ALLARD'S VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE ACT AWAITS THE PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE
Act Improves Health Preparedness by Addressing National Veterinarian Shortage
U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), a Northern Colorado veterinarian and alumni of Colorado State University's School of Veterinary Medicine, announced today that the Higher Education Authorization bill conference report that has passed the Senate includes legislation that will award grants to veterinary schools to improve public health preparedness and increase the number of veterinarians in the public health workforce.
"The nation's veterinary medical colleges do not have the resources necessary to meet the needs for veterinarians that are vital to maintain public health preparedness," said Allard. "I am very pleased to see that the Higher Education Authorization bill has cleared its' final legislative hurdle and includes the Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act that I sponsored to address the shortage of veterinarians working in the public health practice."
"Veterinarians are the first line of defense in protecting human health through the early detection and response to unusual disease events that could be linked to emerging infectious diseases, or other bio-threat agents of concern," continued Allard. "As a veterinarian, I know that veterinary medicine is an integral and indispensable component of America's public health system."
"As the only school in the Rocky Mountain region to provide educational opportunities for veterinary students, Senator Allard's Veterinary Public Health Workforce Act will allow us to increase our educational capacity for veterinary students, respond to the national need for veterinarians in public health sectors, and provide services to our rural communities," said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University. "We thank Senator Allard for his leadership and efforts in addressing the needs of our veterinary workforce."
The Veterinary Public Health Workforce Expansion Act will create a new competitive grant program for capital improvements to allow veterinary medical colleges to expand their training programs for public health professionals.
The legislation now awaits the President's expected signature before becoming law.