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Shortage Region WY231

Shortage Location
Wyoming, Albany County
Location Center
1174 Snowy Range Rd, Laramie, WY 82070
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

Wyoming State Vet Lab

Position Title
Veterinary Specialist (Bacteriology, Virology, Immunology)
Other disciplinary area

Veterinary Diagnostics

Carry Over
Nominator Name
Hallie Hasel
Nominator Title
Wyoming State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Wyoming Livestock Board
Nominator Email
Nominator Phone
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian

The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory operates under the umbrella of the University of Wyoming. The University of Wyoming is located in
Laramie, a town of 30,000 in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West. UW enrolls approximately 14,000 students including 3,000 graduate
students. In addition to opportunities for academic excellence, Laramie provides outstanding outdoor recreational activities, a college-town
environment, and close proximity to Colorado's metropolitan Front Range, a bustling group of metropolitan cities including Denver, Boulder,
and Fort Collins. The beautiful mountain landscape offers outdoor enjoyment in all seasons, with over 300 days of sunshine per year.

The Veterinary Bacteriologist at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL) is critical to the practicing veterinarians and the producers
of the state. It serves the needs of those clients within Wyoming by providing bacteriology laboratory services not found anywhere else in the
State. It is an essential position that oversees culturing and molecular diagnostic samples from clients, discussion of laboratory results with
clients, consultation to those in the field regarding sampling, and insight into other potential differentials in the face of disease outbreaks. This
position is in an ideal location at the WSVL. It is in close proximity to the Wyoming Game & Fish wildlife health laboratory, and works closely
with the Wyoming Public Health and the Wyoming Livestock Board.

Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services

The activities of the Veterinary Bacteriologist include diagnostic service to our Wyoming clients, corresponding with these clients by phone
and email to relay testing information or discuss testing results, educating clients by giving presentations around the state to producers and/or
practitioners, informing clients by keeping them updated through the WSVL's newsletter by describing new tests/protocols, attending local and
national meetings to provide interesting cases studies as well as learning about the newest technology to better serve Wyoming's clients, and
working with students in the laboratory to give them fundamental bacteriology diagnostic skills. When not directly working on diagnostic cases,
this position will mentor graduate students on collaborative research projects that are important to the health of Wyoming's livestock, and
provide expertise to undergraduate student curriculum through coordination of courses that are essential to the Department of Veterinary
Science. The WSVL is a well-equipped and AAVLD-accredited diagnostic laboratory with BSL2 and BSL3 necropsy suites and in-house next-generation sequencing technology. The lab is currently staffed with three of five pathologist positions vacant.

Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian

Veterinary Specialists are in high demand. This position has been advertised for over a year through paid advertisements, including AVMA, online recruitment, professional organizations and publications. Wyoming does not currently have a state funded student loan repayment program. Competing with states who have a loan repayment program is difficult, thus Wyoming's need for VMLRP. The previous type III shortage at WSVL for a Veterinary Bacteriologist was filled by an active faculty member (she has been retained in her current position for 8 years). The incentive of loan repayment was one of the primary reasons she was recruited to this position.

Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian

Wyoming is one of three states included as part of the Greater Yellowstone Area. Wyoming has a Brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area
(DSA) due to an increased risk of brucellosis through wildlife and livestock interaction. A brucellosis test is required for all cattle leaving the
DSA. While having the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park located within our state is extremely beneficial for year around outdoor
recreation, the consequences of diagnosing brucellosis within our livestock industry could be catastrophic to Wyoming's #3 industry,
agriculture. This position provides an opportunity to interact with Wyoming Game and Fish, USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, USDA APHIS
Wildlife Services, US Fish and Wildlife, National Park Service, and the US Forest Service to help control, eradicate, and prevent brucellosis in
both wildlife and livestock.

Wyoming is ranked eighth in the nation for federal land ownership, with approximately 54% of our land under federal or state ownership.
Common grazing allotments are required for livestock to survive in many areas, resulting in extreme risk of disease transmission between
herds. Wyoming tests approximately 80,000 cattle for brucellosis each year. An understaffed laboratory results in delayed reporting, delayed
transport for livestock, and decreased income for our producers. The risk of this position not being retained would directly affect animal health.
Without this position, there is not a state expert to consult with field and state veterinarians regarding bacterial disease outbreaks. There would
be a setback in improving the quality of health in our production animals through bacterial disease detection and diagnosis. Additionally, this
position serves as a liaison between animal and human health through collaboration with the Wyoming Public Health, and so this position
unfilled would have a negative impact on human health for high consequence pathogens such as those associated with plague, tularemia, and

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