CVM, President Young Honor Harvey Responders
Posted September 29, 2017
Dan Posey, Wesley Bissett, Dean Eleanor Green, President Michael
Young, Susan Eades, Jonathan Levine, Bo Connell, and T. R.
During Hurricane Harvey, a number of Texas A&M faculty, staff,
and students stepped up to offer their services to aid those along
the Texas coastline who were most impacted.
On Friday, Sept. 29, the College of Veterinary Medicine &
Biomedical Sciences (CVM) came together to celebrate the
contributions of those from the college, as well as area and
statewide partners, who played their parts in the recovery
“The entire college participated in the relief efforts, and
while these challenges were enormously trying, it was gratifying to
see how everyone pulled together as a team to help and support each
other,” said Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King dean of Veterinary
Medicine. “You all delivered care with unencumbered passion,
ranging from simple acts of kindness to uncommon acts of
Texas A&M President Michael Young also expressed his
appreciation for the CVM’s “heroes, in the most profound sense of
that word” for participating in something that was only a part of
their job by extension.
“You stepped up in ways that are just simply hard to imagine,
not because there was an instruction to do so; you created your own
orders to go out and reach out and touch the people who were in
such desperate need. This university fosters that in the most
profound ways I have ever seen,” Young said.
That so many students stepped up to offer their service not only
reflects the university’s core value of selfless service but also
reflects the example set by the CVM faculty and staff who supported
the animals that are so often neglected in a disaster such as
“They do that, in some measure, I believe,
because they see the example so gloriously reflected in those who
are here. You are heroes; you are teachers of compassion and
service, of reaching out far beyond yourself to provide service to
others,” Young said. “I have been in awe as I have received reports
of all that has gone on with the group here.”
Among those recognized were the CVM Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital’s (VMTH) faculty clinicians, hospital staff, and
facilities coordinators who kept both the large and small animal
hospitals going and worked tirelessly to accept donations of feed,
hay, and supplies.
While the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) provided
the first line of response, in the week that followed, the VMTH saw
the busiest three days in its history, having to bring in and build
cages to house the extra animals in need of care, according to Bo
Connell, assistant dean for hospital operations.
“When you hear about things like this, people coming together,
it makes such an impact, and it’s something that I’ll take away
from this, we’ll all take away from this. This was an amazing
experience for everyone who was involved,” Connell said.
“Each and every person was involved in handling that caseload,
in providing as much service as we could to the folks at the VET,”
he said. “That’s everybody—the doctors on the faculty, our house
officers, the hospital staff, the housekeeping staff, the animal
caretakers, everybody who stepped up to answer telephone calls,
accept patients, treat patients, talk to owners, and, in many
cases, try to find owners for a lot of these animals. It’s amazing
what each and every one of you do each and every day here.”
VET director Wesley Bissett discussed the team’s 19-day
deployment, what he called a “historic event,” during which they
provided medical support to urban search-and-rescue canines and
resident animals injured and stranded during the storm, and the
survivor’s guilt many of them, himself included, feel.
“I can tell you that when you look at the group that deployed,
the group that covered shifts here, you aren’t seeing any smiles on
those faces; they’re thinking about the people who are just
beginning the recovery process, those poor practitioners at
Rockport, which was literally destroyed,” Bissett said. “They are
truly sitting here thinking we didn’t do enough.
“What you did, though, you did rewrite history; you made
history. Our small team and this larger partnership, working across
seven jurisdictions at once, literally from Corpus Christi to the
Louisiana border, spread us thinner than we ever imagined, and it
worked for one reason—because of your willingness to put up with
less, to work more, and to just keep going,” he continued. “That is
truly an amazing thing, and it’s very much an honor to represent
you up here today.”
Among the statewide partners recognized by all of the speakers
were the Texas Task Force, the Texas Animal Health Commission
(TAHC), the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), and the
Texas Equine Veterinary Association.
Other speakers included Susan Eades, department head of Large
Animal Clinical Sciences; Jonathan Levine, department head of Small
Animal Clinical Sciences; T. R. Lansford, TAHC assistant executive
director; and Dan Posey, TVMA president.
Following the talks, the speakers were presented with
presidential coins, and all were treated to lunch in the faculty
commons area on the third floor of the VENI Building.
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