the NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
Team Vet Med raises $27,000-plus for student scholarships
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Small animal ICU supervisor relishes hands-on
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BY MEREDITH WOODS
J essica Kutsch, veterinary care manager of the University of Florida small animal hospital's
intensive care unit, is no stranger to the world of animal hospitals. An industry veteran of
15 years and a native of Jacksonville, Kutsch had worked as both a specialized veterinary
technician and as a veterinary office manager before arriving at UF's Veterinary Medical Center
to become ICU supervisor last September.
Assistant Director of the small animal hospital Sheri Holloway says Jessica was a great fit
for the job.
"She had solid background in emergency and critical care and a strong desire to promote
the field of veterinary technology. She also had a great positive attitude," Holloway said.
Kutsch currently oversees 13 full-time technicians and 15 part-time technicians. A hands-
on manager, she describes her position as that of a "working supervisor"
"I spend about 70 percent of my time on the floor working side by side with the rest of the
ICU technician team treating critically ill patients'" Kutsch said. The remainder of her time is
spent in her office handling administrative functions.
Holloway said Kutsch organizes and directs nursing services, develops and oversees
training programs, selects and hires personnel and oversees budgeting, ordering, and mainte-
nance of all nursing and patient care related equipment and supplies in the ICU. Her other
responsibilities include orienting and teaching both staff and students.
"She also helps teach the clinical techniques course for the sophomores," Holloway said.
Kutsch, a certified veterinary technician, says working in the unit can be challenging
because of the severity of the patients' conditions.
"We follow the clinician's orders to treat animals suffering from infectious diseases, multi-
organ system dysfunction, those recovering from major surgeries such as open chest surgery or
kidney transplants," she said.
"We maintain IV catheters, check fluid levels, feed patients via feeding tubes, administer
all medications, and perform procedures such as evacuating chest tubes and placing central
lines," Kutsch said.
In the short time that she's been at the veterinary hospital, Kutsch has proven her technical
and leadership skills.
"The staff has a lot of respect for her and has welcomed her in her role as their supervisor
because she has proven herself to be both competent and dependable," Holloway said.
Kutsch especially likes working in the intensive care unit because of the important role she
plays in helping critically ill patients heal.
"I really like working one on one with the clinicians and feeling like I have a direct
influence on a patient's outcome," she said. "I feel like we're the eyes and ears of the clinicians
while their patient is in the ICU."
Kutsch said she also loves working on the floor with the nurses.
"This is one of the best jobs I've ever had," she said.
The Veterinary Page is the UF College of Veterinary Medicine"s
online internal newsletter. Archives of the Veterinary Page are
http://www. vetmed. ufl. edu/pr/vp/
Got a story idea? Please submit to Sarah Carey, editor, at:
email@example.com or call (352) 392-2213, ext. 5206.
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Hoping to increase public awareness of the fact that animals get cancer and can be treated
just like people, members of the UF VMC's oncology service participated in the 2007
"Light the Night" walk in Gainesville Oct. 18.
The team raised $1,150 for the Northern Florida Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma
Society. The event is held nationwide in October with evening walks scheduled on different
dates in different communities.
All walkers carried illuminated balloons to celebrate and commemorate the lives touched
by cancer. All funds raised will support the society's mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma,
Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and will also be used to improve the quality of life of patients
and their families.
"This stemmed from about three years ago when Jim (Dr. Jim Farese), Joy (Dr. Joy Dias) and
I felt we wanted to become involved with maybe taking dogs that were cancer survivors over to
Shands oncology as therapy dogs for kids with cancer," said Dr. Rowan Milner, chief of the
VMC's oncology service. "It was clear pretty early on that there would be lots of hoops
involved in doing that. Then we heard about the Light the Night event, which allowed us all
to participate as a team with our patients."
In addition to the VMC group, cancer survivor Bessie Cuda, a 4-year-old Basset hound,
went along for the 2-mile ride, er, walk. Bessie, sporting a white "Survivor" T-shirt, was pulled
in a cart by team members.
"We want to thank our families, friends and supporters'" Milner said, adding that a bake
sale held by the oncology group raised $100 just by itself. "We also want to thank Bessie's
family for letting us take her in the walk."
Milner said that while the walk was "a lot of fun," veterinary oncologists use a lot of
information from human lymphoma in their own research and clinical approaches to treatment.
UF VMC participants included Milner, Dias, Dr. Karri Barabas, visiting veterinarian Dr.
Monica Clemente, veterinary technicians Samantha Haas, Amy Beaver, Jessica Noggle, and
Mfissouri i et i[th UF ties \\ins Dog Fancl alard
S r. James "Jimi" Cook, a Missouri
veterinarian whose collaboration with
UF veterinary surgeons in June 2006 helped
restore full walking ability to a service dog
named Eagle, has been named the national
winner of Dog Fancy Magazine's "Thank
Your Vet for a Healthy Pet" contest.
Cook, an adjunct faculty member at the UF
CVM, is director of the Comparative Ortho-
paedic Laboratory at the University of
Missouri-Columbia. Eagle's owner, Michael
Ray of Deltona, Fla., nominated Cook for the
award, which is sponsored by Merial, Morris
Animal Foundation and BowTie, Inc.
In the course of Eagle's care and follow-up
treatment, Cook and Ray, confined to a
wheelchair because of a car accident, became
good friends. Cook volunteered his services,
and longtime friend and colleague Dr. Dan
Lewis, head of veterinary orthopedics at UF,
arranged for Cook's visit to Gainesville. UF
veterinary surgeons were able to learn from
the procedure while Eagle benefited from
Cook's expertise in treating front limb
lameness in dogs, Eo,,,t a ,e ,:,, ,: ,, r 1,:r.,.1, R.- ,:i
In his nomination letter, Ray wrote: "Not Dl1:. .s ,.:ireJ r-re ,r,.e a ,al.e,,i. ,r Ir.,e ir:.rI
only did Jimi save my best friend and ,.ir.:,roc--J, e.a r, e.- ,.., Q'006
companion from a life of pain and misery, he Ph,,IL, :.. r. h 1,..-I
also gave me back my service dog."
TVM original scholarship renamed in honor of former college dean
T he team of 66 Team Vet Med riders that participated in the 2007 Horse Farm 100 looked
sleek and professional in their matching jerseys when they showed up the morning of Oct.
21 at Loften High School, preparing for yet another group adventure that would raise more
than $27,000 to benefit student scholarships.
The jerseys and the increasingly high numbers of participants -- and money raised -- have
been de rigueur for several years now, but when former college dean Joe DiPietro started Team
Vet Med in 1998, it was another story.
Not that there were any slouchers; most of the original team riders completed the full 100
miles of the race, but no one was really counting. Even in the first few years of its existence,
team spirit was high and a good time was had by all, (assuming falls and flat tires were kept at a
Today, Team Vet Med exemplifies love of the sport and support for our college from all
constituents of college life, with participants ranging from highest level administrators to
friends and family of CVM faculty, staff, students and alumni. This year, DiPietro returned to
the college from his new job as vice president of agriculture at the University of Tennessee to
ride in the event that will now be officially associated with his name.
At the pre-ride dinner, held at the college on Oct. 20, Dean Glen Hoffsis announced that the
original Team Vet Med scholarship has been renamed "The Joseph DiPietro Horse Farm
Hundred Scholarship" with an amount now totalling an impressive $130,000.
Four awards of $1,000 each were given out this year to students with financial need.
Hoffsis himself joined this year's riders, completing 55 miles. Executive Associate Dean
Jim Thompson and his daughter, Allie, both completed the entire 100 miles, as did Associate
Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Charles Courtney and many other riders.
"I'd like to thank all of our riders and of course, all of our sponsors, for helping make this
such a fantastic and successful event," said Jo Ann Winn, who coordinated the event for the j..j~ r r.s ,...a, i.nm. i.,r ,nr,r.rieC,,r, ir.,- ..i.r :,r,:r,,-,.J'nne
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