Destin's Young named 'Team Member of the Year' by Florida Veterinary Medical Association

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Destin’s Kathryn Young, director of operations for the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Okaloosa/Walton County Inc., recently received the Florida Veterinary Medical Association “Outstanding Team Member of the Year Award” for 2022. 

“I was incredibly surprised,” said Young, who didn’t know the award existed until she got an email two weeks prior to the awards ceremony. 

Kathryn Young, director of operations for the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Okaloosa/Walton County Inc., recently received the Florida Veterinary Medical Association “Outstanding Team Member of the Year Award."

Young was presented the award at a ceremony held March 18 as part of the FVMA Annual Conference in Orlando. FVMA Service Awards honor veterinarians, team members and citizens in the State of Florida who have made outstanding contributions to the association, veterinary medicine, animal health and the human/animal bond.  

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The award Young received takes into consideration the significant contribution made by team members to the overall success of a veterinary practice or hospital. To be eligible for “Team Member Award,” the nominee must demonstrate compassion, commitment, leadership and education.  

Out of all the nominations, Young was selected as the single most deserving recipient for being well respected within the local veterinary community and by her colleagues. 

The plaque Kathryn Young was presented by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association is displayed on the wall at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Destin.

Young was nominated by Dr. Kelly Haeusler of Airport Veterinary Clinic in Destin, along with Dr. Joe Atwell of Fort Walton Beach. 

Haeusler said she nominated Young because “she deserves it.” 

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“Katy uses her considerable energy, professional and leadership talents to successfully manage two veterinary emergency clinic locations in order to provide the best quality of medical care to pets,” Haeusler said in an email. 

“Her strength of character and competence ensures the clinics have an efficient employee team. Katy’s love and compassion for animals influences her commitment, every day and night, seven days a week,” Haeusler said. 

Kathryn Young

Young has been the director of operations for the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Okaloosa/Walton County Inc. for the past eight years. The clinic has two locations, one at 212 Government Ave. in Niceville and the newest location at 247 Main Street in Destin.

The Destin office, at the corner of Main Street and Legion Drive, opened about three years ago. 

Young said when she started at the clinic eight years ago, there were three doctors and 13 employees. 

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“Now we have seven full time doctors and about 50 employees … so it’s grown,” Young said. 

Her task as director or operations is basically the fiduciary responsibility of the shareholders. 

Kathryn Young, has served as Director of Operations for the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Okaloosa/Walton County, Inc., for the past eight years. She was recently recognized by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and received the “Outstanding Team Member of the Year Award” for 2022.

“I do all the hiring, human resource, payroll … everything,” Young said. “I take everything in and then report to our board of directors, which consists of five local veterinarians, and make decisions on both locations."

Young said she’s not hands on with the animals, but she does consider herself an advocate for the animals.  

Although Young goes back and forth between the two offices, Niceville and Destin, her main office is at the Destin location. 

As for the award, Young said the FVMA put her up in a beautiful hotel in Orlando and she received a plaque at the ceremony. 

“They said a lot of nice things about me,” she said at the ceremony. 

The Destin Emergency Veterinary Clinic is located at the corner of Main Street and Legion Drive in Destin and is open 24 hours on the weekends.

Nevertheless, she said the award really belongs to all the employees. 

“It’s not me, it’s everybody. It’s a we (award),” Young said. 

Young took the plaque to the last employee meeting. 

“It’s a little embarrassing … these are the people who are in the trenches, working overnight and saving lives, the real heroes, the doctors, the pets. 

“I keep it afloat … they have my respect. I work for them,” Young said.