Strategic Planning

4.1 Identify pressing societal problems where the School can make an impact and align efforts to develop meaningful solutions

Addressing societal needs is very important and we will take steps to ensure that we are soliciting information from our constituents, community leaders, stakeholders, and government agency representatives. We will engage in dialogue with them to hear about their highest priorities and seek to respond to those needs. We will also develop information on the societal and economic impact of the school’s programs to help us communicate with the public new animal health information and the role of veterinarians in the health of animals, people and the environment.


a. Engage community leaders and stakeholders in identifying societal problems for focused efforts.

b. Document SVM’s contributions to society and the State of California.

  • Define the societal and economic impact of the school’s programs; commission a study or develop a collaborative project with the Graduate School of Management.

c. Ensure that the SVM responds to regional and state needs.

  • Engage in external relations to promote school initiatives with government agencies and representatives.
  • Link with campus government relations to identify opportunities for interacting with government leaders.
  • Capitalize on geographic proximity to Sacramento; get legislators and their staff on site.
  • Train and provide faculty with the skills, approaches and techniques for effective communication in presentations, press conferences and legislative testimony.

d. Improve public understanding of the role of veterinarians in the health of animals, people and the environment.(Strategy 5.1)

  • Develop a concise summary of SVM success stories and research accomplishments.
  • Teach students to promote veterinary medicine as a profession and resource.
  • Re-engage faculty in communication activities to better define how SVM efforts benefit animals and humans.
  • Organize and host symposia around issues of importance (e.g., food safety).

e. Coordinate expertise to deliver effective outreach and extension programs to key stakeholders and decision-makers.

Current Actions
  • Million Cat Challenge
    A joint project of UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida is successfully addressing a major nationwide societal issue and saving cat lives (611,043 since 2014). Working collaboratively with hundreds of shelters, the program's goal is to save one million cat lives in 5 years by focusing on five key initiatives: Alternatives to Intake; Managed Admission; Capacity for Care; Removing Barriers to Adoption; and Return to Field.
  • Government Relations: Addressing Societal Issues
    The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture met at the Mondavi Institute on July 26th. Dean Lairmore provided an overview of One Health activities and veterinary efforts to build collaborations in International Food Safety as part of the session. This opportunity to showcase the school's efforts in support of society was well received by the representatives.
  • Advancing the Well-being of Animals and People
    The student led Pasture Poultry Project is a living laboratory where students and researchers are learning about pasture-based poultry farms, how to operate them efficiently and profitably for the farmer, and studying disease transmission issues and occupational health hazards for workers as the "egg mobile" moves about the pasture and fertilizes the land. This project is also providing 800 eggs per week to the Yolo County Food Bank to compassionately help the local community.
  • Regional Outreach Efforts
    To promote hospital services and educate the public about the SVM, more than 40 VMTH staff members volunteered to host an information booth for all 17 days of the California State Fair. In addition, more than 20 faculty members presented lectures and demonstrations daily on a variety of animal health topics. Together, these groups reached thousands of fair goers to increase the scope of our audience.
  • Advancing Animals and People Around the Globe
    Dean Lairmore sets the stage for the school's continued success; embracing the school's strategic goals at the heart of his vision for the future. He recognizes both individual dedication and expertise, and the collaborative achievements of our veterinary community.
  • Advancing the Role of Veterinarians - The school's team engaged with World Ag Expo participants, more than 100,000 attendees, in Tulare in early February. Dean Lairmore and CAES Dean Dillard worked the conference and school booths to promote educational opportunities in ag sciences and veterinary medicine. Staff and faculty from the Vet Med Teaching and Research Center, the Veterinary Genetics Lab, and SVM Communications discussed research collaborations and services available to support the livestock community. They also talked with students hoping to inspire them to pursue future careers in veterinary medicine.
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources Update – December 2015 (Download pdf)
  • Honoring Alumni - At the annual Alumni Weekend, the school welcomed graduates from the classes of 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985, 1990, 2005 back to campus for social events, tours, lectures and the Rose Ceremony for the 50th reunion class (1965). Special honored guests included members from the first graduating class of 1952, Drs. John Shirley and George Puterbaugh. More than 5,000 veterinary professionals have graduated from the school and gone on to successful careers and leadership positions.
  • Support for Valley Fire Community - Drs. Claudia Sonder and John Madigan led the school's team to help support the animals and their owners displaced by the Valley Fire crisis.  In concert with county animal control, OES emergency response and CVMA disaster response leaders, the school's VERT team was activated to help locate animals for transport to temporary animal shelters, to provide food and water to stranded livestock and assist with animal health needs. Through their efforts and those of our veterinary hospital ER teams treating burn patients, the school is proudly supporting our extended community.
  • Promoting One Health Benefits All - The Center for Professional Veterinary Education organized a symposium on One Health to further promote and educate the profession and the public on the value of this approach. Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine led off the day with a talk entitled "Species-Spanning Medicine: the Promise of Collaboration". The topic line up also included: antibiotic resistance; drought and water management; implications for Kangaroo Mother Care in foals and infants; human-animal interfaces in Sri Lanka; and lessons learned in One Health.
  • Disaster Preparedness and ResponseLast week Center for Equine Health and VMTH faculty and staff prepared to support county animal control efforts related to large animal evacuations associated with the Wragg Fire. Additionally, equine emergency preparedness information, fire updates and animal disaster response resources were collected on a web site to assist animal owners.
  • Outreach Education and CDFA Partnership for Poultry Health A "Train the Trainer" symposium on backyard poultry farming, funded by the CDFA, was held last month led by Drs. Maurice Pitesky and Rodrigo Gallardo, with Drs. Mark Lubell and Matthew Hoffman from the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior. Attendees were provided with basic information about poultry nutrition and health, food safety, biosecurity, production management, avian disease and disease prevention, public health and more.
  • Advancing Animal Well-being – Hummingbirds are not only magical creatures, but also essential pollinators providing critical ecosystem services. Efforts to promote Hummingbird Health and Conservation Programs are the subject of our newest website which provides critical information about hummingbirds, the program's accomplishments, and future research projects.
  • Addressing Societal Needs – Developing Meaningful Solutions (Download pdf)
  • Protecting Livestock & Poultry Health, Public Health and the Food Supply (Download pdf)
  • Saving Shelter Animals (Download pdf)
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources Activities – June 2014 (Download pdf)

  • Knights Landing: One Health in Practice.
    Medical and veterinary students partner to bring healthcare to the Knights Landing Community Download pdf
Past Actions
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources Update - December 2014 (pdf)
  • Progress Report – June 2013 – Addressing Societal Problems (4.1) Download pdf
  • External Relations
    In support of our goal to engage in external relations to promote School initiatives with government agencies and representatives, an External Relations Committee was established. The committee consists of members of the SVM leadership team and leaders of our major centers who routinely operate programs with state/federal funding. The committee recently met to introduce the UC Davis State Government Relations Officer, Adrian Lopez, to our programs in support of public health, food safety, animal agriculture, wildlife, environmental health and water quality/safety. Student Kathy Heng, SCAVMA Legislative Liaison, also attended the meeting to learn of the School’s outreach efforts and discuss potential future student support initiatives. On-going efforts to preserve funding for two current programs under legislative review were also discussed.
  • January Update
    Drs. Michael Kent, Robert Rebhun, Carlos Rodriguez and Katherine Skorupski were recently acknowledged by the Director of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for their efforts in the area of comparative oncology. Their unique and noteworthy scholarly contributions in the field of cancer drug development were particularly noted. Our colleagues have been collaborative members of the NCI’s Comparative Oncology Trial Consortium (COTC) which includes 20 veterinary schools across the U.S. and Canada. This is a great example of the collaborative efforts of our outstanding faculty, the recognition of their expertise at the national level, and the impact of their efforts to advance translational research, the development of new oncology drugs/treatments, and the further promotion of our School’s national reputation.
  • Quarterly Report – October 2012 – Solving Societal Problems (4.1.) Download pdf