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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                   Winter 2013

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Dr. Tracy McCracken Named Assistant Director of Education and Training at Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine
by Valerie Ragan, DVM, Director

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Tracy McCracken has joined the faculty of Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) as the Assistant Director of Education and Training for the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM) in College Park, MD. As I mentioned in my last update, we have been working to modify our public and corporate track curriculum and to position ourselves to best train public practice veterinarians of the future. A large part of the new direction is an increased focus on a One Health approach, which includes the integration of veterinary

medicine, public health and environmental health. Dr. McCracken's broad and unique background and special expertise in the area of emerging infectious diseases from wildlife makes her an excellent addition to our faculty and will help us expand our public practice educational portfolio. Dr. McCracken is a 2005 graduate of VMRCVM in the Public/Corporate track and we are happy to have her return to the College and the CPCVM as a faculty member.

Dr. McCracken has spent her professional career focusing on the interrelationships between humans, livestock and wildlife, particularly in developing nations. After finishing her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology at Texas A&M University, she joined the Peace Corps, where she worked in game management in the national parks of Tanzania. While in East Africa she directly observed the conflicts and disconnect between professionals that worked in the conservation and agricultural fields. She learned that to more effectively address some of the problems facing Africa; including land degradation, loss of natural resources (forests and wildlife), increasing populations, under-nutrition, poor health services and widespread disease issues, there needed to be a more holistic approach to development where multiple disciplines worked together. She then began to focus her research on the issue of wildlife-livestock conflict in Africa and received a Master’s degree in Animal Health and Production at the University of Edinburgh.

Upon graduation Dr. McCracken worked in various field projects throughout East Africa and in the South American Andes focusing on integrating local communities surrounding national parks into conservation efforts through education, creation of income generating projects and improved livelihoods. After noticing that infectious disease was one of the major factors hindering livelihoods and development in many countries she decided to pursue a veterinary degree and enrolled at VMRCVM with a focus on international veterinary medicine. While in veterinary school she spent her summers working on development projects in Nepal, Ghana and Guatemala. Through the CPCVM and the public/corporate track she was able to secure externships with a number of national and international animal health organizations and the US Army, providing her with a solid background on the issues and organizations working in international veterinary health.

Dr. Tracy McCracken

After completion of her DVM Dr. McCracken was selected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow and began working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on their Global Avian Influenza Team. Based in the USAID Department of Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (EGAT), Dr. McCracken worked closely with the USAID Department of Global Health (GH) forging a previously non-existent working relationship between the livestock and public health specialists in that organization. She was also the USAID and USDA liaison for avian influenza and she helped to implement the first joint veterinary training activities and programs between these two organizations.

After completing her fellowship Dr. McCracken moved to Rome, Italy to work with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as the Deputy Coordinator for Wildlife Health and Ecology. There she provided technical support to programs and policy initiatives on emerging wildlife, livestock, and zoonotic diseases. She also conducted field research studies on the wildlife/livestock disease interface, helping to identify risk factors for disease emergence. While at FAO she led the field implementation of “One Health” courses which joint train human, livestock and wildlife professionals in both the classroom and field to improve collaborative responses to cross-cutting health issues. While in Rome Dr. McCracken assisted the CPCVM in arranging clerkship opportunities for fourth- year students interested in international veterinary medicine.

In her new role at CPCVM Dr. McCracken is helping to expand teaching, training and career advisor programs for the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. In her teaching she hopes to inspire students to think more openly about the veterinary profession and its role in society, including the promotion of the “One Health” multidisciplinary approach to addressing health challenges.

We are fortunate to have one of our successful graduates back to help teach our future colleagues about the extensive opportunities available in veterinary medicine, and how veterinarians can make a difference in the world. If you are in the College Park area, please come by and join me in welcoming Dr. McCracken to Maryland and the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.

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Important Links from this article

Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine


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