COLLEGE STATION, TX – On October 18, 2010 Nestle’ PURINA PetCare and the Small Animal Hospital at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) came together to open the recently donated state of the art veterinary kitchen housed in the Small Animal Hospital. The program known as Nestle Purina Center for Nutrition Excellence donated $70,000 to make the small animal kitchen in the hospital more accessible and safer for the patients of the hospital.
Dana Heath, assistant hospital administrator, wanted to enlist the help of Purina to transform their kitchen. Heath worked with Dr. Nicholas M. Vaughan, Nestle Purina regional sales representative to CVM, to make this happen.
“Purina decided to award the kitchen to CVM due to the excellence of its clinical medicine department and the progressive nature of the CVM to partner with different companies and different programs,” explained Vaughan.
The purpose of the newly renovated kitchen is to provide easier access for veterinary students and veterinarians to acquire food for the animals in the hospital and to see all of the options available for a patient in need. The room provides easy access to all of the dry goods, canned goods, and special dietary items necessary for the animal’s well being. The kitchen will hold Purina products and other food brands to ensure that the patient’s nutritional needs are met. The expiration dates are also clearly coded on every food item.
“Prior to the renovation we had some of the dry foods in accessible containers, but a lot of the dry food was wasted by opening bags that could not be closed or stored properly afterward,” said Dr. Deb Zoran, associate professor at the CVM. “We also didn’t have an effective way of storing canned foods to make them accessible. Now, it is much cleaner and a much more effective use of the space. There will be much less food wasted and we are very grateful for that.”
Purina has given back to the CVM many times. They have funded several resident projects, worked with the clinicians to fund a medicine residency, and they were an early benefactor to the small animal dental suite.
“I am very pleased with the new food storage and preparation facilities that have been provided through the generosity of Nestle’ PURINA PetCare,” said Dr. Sandee Hartsfield, professor and department head of the Small Animal Hospital at the CVM. “The kitchen area of the Small Animal Hospital has become aesthetically pleasing, and has been redesigned for efficiency and practicality in the handling of food products.”
“Proper nutrition is a vital component of the management of veterinary patients with medical and surgical problems,” explained Hartsfield. “The new kitchen area provided by Nestle’ PURINA PetCare assures ready access to a variety of dietary products, allowing veterinary students and hospital staff members to efficiently procure and prepare the most appropriate meals for their patients.”