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Maryland vet honored as ‘cardiology pioneer’

Vetmedin maker Boehringer Ingelheim chooses Dr. Steven Wolchinsky for his approach to congestive heart failure.

Maryland vet honored as ‘cardiology pioneer’
Grey Muzzle Organization executive director Dr. Lisa Lunghofer, left, and award recipient Dr. Steven Wolchinsky.

Steven Wolchinsky, DVM, of Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital in Laurel, Maryland, has been named the inaugural winner of the Vetmedin Cardiology Pioneer Award.

Dr. Wolchinsky was honored at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s convention in Indianapolis for his care of canine patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF).

The award coincides with the 10th anniversary of the U.S. launch of Vetmedin (pimobendan), a dual-action drug formulated to increase cardiac muscle contractility and dilate blood vessels in dogs showing signs of heart failure. The manufacturer is Boehringer Ingelheim Inc.

Michael Hamby, who leads the company’s U.S. Pet Veterinary Business, called Dr. Wolchinsky an ideal candidate for the first Cardiology Pioneer Award.

“He Is knowledgeable about the science behind Vetmedin and its use as part of a treatment program for appropriate patients,” Hamby said. “Through this award, we hope to inspire more veterinarians to take a greater interest in cardiology.”

Doctors and other employees at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital “continually aim to identify cardiac cases that are advancing toward CHF,” Dr. Wolchinsky said.

“Our sonographer, Debbie Burnett, is helping lead the charge in early detection and plays a critical role in our success with these cases,” he added.

As part of the Indianapolis ceremony, Lisa Lunghofer, Ph.D., received a $10,000 donation to support the Grey Muzzle Organization, which she serves as executive director. The Raleigh, North Carolina, group funds projects serving homeless senior dogs.