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Shortage Region WV241

West Virginia
Shortage Location - Must Serve
West Virginia
Shortage Location - May Serve
Neighboring or Regional States for interagency cooperative efforts for preparedness and incident response
Location Center
Flatwoods is near geographic center of WV (shortage is statewide)
VSGP Status
VMLRP Status
(Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program)
Priority of shortage
Fiscal year
Percent FTE
(Full Time Equivalent, based on a 40hr work week.)
Type of Shortage
(Veterinary Practice Area / Discipline / Specialty)
Type III Shortage: Public Practice
Other Must Serve
Other May Serve

State of West Virginia

Position Title
Public Health Veterinarian, Veterinary Epidemiologist, Wildlife Veterinarian, State Animal Health Official, Staff Veterinarian
Disciplinary area
Food Safety
Public Health
Other disciplinary area

Wildlife Pathology

Carry Over
Nominator Name
Ambria N. Mays
Nominator Title
Staff Veterinarian
Nominator Org
West Virginia Department of Agriculture
Nominator Email
Nominator Phone
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian
West Virginia currently has no veterinary position in either the state's public health agency (DHHR) for a State Public Health Veterinarian, or for wildlife epidemiology in the WV Department of Natural Resources. Public Health Veterinarians and Veterinary Epidemiologists are vital for preventing exposure and controlling diseases that humans can contract from animals or animal products. They also promote education, communication, and collaboration regarding zoonotic diseases in order to reduce human illness, animal disease spread, and for overall promotion of public health. The objective of this nomination is to provide opportunity for increased support for a veterinarian interested in locating to West Virginia to serve as a Public Health Veterinarian or related veterinary position with public health emphasis.
Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services
Public Heath Veterinarian would serve a key role for inter-agency One Health initiatives and communications with focus on diseases most likely to pose a threat to public health, especially with major public health significance. They serve as lead to assure the safety, wholesomeness, and proper labeling of meat and poultry for consumers, including conducting official dispositions of animals, carcasses, and their parts - when indicated take necessary actions to prevent them entering the food chain for people or their pets. Enforce required procedures for meat and poultry inspection procedures prior to slaughter and throughout the entire processing establishment, including humane handling, ante-mortem inspection, post-mortem inspection, processing operations, veterinary dispositions, and transportation and distribution of meat, poultry, and egg products to markets and retail stores. Ensure establishments meet requirements of the Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. Plan, organize, coordinate, supervise and adapt the full range of meat and poultry inspection operations in slaughter and/or processing establishments.
Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian
Organizational structure changes due to state budget challenges has resulted in combining functions formerly in separate work units. Efforts thus far is plan to host an out-of-state veterinary student with public health interest for a summer externship. The intent of this nomination is focused primarily on providing the opportunity for graduated veterinarian with public health interest to receive opportunity for focused training and broad experience in a dynamic One Health arena involving health of people, domestic animals, wildlife, and the environment.
Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian
Overall risk for not securing Public Health Veterinarians includes animals, people, products, and various pathogens move faster, farther, and in greater numbers than ever before in history - with many new and re-emerging infectious diseases being zoonotic while concurrently antimicrobial resistance increases. Emerging zoonotic diseases, bio-security threats, and globalization-of food supply food safety issues require unique public health veterinarian expertise - with focus on a complex interplay of human, animal issues. and environmental issues that show no signs of reversing.
Community Aspects
West Virginia offers some of the most breathtaking views and environments in the country. Living in West Virginia carries benefits such as low taxes and the state boasts extremely low home prices plus a low cost of living. Outdoor recreation cannot be beaten. Multiple national and state parks, forests and campgrounds are available. There are many opportunities for freshwater fishing, including fly-fishing for trout. The state is also famous for its hunting and its biodiversity of both animal and plant life. Nature lovers will never run out of new places to explore and discover. West Virginia is right in the heart of the Appalachian Trail, making it one of the best places for people who love to hike and camp. White-water rafting opportunities abound, as well as numerous rivers and lakes for canoeing, kayaking, and pleasure boating. There are also opportunities for rock-climbing and spelunking. You will always have the presence of the mountains in the background across the state. West Virginia is one of the best places to be on the planet when the autumn season arrives and fall colors become spectacular. You will get to experience all the seasons here each year without fail. West Virginians love the outdoors and there is a rich immigration history which influences unique and interesting perspectives on the arts, music, cuisine, and overall "Mountain State" culture that you will enjoy discovering.

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