Buffington Honored with 2009 Mark L. Morris, Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award

- Renowned Researcher Recognized for His Contributions to Feline Health -

Orlando, Fla. - NAVC - (Jan. 17, 2009) -- Because of his outstanding contributions to feline health, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. has announced that C.A. Tony Buffington, DVM, MS, Ph.D, DACVN, an award-winning professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University, will receive the prestigious 2009 Mark L. Morris, Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. This distinguished award is presented annually at the Opening Ceremony of the North American Veterinary Conference to a veterinarian who has made significant contributions to the welfare of companion animals through a lifetime of professional work. Dr. Buffington received the award for his work in helping understand the causes of urinary tract disease in cats and in identifying the role played by environment in the health of indoor cats.

"As a researcher, Dr. Buffington's work on feline urinary tract disease and the impact of environmental factors on feline health and wellbeing has positively enriched the lives of thousands of cats around the globe. His translational research has even affected human health as he identified similarities between feline urologic syndrome (FUS) and interstitial cystitis (IC) in women," said Mary Beth Leininger, DVM, Hill's Director of Professional Affairs and past AVMA President.

For over 25 years, Dr. Buffington has committed his career to advancing the level of knowledge on pet health and nutrition, while simultaneously striving to educate future veterinarians on the connection between the two. He has been responsible for hundreds of editor- and peer- reviewed publications, abstracts, book chapters and video autotutorial presentations. Most recently he published the Manual of Veterinary Dietetics, a major resource for veterinary students and technicians worldwide.

Dr. Buffington identified the role of acid-based balance in foods and its relationship to the formation of feline urinary stones, work that resulted in broad reformulation of commercial pet diets. As an internationally recognized expert on the pathogenesis of feline cystitis, Buffington was the first to identify the commonalities between FUS and interstitial cystitis (IC) in women. His collaborative work with physicians has resulted in the identification of more effective approaches to therapy for both FUS and IC.

Buffington initiated an investigation into the role of indoor environments on disease risk in cats which led him to develop the Indoor Cat Initiative. The initiative's goal is to educate pet owners and veterinary clinicians that enrichment of an indoor cat's immediate surroundings plays as important a role to health and wellbeing as proper diet and health care.

In the past seven years, Dr Buffington has received more than $2.4 million in grants to fund his ongoing research. He has also received numerous awards, including the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Bourgelat Award and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Hill's Award for Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare and Promotion of Human-Animal Bond.

Interim Dean John Hubbell, DVM, MS. DACVA, says, "Dr. Buffington is a man who truly encompasses the spirit of Dr. Mark L. Morris, Sr., a man who was also a clinical veterinarian and nutritionist. Both have committed their professional lives to demonstrating that nutrition would significantly impact the health, and even manage disease, in animals."

In recognition of Dr. Buffington's lifetime of service, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. will donate $20,000 to the Morris Animal Foundation in his name. The Morris Animal Foundation, founded in 1948, is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of companion animals and wildlife by funding humane health studies and disseminating information about these studies.

For almost six decades, Hill's has provided the most technologically advanced therapeutic and wellness foods to veterinary professionals. Hill's Prescription Diet® brand offers a complete line of therapeutic pet food to nutritionally manage more than 50 disease conditions. Science Diet® products are specially formulated to provide superior nutrition for a wide range of life stage and special wellness needs. To learn more about Hill's products and our commitment to companion animal health and the veterinary profession, please contact us at 800-548-VETS (8387). You can also visit us at www.hillspet.com.

Contact

Lea-Ann Germinder, APR
816-213-8238
917-334-8682
lgerminder@germinder.com



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