Joan C. Hendricks, V.M.D., Ph.D.
The Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine
Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD became the 12th dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) on January 1, 2006 making her the third female dean of a veterinary school in the United States.
In the role of Dean, Dr. Hendricks is responsible for all faculty affairs, administration and strategic planning for the School spanning both the Philadelphia and Kennett Square campuses. In addition, she oversees academic affairs and curriculum as well as the School’s two teaching hospitals – the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for small animals in Philadelphia and the George D. Widener Hospital for large animals in Kennett Square on the New Bolton Center campus.
During her tenure, Dean Hendricks has also taken a lead role in lobbying to legislators on behalf of the School in Harrisburg. Veterinarians, she believes, play an integral part in the One Health initiative, which speaks to the profession’s role in ensuring public health and food safety, guarding against bio- and agro-terrorism and working to protect the environment. It is through her lobbying of this platform that Penn Vet was moved from education to the agriculture line item in the Commonwealth’s 2011 budget.
Before taking on the role as Dean, Dr. Hendricks served as a faculty member for Penn Vet for more than 20 years.
In her role as a faculty member, Dean Hendricks became the first woman to hold an endowed professorship at the School when she was named the Henry and Corinne R. Bower Professor of Small Animal Medicine in 2001. She has also served as chief of critical care in the Department of Clinical Studies at Philadelphia and is founding director of the Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center (VCIC). Dean Hendricks holds a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Medicine at Penn’s School of Medicine and has served in a leadership position in the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA).
It was Dean Hendricks, who, working with colleagues at the small-animal hospital, that a Center for Critical Care was established, which brought the Emergency Service, Intensive Care Unit and the Anesthesia Service together into a single section. Dean Hendricks has significantly advanced the stature and importance of the School’s clinical investigation capabilities by successfully recruiting highly regarded tenure-track faculty in the Department of Clinical Studies, and by establishing an innovative partnership with Pfizer Animal Health to support clinical trials.
Dean Hendricks’ work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) and the Journal of Applied Physiology, and she is frequently invited to lecture at major conferences around the world. During her sabbatical year, she investigated how molecular biology could be applied to neuroscience, specifically to the field of sleep and sleep disorders, in which Dean Hendricks is a recognized expert. She has studied bulldogs extensively and published pioneering studies on the molecular biology of sleep in fruit flies in the high-impact journals Nature Neuroscience and Neuron.
In 1979 and 1980, Dean Hendricks earned her VMD and PhD from the School, respectively. She also carried out her residency and postdoctoral fellowship at Penn. She has a bachelor of science in biology and psychology from Yale University.
Notable Penn Vet Achievements and Milestones under Dean Hendricks
- Celebrated 125th anniversary of the School, which included a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service event that offered free vaccines to dogs and cats in the West Philadelphia neighborhood. The event has since become an annual tradition. (http://125th.vet.upenn.edu/).
- Launched the largest campaign in the School's history with a goal of $125 million. As of March 2011, more than $100 million has been raised for the Campaign, which is slated to close in 2012.
- Opened a Shelter Animal Medicine program in which Penn Vet students get first-hand experience working with the shelter animal population and shelter animals benefit from the care of veterinary professionals.
- Established a Laminitis Fund and Richardson Chair to build a program aimed at understanding, preventing and treating equine laminitis.
- Completed facilities master plan for both Philadelphia and Kennett Square campuses and are moving forward with elements as funds permit.
- Revamped the Old Vet Courtyard by laying sod and providing a central, green gathering space for students, faculty and staff.
- Renovated the space in which Regenerative Medicine is housed.
- Opened the best-in-class James M. Moran, Jr. Critical Care Center at New Bolton Center, which cares for some of the most ill equine patients.
- Awarded World Award and Student Inspiration Awards celebrating and publicizing significant achievements and proposals by established veterinarians globally and Penn Vet Students, respectively. (http://www.vet.upenn.edu/PennVet/News/WorldAwards/WorldAwardsOverview/tabid/1334/Default.aspx)
- Increased class size to 125, focusing on increasing applications and admissions for students with diverse aspirations (public health, global veterinary medicine, food safety and food security, academia, biomedical research, and other public veterinary medicine priorities).
- Implemented “Penn Vet Connects” website celebrates, supports, and publicizes community outreach programs and projects. (http://www.vet.upenn.edu/PennVet/PennVetConnects/tabid/246/Default.aspx)
- Working Dog Center established. (http://www.pennvetwdc.org/)
- Penn Vet/Wharton Executive Veterinary Leadership program established – the first of its kind to focus on increasing influence and leadership of mid-career veterinarians. (http://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/open-enrollment/leadership-development-programs/executive-veterinary-leadership.cfm?roie=0685&slx=pvnet )
- Added Dr. Corinne Sweeney to the leadership core team for first academic hospital Veterinary Management Group.
- Began implementation of creating a sustainable business model for both academic teaching hospitals in Philadelphia and at New Bolton Center campuses.
- Revised educational programs to offer additional opportunities for community outreach, taking advantage of programs across Penn's 12 Schools. • Increased support for international programs.
- Established the Veterinary Public Health Certificate program.
- Established an endowed "Learning Organization Fund" to support training opportunities to enhance faculty and staff communications and leadership capability.
To contact Dr. Hendricks: