Strategic Moves Advance Veterinary Care

Jul 24, 2019 / Message from the Dean

[architect's rending of new small animal surgery wing]

This message will appear in the August/September 2019 issue of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Bulletin.

We’re Here as a Resource for You

If you’ve ever played the children’s logic puzzle called Rush Hour, you understand just how many small moves are sometimes needed to accomplish a goal. In the case of the puzzle, the goal is to free the red car from the traffic jam of all the variously sized vehicles impeding its progress, moving each vehicle one square at a time.

At our Veterinary Teaching Hospital, we have been implementing a series of strategic moves to achieve a different goal: state-of-the-art facilities to support the aspirations of our outstanding clinical faculty and staff as they focus on training our future veterinarians and advancing the care of animal patients.

Over the next two years, several phases of a $9 million expansion effort will take place:

  • A new small animal surgical wing, with eight operating suites and a dedicated induction area, will be built and operational early next year.
  • Then the space vacated by surgery will become an expanded emergency services area, with improved patient flow between ER and ICU.
  • Lastly, the areas formerly occupied by the pharmacy, emergency, and small animal internal medicine will be remodeled.

When you include renovations and new construction completed over the past two years, nearly every service area in the hospital will have received improvements by the time the expansion is finished.

New features will include a step-down ward for intermediate care of patients that don’t need full ICU-level monitoring. We are actively seeking donors to help us equip an interventional radiology suite where advanced imaging will enable cardiologists and other specialists to perform minimally invasive procedures such as placing stents.

The Large Animal Clinic will undergo renovations next summer, with extensive upgrades to the equine surgical suite and installation of a 128-slice computed tomography scanner.

Another facet of the facilities changes will involve relocating small animal primary care services. Wellness care for dogs and cats as well as all services for zoological companion species will move to the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic, a building just south of the hospital. Senior students will be empowered to take a more active role in both patient care and clinic management in this space. (The South Clinic has housed the Wildlife Medical Clinic for the past two years.)

The additional space provided by the 18,000 square foot South Clinic and 9,000 square foot Small Animal Clinic expansion project will improve our instructional facilities and assist in our ability to graduate practice-ready veterinarians. We are prepared to keep all services operational at a high level during the construction and remodeling projects.

Driving these updates are the visionary clinical faculty in our hospital. Together we are committed to providing outstanding patient care, education, and innovation at our hospital.

Our clinicians are here as a resource for you: you may take advantage of continuing education opportunities, such as the one offered earlier this year at the Illini Center in the Loop or our annual Fall Conference; you may refer clients for clinical trials or services not offered in your area; or you may hire our graduates, who are learning from leading clinicians.