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Three veterinarians head to nation's capital for AVMA fellowship
Trio will lend expert advice to legislative issues involving animal health and welfare.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has selected Rachel Cumberbatch, DVM, of Washington, D.C., Honorata "Kuki" Hansen, DVM, DACVPM, of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Lauren Stump, DVM, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to serve on the AVMA's 2015-2016 Fellowship Program. The veterinarians will serve for one year as full-time staff in a congressional office or on a congressional committee where they will use their scientific expertise to advise policymakers on issues involving animal health and welfare.
“It is so important-now more than ever-that our elected officials hear from the scientific experts who understand how animal, public and environmental health are interrelated,” says Ted Cohn, DVM, AVMA president. “I would like to congratulate and thank Drs. Cumberbatch, Hansen and Stump for dedicating the next year of their lives to working with Congress to helping advance policies that will protect and promote both human and animal health.”
Meet the fellows
> Cumberbatch, originally from Lebanon, Indiana, is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University. She is interested in the human-animal interface, healthcare services, workforce development and the role of public veterinary medicine in health policy. She most recently served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she supported efforts to promote better air quality.
Cumberbatch has also served as an associate veterinarian for the Connecticut Veterinary Center, veterinary intern at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, president of the nonprofit insurance organization DC Science and Technology Fellows Inc., and student trustee for Purdue University.
> Hansen, originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a 2001 graduate of the University of Glasgow's School of Veterinary Medicine. She is interested in One Health, resilience to climate change and aquatic animal health. She has more than 10 years of private practice experience and has worked in the translational sciences department of a biotechnology firm and most recently as a chief veterinarian for a municipal animal shelter.
She completed her master's in public health in environmental health at the University of Minnesota in 2012 and became board-certified in preventive veterinary medicine in 2013. She volunteers with local and state emergency management agencies, such as the Montgomery County Animal Response Team and Maryland's Medical and Public Health Volunteer Corps.
> Stump, from De Ridder, Louisiana, graduated from Louisiana State University this month and is focused on leadership in the veterinary profession. As a veterinary student she served as the president of her chapter of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association, and as an extern for the Louisiana Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program. She also has experience in other organizations and activities aimed at furthering the practice of veterinary medicine, such as the AVMA's 2013 Legislative Fly-in.
The fellowship program is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to place qualified scientific experts in congressional offices where they are needed. The fellows are not AVMA employees or lobbyists. To date, more than 58 veterinarians have participated in the AVMA Fellowship Program.