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Stacy Pollock receives AAVLD award, flanked by Jerry Torrison (left) and Dale Lauer. University of Minnesota
FIRST TIME AWARD: Stacy Pollock (center) with the Minnesota Poultry Testing Lab received the 2019 Outstanding Performance Award for Diagnostic Services at the annual American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians meeting. Pictured with Pollock are Jerry Torrison (left) and Dale Lauer.

Willmar poultry testing lab manager wins national award

Stacy Pollock was recognized for her efforts at managing the lab during the avian flu outbreak.

A devastating disease outbreak followed by a complete renovation of her workplace made 2015 and 2016 memorable for Stacy Pollock.

The Willmar, Minn. resident’s many contributions during this time and over her 25-year career earned her national recognition at the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians in October in Rhode Island. AAVLD presented Pollock with the 2019 Outstanding Performance Award for Diagnostic Services — the first time the award has been presented.

“I am grateful for the recognition,” Pollock said. “However, performing this well under pressure requires a solid team of professionals and that’s what we have in Willmar and St. Paul. So, I’m accepting this award on behalf of the entire team.”

Pollock manages the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) in Willmar, which is part of the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) in St. Paul. MPTL also includes staff of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to ensure coordinated communication and services for Minnesota’s poultry industry.

VDL’s staff was on the front lines for providing diagnostic services to Minnesota’s poultry industry during the national outbreak in 2015 of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which affected 110 poultry farms over a five-month period and caused more than $560 million in losses in Minnesota alone. With its location in the heart of Minnesota’s poultry community, MPTL and Pollock’s team became a hub for everything related to the outbreak.

The outbreak prompted the Minnesota Legislature to provide $8.2 million for a total renovation and expansion of MPTL’s facility in Willmar. Pollock led the team in packing up the lab, moving it down the street and reopening for service, and then moving back to new laboratories and offices a year later in 2016.

“Those years were incredibly disruptive and uncharted territory for our office,” says Dale Lauer, veterinarian and assistant director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Lauer works at MPTL with Pollock. “Through it all, our services did not falter one bit. Stacy’s leadership kept us on task to provide the level of diagnostic support that our poultry industry requires. She is our rock and our visionary spark plug.”

“Stacy is setting a high standard for her colleagues in the AAVLD,” says Jerry Torrison, veterinarian and director of the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. “It is gratifying to know that our Minnesota staff are leading the nation in providing fast, high quality service in such challenging circumstances.”

MPTL and VDL provide rapid diagnosis of animal diseases, identify emerging diseases, develop new diagnostic methods, and train diagnosticians and veterinarians. The lab serves numerous clients, including the livestock and poultry industry, animal research scientists and educators, and companion animal owners. The diagnostic facilities are the state’s official laboratory for the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

Source: University of Minnesota, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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