PennVet | Milestones and Impact: 2006-2018
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Milestones and Impact: 2006-2018

Published: Mar 22, 2018
Penn President Dr Amy Gutmann and Dean Joan Hendricks

“An energetic and innovative leader, Dean Joan Hendricks has propelled Penn Vet forward through her passion for excellence and her commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration. She has strengthened ties between Penn’s schools to foster transformative research, exceptional care, and world-class education that improves animal and human health. She has also worked tirelessly to demonstrate Penn Vet’s importance to the health and safety of people across the Commonwealth and around the world.”

Penn President, Dr. Amy Gutmann

“I cannot imagine a greater honor than being chosen to lead this important, venerated institution. I love the grand doorways, the old bricks, the smell of history and glorious achievements, and the carved plaques gratefully acknowledging those whose greatness echoes where we walk.”  

Dean Joan Hendricks, Dean’s Message, Bellwether, Winter 2006

With these words, Dean Hendricks ushered in an illustrious tenure as Penn Vet’s 12th Dean. Over 12 years, Hendricks added to the long list of Penn Vet’s “glorious achievements,” helping secure the School’s greatness as a trusted local, national, and global leader in advancing animal and human health. As Penn Vet’s first female Dean (and, before that, the first woman named to an endowed professorship at Penn Vet), she broke a glass ceiling, widening the leadership path for other women in the veterinary field.


Receiving the Torch

After earning her VMD and PhD from Penn Vet, serving on the
faculty for more than 30 years, and becoming the first woman at
the School named to an endowed professorship, Joan C. Hendricks
is appointed as Penn Vet's first female dean. She succeeds Dean
Alan M. Kelly, a distinguished researcher, educator, and leader.

Joan C. Hendricks is appointed as Penn Vet's first female dean. 

Shelter Medicine Program Established

Launched by Dean Hendricks, the program offers key veterinary
support to regional animal shelters and pet owners, along
with important training for Penn Vet students. Now directed by Dr.
Brittany Watson, V’10, the program emphasizes community
outreach to prevent animals from entering shelters in the first place.

“The Shelter Medicine Program has been critical in our ability to
provide quality care for the 23,000 animals we intake annually.
Because of the program, we function like a shelter that has five
veterinarians, when in reality we are funded for two.”
Vincent Medley, Executive Director, ACCT Philly

Shelter Medicine program established 


Penn Vet and Wharton Partner to Cultivate Veterinary Leaders
A joint Penn Vet and Wharton initiative, the Penn Executive Veterinary Leadership Program prepares veterinary students and professionals to lead in tackling global animal and human health issues. Nearly 150 people have participated as of Fall 2017.

“Joan approached Wharton with the persuasive argument that veterinarians must sit at the table of major global public health issues. We designed a program to help people from across the veterinary field develop critical skills to complement their technical expertise, positioning them to become strong leaders and advocates for global One Health.”
Kathryn L. Pearson,
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, The Wharton School

Advocacy Through the Downturn
Penn Vet faced a staggering decrease in Commonwealth funding during the Great Recession. Intense advocacy efforts in Harrisburg helped stabilize the School financially and increased awareness statewide of Penn Vet’s key contributions to agriculture and animal health in Pennsylvania.

“This was a very difficult time. Joan responded to the proposed funding cuts with a steady hand. She thoughtfully created a proactive and ultimately successful strategy to articulate to the state legislature Penn Vet’s value in rural and urban areas statewide, and she enlisted students, faculty, board, and external stakeholders from across Pennsylvania to advocate for the School and promote its programs and services.” 
John P. Shoemaker,
Penn Vet Board of Overseers

First Student Inspiration Awards Given
Launched with a gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill, the Student
Inspiration Awards recognize Penn Vet students advancing the
frontiers of veterinary medicine. To date, 26 students (including
Lisa Gretebeck, V’14, pictured at right) have been honored for
projects reaching as far as Italy, Thailand, and Haiti and as close
as Northwest Philadelphia, as well as projects using technology to
broadly impact animals and society.
First Student Inspiration Awards Given 


VCIC Introduces New Hub For Innovation
Founded by Dean Hendricks, the Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center (VCIC) advances veterinary medicine through clinical studies designed to identify novel approaches to disease diagnosis, management, and prevention. Trials have spanned specialties including oncology, cardiology, dermatology, and critical care.

“The VCIC emerged from a need for a supportive environment to conduct high-quality clinical research that benefits Penn Vet patients, while also advancing treatments and approaches to human diseases. I could not be prouder of this highly successful center that helps our creative, good-hearted faculty develop new ways to heal animals and helps owners afford state-of-the-art care.”
Dean Joan Hendricks



James M. Moran, Jr. Critical Care Center Opens
Located on the New Bolton Center campus, and named in
honor of longtime New Bolton supporter Betty Moran’s son, the
center provides state-of-the-art care for horses with
gastrointestinal disease and a self-contained, bio-secure space
for infectious disease patients. 

“This amazing facility is a
remarkable advancement in New Bolton Center’s ability to contain
contagious diseases, a threat to our most critically ill horses. The
center enables us to successfully prevent the spread of disease
within the hospital and improve outcomes for patients.”
Dr. Corinne Sweeney, Associate Dean for New Bolton Center

James M. Moran, Jr. Critical Care Center Opens 



Working Dog Center Founded
Founded and directed by Dr. Cindy Otto, a pioneer in the
working dog field, the Center serves as a national research and
development center for detection dogs. Canine graduates have
gone on to careers in narcotics, explosives, and medical
detection, as well as multi-purpose law enforcement and
search and rescue. 

“The Working Dog Center team
does incredibly vital work and offers a tremendous service for
law enforcement and search and rescue across the country. Penn
Police is proud of our relationship with the Center—our two
ordnance disposal canines are graduates and a critical part of our

Maureen S. Rush, VP for Public Safety at the University and
Superintendent of Penn Police

Working Dog Center Founded 

World-Class Equine Evaluation Facility Opens
Made possible in part with support from Ilona English, New Bolton
Center’s Equine Performance and Evaluation Facility (EPEF) is an
indoor arena—safe during all types of weather—for clinicians to
conduct in-depth evaluations of horses for medical and
performance issues. 

“I’ve owned ponies and horses for 40 years and bred them for nearly
as long. I am very proud to have provided leadership in laying the
groundwork for Penn Vet’s state-of-the-art EPEF. The unique
space supports patients, owners, and Penn Vet students and faculty
in a multifaceted approach to equine health.”

Ilona English, Owner, Summit Sporthorses

World-Class Equine Evaluation Facility Opens 

Trips to India and China
In 2012 and 2013, the School expands collaborations in India
and China to improve the productivity, efficiency, and
sustainability of the growing dairy and swine industries in both
countries. Penn Vet food animal students have since worked
directly with India’s dairy industry and pursued summer fellowship
programs focused on Chinese large dairy herds. 

“Penn Vet has become actively involved in helping emerging
powerhouse economies, like India and China, meet the increased
demand for animal proteins. Such global engagement not only
supports these burgeoning economies but also prepares our
students to work as veterinarians in an increasingly interconnected
Dr. David Galligan, Professor of Animal Health Economics and
Section Chief, Center for Animal Health and Productivity

The School expands collaborations in India and China. 


Center For Host-Microbial Interactions (CHMI) Created
The first of its kind at a veterinary school, the interdisciplinary CHMI helps Penn Vet faculty and students leverage cutting-edge genomic approaches to understand how viruses, bacteria, and parasites—microbes—interact with their animal hosts to maintain health or cause disease. 

“The CHMI recognizes complex microbial communities are major players in One Health. It is groundbreaking in its research and cross- University collaboration that explores the effects microbes have on animal and human health. Joan’s keen ability to see the center’s potential impact on education, research, and clinical care at Penn Vet made the CHMI possible.”
Dr. Christopher Hunter, Mindy Halikman Heyer Distinguished Professor of Pathobiology

One Health Award Established
A joint recognition from Penn Vet and the University’s three other
health schools—Perelman School of Medicine, School of Nursing
Science, and School of Dental Medicine—the annual award
recognizes significant interdisciplinary and collaborative
research at Penn in the spirit of One Health. 
One Health Award Established 


Ryan Hospital Heyer Lobby Unveiled
Funded with a generous gift from Andrew R. and Mindy H. Heyer, a
transformative renovation turned the outdated Ryan Hospital lobby
into a warm, welcoming, and comfortable space for clients and

Ryan Hospital Heyer Lobby Unveiled 

First Commonwealth One Health Scholarships Awarded
For veterinary students interested in pursuing food animal production medicine and practice in Pennsylvania, the scholarship offers a full tuition subsidy for four years at Penn Vet. Five students have received the scholarship since 2015. 


Animal Planet's Life At Vet U Premieres
Shot at Ryan Hospital and New Bolton Center, the Animal Planet docu-series offered a behind-the-scenes look at the rigorous training and daily lives of six fourth-year students at Penn Vet.

Fund Supports Future Global Food Security Leaders
A collaboration between Penn Vet and Wharton, the Robert Marshak-Vernon Hill Scholarship Fund is established with a gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill to train VMD-MBA students with the vision to advance both the science and business of food animal production.

Robots Arrive At New Bolton Center
New Bolton Center entered a new dimension in equine health when
it became the first veterinary teaching hospital in the world to
use the EQUIMAGINE robotics-controlled imaging system for
standing, awake horses. 
Robots Arrive At New Bolton Center 


Professorship Honors Dr. Ralph Brinster
Through the generosity of Henrietta Alexander, Penn Vet
established the Ralph L. Brinster President’s Distinguished
Professorship in honor of Dr. Brinster, V’60, the School’s
renowned faculty member and scientist, and the first veterinarian
to earn the National Medal of Science (2011). The Professorship
enables Penn Vet to recruit a faculty member who will contribute
to the preeminence of the School and University.

Professorship Honors Dr. Ralph Brinster 

Penn Vet Cancer Center Launched
The Center integrates cancer research and clinical care,
facilitating research into cancer causes and prevention,
responses to treatment, and outcomes for patients. It seeks to
advance promising discoveries from the laboratory to the
development of novel strategies for prevention, early detection,
and treatment of companion animals and people.

“The Center further positions Penn Vet to solve cancer’s
mysteries through research. In partnership with cancer research
leaders across the University, including immunotherapy
trailblazers Drs. Carl June, Kristy Weber, Robert Vonderheide, and
many other collaborators, Penn Vet will continue to play a key role
in pioneering cancer treatments in people and animals.”

Dr. Ellen Puré, Director of the Penn Vet Cancer Center

Penn Vet Cancer Center Launched