View from the Associate Dean for Clinical Services
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I’m happy to report that the clinical services component of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s mission continues to grow and thrive.
Last fall marked eight years since we opened our state-of-the-art Small Animal Hospital facility in 2010, and advances there alone have been stunning. In addition, however, we’ve seen positive growth and change in many aspects of the entire UF Veterinary Hospitals operation. The bottom line is that our clinical service enterprise continues to adapt to the needs of the companion animal and horse-owning public. In some cases, that has meant bricks-and-mortar expansion; in others, we’re just working even harder to fine-tune our operation to ensure the maximum safety of our patients and the overall quality of the patient experience.
Here are a few updates:
Small Animal Hospital
- Caseload: Our small animal caseload is now the third highest among veterinary teaching hospitals in the country. This metric is noteworthy in that Gainesville is not a large metro area, which is a characteristic of the other top-ranked areas. It speaks to the quality of our services and the fact that our clients come not just from Florida but from throughout the Southeastern United States.
- Hospital Expansion Project: The growth we have seen as a result of being named a statewide critical care facility in 2015, coupled with our commitment to more effectively train our veterinary medical students, led to this year’s $6 million construction expansion project. Completed in the spring of 2019, the two-story addition added approximately 12,000 square feet to our existing 100,000 square-foot building and made room for expanded emergency and critical care needs. The addition also provides new housing for our primary care and dentistry service, along with faculty office space on the second floor.
- Quality and Patient Safety Efforts: Since 2015, we have developed an incident reporting system to execute a patient quality and safety program. Two of our hospital medical directors, Dr. Chris Sanchez and Dr. Gareth Buckley, were honored as “Rookies of the Year” by UF Health for their role in piloting these efforts, and last fall, we hired Linda Allen to serve as our Quality Officer to lead and expand this program. One of our veterinary technician managers, Suzanne Pereau, received a 2018 Quality Hero Award from the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety for her efforts to advance quality and patient safety. I am proud of our team for stepping up so enthusiastically to assist in these efforts.
Large Animal Hospital
- New UF Equine Acupuncture Center: Last September, we opened the UF Equine Acupuncture Center in Reddick, Florida. This new facility now allows us to provide world-class equine acupuncture in Marion County, often referred to as the Horse Capital of the World. The facility is adjacent to the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and services will be provided by a renowned veterinary acupuncturist, Dr. Huisheng Xie, a longtime member of the UF College of Veterinary Medicine faculty.
- Clinic Expansion: The UF Pet Emergency Treatment Services clinic in Ocala remains a huge success story. As of last fall, five-and-a-half years after its opening, the clinic had treated approximately 6,070 patients and underwent an expansion to better accommodate its growing caseload. Located near Paddock Mall, the clinic was remodeled to expand from 5,200 square-feet to 7,700 square-feet. The project included a larger waiting room, examination rooms and kennels, another table for procedures, an isolation unit and more work stations. In 2016, UF PETS received accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association. The quality of care we offer, coupled with our strong relationship with local veterinary practitioners, has made UF PETS a national model of a university operating a private practice in the community.
I’m grateful for the support I personally have had in my role as the college’s associate dean for clinical services during my nine-year tenure in hospital leadership, and look forward to seeing what the next decade will bring.
Dana Zimmel, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP
Associate Dean for Clinical Services
Clinical Associate Professor