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New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Penn Vet’s Rebecka S. Hess Earns Prestigious Lindback Award

By John Donges Published: Apr 29, 2019
Dr. Rebecka Hess leads a physical examination with a student.
Dr. Rebecka Hess leads a physical examination with a student.

[April 29, 2019; Philadelphia, PA] – Rebecka S. Hess of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) has earned the prestigious Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Hess is one of eight faculty members at Penn to receive the award this spring.  

Hess is a Professor of Medicine-Clinician Educator at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital where she serves as Section Chief of Small Animal Internal Medicine, and as Chair of the Companion Animal Research Fund. Her research focuses on diabetes and other endocrinopathies in dogs and cats, topics of which she is invited to speak on nationally and internationally. 

"It gives me the greatest pleasure to laud Dr. Rebecka Hess for being the recipient of the prestigious Lindback Award," said Oliver Garden, Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine. "Rebecka's teaching is intellectually stimulating, engaging, and pedagogically rigorous, and has been widely recognized through multiple student and alumni teaching awards over the years. This award tops them all! Rebecka is also a valued colleague within the Section of Internal Medicine. Many congratulations, Rebecka - you richly deserve this wonderful accolade!"

One student nominator writes, “Dr. Hess has a wonderful talent for breaking down some of the most complex topics and making them clear. She did an excellent job in teaching the material, and I really enjoyed her lectures.”

Another student submitted, “Honestly, I don't think I knew what I was missing from a lecturer until Dr. Hess taught us. I loved going through all the mechanisms underlying the clinical presentation for the diseases covered and thinking through what the differentials would be and how mechanistically they would differ.”

“She is absolutely brilliant and teaches in a manner that explains complex pathophysiology in a way that is easier to comprehend,” writes a third student. “She cultivates a type of thinking that allows a student to understand the underlying mechanism to each clinical finding. She encourages students to think rather than memorize and regurgitate. She is patient, compassionate, and encouraging.”

During her time at Penn Vet, Hess has trained 79 residents. One former resident writes, “Dr. Hess has had tremendous influence over a vast amount of students, residents, and interns. I know this because after having completed veterinary school and my residency at Penn Vet and working closely with her during those long years, I cannot forget lessons she burned into my brain and ideals which have been instilled into me even years after I left and moved to Florida. There is no doubt in my mind that any accolades of which I am deserving are due to what Dr. Hess has helped shape.”

Hess received her undergraduate degree in biology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and earned her veterinary degree from The Hebrew University’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine. She also earned a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the Perelman School of Medicine. Hess is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

About the Lindback Award

The Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1961 with the help of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. Christian Lindback was president and principal owner of Abbotts Dairies, Inc. and a trustee of Bucknell University. The Foundation established Lindback Awards for Distinguished Teaching at colleges and universities throughout Abbotts Dairies, Inc.’s service area in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.

The University gives out eight Lindback awards each year, four to those in health-related disciplines, and four to those in other departments and divisions. Award winners are determined by nominations and recommendations made by faculty and students based on detailed criteria.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling more than 34,600 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles more than 6,200 patient visits a year, while our Field Services have gone out on more than 5,500 farm service calls, treating some 18,700 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

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