Thursday, March 4, 2010
Childers named state Veterinarian of Year
Dr. David Childers has been named Veterinarian of the Year 2010 by the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association, in a surprise announcement at the annual conference on the Mississippi State University campus.
Childers was nominated by his colleague and co-owner of Willow Bend Animal Clinic, Dr. Mike Thompson. Friends and family were urged to keep the nomination secret for months prior to the event. The award came as a complete surprise to him since he had no idea he had even been nominated. In fact, he almost missed the event entirely. Several times during the day Childers had indicated to his wife that he thought they should probably skip the nighttime event and take his colleagues and guests to dinner instead. Using the reasoning that a deceased friend was being honored that night, his wife, Sherry, insisted that attendance was a must.
After the presentation of several other awards, Dr. Robert Watson, president of the MVMA, read the nomination letter submitted by Thompson. It was only then that Childers realized he was the recipient. After the ceremony, Childers was congratulated by friends and colleagues.
After Saturday night’s big event, Childers thought there would be no more surprises. However, on Sunday morning, which was Childers’ birthday, at the newly opened Central Station Grill in Starkville, 16 friends waited to surprise him with a birthday luncheon. Those attending to help with the celebration included Mary Childers (Childers’ mother); Lois Baker (his mother-in-law); his wife Sherry and his daughters Amanda, Emily and Olivia Childers; Dr. Mike Thompson, wife Terry Thompson, daughter Rebecca Thompson and son Josh Thompson; Andy Wright; Dr. Elizabeth Smith, associate veterinarian at Willow Bend, husband Stephen Smith, and infant son Gus Smith; former Willow Bend intern Shannon Vawter and family friend Duncan Baker.
Childers has enjoyed a long and successful career in veterinary medicine. He became interested in animals and their care while growing up on a farm in Benton County. He later became interested in biology and how organisms function, while obtaining his animal science degree at Mississippi State University. Childers then attended Auburn University where he received his doctorate of veterinary medicine in 1975. Childers had internships in Millington, Tenn., and Harrogate, Tenn., until 1977 and started practicing veterinary medicine in 1978 in Holly Springs.
Childers owns and operates Willow Bend Animal Clinic in Holly Springs and the Animal Clinic of Tippah County in Ripley, which will be opening a bigger clinic located on Highway 15 in the coming weeks. Throughout his professional career, he has served as president of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association, executive board member for the MVMA for nine years and a member of the Liaison Committee for the Mississippi College of Veterinary Medicine for 15 years.
The community has been served by Childers, as well. He has served on the city school board, the Marshall County Leadership Committee and was the charter president of the reestablished Marshall County Fairgrounds Association. While president of the fairgrounds board, he was the most significant force in Marshall County achieving the dream of having a fairgrounds and agricultural center, benefiting the entire area.
Childers is a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Holly Springs. Along with serving on numerous committees, he is also a deacon and Sunday school teacher.
Childers has been married for almost 28 years to his wife Sherry. He has three daughters – Amanda, 24, Emily, 22, both of Holly Springs, and Olivia, 18, who is a freshman at Auburn, his alma mater. He lives in Holly Springs with his family.
Thompson lauds Childers’s many accomplishments in his nomination letter – “Plainly stated, Dr. Childers always strives to practice quality medicine. He consistently goes the extra mile to provide the best care for his patients. The driving force behind his commitment is not only the patient and his desire to ‘find the answer,’ but also his very obvious concern for our clients. When clients present their beloved pets and livestock to Dr. Childers, they immediately know these animals are in the most caring of hands.”
He adds, “I am proud to be his partner and blessed to be his friend.”
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