Foster Hospital for Small Animals renovation begins

Capital campaign successfully raises more than $8.6 million
April 29, 2015

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NORTH GRAFTON, Mass. (April 29, 2015)—The commitment of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University donors has made the new vision for the 30-year-old Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals a reality. Construction to expand and revitalize the building begins this week and the improvements will result in more exam and treatment areas for specialty services and redesigned client service areas.

Launched in May 2013, the hospital renovation campaign raised more than $8.6 million. A 2:1 challenge gift from the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, an independent private foundation dedicated to continuing its namesake’s philanthropy, provided an instrumental boost. To receive a $2.5 million donation from the fund, Cummings School needed to raise $5 million by the end of 2014. The school’s supporters—including Travis and Anne Engen who gave $2.5 million—rallied to meet the goal.

“The enthusiasm and support of our donors has allowed us to quickly move forward with the project. Enhancing Foster Hospital will benefit our patients and their human families, referring veterinarians and our students, and will advance the innovative work of our clinicians,” said Deborah T. Kochevar, D.V.M., Ph.D., dean of Cummings School.

Foster Hospital is one of seven academic teaching hospitals and clinics that comprise the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, a name recently chosen to brand these distinctive facilities. The announcement of the medical center name and logo coincided with the launch of redesigned websites for the school and hospitals earlier this month.

Last year Foster Hospital treated more than 29,000 patients, a case load that is expected to grow to 32,000.  The renovation will increase the number of state-of-the-art examination rooms; create larger treatment rooms for specialty services in ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology and dermatology, which will reduce client wait times for such specialized care; and develop new areas in the hospital that are central to clients’ comfort. The renovation will also benefit Cummings School veterinary students; the larger treatment and teaching areas will increase opportunities for research and collaboration.  

The renovation is expected to be completed by summer 2016. Construction to the lobby, which will impact how clients access the hospital during the renovation, will begin in June.

“Minimizing disruptions to clients and our referring veterinarians is a priority. We will be communicating with them frequently on what to expect throughout construction,” said Virginia Rentko, V.M.D., medical director of Foster Hospital and the Hospital for Large Animals. “The end goal is to add features to the hospital that will help us better serve our patients.”

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About Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and four clinics that combined log more than 80,000 animal cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health.