Hill's Commits $5M to OVC
Funds will support centre for teaching, research in companion-animal health care
U of G has received a $5-million, 10-year commitment from Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., to support a unique educational centre at the Ontario Veterinary College.
“This facility will help create an exciting vision for primary health care for companion animals,” says president Alastair Summerlee. “This generous support from Hill's will help OVC and the University be at the forefront of learning and research, benefiting pets and their owners in Ontario and beyond.”
The Hill's Pet Nutrition Primary Health-Care Centre will be an international centre of excellence for teaching and research in primary companion-animal health care and service delivery. It will provide a variety of educational experiences, from practical skills development to preventive medicine. Students will also learn to educate owners about the health, nutrition and well-being of their animal companions.
“This is a truly groundbreaking development,” says Neil Thompson, president of Hill's The Americas. “We believe nutrition should be a foundational cornerstone of well- ness and therapeutic care provided to all pets.”
The centre — part of the overall redevelopment of OVC and its teaching hospital — is also supported by the Ontario government. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities invested $9.5 million in the facility and OVC redevelopment in February.
OVC dean Elizabeth Stone says she's thrilled that Hill's is supporting the vision of the University and the college.
“As a veterinary college, we want to emphasize the importance of primary health care in enhancing the significant relationship between pets and their owners,” she says. “The Hill's commitment will help us create a health-care model that includes nutrition, rehabilitation, behaviour, public health and other areas of practice.”
A major focus of the centre is building on the innovation, nurturing and career development OVC has always provided student veterinarians, says Stone.
Students will be integrally involved in the centre's management and operation, providing diagnosis and treatment under the supervision of a core staff of veterinarians and technicians who will serve as mentors, trainers and evaluators.
“OVC students will have invaluable learning opportunities,” says Stone, who notes that most students will be able to log up to 300 hours and see about 200 cases during the four years of their DVM program.
Students from OVC and other universities will also learn about new and emerging technology and procedures, which will enable them to educate owners about the health of their animals and add value to their future employers and veterinary practices, she says.