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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                               Fall 2009

Ragan Joins Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Valerie Ragan has joined the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine as director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine on the college’s University of Maryland-College Park campus. In her new position, Ragan will be responsible for charting the future direction of the center, including a leadership role in public health, public policy, and international veterinary medicine.

“Dr. Ragan’s extensive experience in the government sector and international involvement provide her with a very strong foundation as she

undertakes this new position,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the veterinary college. “She has a deep understanding of the needs of this area of veterinary medicine and I look forward to working with her as we continue to strengthen the programs on our Maryland campus.”

Prior to joining the veterinary college, Ragan was the president of AgWorks Solutions LLC, an agriculture consulting company in Washington, D.C., where her activities included resolving animal health issues such as disease control, eradication, and surveillance, and international veterinary capacity building.

From 1988 to 2006, she was employed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). After five years of private practice, she began her work with the USDA as a veterinary medical officer and public practice career trainee. She then served as an area epidemiology officer and senior staff veterinarian/national brucellosis epidemiologist. She subsequently served as assistant deputy administrator of the agency’s Veterinary Services program. In that capacity, she served as the national animal health surveillance coordinator, and established the National Surveillance Unit at USDA’s Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health.

Ragan’s numerous international experiences include working in Armenia to develop a National Animal Health Program, serving on the American team for trade negotiations with Asia after the discovery of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) also known as “mad-cow disease” in the United States, and presentations around the globe on brucellosis and methods for eradication of the disease. In 2008, she was honored with the National Institute of Animal Agriculture Service Award.

“Public and corporate veterinary practice has provided me with a rich and varied professional career in veterinary medicine,” said Ragan. “The opportunities and challenges in these areas today are greater than ever, and I’m looking forward to assuring the continued growth and expansion of the center as we work to prepare students and other veterinarians for the burgeoning opportunities in this area of veterinary medicine.”

Ragan completed her pre-veterinary work at Virginia Tech and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1983 from the University of Georgia. She also completed post-graduate work in biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

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