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Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center restructuring to capitalize on new operating environment


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 22, 2009 – Several administrative and operational modifications designed to help Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center operate more efficiently in a challenging economic environment have been implemented by Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

“The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is a vital part of the future of our regional college, and it is a major Virginia Tech facility in the National Capital Region,” said Schurig. “Our goal with these changes is to position the center to become more viable and more successful in the years ahead.”

According to Schurig, Dr. Nat White, the Jean Ellen duPont Shehan Professor and director of the center, will retain overall leadership responsibility for the facility. However, Chief Operating and Fiscal Officer Richard Gargagliano will assume direct responsibility for the implementation of strategies designed to ensure that the center meets a series of revenue development and cost-containment goals that have been created as part of the restructuring effort. This element of the restructuring plan will provide greater separation between the business decision-making and clinical decision-making lines in the equine medical center’s administration.

“Despite needing to eliminate two clinical faculty-positions and four staff positions, our plan is to maintain and improve existing levels of service and quality,” said Schurig. “The equine medical center is a world-class equine hospital and it is very important for our clients and our referring practitioners to understand that our focus on excellence in around-the-clock clinical care will continue.”

In addition to providing advanced referral services for performance, pleasure and show horses and conducting research, the equine medical center provides unparalleled training opportunities for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree students enrolled in the college. It also offers post-graduate internship and residency training programs for veterinarians who come from veterinary colleges based in the United States and around the world.

The equine medical center, like many university-affiliated veterinary hospitals, has been forced to contend with a number of changing circumstances in their operating environment. These include increased competition from board-certified equine specialists in the private sector, as well as deteriorating economic conditions that have affected the horse industry and reduced demand for equine healthcare.

“We’re confident that this enhanced business model will position the equine medical center for even greater levels of success in the years ahead,” said Schurig. “Through increased market development, superior clinical care, and exceptional levels of customer service, we believe that the center will continue to function as an integral resource for the regional and national horse industry.”

Founded in 1984 with a $4 million gift from the late Marion duPont Scott on 200 acres of land donated by the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is a premier, full-service equine hospital located in Leesburg, Va.

The center offers advanced specialty care, 24-hour emergency treatment, and diagnostic services for all ages and breeds of horses. One of three campuses that comprise the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, the center’s team of equine specialists is committed to providing exceptional treatment to patients, superior service to clients, and cutting-edge research to the equine industry. The center is in the midst of celebrating 25 years of service.