10 most memorable stories of 2021

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From the success stories of UW veterinary care to COVID-19 research to the highly anticipated grand opening of our building expansion, the UW School of Veterinary Medicine has much to be proud of this year.

As we ring in the New Year, join us as we look back on some of our most memorable stories of 2021, celebrating our faculty, staff, students and alumni and their impact in Wisconsin and around the world.

THE WISCONSIN VOICE CHAPTER RECEIVES THE NATIONAL CHAPTER OF THE YEAR 2020-2021 AWARD

The SVM Chapter of Vets as an Inclusive Community for Empowerment (VOICE) has won the VOICE Chapter of the Year award for 2020-2021 – the second time in the past three years. The award recognized the leadership of our students in organizing successful events, exceeding the requirements of VOICE programming and creating an inclusive environment in the SVM and the local community. Related: In a further example of the exceptional leadership of our students, from March 2020-21, Marie Bucko DVM’21 was president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA).

VIRAL SEQUENCING CAPTURES MUTATIONS, GUIDING AN EFFECTIVE PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE

Since February 2020, researchers David O’Connor and Thomas friedrich sequenced the genomes of the virus that causes COVID-19. Their work has contributed to efforts to track new variations and pilot public health orders statewide.

Polar Bears as Patients: Caring for Animals at Henry Vilas Zoo

UW Veterinary Care has been the Henry Vilas Zoo’s contract veterinary service since 2019. Hear from a School of Veterinary Medicine alumnus Mary Thurber DVM’14, Zoo Senior Veterinarian Henry Vilas, as she describes the collaborative effort it takes to care for every animal in the zoo, including resident polar bears, Berit and Bo.

UW Veterinary Care Cancer Patients To Benefit From New, More Accurate Radiation Therapy System

The Radixact radiotherapy treatment delivery system.  (Photo: Ron Collins / Accuray)Oncology patients at UW Veterinary Care receive care with a new, state-of-the-art radiation therapy device called the Radixact System. This machine tracks tumors in real time, enabling more precise dose delivery and opening new doors in veterinary cancer treatment. UW Veterinary Care is currently the only veterinary medical hospital in the world to offer this treatment.

A new face and a new hope for Gemma

Gemma, a four year old mixed breed dog, is relaxing at the house.  His muzzle sports a distinct hair shape and pattern after reconstructive surgery at UW Veterinary Care to repair serious facial injuries.  (Photo: Bryan Hasse)

Gem, a female dog transferred from Qatar to an animal shelter in Wisconsin, underwent innovative facial reconstruction surgery to treat serious injuries to her face, muzzle and jaw. Vets at UW Veterinary Care have collaborated to create a new approach to facial reconstruction, using virtual planning and 3D modeling to treat his injuries.

School’s inaugural class creates first-class scholarship fund

The 1987 School of Veterinary Medicine class.Inspired by Bradley Poff DVM’87 and its educational journey, the inaugural class of the SVM has come together to support the students of today and tomorrow. The Class of 1987 Scholarship Fund of the School of Veterinary Medicine will provide student support in perpetuity and has raised over $ 38,000 to date. Related: During the 2020-21 school year, the school was delighted to launch several new scholarship opportunities for the benefit of students. The Endowment Fund for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine was also established, with Emma Sweet DVMx’22 named as the first recipient.

Veterinary clinic for homeless pet owners meets growing demand

The Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services (WisCARES) clinic provides veterinary medical care and social services to low-income and homeless people in Dane County. Financial challenges caused by the pandemic drove new clientele to WisCARES, many of whom may not have needed the service before.

UW-Madison professors teach schools how to perform antigen testing

A team of UW-Madison researchers, including professors from the School of Veterinary Medicine, have taught nurses and staff at more than 100 Dane County schools how to perform rapid antigen tests for COVID-19. This project enabled local schools to respond quickly to potential infections and prevent the spread of the virus.

UW SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE STOPPING THE GROUND FOR THE EXTENSION OF THE BUILDING

School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Mark Markel, Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW mascot Bucky Badger pick up shovels.In June, the School of Veterinary Medicine inaugurated its building expansion, celebrating the school’s current and future impact on veterinary training and research. The building expansion will double the size of the small animal hospital, increase the size of the large animal hospital, improve teaching spaces for students, and expand and modernize research laboratories. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2023, and renovations to the current building will be completed in 2024.

DETECTION OF LOCAL TO GLOBAL DISEASES: FORMER PUBLIC HEALTH ADDRESSES COVID-19 CRISIS

FILE - In this file photo from December 6, 2012, minks look out from a cage at a fur farm in the village of Litusovo, northeast of Minsk, Belarus.  The coronavirus outbreaks in mink farms in Spain and the Netherlands have prompted scientists to determine how animals got infected and if they can transmit it to humans.  (AP Photo / Sergei Grits, file)From two sides of the world, two alumni of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine had just moved into new professional roles when the novel coronavirus struck. They rolled up their sleeves, called on the relationships, resources and skills they developed, and led efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic – while also advancing other public health priorities. For both, their work is guided by a collaborative and interdisciplinary One Health approach, recognizing that animal health, human health and the environment are interconnected. Related: An additional alumnus with a global impact in 2021 was Lisa Borzynski DVM’93, who traveled to Japan as a veterinarian for the International Equestrian Federation for the equestrian events at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

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