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Vet Med, state sign diagnostic services agreement

By Jeffrey Douglas

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 15 - December 12, 1996

The Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will begin providing veterinary diagnostic services for the Commonwealth of Virginia through a cooperative arrangement arranged with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"We are delighted to be able to provide these services for the commonwealth through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services," said Dean Peter Eyre. "We have the resources in place to provide VDACS with the prompt, high-quality service they need at reasonable cost and we are pleased to have the opportunity to do so."

Producers, veterinarians, and citizens will still work directly with VDACS' s Office of Laboratory Services (OLS) in presenting specimens for analysis; however, the diagnostic work will now be conducted by the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Anatomic Pathology Service.

In addition to an individual service fee for each submitted specimen, VDACS will provide the college with $40,000 annually to support the cost of a pathology resident and some salary support for a histotechnician.

The Anatomic Pathology Service will perform the work and provide VDACS's OLS personnel with electronically submitted evaluations in no more than five working days following receipt of a sample.

Histopathology involves the microscopic evaluation of tissue samples on specially prepared slides by pathologists. By examining cellular structures through light microscopy, they can detect signs of cancer and other disease states.

The Anatomic Pathology Service processes about 1,000 slides per month as a result of services provided to Veterinary Teaching Hospital clinicians and pathologists, referring veterinarians, and researchers. With the new collaborative program in place, that caseload is expected to rise about 30 percent.

The program creates a contractual structure for a three-year period and is renewable by mutual consent. The arrangement was created following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Eyre and VDACS Commissioner Carlton Courter on Friday, Nov. 1.