Dana Zimmel appointed permanent dean at UF College of Veterinary Medicine

Courtesy of UF Health

FROM SARAH CAREY

Dana N. Zimmel, DVM, has been appointed permanent dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, having held the position on an interim basis since December 2019.

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She becomes the seventh permanent dean of the college and the first woman to hold the position.

“Just months after her preliminary appointment, Dr. Zimmel was tasked with leading the college through the turbulent times as the COVID-19 pandemic struck and life as we all knew it changed, “said David R. Nelson, MD, senior vice president of health affairs at UF and President of UF Health; and Scott Angle, Ph.D., Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, in a joint written statement.

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“Over the past year and a half, Dana has worked tirelessly with her leadership team to ensure the safety of the college’s faculty, staff, and students, and the successful continuation of its research, teaching, and patient care missions,” the administrators said. “Their dedication and focus were evident during this difficult time. Through regular town hall meetings and student forums, Dana has worked hard to promote both internal and external communication and transparency about the college’s missions and among its many stakeholders. “

Nelson and Angle emphasized the importance of steady leadership on these missions in teaching, research and patient care as the college nears its next visit to the accreditation body in 2022.

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Currently, the college ranks 9th among the nation’s veterinary schools according to the US News & World Report and has never stopped caring for animal patients or helping the referring veterinary community during the pandemic.

“The clinic’s faculty and staff worked non-stop to deliver the top-quality care that UF Veterinary Hospitals are known for,” said Nelson and Angle. “The Small Animal Hospital case number – currently number two among academic veterinary clinics in the US – has remained high due to the remarkable effort and commitment of the clinical faculty to maintain an unchanged approach despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

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“In addition, in reference to UF’s reputation as a leader in animal patient care, the college received a $ 3 million gift from the Joanne W. Gauntt Foundation for a new linear accelerator to improve radio-oncological treatment for small animal cancer patients across Europe Southeast, ”they said.

As a clinical professor in the college’s department of large clinical animal science in addition to her administrative role, Zimmel is a college graduate from 1995 class. She joined the UF faculty in 2002, working first in expansion, then in large animal medicine, and later in leadership roles rising up. She became Chief of Staff of UF Veterinary Hospitals in 2010 when the position was created in line with UF Health’s strategic plan to focus on patient-centered care, and held that position until she was appointed Assistant Dean of Clinical Services in 2015.

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Under her leadership, the number of hospital cases increased from 20,542 patients in fiscal 2011 to nearly 43,000 patients in fiscal 2020, with a further 7,794 animals being treated at the Ocala Veterinary Emergency Clinic. In 2012, Zimmel led efforts to create UF PETS, which has grown into a hugely successful collaboration with veterinarians in the Marion County area.

“We are confident that our veterinary college, our hospitals and clinics, which have nationally and internationally recognized academic programs as well as advanced research laboratories and facilities, under the direction of Dr. Zimmel will continue to thrive, ”said Angle and Nelson.