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Comments by Dr. Bristol


Dr. David Bristol, the interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, served the CVM as associate dean and director of academic affairs. Dr. Davidson spoke to what the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center will mean to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Thank you Dr. Davidson.   And thank you Chancellor Woodson.

Let me express my appreciation to all of you for joining us on this memorable day.

This was a memorable day 57 years ago as well. On May 6th, 1954, the 4-minute barrier for the mile run was broken when medical student Roger Bannister posted a time of 3:59.4.  With the breaking of this barrier, a major goal of distance runners was achieved.  With the dedication of the Terry Center, another major goal has been achieved, and I know Dr. Davidson is not the only one who feels he is happily coming to the end of a long distance event. Dr. Davidson has been involved in the the Terry Center project from the beginning. In addition to serving on the Executive Committee , he chaired the Terry Center Building Committee, the Veterinary Health and Wellness Center Planning Committee, and the Terry Center  Dedication Committee.  That’s quite a run Mike, and I want to publically express my appreciation for your efforts.

I’ve been asked what the Terry Center means to the college.  In a sentence, it means a new era in clinical care, veterinary education, and clinical research capabilities. 

Just three examples about the new level of clinical care. 

The 64-slice Computed Tomography or CT Unit will enable us to create higher-resolution images of any area of the body in mere seconds. This means we will be able to detect problems with greater detail and earlier than was possible with the 16-slice CT Unit.  Because of the increased speed, we anticipate imaging some patients under sedation rather than general anesthesia—thus reducing costs even as we provide unparalleled disease detection. 

The Biplane fluoroscopy unit will provide 3 dimensional images of the heart or other complex structures, allowing for more accurate and faster placement of interventional devices.  Imagine a patient with a defect in a heart valve.  With single plane fluoroscopy, we may know the patient has a problem, but attempting intervention is difficult, because you only see two dimensions. It’s like looking at a plain road map of North Carolina, and not appreciating the topographical differences between the coastal plain and western mountains. With biplane fluoroscopy, we will see the exact location and size of any problem in three dimensions, allowing accurate treatment.  

The Terry Center has a Reverse Isolation Unit to protect immunocompromised patients.  We are the only veterinary college in the country offering canine bone marrow transplants for patients with certain types of lymphoma.  After harvesting the dog’s own stem cells, the patient is irradiated to kill the cancer cells. This also dramatically impairs the immune system so any infection might be fatal. The reverse isolation unit will protect patients until they receive their own stem cells back and regain immune functions.

The Terry Center will improve veterinary education.  Our students will train in an environment with the best medical care, state-of-the-art technologies, and an outstanding physical plant.  Each specialty pod was designed with education in mind, and features dedicated teaching areas and wireless access to internet educational resources. The resources of the recently renovated Kenan Library are steps away. Surgery lights in operating rooms contain cameras which will stream videos students will be able to access over the intranet, allowing them the second best seat in the house for observing the procedures. 

The Terry Center will enhance our research. The reason we are able to provide the highest level of care is because previous research helped create the technologies we use for diagnostics, the  therapies we give, and the statistical models used to judge the efficacy of our treatments. The Terry Center will allow us to dedicate more space to our clinical trials program, a unit within the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research.  The understanding of “One Medicine”, that human and animal diseases work through the same mechanisms, means that a sick animal coming to our clinic may bring with it a better understanding, and potentially a cure,  for both animal AND human disease. 

I’d like to tell a quick story about April 16—the terrible day of the tornadoes.  A dozen horses that had been severely injured by flying debris arrived at our large animal hospital.  An emergency response was needed and more than 40 members of our veterinary college community rushed to help.  It didn’t matter if they normally worked in the large animal or small animal hospital; or if they were actually on duty or off that day. Our people came in because they cared.  This event is a dramatic example of what I see almost daily.  Whether it is a researcher working through the weekend making the next scientific discovery, students waiting for the library doors to open at 6 a.m., or faculty and staff operating on a colicy horse at 2 a.m., we have a very dedicated group of  people here. 

It was that level of dedication and caring that Mr. Terry recognized years ago when he first brought his dogs to our hospital.  It was the appreciation of that commitment that led Mr. Terry and others to become friends and supporters of the college, resulting in the celebration we are having today.

When asked what the Terry Center means to the college, (pause) I think the best answer is that it will provide an environment that will enable dedicated and compassionate individuals to do their best work, (pause) and to achieve the best results. 

Thank you again for sharing this very special day in the history of our college.