2001 OSU graduate returns to Stillwater to lead Oklahoma’s major veterinary hospital
Story provided by OSU Communications
Oklahoma State University’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s new director, Kelly Black, DVM, DACVPM, is returning home to Stillwater to head the state’s only major veterinary medical center.
Dr. Black, a 2001 graduate of OSU’s veterinary program, brings with him significant experience leading major hospital operations and building engaged, energetic teams of medical professionals.
“Dr. Black’s passion, commitment and advocacy for the field of veterinary medicine will have a tremendous impact on our staff, faculty, students and clients, and we are confident he will take the hospital to new heights to become a top veterinary hospital in the country,” said Dr. Carlos Risco, dean of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “Dr. Black’s leadership will inspire innovation, growth, and excellence, and also make the hospital a great place to work in the industry.”
The OSU hospital’s role in Oklahoma is critical as demand continues to increase for large animal veterinarians as the number of veterinarians continues to decrease. Over the next decade the employment of veterinarians is expected to grow by nearly 20%. Today, there are more than 12 jobs available for every applicant in veterinary medicine school. Plus, over 60% of current veterinary practices are in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas. This is a crucial food safety and production issue for rural Oklahoma.
Black, who previously served as a leader of the Veterinary Technology Program at Dallas College in Texas, said he fully embraces the responsibilities ahead.
“The OSU veterinary hospital is a part of a university that is transforming itself into the preeminent land-grant university in the nation, and the hospital and our team have a critical role to play in this transformation,” said Black. “My vision is to restore and sustain crucial veterinary services and to enhance recruitment and retention of veterinarians and staff, both at the OSU teaching hospital and throughout Oklahoma. As part of the Cowboy family, I know we can accomplish great things and find innovative ways to optimize student learning and broaden our reach to underserved, rural regions of the state.”
Black’s appointment to the OSU hospital, one of 33 accredited in the nation, drew praise from the head of the state’s leading veterinary association.
“A vibrant veterinary hospital is paramount to the well-being of our animal companions and the advancement of veterinary medicine,” said Cordon DeKock, executive director of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medicine Association. “Dr. Black’s leadership will strengthen the hospital’s impact across Oklahoma and grow the profession at a time when our state has a severe shortage of trained veterinarians. Our association looks forward to working with Dr. Black and continuing our strong partnership with Dean Risco and the OSU team.”
Black’s executive leadership appointment coincides with the creation of the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Medicine Authority by a nearly unanimous vote of confidence in the state legislature in May. The authority will, for the first time ever, provide a critically needed source of sustainable funding for both clinical training and the hospital. The initial funding of $89.3 million will bring enhanced clinical facilities, new construction and additional resources for clinical faculty and staff that will enhance student experience and place OSU in a very competitive position among other veterinary medical schools and teaching hospitals.
Black said that the additional funding and OSU’s continuous research investments influenced his decision to return to OSU, and that the commitment and dedication of the OSU team will lead to success.
“New facilities and resources will help us recruit the best and brightest to OSU, and what will also help drive our transformation is the way our teams can work together to establish the hospital as a tremendous place to teach, learn and work, ” he said. “We have an extraordinary opportunity to build something special in Stillwater, and my job is to keep us focused on the journey ahead.”