WSAVA, Hill’s Announce 2017 ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award Winner

TOPEKA, Kan. (21 July 2017) – Dr. Luba Gancheva, a Bulgarian veterinarian whonow lives and works in Romania, has been named by the World Small AnimalVeterinary Association (WSAVA) and Hill’s Pet Nutrition as the winner of the2017 ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award. The award acknowledges the work of aveterinarian who graduated within the past ten years and who has contributedsignificantly to the betterment of companion animals, the veterinaryprofession and society at large.

“Millennial vets carry the future of the profession with them,” said Dr. JolleKirpensteijn, ‎Chief Professional Relations Officer at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.“Luba has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the experiences andeducation of early-career veterinarians. She has also taken positive steps toconnect these next-generation professionals with ones who are alreadyestablished in the field.”

Dr. Gancheva will be presented with her award at the WSAVA World Congress2017, which takes place Sept. 25-28 in Copenhagen, Denmark. She will also givea lecture entitled: ‘A high professional level of veterinary medicine isoffered in the Balkans. True or false?’
The Balkan Peninsula extends from Central Europe to the Mediterranean Sea andincludes the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and the European partof Turkey.

Dr. Gancheva graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of theUniversity of Forestry in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2010, and began working in asmall animal practice in the city. She demonstrated her commitment tocontinuing education and received a Master of Science in Infectious Diseasesfrom Triaka University in Bulgaria. She now lives in Bucharest, Romania, andworks at the Cabinet Filip Veterinarul animal hospital.

Her PhD thesis, entitled ‘Clinical Manifestation of Brucellosis in Dogs,caused by Brucella Canis,’ was based on a study she conducted on the incidenceof this disease in the Balkans. As a result of her thesis, Dr. Gancheva wasinvited to speak at two congresses in the Balkans, where she realized howenthusiastic her colleagues in the region were to continue their professionaldevelopment.

In 2015, she launched an online veterinary journal called ‘Vets on theBalkans,’ with the goal of helping regional veterinarians work morecollaboratively and share their experience and knowledge. The journal haspresented more than 90 cases and has developed a strong readership. It hasalso built partnerships with many of the key companion animal veterinaryassociations in the region.

Building on this success, Dr. Gancheva in 2016 launched an initiative called‘Learn and Travel with Vets in The Balkans’. The program enables veterinariansto increase their knowledge and experience by working in clinics in nearbycountries. The first placements were made earlier this year, and they weresupported through sponsorships and donations from 12 participating practicesin Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Belgium, Italy and Croatia.

Dr Käthi Brunner, Chair of the WSAVA’s Leadership and Nomination Committee,said: “Tackling the inequality of education and resources available toveterinarians depending on where in the world they are working is one of thekey challenges facing the profession. Dr. Gancheva has taken some verypractical steps to support the development of the profession in the Balkans,both through launching the journal and through the new ‘Learn and Travel’scheme. We congratulate her and hope that both of these initiatives continueto prove successful. She is a great example of a Next Generation veterinarianwho is showing a very personal commitment to raising standards of veterinarycare.”

As the winner of the 2017 ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award, Dr. Ganchevawill receive a monetary gift, an engraved plaque and a WSAVA certificate.

Dr. Gancheva said: “I would like to express my gratitude for the Award. It isthe biggest honour of my life and I am excited to be part of WSAVA WorldCongress this year. During my lecture, I will present clinical reports from myjournal from each country in the Balkans to show that, while we may haveeconomic difficulties, our passion for knowledge and love for animals give usstrength. When you cure an animal, you change the world for someone, soveterinarians change the world. Thank you WSAVA!”

Hill’s will fund Dr. Gancheva’s attendance at the 2017 WSAVA World Congress sothat she can accept her award.

Candidates for the WSAVA, Hill’s Next Generation Award can come from anycountry and must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduated within the past 10 years
  • Active in continuing education
  • Have a strong record in community service
  • Working to bridge the gap between their generation and others

The WSAVA’s 101 member and affiliate associations represent more than 200,000individual veterinarians from around the globe. They work together to advancethe health and welfare of companion animals. Hill’s is the WSAVA’s most long-standing and significant industry partner.

Candidates for the 2018 Next Generation Award can nominate themselves bysending an email to [email protected] by Jan. 1, 2018. They should include aletter of intent, a CV and at least one reference letter. Further informationcan be found at

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