The charitable contribution from Mars Veterinary Health includes funding for internship and residency positions as well as scholarships.
A $1.7 million charitable contribution to The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine has been made by Mars Veterinary Health. The funding is earmarked for 2 small animal internship positions per year for 5 years, 1 small animal residency, and 7 scholarships per year for 5 years. Each of the scholarships will provide $25,000 to fourth-year students who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a small animal specialty discipline.
The veterinary industry is facing workforce shortages that impact all areas of the profession, including veterinarians, veterinary specialists, and academic professionals. According to Mars Veterinary Health and The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, the care and well-being of the pets in our communities could be at risk as access to care is impacted by this shortage. The veterinary college is continuing to address the shortage by retaining top talent and preparing practice-ready graduates who will serve communities in need.
In the past 8 years, the college has limited tuition increases to no more than 2% annually and has grown philanthropic scholarship dollars awarded by 730%. Through these efforts, the average veterinary school-related debt for Ohio State graduates has been reduced by $40,000, according to a joint organizational release. “Through transformational scholarships at Ohio State, Mars Veterinary Health is directly impacting the preparation of competent, confident, and career-ready veterinarians while ensuring our communities have access to specialty care,” said Rustin M. Moore, DVM, PhD, DACVS, dean of OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in an organizational release.
Mars Veterinary Health and its family of businesses are addressing the shortage by devoting resources that include support for the training of small animal specialists, among various other initiatives. “[The $1.7 million] gift moves us closer to our goal of distributing at least $5.8 million a year in philanthropic scholarships, which would enable the college to provide each student, over 4 years, the equivalent of at least 1 year of in-state tuition,” said Moore, in the release.
With less debt, graduates can pursue their career path with less focus on loan repayment. Students can also seek internships and residency programs to gain specialty training to help address the industry shortage. The resident and intern positions created through the $1.7 million donation will allow trainees to pursue academic or private practice positions at the end of their program.
“Our interns and residents play a vital role in patient care, client service, and veterinary student clinical education in Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center,” said Moore, in the release. “Creating more of these critical positions and ensuring our house officer salaries are competitive demonstrates our commitment to supporting the more than 125 residents and interns who carry extremely heavy workloads.”
The resident and intern positions supported through the newly announced gift from Mars Veterinary Health also complements the approximately 15 resident positions sponsored annually by the company, according to Moore. Molly McAllister, DVM, MPH, chief medical officer, Mars Veterinary Health, said that providing support for academic veterinary medicine helps to ensure access to specialty care, which is a top priority for the company.
“We are honored to support The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s intern and residency training to enable and empower the next generation of veterinary specialists—and ultimately address the growing industry shortage and care for even more pets that need us,” McAllister said, in the release.
Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine announces charitable contribution from Mars Veterinary Health. Mars Veterinary Health and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. News release. May 16, 2023.