Dr. Ronald Bruce Keene - DVM 1965
North American Veterinary Conference 2006
Dr. Ronald Bruce Keene, Winter Park, Fla., is being honored for his time and effort devoted to the practice of veterinary medicine by Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and its Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association.
Dr. Keene has been selected to receive a 2006 Alumni Recognition Award at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 8.
Dr. Keene has had a long career spanning 40 years in small animal veterinary medicine. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal nutrition from the University of Arkansas in 1961 and he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from K-State in 1965.
Dr. Keene said he came to K-State by chance. He was part of a select group of students admitted after vacancies were left open by students who were drafted into the military. His dedication to K-State was apparent from the beginning. He received a letter from K-State offering him a chance to interview on the same day he was leaving for his honeymoon. Instead of postponing the interview, Dr. Keene changed his honeymoon plans and traveled to Manhattan, Kan., for the interview. "I am convinced I got the opportunity to attend K-State because of divine intervention," Dr. Keene said.
After graduating from K-State, Dr. Keene moved to Miami, Fla., to work at the Yarborough Animal Hospital, one of three clinics in the city. This job was a recommendation of K-State Veterinary Professor Dr. Edwin J. Frick. In 1968, along with a fellow K-State graduate, Dr. Keene opened the Howell Branch and Lake Howell Animal Hospitals. He still practices at Lake Howell Animal Hospital today.
Ten years ago, the Lake Howell Animal Hospital expanded to include a kennel facility that bears Dr. Keene's name. The Keene Kennel was built to serve the hospital's clients in ways not offered elsewhere. The runs are bigger than average and the staff offers a great deal of personal attention to the animals while they are housed in the kennel.
Currently, the hospital is working to expand the kennel to construct luxury accommodations for clients seeking the highest quality when boarding their pets.
More than thirty years ago, Dr. Keene, along with 15 veterinarians, started the Veterinary Emergency Clinic of Central Florida. This was the first clinic of its kind in the area and is now one of the largest in the country. "I'm so proud of the emergency clinic because of the reflection of what cooperative veterinary medicine can do," Dr. Keene said.
For the past thirty years, Dr. Keene has been a Pet Fair judge for an annual fundraiser benefiting the Orlando Science Center. During this event he brings in veterinarians from around the state to offer health examinations to pets. Dr. Keene uses this event to promote community education in veterinary medicine.
Dr. Keene's service as a veterinarian has offered him many leadership opportunities. In 1980, he served as co-chair for the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) Convention's 50th anniversary. In addition, he was on the Florida University College of Veterinary Medicine admissions committee for three years, and on the FVMA Veterinary School Advisory Committee. "With the varied veterinary experiences I've had over the past forty years, it's been a 'James Herriot: All Creatures Great and Small' type of career," said Dr. Keene. He attributes his success to the framework of education that K-State offered him. "K-State gave me a balanced, diversified education, in terms of large and
small animal medicine. It gave me a great foundation."
Dr. Keene and wife, Barbara, have two children, Lisa and Bryce, and four grandchildren.