Sunday, February 14, 2016


Denver, CO (December 4, 2007)
- The Veterinary News Network (VNN) today announced several new additions to its Advisory Board. The VNN Advisory Board was established in 2005 to provide advice and direction on story ideas and content for VNN-produced broadcast and print news stories, as well as technical expertise and guidance for all of the organization’s efforts.

“Our Board members are extremely distinguished veterinarians who have contributed to veterinary medicine in significant yet very different ways,” says VNN founder and president, Dr. Jim Humphries. “We look forward to the experience and expertise they bring to VNN as we continue to grow and produce leading edge news content for consumers about pet health and advances in veterinary care.”

New Advisory Board members include:

Dr. Steve Crane, from Las Vegas, NV, is the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Oquendo Center Programs at the Western Veterinary Conference. For nearly 10 years, Dr. Crane has been the force behind making WVC the largest continuing educational conference for veterinary medicine in the world. Dr. Crane has also been instrumental in the development and growth of VNN as a reliable, credible source of veterinary medical information.

Dr. Bernadine Cruz, from Aliso Viejo, CA, is a national speaker and a veterinary consultant for several national television programs, and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Public Relations. Dr. Cruz can also be seen daily in thousands of veterinary offices coast-to-coast on the educational DVD series "PetCare TV." Understanding how to combine the media and consumer education, Dr. Cruz has been an influential veterinary spokesperson for many years. 

Mr. Ralph Johnson, from Denver, CO, serves as Executive Director of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society, and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation. Mr. Johnson was instrumental in helping launch VNN in 2005. His honors include Meeting Professional of the Year (Potomac Chapter, Meeting Planners International); Association Professional of the Year (Colorado Society of Association Executives); the President's Award from the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association; and the Distinguished Service Award and the Executive of the Year Award from ASVMAE.

Dr. Zach Mills, from Duluth, GA, serves as the Vice President of US Companion Animal Enterprise for Merial in Duluth, Georgia. Dr. Mills has experienced first hand the power of the mass media with his own radio talk show on pet care. He was one of the first to recognize the power of VNN and has been a constant supporter and motivating influence for the organization.

Dr. Bonnie R. Rush, from Manhattan, KS, is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and a Professor of Equine Internal Medicine. Dr. Rush has been awarded the 1996 and 2003 Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, the 2002 Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, and the 2004 Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year. She is currently a Professor and Department Head of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.

Mr. Kevin Rochford, from New York City is News Director for CBS The Early Show.  Mr. Rochford is a 20-year veteran of television news. He began work at CBS News in New York and has risen to the top by serving as producer and news director for CBS The Early Show.  He produced Dr. Humphries’ pet health segments for the national morning show and has assisted Dr. Humphries in media training at national meetings. Mr. Rochford brings deep national experience to the VNN Board of Advisors.

Current VNN Advisory Board members who will continue on the board include:

Dr. Lowell Ackerman, from Westborough, MA, is a board-certified veterinary dermatologist, an award-winning author, an international lecturer, and a consultant in veterinary practice management. He is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors.

Dr. Diane Levitan, from Westbury, NY, is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dr. Levitan has appeared on numerous radio and television programs in the New York City market and writes for and NY Tails magazine. She is a contributor to PetStyle Internet Channel and owns and operates the Center for Specialized Veterinary Care on Long Island.

Dr. Sandy Willis, from Kent, WA, is a small animal internal medicine consultant with Antech Diagnostics, Inc. and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Willis is president of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association and was recently elected to the AVMA Council on Communications. She is creator and co-host of “Ask the Vet” radio talk show program in Western Washington now in its seventh year.

VNN’s Advisory Board members, most of whom are also VNN reporters, will be formally recognized at VNN’s annual banquet at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, NV, on Saturday evening, February 16, 2008.

About Veterinary News Network

The Veterinary News Network (VNN) is a national network of more than 360 veterinarians and affiliate reporters who use VNN-produced resources to broadcast and publish local news stories about current pet health issues and advances in veterinary care. By providing content that is medically accurate and reliable, VNN helps veterinarians deliver these stories to their local media through print, television, radio, Internet blogs and other appropriate outlets. VNN has produced 50 news stories and, in 2006, reached more than 66 million viewers.  VNN also has a syndication division that includes morning drive radio stations, captive audience networks, podcasts, Internet video channels, blogs and syndicated medical television. VNN is funded by an educational grant through the Western Veterinary Conference by Merial.

** Editor’s Note: Digital photos of Advisory Board members are available by contacting Crystal Smith at Latorra, Paul & McCann (315) 476-1646 or

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