April 23, 2020


As local counties began issuing "shelter-in-place" orders and encouraging citizens to minimize human contact, Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences needed a solution to continue their mission of helping animals while keeping their staff safe. Within 24 hours of the request, the Division of Information Technology deployed a full-service network in the Large Animal Hospital parking lot, enabling operations to continue in a drive-through format.

"Maintaining the best standard of care is our priority," said Dr. Jonathan Levine, Head of the Small Animal Clinical Department. "Excellent patient care relies heavily on technology and our team needs access to their tools. We are so grateful for the Division of IT’s assistance."

Veterinarians now screen animals from their owner's cars using the same technology they have inside the animal hospital. These screenings are designed to identify not only the current status of the animal, but also whether the owner is at risk of having been exposed to COVID-19. Pets are then washed outside before being taken inside the animal hospital.

"Our job is to help Texas A&M University achieve its mission," said Cheryl Cato, Associate Vice President for IT. "As professions become increasingly dependent on technology and the internet, it becomes almost impossible to maintain operations without it. Our team worked quickly to provide an outdoor network that is just as strong and dependable as inside the hospital."

The Small Animal Hospital is currently only taking urgent cases and delaying elective procedures to preserve personal protective equipment for the good of the public.

"We have some of the most talented veterinary staff in the country," said Dr. Wesley Bissett, Director of Texas A&M’s Veterinary Emergency Team. "We need our clinicians here and we need our staff here. We cannot risk inadvertently introducing the virus into the large or small animal hospital and we have now drastically reduced that risk."

Together, the Division of IT and VetMed created a reliable, full-service veterinary medicine operation that can be replicated elsewhere.

For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit vetmed.tamu.edu.

For more information about the Texas A&M University Division of Information Technology, please visit https://it.tamu.edu/.