Our spring issue spotlights one of Penn Vet’s core priorities: advancing health care outcomes and access.
What does this mean? It means Penn Vet’s clinical specialists strive to improve medical or surgical outcomes in our patients. It means our academic and community programs seek ways to broaden our base of health care recipients. It means our faculty focus on highly specialized disease prevention and treatment. For example, Penn Vet’s clinical oncology specialists and scientists lead the fight against cancer with revolutionary new treatments, such as FLASH and immunotherapy, and our emergency and critical care group at Ryan Hospital offers extracorporeal therapies, such as plasmapheresis, to address potentially lethal poisonings.
In this Bellwether, you’ll read two stories illustrating the innovative, specialized medicine and pioneering science people across our region — really, around the world — expect from Penn Vet: Sophie the boxer receives a cardiac treatment for humans through a collaboration with Perelman School of Medicine, and Flip Flop, an intrepid event horse, survives potentially life-ending injuries after emergency care at New Bolton Center.
Venturing into the wild, the issue also introduces Penn Vet’s new Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program, a first-of-its-kind partnership between the School and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. This exciting new program supports disease ecologists, wildlife pathologists, and wildlife veterinarians in developing evidence-based approaches to wildlife management in the Commonwealth. Among the species facing threats from infectious diseases are the white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse (the Pennsylvania state bird), and the black bear. This program aims to protect them all.
I am very proud of Penn Vet’s clinical faculty. Their clinical acumen is renowned. And the deep and compassionate service they provide 24/7, 365 days a year earns accolades too numerous to fully recount. These tremendous men and women train the next generation of clinician-scientists to push the envelope for patients in the years to come. And as more of our students look for career pathways that address the grand challenges facing our planet, Penn Vet is developing broad new educational opportunities to support them.
We are launching several new VMD joint degree programs with other Penn schools, including the School of Arts and Sciences (Environmental Studies), Perelman School of Medicine, Graduate School of Education, and Schools of Nursing and Social Policy & Practice. In the fall 2020 Bellwether, we’ll describe the concepts behind these new interdisciplinary programs and what students might do with the novel opportunities.
For now, I’ll leave you with my gratitude. Penn Vet faculty, students, and staff inspire me, and our patients and their owners remind me how important our clinical services are to people. I’m excited for the continued evolution in veterinary medicine and the School’s role in forging that path forward. You play a pivotal role in this journey — thank you!
Andrew M. Hoffman, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM
The Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine