by Anissa L. Riley

emily coats


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (August 1, 2014) - The Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine (TUSVM) is proud to announce that Emily Coates, a fourth-year veterinary student, was selected as this year’s winner of the 2014 Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA). Communication is crucial to the veterinary practice as it will help veterinarians to: establish good client relationships, encourage client compliance with medications and treatment plans, and demonstrate the true value of veterinary care visits.

Sponsored by Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health for the second consecutive year, the BECA program was established to recognize effective communication in the veterinary profession, as well as to reward veterinary students who are mastering this critical core skill. Twenty-seven veterinary schools participated in the 2014 competition that awarded a total of $70,000 in scholarship awards.

”Bayer’s viewpoint that effective communication is a key to success in the veterinary profession is an assessment shared by the faculty of TUSVM,” said Ruby Perry, interim dean of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health.“ Coates’ submission proved how instrumental good communication is to a veterinary practice. Our belief is that she will continue to develop this skill, ultimately benefiting both her future clients and practice.“

Coates was selected as one of 27 recipients of the 2014 BECA. The competition challenged students to submit a filmed interview in a clinical setting between the veterinary student and a client. Entries submitted in each school were evaluated by a panel of faculty judges, who selected their school’s winner using a scorecard developed by nationally-renowned veterinary faculty who specialize in communication. The winners each received a $2,500 scholarship, with the one selected as the national winner receiving an additional $2,500 scholarship.

About the Award

The Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA) is one facet of a larger initiative aimed at advancing the communication skills of the next generation of veterinarians. In 2002, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Communication to establish the Bayer Communication Project. This collaborative partnership resulted in communication skills training modules offered to colleges of veterinary medicine for incorporation into their curriculum. Selected faculty from all U.S. veterinary colleges has been trained via the Bayer Communication Project ”Train the Trainer" program.

”Bayer commends Coates for her commitment to becoming a skilled communicator within the veterinary profession,” said Ian Spinks, president and general manager, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, North America."Coates" ability to communicate effectively with clients will help build and maintain critical client relationships, as well as help ensure that animals are receiving high quality care.