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PVMA CE Presentation: Access to Veterinary Care
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When: 7:30 PM
Where: Portland Government Building
800 NE Oregon St
Portland, Oregon  97232
United States
Contact: Cristina Keef

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Special Event

Access to Veterinary Care: A National Family Crisis


Millions of families have limited access to veterinary care, mainly due to insufficient funds. Lack of needed veterinary care negatively impacts the whole family--human and nonhuman.


Dr. Blackwell, Director of the Program for Pet Health Equity, University of Tennessee, will be speaking about this national family crisis and a conceptual One Health healthcare system to address it, called AlignCareTM. The working poor and other at-risk families are the most impacted by the lack of veterinary care and the focus of AlignCareTM. By aligning resources and activities and mobilizing communities and new interprofessional collaborations, more underserved families can gain access to veterinary care. 


In practice, most social service, and public health programs are primarily human-focused, not considering the presence and influence of nonhuman members on overall family wellbeing. The effectiveness of these programs will improve by including nonhuman family members in planning and implementation. Likewise, most veterinary service providers are primarily animal-focused, often not structured to assist families with limited means. Effectiveness in providing veterinary care for underserved families will improve through a system that supports them.  AlignCare™ builds community-based collaborations among these programs and service providers, leading to better health maintenance for families and the community.


All pets and their families deserveaccess to veterinary care, and this can become a reality through our individual and collective determination.


Dr. Michael Blackwell, University of Tennessee

A life of public service is what exemplifies Dr. Michael Blackwell. Like his father, he earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University. He also earned a Master of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Blackwell currently serves as the director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee. His work is directed at removing barriers to veterinary care, especially for families with limited income. Previously, Dr. Blackwell served as chief of staff, Office of the Surgeon General of the U.S., chief veterinary officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, and chief veterinary officer of the Humane Society of the United States. He achieved the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General during 23 years on active duty with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. In addition, he has served on many national boards and committees.

Dr. Blackwell is very personable and enjoys inspiring and motivating others to excel and overcome obstacles to their personal and professional growth. He is dedicated to building and facilitating highly effective teams, and especially enjoys mentoring in effective leadership and public policy.

Dr. Blackwell has received numerous awards and recognitions. Most notable are the Distinguished Service Medal, which is the highest personal honor award of the United States Public Health Service, as well as two Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medals.


Cost: (can be paid at the door by cash/check)
Member Veterinarians‐ no charge
Non‐member Veterinarians‐ $25
OVTAA/VTA Members‐ no charge
Veterinary Team Members‐ $10
Plentiful free parking is available in the adjacent lot on the west side of the building or on the street. The lecture will be held in one of the meeting rooms on the main floor of the building, so it should be easy to find us!


Refreshments will be provided.


1.5 CE Credits


Fall CE Series Sponsored by Columbia Bank and Norwest Contractors

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