27 veterinary schools receive $70,000 in scholarship funding from Bayer

SHAWNEE, Kan., May 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health today announced that Chad Malpass, DVM, a 2015 graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, is the national winner of the third annual Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA). Incorporating effective communication skills in veterinary practice, as well as other medical professions, has long been recognized as one of the main tasks in delivering comprehensive medical care to patients.1 BECA, established to recognize effective communication in the veterinary profession, rewards veterinary students who are executing this critical core skill that needs to be taught and learned to the same degree as other clinical skills.2 Twenty-seven veterinary schools participated in the 2015 competition that presented a total of $70,000 in scholarship awards.

Chad Malpass, DVM, 2015 National Winner of the Bayer Excellence in Communication Award; Photo Credit: Tuskegee University School of Veterinary...
The competition challenged students to submit a filmed interview in a clinical setting between the veterinary student and a client. Entries submitted at each school were evaluated by a panel of faculty judges. Faculty selected their school's local winner using a scorecard developed by nationally-renowned veterinary faculty who specialize in communication. Each regional level winner received a $2,500 scholarship.    

BECA an important skills-building experience to national winner
Twenty-seven schools submitted the video of their school-level winner to compete for the additional $2,500 national scholarship award. In his submission, Dr. Malpass, recipient of the national scholarship, outscored the competition with strong core communication skills, including effective use of open-ended questions, empathy and reflective listening in a clinical setting.

Dr. Malpass, one of two recipients of Tuskegee University's prestigious Robert D. Horne Orthopedic Surgery Award, believes a veterinarian's ability to effectively communicate with a client sets the tone for the entire clinic appointment and is in the best interest of patients. He regards his participation in the Bayer Excellence in Communication Award program as an important learning experience.

"Working on my submission to the Bayer Excellence in Communication Award at least doubled the effectiveness of my communications skills specific to veterinary medicine, but even beyond," said Dr. Malpass. "I've learned to be more empathetic, to ask more open-ended questions and to really listen to clients' responses. I am proud to have won, but had I not, I'd still have walked away a winner with skills that are going to help me better serve my clients for the next 50 years."

Dr. Malpass has taken a position as an associate veterinarian at a small animal practice in North Carolina.

"Because Tuskegee University places great emphasis on teaching our veterinary students good communications skills, we are especially proud to have Chad Malpass named BECA's national winner," said Caroline Schaffer, DVM, assistant professor and director of the Center for the Study of Human-Animal Interdependent Relationships, Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. "Chad takes communications very seriously and shows genuine concern for clients and patients. In his BECA submission, he succeeded in putting into place all the skills Bayer Animal Health is trying to foster among veterinary students."

"Veterinarians' commitment to the health and well-being of companion animals and livestock is second to none and, at Bayer, that same passion goes into the products we make as well as the resources that we provide veterinarians and future veterinarians," said Ian Spinks, president and general manager, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, North America. "Bayer's commitment to veterinarians spans from research and educational funding, to clinical support and beyond. However, our support begins with veterinary students since we know positive communications skills are vital to keeping animals healthy and veterinary practices strong. Congratulations to Dr. Chad Malpass and all 2015 Bayer scholarship recipients."

A long-standing commitment to strengthening veterinary communication
The Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA) is one facet of a larger initiative aimed at advancing the communication skills of the next generation of veterinarians. In 2002, Bayer partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Communication to establish the Bayer Communication Project. This collaborative partnership resulted in communication skills training modules offered to colleges of veterinary medicine for incorporation into their curriculum. Selected faculty from all U.S. veterinary colleges have been trained via the Bayer Communication Project "Train the Trainer" program.

The Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine will receive complimentary tuition for one faculty member to attend an upcoming Bayer Communication Project "Train the Trainer" course developed and taught by the Institute for Healthcare Communication.

The winning veterinary students from the other schools in the 2015 Bayer Excellence in Communication Award program are:

Mason Chandler, Auburn University
Kay Wicinas, University of California-Davis
Jenny Ross, Colorado State University
Emily Donaldson, Cornell University
Camila de Andino, University of Florida
Jennifer James, University of Georgia
Amy Sneed, University of Illinois
Amie Johnson, Iowa State University
Anna Champagne, Kansas State University
Megan Partyka, Louisiana State University
Jessica Chronowski, Michigan State University
Tim Rozendaal, University of Minnesota
Steve Hutter, Mississippi State University
Laurel Marshalek, University of Missouri
Tyler Gallaher, North Carolina State University
Abby Taylor, Ohio State University
Caitlin McLagan, Oregon State University
David Zimmer, Purdue University
Carmella Britt, Ross University
Addie Reinhard, University of Tennessee
Suzanne Li, Texas A&M University
Stephanie Sapowicz, Tufts University
Chad Malpass, Tuskegee University
Kaitlyn Somers, Virginia Tech
Matt Sammons, Washington State University
Sarah Renee Furtney, Western University
Chase McNulty, University of Wisconsin
Find more information about Bayer HealthCare Animal Health at www.animalhealth.bayerhealthcare.com
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This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

1 Bonvicini, K. A., & Keller, V. K. (2006). Academic Faculty Development: The Art and Practice of Effective Communication in Veterinary Medicine. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 33(1), 50-57.
2 Adam, C. L., & Kurtz, S. M. (2006). Building on Existing Models from Human Medical Education to Develop a Communication Curriculum in Veterinary Medicine. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 33(1), 28-37.

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SOURCE Bayer HealthCare