It was wonderful to see an esteemed project partner receive recognition of years of service in the form of a ‘Distinguished Professional Service Award’ from the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association.
Humble, as always, despite this recognition, Carolyn told us: “I just wanted to share what I’ve learned from years working with different organizations. I was blessed to have this opportunity and doubly blessed to be able mentor young veterinary colleagues. So this award was indeed a bonus”.
The citation outlining Carolyn’s years of service and extensive experience is quoted in full below:
“The DISTINGUISHED PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AWARD is the highest annual award conferred by the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association, to a veterinarian in recognition of his/her exemplary contribution to the development and enhancement of the veterinary profession and invaluable support to the objectives and activities of the Association.
Dr Carolyn Benigno has passionately pursued her advocacy of strengthening the capacity of Filipino veterinarians in the field of epidemiology. She was instrumental in the development of the Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training Programme (AVET) and the Master in Veterinary Epidemiology course program offered by the University of the Philippines, College of Veterinary Medicine. With more than 30 years’ experience in the control and eradication of TADs in the Philippines, Dr Benigno was the Chair of the National Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and worked tirelessly together with her team to have the Philippines recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as FMD free country without vaccination. To date, the Philippines has maintained its FMD freedom. Most importantly, Dr Benigno has built the foundation of how an animal health program should be designed and implemented and this animal health model has been followed in other disease control programs of the country.
Having served as the Animal Health Officer/Regional Project Coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for Asia and the Pacific (FAO RAP) from 2003 to 2018, Dr Benigno consistently pursued to strengthen capacities of field officers in the different countries in the Asian Region.
Dr Benigno has mentored and continues to mentor young veterinary colleagues in the Philippines and being mentored by her is a guarantee that the veterinarians will grow to embody values of excellence, integrity and quality service to the stakeholders or communities that they serve.
Dr Benigno’s other extra-curricular interests as the President of the University of the Philippines Lady Vets Foundation is focused on helping the organization’s members’ development into responsible leaders through the various activities organized that promote the advancement of the veterinary profession and uphold the welfare of women and children.
Dr Carolyn Benigno’s years of service and willingness to share her learnings with others very much embody what the PVMA stands for, hence deserving of the highest award.”