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Nutrition Support Center serves Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

January 15, 2003

ST. LOUIS (Jan. 7, 2003) -- Meeting patients' exacting dietary needs at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine has become easier since the grand opening of the hospital's new state-of-the-art Nutrition Support Center this fall.

"The center reinforces the role appropriate nutrition management plays in successful overall management of clinical cases. As a result, we are consulting on an increasing number of individual cases within the hospital, as well as throughout California and the United States," said faculty member Andrea Fascetti, VMD, a clinical nutritionist.

While Nestlé Purina has funded, designed and installed nutrition centers for veterinary teaching hospitals at Michigan State and Colorado State Universities, the center at UC Davis is the largest and most comprehensive to date, said Elizabeth McKenna, DVM, Nestlé Purina veterinary communications manager. The center is staffed with nutrition residents and a technician. The facility includes a room for food preparation and inventory storage, a learning room with computer terminals, and a small library.

The center is a model of efficiency, where staff members can work with students and hospital cases. According to Fascetti, "We went from having pet foods stored in various places throughout the hospital to a centralized location with a convenient storage system and a computerized inventory control and ordering system."

"Whether veterinary hospitals have five cages or 500, they all have patients that must be fed efficiently with fresh, wholesome food dispensed and prepared in a cost- and time-saving manner," explained McKenna. "To design this center, we tapped Nestlé Purina retail expertise in shelf and inventory management and combined it with years of experience working with veterinary hospital nutritionists."

As a result, said Fascetti, "Food is stored in units similar to what you'd see in supermarkets. The options are visible and convenient. And Nestlé Purina has provided us with a computerized inventory management system. Everything is bar-coded, which facilitates ordering diets and ensuring that we're continuously stocked." The system also allows the staff to order via computer, which eliminates the need for manual record keeping.

"The Nestlé Purina Nutrition Support Center is a tremendous contribution to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in terms of patient care and teaching," Fascetti added. "It has increased the visibility of the Nutrition Service and helped us integrate into the hospital."

In addition to the courses on nutrition students take during their first and third years, use of this facility enhances their understanding of the clinical applications of good nutrition practices.

"More and more veterinarians realize the importance of nutrition in the dietary management of certain health conditions," said Fascetti. "They're also realizing the value of nutrition in preventive medicine, such as helping to manage obesity before it affects the animal in a negative way with diabetes or other associated problems."

*This press release was originally distributed by Nestlé Purina PetCare January 7, 2003.

Media Contacts:

Kerry Lyman, Nestlé Purina, 314-982-2094,,

Andrea Fascetti, Department of Molecular Biosciences,

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