Penn Vet Student Honored for Work with Pennsylvania Game Commission
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
[January 25, 2012; Kennett Square, PA] – On January 23, 2012, Robin Heagy received a commendation for her work with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). Heagy, a third-year student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), worked with the PGC from June to December 2011 to create a Wildlife Disease Reference Library. The library was recently posted on the PGC’s website, http://www.pgc.state.pa.us.
The commendation read, in part, “As a result of Robin’s diligence and hard work, at the end of a comparatively short period of time, the Game Commission has a Wildlife Disease Reference Library in finished form, ready and available on the website…The Commission commends Robin for this significant contribution to the health of Pennsylvania’s wildlife resource.”
While Heagy looked to other such reference libraries as models, she was responsible for developing the format of the current PGC online library. “I researched 48 wildlife diseases,” she explains, “and created an information sheet about each one.” The sheets include causes, significance, distribution, transmission and species involved, among other information. “I learned a tremendous amount, and hope that the information compiled will be of value to Pennsylvania residents.”
Heagy, who grew up in Bucks County, PA, has always been interested in wildlife, but it wasn’t until she began working with PGC veterinarian Dr. Walter Cottrell, while an undergrad, that she began to consider a career in veterinary medicine. “Penn Vet, with its One Health initiative, is really great at focusing on the way that wildlife, domestic animals and humans are integrated. Wild animals, domestic animals and even humans can be affected by some of the same diseases. It’s important to understand the role of wildlife in our lives.” Veterinarians, she adds, play a valuable role in monitoring the health of wildlife species and managing their populations.
“It is not every day that we are able to acknowledge the contributions of an employee that will potentially benefit all wildlife species, virtually all members of the Game Commission family, and all citizens of the Commonwealth that value wildlife,” said Dr. Cottrell of Heagy.
Prior to her work with the PGC, Heagy’s background was primarily in mammalian disease, though she has recently been intrigued by poultry medicine because similar diseases impact both poultry and wild bird populations. She plans to pursue a career in wildlife medicine, and has three externships in various parts of the country lined up for her final year of veterinary school.
Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One Medicine. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients, from pets to horses to farm animals at our two campuses. In Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for companion animals, as well as classrooms, laboratories and the School's administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., encompasses hospital facilities for the care of horses and food animals as well as diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry. The School has successfully integrated scholarship and scientific discovery with all aspects of veterinary medical education.
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