Penn Vet funding crisis
PVMA Supports Restoration of Penn Vet’s Funding - here's why:
How Veterinary Schools are Funded
Because of their role in public health, service and agriculture, states that have veterinary schools provide public funding for those schools. The funding of veterinary schools represents a partnership between state governments and their respective schools designed to protect the public health and promote agriculture. Among the top veterinary schools in the United States, the average ratio of funding from the schools themselves to state funding is $3:$1. For Penn Vet, that ratio is $3.6:$1. Penn Vet received $30 million in funding last year, an amount topped by many of the other top tier veterinary schools in the United States (UC Davis $95 million, Cornell $35 million, NC State $35 million, Colorado State $57 million).
Animal Health and Productivity
Penn Vet plays a leadership role in virtually every segment of animal agriculture in Pennsylvania. Penn Vet is a key partner for the Department of Agriculture and industry in the operation of the state’s Diagnostic Lab System, hosting a lab on the New Bolton campus. Penn Vet is the lead in developing and monitoring testing in horse racing in the Commonwealth, protecting the swine industry, and in tracking and reducing disease among herds in Pennsylvania.
Penn Vet has been the leader in developing biosecurity and surveillance techniques that have assisted in protecting Pennsylvania swine producers from the costly spread of the disease. 95% of swine farms in PA are on Penn’s GIS system, resulting in a 30% reduction in swine disease in the Commonwealth since 2015. In 2016, veterinary students logged 7,378 hours in the swine unit.
Penn Vet is the lead on emerging threats in Pennsylvania including Avian Influenza (AI). Avian flu ran rampant over the poultry industry in the Midwest in 2015, adversely affecting farmers, resulting in the destruction of 48 million birds and the loss of $300 million in economic activity. Penn Vet conducted over 70,000 tests for Avian Influenza during the last budget impasse.
Penn Vet has developed a dairy management program that increases the productivity of dairy cows while reducing pollution, which is critical to the survival of family dairy farms. The Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) and Dairy Profit Teams, supported by Penn Vet faculty, is widely credited with working to stabilize and grow the Commonwealth’s 7,300 dairies, making them more profitable. Farms advised by CDE produce significantly more milk than the 20,000 pound/cow State average, moving the average of herds worked with from 23,000 to 32,000 pounds of milk produced annually currently. In 2016, veterinary students logged 8,210 hours in the dairy.
In 2015, the Penn Vet Field Investigations Unit protected 1,000,000 animals against disease while students logged 5,245 hours with producers helping them increase productivity.
Students and Alumni
Penn Vet places a preference on PA residents in admissions decisions. 181 students are currently receiving a $10,000 reduction in their tuition. Penn Vet supplements the use of Commonwealth funds to lower the costs of tuition with $1.4 million in privately raised funds. Commonwealth One Health Scholarships are full tuition scholarships for students from rural areas committed to returning to practice in those areas. Scholarships and the reduced tuition are critical as according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, Veterinarians leave school with $193,000 in debt. The average salary for Veterinary Interns is $26,572, the average salary for residents $32,706 and the average salary for new full time private practitioners is $70,543. Veterinarians who serve agriculture make less than the average. Further, federal student loans for veterinarians are capped at $47,000 making the economics of entering the field very challenging. Penn Vet has over 1,900 alumni practicing in the state in 65 of 67 counties.
For the current first year class, the composition is 41% (51 students) with interest in Large Animal/Mixed practice and 17% (21 students) in One Health practice (connecting animal and human health) for a total of 58% of the class in non-small animal medicine.
100% of students who attend Penn Vet receive training in large animal/food animal medicine at New Bolton Center.
* If you have questions related to Penn Vet’s operating budget, please contact Hugh Allen, Senior Director of Commonwealth Relations, University of Pennsylvania, Office of Government and Community Affairs at email@example.com or 215-840-0316 (Cell).
Send a letter to your Senator and/or representative!
Tell your Senator or Representative that funding should be restored to Penn Vet. It's easy...we wrote the letters for you, just place your address into it. See the choices below to choose the letter that's right for you.
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