[December 10, 2013; Philadelphia, PA] – The Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society (VECCS) has named Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital a Level I Facility, making it the first university-based hospital to receive the prestigious designation.

The certification indicates the highest level of patient care, based on specialist and technician staffing, emergency capabilities, equipment and instrument availability, in-patient support capabilities, continuing education programs, and facilities.  

Penn Vet, Ryan Hospital, emergency services

In April, the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) named Ryan Hospital one of nine designated Veterinary Trauma Centers in the U.S.

The VECCS designation now makes Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital the only institution recognized as both a Level I Facility and an official Veterinary Trauma Center.  

“This dual distinction reflects Ryan Hospital’s depth of resources and ongoing commitment to high-quality patient care for animals suffering from traumatic injuries,” said Bo Connell, Executive Director of Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital. “Our comprehensive capabilities, cutting-edge technologies, and world-renowned specialists ensure that the most up-to-date and advanced treatments are provided to our patients.”

In order to be designated a Level I Facility, the highest level of certification from the VECCS, hospitals must:
•    Serve as a 24-hour acute care facility with the resources and specialty training necessary to provide sophisticated emergent and critical patient care
•    Be open to receive small-animal emergency patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year
•    Employ a full-time Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care who is available for consultation either on-site or by phone 24/7
•    Provide total care for every aspect of management of the small animal trauma patient, from emergency stabilization through definitive medical and surgical care and rehabilitation, on a 24/7 basis
•    Have board-certified specialists available for consultation seven days per week in the fields of emergency and critical care, surgery, and radiology

A complete list of requirements is available here.  

“Ryan Hospital has met, and in many cases exceeded, the highest standards set forth by VECCS in evaluating emergency and critical care facilities,” said Gary Stamp, DVM, Executive Director of VECCS. “It is fitting that Penn Vet is the first university hospital to obtain certification, as it was the location of the first ACVECC examination. Also, a Penn Vet emergency staff veterinarian, Dr. Dougie Macintire, was the first veterinarian to pass the examination for ACVECC specialty certification.”

At Ryan Hospital, a team-based approach allows emergency and critical care veterinarians to work closely with board-certified specialists in every discipline to ensure patients receive the specialized, individually tailored medical care they need. In addition, Penn Vet faculty and staff are pioneers in research on trauma, shock, and other emergency conditions.

About the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society
The purpose of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society is to promote the advancement of knowledge and to elevate standards of practice in veterinary emergency medicine and critical patient care. Toward this purpose, the Society
•    Associates and affiliates into one organization doctors of veterinary medicine, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and other individuals engaged in the practice of, or who have special interest in the field of veterinary emergency and critical patient care.
•    Conducts continuing education programs and disseminates information pertinent to veterinary emergency and critical care to all interested groups and organizations.
•    Establishes and promotes uniform standards and guidelines for the practice of veterinary emergency and critical patient care. The VECCS Facility Certification program was established in September 2013.
•    Fosters and encourages education, research, and scientific progress in veterinary emergency and critical patient care.

About Penn Vet
Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only 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, seeing nearly 33,000 patients 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, treating 33,000 patients each year – 4,100 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.