Lakeland College meets industry demand with new Animal Health Clinic< More Stories
Used primarily by the animal health technology (AHT) and veterinary medical assistant (VMA) programs, the 15,000 sq. ft. facility is a reflection of an operating veterinary clinic. It encompasses lab spaces, a reception area, spaces dedicated to cat and dog enrichment, a dental suite, exam and treatment rooms, a modern surgical suite, exam and treatment rooms, pharmacy, expanded equine and bovine intake area, stocks and stalls.
The larger lab space will also be utilized by other agricultural sciences programs, and allow multiple labs to run at once under one roof – something that couldn’t be done in the previous clinic.
“The fact that this is a real world teaching clinic is wonderful for our students’ education. It was important to us to create a clinic atmosphere,” says Elaine Suddaby, AHT program head. Lakeland faculty and staff toured multiple facilities for design ideas, and focused on flow and efficiency.
“We looked at many layouts and spent a lot of time discussing how to improve flow because that was one of our biggest hurdles in the old clinic,” says Suddaby.
Students will also get hands-on experience using approximately $1.3 million in innovative equipment including canine and feline SynDaver models, a direct digital radiography x-ray system, equine models, and a bovine ultrasound machine with BCF universal goggle. Lakeland students are going to be able to work with the latest technologies which are now becoming standard in many veterinary practices.
Lakeland will be the first college in the world to use the feline SynDaver model. SynDaver designs and builds the world’s most sophisticated and realistic synthetic human and animal bodies, tissues and parts.
Another feature is the installation of Lumens document cameras. The cameras will capture live demonstrations and activities, which will be displayed on televisions throughout the AHC.
Outside of the classroom, AHT and VMA students will take the lead in the new student-led clinic model by managing and operating the AHC like a real clinic.
Clients will include local humane society, animal rescue groups, and college staff owned animals. Animal care and welfare is a focus in many programs found in the School of Agricultural Sciences, which recently earned Lakeland an Alberta Farm Animal Care Award of Distinction for Industry Leadership.
Since the AHC is triple the size of the previous small animal clinic, the clinic is increasing its capacity to accommodate both small and large animals.
“With all of this and more, we’re excited to have the opportunity to increase our AHT intake by 30 seats. Lakeland will be graduating more students into the industry and meeting both industry and student demand,” says Suddaby.
The AHC is also an important component in a new, five-year agreement between Lakeland and the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). Together, the two institutions are collaborating to enhance learning and research opportunities. There’s a possibility that UCVM’s students may use the facility for practicum rotations.
The estimated cost of the clinic is $8.2 million. Lakeland received $2,487,500 from the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, and $1.76 million grant from the Government of Alberta as well as another $1.12 million through Lakeland’s Access to the Future grant. Lakeland has allocated internal resources to the project and is raising funds through Leading. Learning. The Lakeland Campaign.
The Animal Health Clinic will officially open on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Vermilion campus. Find more details, here.