A foundational gift of $9 million from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation will support the state’s first public veterinary medical and surgical program to train Doctors of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Arizona. The program is targeting a 2015 fall semester launch.
The UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been actively developing the program to address Arizona’s critical veterinary needs, including training more veterinarians, and improving animal and public health. A consultative site visit by the American Veterinary Medical Association occurred in January. A comprehensive AVMA site visit for program accreditation will happen soon.
This gift, which will be counted toward the university’s $1.5 billion Arizona NOW campaign, exemplifies the Marley Foundation’s goals of backing health and human services, supporting education and advancing medical research and facilities. The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation Veterinary Medical and Surgical Program, as the new program will be called, will help address the critical veterinarian shortage in rural Arizona communities and tribal nations, benefit bioscience businesses and promote public health.
The program will run year-round so students complete their degrees faster, incur less debt and enter the workforce more rapidly. In what is called a distributive model, the final two semesters will be spent working in private veterinary practices, government agencies or other community partnerships to secure hands-on, real-world learning in communities throughout the state.
Other clinical training partners will include federal and state animal health labs and regulators, U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security, and animal shelter and rescue agencies. The UA already has letters of interest from many prospective partners.