Call for Nominations: T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award

Nominations are open

Nominations are now open for the 2022 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year. The independent Award Committee will select finalists in June and the Awardee will be announced at ExoticsCon 2022.

van Zeeland w grey parrot

Shown here, Dr. Yvonne R.A. van Zeeland, the 2021 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year


Award criteria

The T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year is an outstanding practitioner that has advanced the quality of health care for companion birds. This award is given annually, or at the committee’s discretion. Important criteria for this award include:

  • Clinical excellence
  • Innovation
  • Promotion of the profession
  • Contributions to the knowledge base
  • Caring and compassion to their patients and clients


Submit your nomination today

Submit nominations by Friday, June 3 at 11:59 pm CDT.

Nominate Now button


Past awardees

Visit for a list of previous Award recipients.


About T.J. Lafeber

Dr. T.J. Lafeber was recognized as a pioneer in companion bird medicine and the human-companion bird bond. His concern for the health and welfare of his avian patients led him to develop medical treatments, diagnostic techniques, and nutritionally balanced foods. Dr. Lafeber’s lectures were infused with his caring demeanor and enthusiasm, inspiring students and veterinarians alike to advance the fledgling field of companion bird medicine. The Caring Hands Award statue (shown below) is a bronze cast of Dr. Lafeber’s hands and his most beloved avian patient, the budgerigar.

Caring habds award

A cash prize and this bronze statuette are awarded to each Award recipient


Did you know?

  • The T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year is nominated by their peers. The Awardee is not, and has never been, selected by Lafeber Company.
  • Once all nominations are received, the Award Committee narrows the field to a list of finalists.
  • All nominations are equally weighted. A veterinarian that has received multiple nominations does not have a higher chance of being selected as a finalist by the Award Committee than an individual with a single nomination.
  • The autonomous Award committee, consisting of Association of Avian Veterinarians members, is led by Dr. Kenneth Welle, Clinical Assistant Professor of the Zoological Medicine Service at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. A Lafeber Company Veterinary Consultant, who does not a vote on the Award recipient, manages Committee paperwork and scheduling only.


Questions or concerns

Contact the Committee Administrator, Dr. Christal Pollock, with any questions or concerns.


To cite this page:

Pollock CG. Call for nominations: T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award. March 29, 2022. LafeberVet website. Available at