Animal Health Clinic provides authentic industry environment

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September 7, 2018
Lakeland College students are leading today in the new $8.2 million Animal Health Clinic (AHC).
The AHC officially opened on the Vermilion campus on Friday, Sept. 7. The new 14,531 sq. ft. facility reflects an operational veterinary clinic and replaces the college’s Small Animal Clinic, which was built in the 1960s. Photo: Second-year AHT student Haylie-Ann LaFrance (centre) cuts the ribbon to open Lakeland College's new Animal Health Clinic on Friday, Sept. 7. LaFrance is joined by (L-R) Elaine Suddaby, AHT program head; Josie Van Lent, dean of Lakeland’s School of Agricultural Sciences; Dr. Richard Starke, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster; Bryan Perkins, interim chair of Lakeland’s Board of Governors; Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College; Jamie Curran, assistant deputy minister of Livestock and Crops Division, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry; Dr. Margitta Dziwenka, ABVMA past president; and Brianne Bellwood, VMA program head.
 
“The opening of the Animal Health Clinic is our latest example of innovation and excellence. Students are taking the lead and gaining industry-relevant experience by caring for a wider variety of animals. I’m excited to see how this facility will shape our students and help them excel wherever their education takes them,” says Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College.
 
One-hundred eleven animal health technology (AHT) and 26 veterinary medical assistant (VMA) students started this academic year learning in the new clinic, which accommodates 30 more seats in the AHT program. The clinic features increased lab spaces, separate animal wards, a modern surgical suite and dental lab, a separate pharmacy, front desk and reception area, and more. 
   
Beyond the classroom, AHT and VMA students are gaining practical experiences through the new student-led clinic model. While students are working with both large and small animals and handling clinic operations, they’re developing soft skills such as client interaction, critical thinking, communication and problem-solving. 
 
Students are also working with the latest technologies standard in many veterinary practices.
 
Worth approximately $1.3 million, students have access to realistic equine models, a direct digital radiography x-ray system, a bovine ultrasound machine with BCF universal goggles, canine and feline SynDaver models, and more. Lakeland will be the first organization in the world to use SynDaver’s CopyCat synthetic feline cadaver for training.
 
 
 “With this equipment and technology at their fingertips, our students reach a level of competency to confidently work with live animals before they graduate, and eventually use their hands-on experience to excel in industry,” says Josie Van Lent, dean of Lakeland’s School of Agricultural Sciences.
 
Lakeland is thankful for the project supporters who helped make the Animal Health Clinic a reality. Lakeland received $2,487,500 from the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund and a $1.76 million grant from the Government of Alberta. Lakeland also allocated $1.12 million to the project from previous grants received from Alberta Advanced Education. In addition, Lakeland has used internal resources to fund the project and is raising money through Leading. Learning. The Lakeland Campaign.
  
Photo: Second-year AHT student Haylie-Ann LaFrance (centre) cuts the ribbon to open Lakeland College's new Animal Health Clinic on Friday, Sept. 7. LaFrance is joined by (L-R) Elaine Suddaby, AHT program head; Josie Van Lent, dean of Lakeland’s School of Agricultural Sciences; Dr. Richard Starke, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster; Bryan Perkins, interim chair of Lakeland’s Board of Governors; Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College; Jamie Curran, assistant deputy minister of Livestock and Crops Division, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry; Dr. Margitta Dziwenka, ABVMA past president; and Brianne Bellwood, VMA program head.