July 01, 2015


 2015-2016 AVMA congressional fellows announced

Posted June 17, 2015

The AVMA announced in May the three veterinarians chosen for the Association’s 2015-2016 Congressional Science Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

Drs. Rachel Cumberbatch, Honorata “Kuki” Hansen, and Lauren Stump will spend a year working on Capitol Hill, where they will use their scientific expertise to help shape federal policy on issues impacting animal and public health.  

​ Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch ​ Dr. Honorata “Kuki” Hansen Dr. Lauren Stump

“It is so important—now more than ever—that our elected officials hear from the scientific experts who understand how animal, public, and environmental health are interrelated,” AVMA President Ted Cohn said.

“I would like to congratulate and thank Drs. Cumberbatch, Hansen, and Stump for dedicating the next year of their lives to working with Congress to help advance policies that will protect and promote both human and animal health.”

Starting in August, the fellows will serve for one year as full-time staff in a congressional office or on a congressional committee, where they will advise policymakers on a wide range of pressing issues impacting animal health and welfare and on crossover issues that impact both human and animal health. The fellows are not AVMA employees or lobbyists.

Dr. Cumberbatch of Washington, D.C., is a 2011 graduate of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine interested in the human-animal interface, health care services, workforce  development, and the role of veterinary public health in public policy. She most recently was an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she supported efforts to promote better air quality.

Additionally, Dr. Cumberbatch has been an associate veterinarian with the Connecticut Veterinary Center emergency service and president of a nonprofit insurance organization.

Dr. Hansen of Silver Spring, Maryland, is a 2001 graduate of the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine who is  interested in one health, climate change, and aquatic animal health. She has more than 10 years of private practice experience and has worked in the translational sciences department of a biotechnology firm and most recently as chief veterinarian for a  municipal animal shelter.

Dr. Hansen received her master’s in public health with a concentration in environmental health from the University of Minnesota in 2012 and became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine the next year. She volunteers with local and state emergency management agencies such as the Montgomery County Animal Response Team and Maryland’s Medical and Public Health Volunteer Corps.

Dr. Stump of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in May. As a veterinary student, she served as the president of her student chapter of the AVMA and was an extern for the Louisiana Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program.

The AVMA fellowship program is sponsored through the AAAS, which works to place scientific experts in congressional offices where they are needed. To date, 58 veterinarians have participated in the program. For more information, click here.