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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Bequest Will Support Research On New Treatments

July 16th, 2019

A close friend of the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine has arranged an extraordinary bequest to Oregon State University. The planned gift represents the anonymous donor’s entire estate, valued at more than $6 million.

“We are incredibly grateful for the trust that a gift like this demonstrates,” says Susan Tornquist, Lois Bates Acheson Dean. “We feel a great sense of responsibility to live up to that sense of confidence.”

Gift will help college scale up, pursue cutting-edge work

The planned bequest will create an endowed fund for the college, generating a perpetual, dependable stream of income to be used at the dean’s discretion. Such a fund gives leaders the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they arise and meet needs as circumstances change.

“In my years as dean, we’ve seen a fair number of changes not in our basic goals but in new developments in veterinary medicine and the services we provide,” Tornquist says. “For example, in our new building expansion we’re gaining a linear accelerator, which will allow us to provide radiation oncology for cancer patients. Ten years ago, we wouldn’t have anticipated that we’d be an oncology center.”

OSU’s work with veterinary oncology is just one example of research that will ultimately benefit human medicine as well as improve treatment for animals. Faculty and students currently are working on such health issues as tuberculosis, HIV, respiratory diseases, neurological diseases and more.

The connection to human health is especially important to the anonymous donor. “Initially my commitment to the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine was related to advancing the health of companion animals and to educating future generations of veterinarians,” the donor says. “Today my commitment is broader and reflects my intentions to help advance the mission of health at Oregon State.

“This university has tremendous strengths and unique capabilities in the areas of human and animal health,” the donor continues. “Veterinary medicine plays a key role in how OSU defines itself in health sciences and helps set us apart from other universities.”

Donor legacy creates a healthier future

Looking ahead, the college will continue to add specialists. For example, OSU recently hired its first criticalist, who works with the very sickest patients. Future developments are possible in neurology, dermatology, and the prevention and treatment of chronic pain.

“We take our mission very seriously, and this planned gift is an enormous investment in the future,” Tornquist says.

“There are hard moments in veterinary medicine, a lot of stresses. There are hard decisions to make when we’re trying to determine the best course of action.  To have this wonderful expression of support is incredibly meaningful for all of us. It’s a great message to students. Yes, you’re going to be working long hours but what you’re doing is really important and people deeply appreciate it.”

Learn more about making a planned gift to Oregon State University.


OSU Tackles Veterinary Suicide Prevention

July 11th, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study in January that found suicide rates, when compared to the general population, were 2.1 times as high for male veterinarians and 3.5 times as high for female veterinarians.

This and recent news stories about veterinary suicide, have shined a much needed light on the problems of job stress and depression in the veterinary profession. As a result, private practices, corporate veterinary hospitals, the OVMA, and OSU are all facing the crisis and working to do something about it.

In the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, in-house psychologist Alex Rowell is implementing several initiatives to address the issue, including weekly wellness and self-care emails, one-on-one counseling, and a class for students focused on self-compassion and leadership.

“I think we’ve brought it [mental health] out of the darkness,” Rowell said. “We’ve had conversations about stress, anxiety and suicide. They used to be very taboo. We used to look at it as some moral flaw. But now we say it’s OK to talk about it with someone.”

CCVM Alumna McAllister Named Chief Medical Officer

June 26th, 2019

Dr. Molly McAllister (Class of 2004) was recently named the Chief Medical Office for Banfield Pet Hospitals. Dr. McAllister has worked at Banfield for five years. Her prior position was as Vice President of Veterinary Science.

“It has been my privilege to work alongside Dr. McAllister over the past 5 years. Her passion for the power of data combined with open, solution-based dialogue among hospital teams has led to breakthroughs in how we as a practice and as an industry can continue to elevate the care we provide to our clients and their pets,” says Dr. Daniel Aja, Chief Veterinary Relations Officer. “I have seen firsthand her dedication to providing quality care for every pet, every time – a dedication that continues to be her guiding principle as she transitions into her new role leading the overall vision for veterinary medicine at our 1,000+ hospitals. “

Veterinarians Have Very Small Role In Opioid Crisis

June 26th, 2019

Dr. Connie White (Class of 1997), President of the OVMA, recently clarified the role that veterinary clinics play in the abuse of prescription opioids. Although a few addicts may try to doctor shop for prescription drugs at their veterinarian, the numbers are insignificant.

Dr. White notes that opioid-type drug doses for pets are small and low-potency. “I don’t think that we’re a very big part of the problem at all,” says Dr. White. “If you look at the current epidemic which we have, which is heartbreaking, veterinarians have not played any substantive role in either getting us here or being the source of drugs which are responsible for opioid overdose.”

Full story on KATU.

OSU Shines At Internal Medicine Conference

June 24th, 2019

Drs. McKenzie, Redmond, Pitel, and Pacheco.

OSU faculty and house officers were well represented at the national ACVIM forum held in Phoenix, Arizona the week of June 3rd.

Dr. Jana Gordon served as the 2019 Forum Program Chair. Dr. Helio de Morais served on the small animal internal medicine exam committee, and Dr. Ben Brunson sat for the general examination.

Drs. Pacheco, Redmond, McKenzie and Pitel attended from the large animal medicine section, with Dr. Redmond sitting the general examination, and Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Pitel both presenting oral research abstracts. Dr. Pitel was subsequently awarded one of the highly regarded ACVIM resident research awards for presenting her Master’s thesis data.

The cardiology section was represented by Drs. Leblanc, Scollan and Allen, as well as CVT Robyn Panico. Dr. Scollan participated as an examination committee member, and presented an oral research abstract. Dr. Meghan Allen received a resident research award for her work on gabapentin cardiovascular effects in cats.

Study Confirms Complete Tumor Removal Reduces Risk of Recurrence

May 22nd, 2019

The relative risk of a recurrence of cancer is reduced by 60% in dogs whose tumors are completely removed, a new analysis by Oregon State University researchers has found. “You want to get all of the tumor out if you can,” said Milan Milovancev, an associate professor of small animal surgery in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine and lead author of the study. “That’s what most veterinarians, including myself, have thought, but this makes it more official. Now we can say, here’s the data.”

The researchers reviewed published veterinary studies and found a recurrence of less than 10% in dogs where the soft tissue sarcoma was completely excised, versus 33% recurrence in cases where the cancer was incompletely excised, meaning there was microscopic evidence that tumor cells remained after surgery.

The findings were published recently in the journal Veterinary and Comparative Oncology. Co-authors are Veronica Irvin, an assistant professor in Oregon State’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences; Katy Townsend, an assistant professor in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine; and Joanne Tuohy of Colorado State University.

The researchers reviewed 486 research articles, ultimately focusing on 10 studies that met a set of criteria for inclusion in the analysis. Those studies represented 278 dogs surgically treated for cases of soft tissue sarcoma.


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