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News Roundup: Rowan University / BluePearl / VEG / Packaged Facts

News Roundup: Rowan University / BluePearl / VEG / Packaged Facts
Dr. Matthew Edson is the founding dean of the Rowan University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Next DVM Program Could Be in New Jersey

The nation’s 34th veterinary school and New Jersey’s first is scheduled to open in 2025 on the campus of Rowan University.

The announcement followed the New Jersey Legislature’s allocation of $75 million to construct an academic and clinical facility in Sewell, about 20 miles south of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Matthew Edson, DVM, the founder and owner of a mixed-animal practice, was appointed the founding dean of the Rowan University School of Veterinary Medicine.

“We’re excited to create a veterinary school where hands-on experience, virtual reality, simulations and outcomes-based, student-centered education and assessment are integral to the teaching and learning experience,” Dr. Edson said. “Continuing Rowan’s innovations in experiential learning, students will have early exposure to our on-site veterinary teaching hospital, as well as external clinical sites, where they will work side by side with faculty and practicing veterinarians. This will allow them to gain ample real-world experience to promote Day One career readiness.”

Dr. Edson is the immediate past president of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association and serves as a site visitor for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education.

The school’s debut is contingent on COE approval, according to Rowan. Sixty students would comprise the inaugural class.


BluePearl Offers Wellness Aid for Post-Graduates

BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital has launched the Clinicians-in-Training Health and Well-Being Program for interns, residents and ER clinicians. Participants will have access to a veterinary social worker or wellness educator and mental health and wellness resources.

BluePearl bills itself as “one of the largest providers of post-graduate training programs in the U.S.”

“Clinicians-in-Training was developed by BluePearl’s health and well-being team after soliciting feedback from interns, which showed the need for greater emphasis on intern, resident and ER clinician wellness,” the company stated. “BluePearl’s health and well-being team consists of 10 highly skilled veterinary social workers and Dr. Sonja Olson, a veterinarian and a wellness educator.”


VEG Awards 2 Fourth-Year Scholarships

Veterinary Emergency Group is covering the last year of college tuition for two future employees: Katie Freeman of Texas A&M University and Alexa Simmons of Auburn University.

“Student debt is often the biggest concern we hear about when we meet new doctors, and the annual VEG Scholarship allows us to give back and support aspiring emergency veterinarians,” said David Bessler, VMD, the founder and CEO of Veterinary Emergency Group.

Upon graduation from their DVM programs, Simmons will work at VEG Boynton Beach in Florida and Freeman at VEG Katy in Texas.


U.S. Pet Treat Sales Near $10 Billion

A new report from the market research company Packaged Facts estimated that U.S. retail sales of dog and cat treats jumped by 15% in 2021 to $9.87 billion.

“Pet owners spending more time at home with their pets has translated into more opportunities for treat-giving, and an increased focus on health and wellness has resulted in more interest in functional treats,” said Packaged Facts analyst Shannon Brown.

Packaged Facts reported that canine treats comprise 80% of the market, but “the largest growth percentages have come from the cat side of the aisle.”

“Compared with the red carpets rolled out for dogs, cats have too frequently been treated as second-class citizens in the pet market, with fewer product offerings and less of a focus on trend-influenced fare, primarily due to the lower population of cats and lower spend-per-pet ratio,” the company added.

“As more marketers introduce cat treats with higher quality ingredients and higher price points, interest in cat treats will grow, helping future sales to maintain healthy momentum.”

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