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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                   Spring 2013

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News from College Park: The CPCVM  Extends its Reach
by Valerie Ragan, DVM, Director

Greetings from the College Park campus of your veterinary college! Last summer, we shared with you a White Paper on transitioning this campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine to a National Center of Excellence for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. Since then we have continued to work to make that happen, responding to requests for our collaboration from other veterinary colleges and expanding worldwide opportunities for our students. 

Our faculty have recently collaborated with other veterinary schools on a number of public practice related activities including coordinating a Global One Health course with Mississippi state University, presenting on One Health opportunities at Tufts University, presenting a lecture on "International Livestock Trends and Global Food Security” to veterinary students at the University of Pennsylvania, and more. We continue to work to balance our VMRCVM commitments with activities that help us seal our brand as “THE” leaders in veterinary public practice education.

In addition, our efforts to secure international learning opportunities for our public corporate track students are starting to bear fruit. One of our current fourth-year public corporate track students who is also working on her Master’s in Public Health is currently in Armenia for a month to fulfill part of her requirements for both degrees. The student, Cassie Wedd, is working on a project to assess the knowledge base and perspective of zoonotic diseases in

both human health and agriculture. She is working with farmers and veterinarians in rural areas and will use the information she obtains to develop education materials and training programs regarding zoonotic disease control, prevention and recognition. The purpose of her project is to help us obtain a better understanding of what information may be lacking, how we can target more effective education efforts, and how to improve the lines of communication between human health and agricultural infrastructures and the overall health of the Republic of Armenia and its citizens. This project is being conducted as part of the grant that the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine has with USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service, as part of the Caucasus Agricultural Development Initiative. The grant was written to include funding for student travel as part of their educational process.

We are also currently finalizing the plans for a second DVM/MPH public corporate track student to conduct a practicum project in Trinidad, assisting the Chief Veterinary Officer there with the development of baseline data to inform and make recommendations towards the development of a national brucellosis surveillance eradication program for the country. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization has agreed to provide partial funding for the students travel for this project.

We are building these experiences and opportunities for students to help them understand the breadth of veterinary medicine and the importance of veterinarians as a member of the global community, as well as our role in not only animal health, but human health and societal well-being as well. These experiences help the students learn to do field investigations in a variety of cultures and situations. It also helps shape them as well-rounded public practitioners who understand the application of veterinary medicine in public practice situations and who develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they work to develop solutions to problems in new and often unfamiliar contexts.

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Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

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