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Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine receives over $3 million grant


The funding will help expand access to veterinary care through Purdue’s Vet Up! Program



The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM) announced it will receive new federal funding for a program that will address the veterinarian shortage in public health and rural or food animals. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which provided the initial grant in 2018, renewed a 5 year and $3.2 million grant to help grow the success and impact of Vet Up! The National Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Academy for Veterinary Medicine.

“Since the inception of Vet Up! I have marveled as I have seen the eyes light-up in young people from diverse backgrounds as they experience the hope, support, and encouragement that this creative and inspiring program provides,” expressed Dean Willie Reed, DVM, PhD, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, in the release.1 “It is so heartwarming to hear the Vet Up! participants describe how it was through this program that they realized there are successful veterinarians who look like them, and that the veterinary medical profession needs and welcomes students from all backgrounds. I am gratified every time I see students who realize that the dream I had years ago of becoming a veterinarian can come true for them just like it did for me.”

According to an organizational release,1 Vet Up! was created to meet the goal of filling the veterinary shortage areas with individuals from underrepresented populations as well as rural areas. The program includes in-person and online learning for 12 months for educationally or economically disadvantaged rising high school juniors and seniors, adults and nontraditional learners, and first- or second-year undergraduate students.2

With the grant renewal, Vet Up! National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine will take a comprehensive approach to give academic, experiential, financial, and social support to students who need it. The following objectives will be pursued by Vet Up! National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine:1

  1. Find and recruit students from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend and complete college and university programs in veterinary medicine as well as other STEM fields.
  2. Prepare these students to complete preliminary education requirements and give academic and social support to help them complete their veterinary professional degree program.
  3. Create a comprehensive bridge programming to disadvantaged students enrolled as dvm360 degree candidates to provide a successful experience.
  4. Provide academic, financial, social, and wellness support to these students to help them graduate with their DVM degree.
  5. Put into place an integrated and comprehensive evaluation process to monitor and inform the progress and outcomes of program participants through a partnership with Purdue University’s Evaluation and Learning Research Center.

“With the renewed grant funding, Vet Up! will continue leveraging PVM’s long-standing partnerships with high schools, HBCUs, and state entities to develop and implement curricula that provide new opportunities to students,” said Marsha Baker, MS, assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion and the principal investigator on the grant.1

The grant request was successful for the program thanks to letters of support contributed by Purdue University and its partners such as Purdue Global, Purdue Polytechnic High School, the Indiana Area Health Education Centers Network, the Indiana Board of Animal Health, Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, FASA, the 20th United States Surgeon General, and more.

Through the grant, Vet Up! will now be able to also provide the following opportunities such as:1

  • Developing and implementing Vet Up! student projects impacting an underserved community
  • Provide an experimental learning opportunity in an underserved community through various Vet Up! programs by collaborating with state and community partners.
  • Students will be able to conduct research projects focusing on One Health and health equity initiatives led by campus partners and PVM faculty.

Vet Up! has received multiple awards presented by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine and was recognized as a recipient of the magazine’s Inspiring Program in STEM Award for the third time.


  1. Three Million Dollar Grant Renews Funding for Purdue Program Expanding Access to the Veterinary Profession. News release. The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. September 1, 2023. Accessed September 22, 2023. https://vet.purdue.edu/news/three-million-dollar-grant-renews-funding-for-purdue-program-expanding-access-to-the-veterinary-profession.php?utm_source=cision&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=unscp&utm_campaign=230922ezvetupcp
  2. Purdue Veterinary Medicine. Vet Up! National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine. Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. Accessed September 22, 2023. https://vet.purdue.edu/diversity/vetup/
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