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04.17.13

Dr. James H. Wright

Dr. James H. Wright

Upon his graduation from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1968, Dr. James Wright took an oath to use his "scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society…", and he has always tried to adhere to the principals that prompted the Veterinary Oath.  After serving on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 2 years, Dr. Wright entered a mixed animal practice in East Texas and served his clients daily in protecting the health of their companion animals and food animals.  In 1972, Dr. Wright decided to take the tenets of his oath to a new level of service to society by returning to the U.S. Air Force.

In settings all over the world, Dr. Wright engaged in a myriad of activities to ensure the health and safety of the people who protect our country.  In addition to inspecting food and food handling facilities, Dr. Wright was involved in preventing zoonotic diseases, investigating foodborne illness outbreaks, managing occupational health programs, and teaching public health to veterinarians and airmen.  During this time of service to our country, Dr. Wright earned a Masters Degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California at Davis in 1977, and obtained Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology Specialty, in 1978.

After 22 years of involvement in preventive medicine in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Wright retired as a colonel.  The next day, he embarked upon a new avenue of service to society by joining the Texas Department of Health.  Initially, Dr. Wright worked in the Meat Safety Assurance Program. Despite the great potential for conflict between inspectors and plant owners, Dr. Wright's reasonable and respectful nature, along with his considerable patience, allowed him to work successfully in meat packing plants to improve the safety of the food products being produced and the health of those who consume them.

In addition to his work in meat safety, Dr. Wright also worked in the department's Zoonosis Control Program, where he spent countless hours consulting about rabies and the need for post-exposure prophylaxis for patients who had been bitten by an animal.   Dr. Wright was also involved in working with wildlife disease reservoirs and with the oral rabies vaccine drops to immunize coyotes and foxes against this disease.  On a daily basis he worked closely with physicians, veterinary practitioners, animal control officers, and local health officials around the state.

In addition to Dr. Wright's military decorations, he has received awards from the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Animal Control Association, and the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

He has been active in the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, serving on numerous task forces and committees, including chairing the Public Health Committee for the past 15 years.

Dr. Wright and his wife, Sherry enjoy spending time with family, especially their two grandchildren.



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