New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Community Engagement

Here are opportunities both at Penn Vet and at the University of Pennsylvania where Penn Vet students and our community – local, regional, national, and international – can come together and learn. Members of underrepresented and underserved populations can learn about what we do and we, the Penn Vet community, can put our commitment to work by engaging with others. 

Penn Vet Engagement Opportunities

Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service – Putting Service Into Action

Traditionally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Penn Vet faculty, students, and staff come together to host a free dog and cat vaccination and wellness clinic at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital. The wellness clinic reflects the School’s commitment to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.

Dr. David E. Holt, companion animal surgeon and professor of surgery, is the event organizer. “On MLK Day we answer Dr. King’s call to serve and make a difference in the lives of our city’s animals and their owners,” said Dr. David E. Holt, Professor of Surgery at Penn Vet. “Our vaccination and wellness clinic is a way to meet the community’s needs.  It unites us around compassionate care for animals and builds strong communities. We are putting our core principles of clinical care and service into action.” 

Vaccinations and examinations are available by appointment only for approximately 200 dogs and cats. There is a two pet per household limit.

  • For additional questions regarding the clinic, please contact Dr. David Holt.

Penn Vet Shelter Medicine

One of the most sweeping and innovative programs at Penn Vet, Shelter Medicine offers Penn Vet students the opportunity to learn about community-based veterinary medicine and the theories behind how our  communities learn to care about their companions. Dr. Brittany Watson is also actively engaged in developing and teaching courses in the curriculum for VMD students and students in the Master of Science in Welfare and Behavior. We also offer a program for professionals interested in a Certificate in Animal Welfare & Behavior.

Penn Vet in Thailand

As part of an ongoing relationship, fourteen Penn Vet students travel to Thailand to join veterinarians in the cities of Bangkok and Chanthaburi. Bangkok is reported as having the largest population of stray dogs in the world, estimated at over 300,000. Their sheer numbers makes it difficult to provide adequate nutrition and safety. The students participated in surgery days and spayed and neutered over 70 dogs and cats during their trip. In addition, they provided free veterinary care to communities that cannot afford it otherwise.

Engagement Opportunities With the University of Pennsylvania

Bridging the Gaps 

The BTG (Bridging the Gaps) Community Health Internship Program (BTG CHIP) was established at one Philadelphia academic health center in 1991. Within five years it was adopted by all Philadelphia academic health centers, which now make up the BTG Philadelphia Consortium (Drexel University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University of Pennsylvania), other area schools (Bryn Mawr College (social work), and University of the Sciences (pharmacy and allied health disciplines) formed affiliate programs.

The Netter Center for Community Engagement 

The Netter Center operates a variety of programs and initiatives that support its core mission of bringing to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve the complex, comprehensive, and interconnected problems of the American city so that the local community of West Philadelphia, Philadelphia, the University itself, and society benefit. This includes both local programs in West Philadelphia, as well as regional, national, & international efforts to build partnerships between higher education, communities, and schools. ABCS courses, internships, and work-study and volunteer opportunities bring hundreds of Penn students into the schools and community to support these programs.

Penn School of Arts and Sciences Science Outreach Initiative

The School of Arts & Sciences Science Outreach Initiative serves faculty and other researchers in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences by helping them develop outreach program ideas and proposals, locating potential partners, and promoting information and resource exchange among all of Penn’s STEM outreach programs.

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center

The LGBT Center (also known as Carriage House) has provided a home away from home for the University of Pennsylvania's queer and transgender communities for over 35 years.

This Is How We "Role"

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine’s This is How We “Role” ® program has received the 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.  The national award for colleges and universities recognizes programs that are making a difference for all underrepresented groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)..


La Asociación Cultural de Estudiantes Latinoamericanos is a student run organization at the University of Pennsylvania. Established in 1958, ACELA has striven to create a community for Latinos within Penn and to educate the Penn community about Latino culture and all its diversity. In addition, ACELA is dedicated to the surrounding Latino community in Philadelphia and has made service a primary objective through ACAMP. ACAMP is ACELA's community service program in North Philadelphia. Established in 1995, ACAMP brings Penn students to the Norris Square Neighborhood project where students mentor children of all ages from the surrounding predominantly Latino neighborhood.

La Casa Latina

La Casa Latina is a crossroad of academic, personal, and professional growth for University of Pennsylvania students interested in Latin@ and Latin America cultures. Through advising, leadership development, academic, social and cultural programming we expand student access to the University's resources to achieve their fullest potential.

Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society

The Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society at the University of Pennsylvania aims to serve the general academic, social and professional needs of the biomedical community, with an emphasis on the retention of underrepresented PhD students.

The Black Student League (BSL)

The BSL offers a place for students to acquaint themselves with the University and assists students in making the Ivy-League experience more accessible and valuable through mentoring programs, socials, forums, and cross-cultural events.