Leitch Honored with the AAEP's Distinguished Service Award

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has presented its 2012 Distinguished Service Award to Midge Leitch, VMD, Dipl. ACVS, for her longtime service to the welfare of the horse. Leitch was honored Dec. 4 during the President's Luncheon at the 58th Annual Convention in Anaheim, Calif.

Recently retired from the University of Pennsylvania's (UPenn) New Bolton Center, where she was responsible for the radiology service, Leitch has facilitated forums, led task forces, presented at educational meetings, and guided the governing entities of the association since joining the AAEP in 1973. She represented District II as a member of the board of directors from 2003-2006 and served as chair of the Equine Welfare Committee from 2008-2010. She has represented the AAEP as an alternate delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) Welfare Committee and as a member of the AVMA's Euthanasia Panel.

During her term as chair of the Equine Welfare Committee, Leitch called attention to timely welfare issues with an emphasis on unwanted horses and the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. She led the association's efforts to create a white paper on the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. In honor of her efforts to promote welfare, AAEP past president Eleanor Green, DVM, presented Leitch with the inaugural President's Award in 2008.

Leitch received her veterinary degree from UPenn in 1973 and completed a surgical residency in 1976. After several years as assistant professor in surgery at UPenn, she left in 1980 to enter private practice, focusing on sport horse care while continuing to teach at UPenn as an adjunct assistant professor of surgery. She returned to New Bolton Center as a full-time clinician in 2005. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

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