Partnership with American Veterinary Medical Foundation contributes up to $500,000 in student loan debt grants to U.S. food-animal veterinarians
MADISON, N.J. (Oct. 7, 2010) -- Pfizer Animal Health announced today the first recipients of the Food Animal Veterinarian Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program. Administered in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), the program is designed to combat an ongoing shortage of food-animal veterinarians in the United States by encouraging more students to pursue a food-animal career, particularly in rural areas.
The program will provide financial incentives for veterinarians who commit to four years of employment in food-animal practice, and is part of the Pfizer Animal Health Commitment to Veterinarians--supporting veterinarians through training and education, research and development, and investing in the future of the veterinary profession.
"As a market leader, we have a responsibility and an obligation to help sustain food-animal veterinarians in the United States," said said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Diplomate ABVP and Group Director of Veterinary Medical Services & Corporate Citizenship for Pfizer Animal Health. "The future of veterinarians in the food-animal practice is especially important because they are the frontline for the ongoing safety of the food supply across the nation."
Five veterinarians will receive up to $100,000 each in the form of student loan debt forgiveness grants.
Pfizer Animal Health and the AVMF congratulate the 2010 Food Animal Veterinarian Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program recipients:
• Dr. Shaw Perrin, The Ohio State University, practicing in Goshen, Ind.
• Dr. Austin Ayars, The Ohio State University, practicing in Phoenix, Ariz.
• Dr. Conrad Spangler, University of Minnesota, practicing in Dalhart, TX
• Dr. Kay Russo, Cornell University, practicing in Stephenville, TX
• Dr. Scott Morey, Kansas State University, practicing in Concordia, Kan.
The Food Animal Veterinarian Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program recipients were selected based on several criteria, including academic excellence, leadership, diversity and potential for contributing to food-animal veterinary medicine.
"The high cost of professional training is one of the main causes for the shortage of practicing or skilled food-animal veterinarians," says AVMF Executive Director Michael Cathey. "Pfizer has recognized the burden student debt can cause and has made the commitment to proactively and generously help recently graduated veterinarians."
More veterinarians than ever before are facing debt loads that may stay with them for a lifetime. The American Veterinary Medical Association recently estimated that the average veterinary student debt upon graduation totals $130,000.
The debt forgiveness program complements other Pfizer Animal Health Commitment to Veterinarian programs, including more than $15 million invested last year in universities, industry education and training, scholarships, and allied organizations.
For more information on the scholarship program, visit www.avmf.org/FAVRRP.
Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier world™
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments to animal health, please visit us at www.pfizerAH.com.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is the charitable arm of the AVMA. For nearly 50 years, AVMF has been dedicated to embracing and advancing the well-being and medical care of animals. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation help veterinarians help animals. Initiatives include: Humane Outreach-Animal Welfare, Education and Public Awareness, Research Support, Student Enhancement and Support of the AVMA and its Initiatives. In the last decade, AVMF has awarded grants totaling over $9,000,000. For more information, visit www.avmf.org.