president of the AVMA demonstrates impressive leadership skills, and it shows the respect he has earned in the profession. We had already recognized Dr. Hammer with an Alumni Recognition Award in 2001 at the AVMA convention, so we now take great pride knowing that the university is recognizing him further with its ultimate alumni award.”

Dr. Hammer is a small animal and equine practitioner in Dover, Del. He is owner and partner of Brenford Animal Hospital, where he has worked for 33 years. While at K-State, Dr. Hammer was inducted into the Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Zeta and Phi Zeta honor societies. With the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Hammer was a veterinary medical officer from January 1974 to January 1976 and received the Meritorious Service Medal. He was named 1997 Delaware Veterinarian of the Year.

Prior to election as president of the AVMA, Dr. Hammer served six years on the AVMA executive board and 13 years in the House of Delegates. He is active in the Dover community where he and his wife Karen live. They have two chil­dren, Scott, a family physician, and Jill, a speech language pathologist.


Dr. Greg Hammer, 2008 Alumni Fellow
2008 Alumni Fellow Dr. Greg Hammer visits with some students after delivering a presentation about getting politically involved in veterinary medicine. Dr. Hammer is president of the AVMA and routinely deals with veterinary legislative issues in Washington, D.C.

Dean Richardson presents Dr. Greg and Nancy Hammer with some gifts.
Dean Richardson presents Dr. Greg and Karen Hammer with some gifts.

Dr. Hammer tells students to get involved in veterinary politics.
Dr. Hammer tells students to be involved in the politics that affect veterinary medicine and the future of the profession.


Fresh steps taken in bovine orthopedics

Fresh steps are being taken in bovine orthopedics and also by a Jersey cow named Wilhemenia Jolene, thanks to Dr. David Anderson and his team. Dr. Anderson, professor and head of Agricultural Practices, is launching a new cruciate ligament replacement for cattle, called the Wildcat Power Cord.

“I am proud to be able to announce that K-State is able to provide a life-saving and genetics-saving service to our clients who have valuable cattle suffering from stifling injuries,” Dr. Anderson said. “The Wildcat Power Cord offers a solution to culling valuable genetic stock. The first case has progressed beyond expectations, and we are excited to offer this to our valued clients."

Wilhemenia had a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in her right knee. The surgery took place on Jan. 17, and Wilhemenia is doing extremely well.


Dr. Anderson dresses the affected area the day after surgery
Dr. Anderson dresses the affected area the day after surgery.


Cattlemen’s Day is this Friday!


Cattlemen’s Day 2008, “Consumer Expectations for Beef: Are We Changing the Definition of Value?” will be held March 7 in Weber Hall and Arena. The Commercial Trade Show and Educational Exhibits begin at 8 a.m. in Weber Arena. The morning session begins at 10 a.m. and presenters are Temple Grandin and Dell Allen. Afternoon breakout sessions begin at 1 p.m. You can attend all day or as your schedule allows. The complete program can be found on the Web site.

On-site registration is $25 per person. Registration and schedule can be found online: http://www.asi.ksu.edu/cattlemensday.



Continuing Education conference dates

March 8: Advanced reproduction for horse breeders
April 6: Frank W. Jordan seminar on fielding a winning team
April 18-19: Bovine health & production
April 27: Small animal medicine
May 28-30: International beef cattle welfare
June 1-4: 70th annual conference for veterinarians Come to the VMCE office, 1 Trotter Hall, for information and to register.

   Students spend a ‘Day at CDC’    

Four hundred students and faculty members from veterinary schools across the U.S. and Canada traveled to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia for a “Day at CDC for Veterinary Students.” With the help of Dr. Freeman’s office, 13 CVM students were able to attend the conference on Jan. 28. Topics included global health, emerging infectious diseases, migration health, environmental health, bioterrorism and career opportunities. The students who attended stressed the value of learning about these topics.

Emily Gaugh, a first-year student, said, “As a future veterinarian in public service, I may choose to pursue a career with an organization such as the CDC. Attending the CDC student day allowed me to get a better feel of future career opportunities and also how these organizations are structured.”

Cameron Duncan, a second-year student, said “No matter where I end up in the field of veterinary medicine, I will be aware and concerned with the health of the public.”


CDC students
CVM students and faculty attending the "Day at CDC for Veterinary Students" included (from left): Megan Niederwerder, Emily Gaugh, Cameron Duncan, Katrina Rohwer, Bryan Kerling, Kathy Cheng, Ryan Bradburn, Sarah Guengerich, Jon Nauss, Stephanie Oursler, Amy Fousek, Rachel Lawn, Dylan Lutter and Dr. Patricia Payne.






Telefund 2008 Raises more than $75,000 for the CVM

Good call! This month, CVM students wrapped up another successful session at Telefund 2008, the KSU Foundation's volunteer calling program to raise support for scholarships and other college funding priorities. The two-day effort resulted in $75,263 being generated from 636 pledges. Telefund 2008 has raised more than $1 million for all colleges at K-State, with final figures to be released in March or April. CVM students earned a variety of prizes for participating this year. They will also be entered in a drawing for the grand prize: a 2008 Nissan Versa. The College of Veterinary Medicine thanks all the students for volunteering and all the alumni and friends who gave generously to support scholarships in the college.

Telefund callers

Telefund 08 Callers


Telefund 2008 callers

Telefund students with prizes

Telefund 2008 logo

  ‘Dude, wash your hands!’ Dr. Powell's handwashing tips  

Dr. Doug Powell, associate professor of food safety and director of the International Food Safety Network (IFSN), and the team at IFSN have launched a handwashing promotion called, “Dude, wash your hands!” As a part of the campaign, the IFSN have published a press release, info sheet and YouTube video. The information focuses on when, why and how to wash your hands.



• Wet hands with water.
• Use enough soap to build a good lather.
• Scrub hands vigorously, creating friction and reaching
all areas of the fingers and hands for at least 10 seconds
to loosen pathogens on the fingers and hands.
• Rinse hands with thorough amounts of water while
continuing to rub hands.
• Dry hands with a paper towel.


• Before handling or preparing food, especially ready-to-eat food
• After using the toilet
• After handling raw food
• After changing diapers
• After playing with or cleaning up after pets
• After handling garbage.



People are continuously exposed to various bacteria and viruses because of improper handwashing or lack of handwashing. Proper handwashing can significantly reduce the chance of getting food-borne and other illnesses.





  Lifelines Bonus Feature
Dr. Hesse teams up to help Chinese pigs

Millions of Chinese pigs are dying of a newly emerging disease.

With the assistance of a CVM virologist and a team of specialists who recently visited the country, Chinese researchers are now a step closer to understanding the disease complex.

Dr. Dick Hesse, K-State’s director of diagnostic virology, was part of a team that made a two-week visit to China in December. Dr. Hesse together with Ying Fang, molecular virologist at South Dakota State University; Butch Baker, senior clinician of swine medicine at Iowa State University; Johnny Callahan, senior scientist specializing in viral assay development with Tetracore Inc.; and Eric Neumann, epidemiologist and senior lecturer in pig medicine at Massey University in New Zealand, formed the investigative team.

The team’s goal was to help Chinese scientists diagnose the disease that has stricken the pig population and to assist them with the technology and techniques to understand and control the disease. Real-time PCR — polymerase chain reaction — assays developed at Tetracore and K-State were used to look for and provide rapid laboratory diagnosis of likely viral agents.

Since 2006, China’s pig population has been devastated by Blue Ear/High-Fever Disease resulting in the deaths of millions of pigs. A variant form of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome was believed to be the cause of the disease. The investigative team worked with prominent scientists from four research centers that have had extensive experience with the disease. The group also traveled to several farms to view the clinical signs up close and to collect samples.

“The problem in China’s herd appears to be a multifactorial disease complex,” Dr. Hesse said. Researchers did find porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, though not in all cases. The majority of the samples contained more than one type of virus. Classical swine fever virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and porcine circovirus 2b were most commonly found in diseased pigs.

Dr. Hesse said there is limited monitoring of animal disease in China and that a lack of uniform practices among pig producers has likely allowed Blue Ear/High-Fever Disease to flourish in China and spread to adjacent countries.

“What the Chinese need are efficacious porcine circovirus vaccines like those available in the U.S.,” he said.

The team suggested several biosecurity control mechanisms to hinder the spread of disease in China. They also made several suggestions to enhance U.S. biosecurity.

{Situations like that in China remind us that the U.S. pork industry is at significant risk from new disease agent introductions. This is why it’s important to remain vigilant and ensure that our national biosecurity measures are in place and working,” Dr. Hesse said. “If you have a disease that's capable of killing millions of pigs you want to make sure it stays out of the United States.”

Relationships with Chinese scientists were also established and are expected to lead to exchange opportunities for students and faculty at the CVM.

Dean Richardson said such trips highlight the expertise at K-State as well as allow the university to reach out to collaborators.

“K-State is committed to enhancing animal and human health in Kansas, the United States and the world,” Dean Richardson said. “Animal and zoonotic diseases don’t recognize geographic borders. Foreign exchange opportunities are one of the best ways to acquaint the veterinarians of tomorrow with diseases they might not see in common practice. This approach will ensure that up-and-coming veterinarians understand the animal health and food safety challenges before them on a global scale.”

Trip sponsors were the National Pork Board, American Association of Swine Veterinarians and Tetracore Inc.

Dr. Hesse teams up with Cai Jianping at the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Dr. Hesse teams up with Cai Jianping at the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

The team of specialists (left to right): Dr. Dick Hess, Johnny Callahan, Ying Fang, Butch Baker and Chang-guang Lin (Pig Farm Host). Missing from the group is Eric Neumann.
The team of specialists (left to right): Dr. Dick Hesse, Johnny Callahan, Ying Fang, Butch Baker and Chang-guang Lin (Pig Farm Host). Missing from the group is Eric Neumann.

These pigs’ blue ears indicate that they are stricken with Blue Ear/High Fever Disease.
These pigs’ blue ears indicate that they are stricken with Blue Ear/High Fever Disease.




SCAVMA hosts movie night

SCAVMA hosted its second movie night in Frick auditorium on Feb. 15. The group showed Rush Hour 3 and provided drinks, chips and candy. Movie nights are held to let CVM students, faculty and staff socialize and relax together in a non-academic, comfortable setting. If you missed out, be sure to watch for SCAVMA’s next movie night!

Students, families enjoy movie night


Students, families enjoy movie night

  Lifelines Bonus Feature
Chili cookoff brings a crowd

Chili cookoff

Good conversation follows delicious bowls of chili.


Judges compares notes on chili entries

The turnout included families.


Under the Microscope: Yonghai Li, Research Assistant Professor

Yonghai LiPlace of birth: Shandong, China 

Beaker graphicFamily: Wife, Ni Wang; daughter, Jiayi Li; son, David Li

Describe a happy moment from your life: The day I got married.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A scientist like Albert Einstein.

Best thing about winter: Making snowmen or rolling snowballs.

Favorite food: Apple pie and fish.

Favorite type of music: Light classical.

If you could visit another time period, when would you choose? College time (16-20 years old).



Check it Out at the Library: Emergency action plans

by Carol Elmore

Carol ElmoreBecause of the many disasters that people have faced recently and will probably face in the future, having a family emergency or disaster action plan is a wise thing to do. One family member often overlooked in this planning is a parent or grandparent who is residing in an assisted living, nursing home, or independent living situation.

Most families assume that family members who reside in nursing homes or senior care facility have had all the details worked out for this person’s safety. Speaking with the facility’s administration about the steps taken to provide for resident’s protection at the facility can be helpful but can also indicate that some steps might need to be taken by the person’s family as well.

Some steps that are suggested by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) in preparing an older family member for disaster include helping the person assemble essential supplies, stocking up on prescriptions, organizing documents and phone numbers, and designating some personal comfort items such as photos that could be put in an emergency kit. Also devising a communications plan where family members decide whom to check in with can be helpful.

A Web site developed by the National Library of Medicine lists many resources to use for planning for disasters with special populations including seniors: http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/outreach/specialpopulationsanddisasters.html.

The veterinary medical library can also provide books and journal information for use in planning for disasters in various situations. Search our online catalog at http://catalog.lib.ksu.edu for topics such as nursing homes, emergency management, and other related subjects for information on planning for your older family members.



CVM News Ticker

Dr. Dan Thomson presented at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fl., Jan. 18-19. He also presented at the Tecumseh Veterinary Clinic producer meeting in Tecumseh, Neb., on Jan. 18

Drs. Mike Apley and Doug Powell presented at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Reno, Nev., Feb. 6-8.

Dr. Mike Apley presented at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Reno, Nev., Feb. 6-8. 

Dr. Bob Larson presented at the Mid-South Stocker Conference at the University of Tennessee on Feb. 12.

Dr. Jim Roush recently received certification as a “Master Gardener.”

Drs. Laura Armbrust, David Biller, Dan Thomson and Greg Grauer presented at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas Feb. 18-20.

Dr. Doug Powell was interviewed by The Buffalo News about a hepatitis A case in New York.


  New Arrivals

Lisa Tokach - DM/P
Amy Heyroth - VMTH
Alyssa K. Humbarger - DM/P-VDL
Rita Dole - DM/P-VDL
Havalyn J. Nauss - Veterinary Medical Library



Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine

Editors are Joe Montgomery and Amy Jo Wright, jmontgom@vet.k-state.eduajwright@vet.k-state.edu

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