Field Clinic Scholarship Program Will Fund Travel for 50 Volunteers in the Veterinary Profession Helping to Deliver Access to Care in Underserved Rural Communities
VANCOUVER, Wash., Nov. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Banfield Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the charitable arm of Banfield Pet Hospital®, today announced a grant to the Humane Society of the United States’ Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) program to create its first-ever Field Clinic Travel Scholarship designed to provide travel scholarships for veterinary students, veterinary technicians and veterinary technician students, as well as veterinary assistants participating in RAVS field teaching clinics in 2023.
RAVS’ veterinary field teaching clinics provide intensive, highly mentored hands-on experience for hundreds of veterinary and veterinary technician students and professionals each year—in 2022 alone, 225 veterinary professionals and students volunteered 18,200 hours caring for 7,500 pets. RAVS field clinics provide RACE-approved continuing education credits for veterinary professionals and structured training to meet critical student learning objectives. Through clinic participation, student and professional volunteers gain hands on experience in field medicine, anesthesia, surgery, access to care work, and community service.
“Field clinic participation fosters connections among professionals, students and staff that extend beyond the clinic itself. This service-learning opportunity is one that volunteers frequently describe as life changing,” said Windi Wojdak, Senior Director, RAVS. “This scholarship program will not only increase participants’ clinical skillset but also deepen their understanding of the human-animal bond and tools available to increase access to veterinary care and support the bond.”
While there are no tuition or participation fees for RAVS volunteers, participants are responsible for personal travel costs. The new scholarship program is intended to support training and mentorship of underrepresented students and professionals and those for whom cost is a barrier to participation, encourage professional diversity, and provide opportunities to engage a wider audience of current and future veterinary professionals in access to care work. Upwards of 50 scholarships will be available with a maximum award of $1,000 each which will offset clinic travel costs for the award recipients.
“Banfield Foundation is committed to expanding access to veterinary care in underserved areas as well as providing a pathway for future generations of veterinary professionals to personally experience the joy of giving back and helping communities in need,” said Kim Van Syoc, Executive Director, Banfield Foundation. “This program simultaneously brings access to care to areas struggling with poverty and geographic isolation while removing geographic and financial barriers for students and professionals wanting to expand their knowledge and skills while improving both animal and community health.”
Support of RAVS is not new to the Banfield Foundation—in 2022, the Foundation funded multiple RAVS clinics to provide comprehensive preventive care, emergency care as well as spay/neuter surgeries in rural communities across the United States including the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation and Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Reservation in North Dakota and the San Carlos Apache Tribe Reservation in Arizona. Funding also supported specialized training of local animal care volunteers and shelters. Since 2021, Banfield Foundation has provided nearly 23 grants and $600,000 to organizations or projects supporting pets living on Native American Reservations—this access to care work is done through various nonprofit partners and with generous support from the IDEXX Foundation.
Applications for the first round of RAVS’ Field Clinic Travel Scholarship for students will be accepted through Friday, December 2. Scholarships are open to credentialed veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants with at least one year of full-time clinical experience, and students currently enrolled in an AVMA accredited veterinary college or veterinary technology program. Requirements for scholarship applicants are interest in the service-learning experience and increasing access to veterinary care; demonstrated capacity to learn and contribute in an intense, fast-paced field environment; and self-attested financial barriers to participation. Preference will be given to those identifying as part of Black, Indigenous, or People of Color communities as well as others who bring an underrepresented perspective to the field.
To learn more about RAVS, information on how to apply for clinics and the new scholarship program visit humanesociety.org/ravs.
To learn more about the Banfield Foundation’s commitment to expanding access to care in rural communities—or to make a donation—visit BanfieldFoundation.org.
About Banfield Foundation®
Since 2015, Banfield Foundation has been making preventive care possible for the pets that need it most. Through grants and partnerships, we provide medical supplies and resources to nonprofit partners in need; support pets, people and communities in crisis; and enable veterinary professionals to deliver compassionate and inclusive preventive veterinary care in underserved and diverse areas across the United States and around the world. We also leverage the expertise and passion of Banfield Pet Hospital, part of Mars Veterinary Health, and its Associates to care for pets in need. At the Banfield Foundation, we are committed to living our collective purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. For more information, visit BanfieldFoundation.org.
The Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) program is operated by the Humane Society of the United States. RAVS combines high quality veterinary field clinics with clinical training for veterinary students and professionals to expand access to care and support the health and welfare of animals in under-served rural communities. Over the past 20 years, RAVS’ veterinary teams have provided care to more than 160,000 animals in communities lacking access to essential animal health services as a result of poverty, systemic inequity and geographic isolation. In addition, our veterinary field training programs have provided life-changing service-learning opportunities for more than 9,000 veterinary students and professionals. For more information visit humanesociety.org/ravs.
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SOURCE Banfield Pet Hospital