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Tufts to Open Low-Cost Pet Clinic at Worcester Technical High School

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

 

Believed to be the first time a veterinary school has chosen a high school clinic venue to facilitate an educational and outreach partnership, The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University today announced a collaboration with Worcester Technical High School (WTHS) that will bring a low-cost primary care clinic to pets from underserved areas throughout the Greater Worcester Area.

Associate Professor Elizabeth A. Rozanski, DVM, and Professor John E. Rush, DVM, first conceptualized a clinic to give veterinary students more primary care clinical experience while serving needy animals, with a focus on individuals who do not have the means to bring their pets to another clinic.

“By pairing veterinary assistant students alongside professional DVM students, we will be able to do more than just treat the critically underserved pets among the neediest communities in the area,” added WTHS Principal Sheila Harrity. “We will demonstrate to our students the career possibilities beyond high school while giving them hands-on education.”

Photo: Tufts

Students in programs other than the veterinary assistant curriculum will have a hand in the clinic’s creation. Students in the school’s Computer Aided Design and Drafting program, for example, have helped to design the physical space, others in the Coghlin Construction Technology program will build it, and Graphic Communications students may be tapped to design print and web advertising for the clinic.

“The students at WTHS have access to the very best—a state-of-the-art school at which to learn, the best faculty available, and now access to the brightest veterinary students,” said Coghlin. In a two-week rotation, Cummings School students would lead clinical care for the pets brought to the clinic, performing examinations and diagnostics using the on-site radiology and laboratory equipment, and creating a clinical treatment plan in consultation with Dr. Wolfus.

Startup and operation costs for the clinic have been offset by $225,000 in donations from two foundations—the Manton Foundation and the Caccomo Family Foundation—and an anonymous donor, as well as an $85,000 equipment grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. About $9,000 in equipment for the clinic was donated by Worcester-based LABEX of MA. Cummings School and WTHS personnel are also soliciting monetary and material donations from some Worcester-area and veterinary industry corporations.

Work has begun on the clinic space, and an opening is anticipated in late spring.

For more information, contact Thomas Keppeler at (508)839-7910 or tom.keppeler@tufts.edu

 

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