Friday, July 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Veterinary pioneer Haskins dies in plane crash

By
From page A1 | May 02, 2014 |

Haskins2w

Steven Carter Haskins. Courtesy photo

Steven Carter Haskins, a UC Davis professor emeritus who helped found two veterinary medical specialities, died last week in a plane crash in eastern Arizona. He was 69.

Gila County Sheriff’s Office investigators said Thursday they are awaiting the results of a DNA test before officially identifying the body found inside Haskins’ two-seat Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair III experimental plane on the Fort Apache Reservation.

It took deputies about two hours to find the wreckage in a remote area of scrub brush at 5,000 to 6,000 feet of elevation after receiving a call Saturday afternoon from the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Detective Johnny Holmes said Haskins may have been headed from points east to Phoenix when an air traffic controller rerouted him toward Globe, Arizona, 87 miles to the east.

Why was unclear, but a Federal Aviation Administration investigation is underway.

“He may have become disoriented in a storm,” Holmes said.

The father of veterinary anesthesiology and a pioneer in emergency and critical care, Haskins authored more than 70 research papers and many book chapters and teaching publications.

He helped form the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society and the American College of Veterinary Emergency Critical Care, serving as president of both. He established one of the first intensive care residency programs.

“He really was one of the most sort of famous members of our profession. People all over the world were influenced by him,” said Kate Hopper, chief of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s small-animal emergency medicine and critical care service.

After graduating from Washington State University in 1969 and completing a residency in New York, Haskins earned a master’s degree and completed an anesthesia residency in human medicine at the University of Minnesota in 1973.

He did so because he saw a need to formalize what veterinarians had been doing for their animal patients, Hopper said.

“Before that, (anesthesia) was just something veterinarians did, they used drugs and things, but nobody had specified which drugs and the safest way to do it,” Hopper said. “Back then, a lot of animals died under anesthesia. Now, it’s an unusual event because of that specialty.”

Haskins came to UCD in 1975. He went on to play a key role in emergency care as a speciality, formalizing everything from the taking of blood pressure to patient evaluation in critical care situations.

“Before that, animals were routinely put to sleep because their injuries were so severe it was believed care was unlikely to be successful,” Hopper said. “Steve was the first person who did all those things and then taught the world.”

Haskins received distinguished teaching awards at both UCD and the University of Minnesota. Teaching probably was his greatest skill, said Hopper, who first met Haskins in 1999. She did both her residency and Ph.D. under his guidance.

She called him “incredibly charismatic,” funny and warm — the kind of teacher who made sure everyone felt involved.

Anyone can learn this, Haskins would say, be brave.

“People who knew him for only a couple of weeks say he was the most influential person on their career,” Hopper said. “He was probably the most brilliant person I’ve ever met and the least arrogant about it.

“He was devastated if we lost a patient. He was truly committed to every animal. That was pretty inspirational to all of us.”

Haskins, who lived on a ranch between Davis and Winters, retired in 2006, but he continued to teach at UCD and around the world. He worked with UCD students as recently as December.

In 2007, Washington State University gave Haskins an alumni award for teaching and research. And last September, he was recognized for teaching at all 19 International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposiums.

A pilot earlier in his life, Haskins set out to get a new license and buy a plane after retirement, Hopper said.

On his website, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, veterinarian Ira Zaslow wrote that he saw his friend Haskins only two weeks before his death. They made plans for Haskins, who had grown bored with retirement, to join the Florida practice and make regular visits.

Over dinner, they laughed about how, in the early 1970s, they would hold meetings of what was then the Veterinary Critical Care Society and have only six people turn up to see five speakers.

Today, the organization boasts a membership of over 3,500, much to Steve’s credit,” Zaslow wrote.

Many times, he wrote, he told Haskins that his plane was unsafe and that he ought to get rid of it.

Haskins “would chuckle and remind me that he used to say the same to me during my years of sailing, when I sailed in angry seas,” wrote Zaslow, who called his friend “undefeatable.”

Haskins is survived by his wife, Nanci Bristowe; sisters, Cathy Haskins O’Donnell and Dayle Haskins Imperado; nephew, Kacie Haskins; great-niece, Ashton Haskins; and great-nephew, Grayson Haskins.

A memorial service has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at Gladys Valley Hall on the UCD campus.

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • MikeMay 02, 2014 - 10:45 pm

    RIP Steve

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MichaelMay 05, 2014 - 3:47 am

    Thank you for giving me an amazing introduction in my vet career! You will be missed

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dr. DebMay 06, 2014 - 9:11 pm

    Thank you Steve for giving so much to veterinary medicine and to us veterinarians. Rest in peace.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Clinton C. NashMay 17, 2014 - 4:03 am

    I remember Steve as he performed in the 1985 California State Fair with his beloved Paso Fino horses. I asked him to exhibit at the Cavalcade of Horses and he delivered beautifully at this inaugural event. His dedication to a task st hand was unmatched. RiP Steve.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Aglaia Cardona, DVMMay 22, 2014 - 9:06 pm

    Every time I anesthetize a patient I think of Steve. From my first summer clinic in anesthesiology freshman year, he became a powerful mentor and eventually a wonderful friend. He was a brilliant, kind, humble man. I never once saw him lose his cool, whether he was riding his stallion or in clinics. He was an intensely motivating, charismatic teacher, one of a kind. Steve, you will be sorely missed.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    California climate change policies to hit our pocketbooks

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

     
    Tech Trekkers boldly go into STEM fields

    By Amy Jiang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Decoding breast milk secrets reveals clues to lasting health

    By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Artists, photographers invited to support Yolo Basin Foundation

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Unitarians will host summer camp

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Wetlands visitors will see migrating shorebirds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    ‘Bak2Sac’ free train ride program launched

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Explorit: Wonderful wetlands right at home

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Recycle old paint cans for free

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Where your gas money goes

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

     
    STEAC needs donations of personal care items

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    Americans, internationals make connections

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    .

    Forum

    Thanks for emergency help

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Commenting system to change

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10, 15 Comments

     
    Support these local restaurants

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Let’s get the bench repaired

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Predicting climate changes

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
    Clinton’s book is worth a read

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Hudson solid, Hammels better in Giants’ loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Petrovic, Putnam share Canadian Open lead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Moss powers A’s past Astros

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    My Zenith was whacked, but I wouldn’t trade a thing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Enriquez brilliant, but Post 77 season ends with Area 1 loss

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    The un-Armstrong? Tour ‘boss’ Nibali wins Stage 18

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘A Most Wanted Man’: Superb espionage drama

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Clyde Elmore: Art in the Wild

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Musicians perform at Sunday service

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A17 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Accord’s latest model is most fuel efficient

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Richard ‘Dick’ Robenalt

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, July 25, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A13