Upon graduation from Veterinary School at Colorado State University in 1985, Paula and her veterinarian husband bought a rural mixed practice in northeastern Colorado, where she worked for 10 years.
Paula joined the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS), as a Veterinary Educational Specialist in February, 1995.
Paula became the Director of the Professional Development Staff, Veterinary Services, in 2004. She has been engaged in veterinary capacity building in a number of countries beginning with the Middle East and Afghanistan. Paula has coordinated the American Team for International Veterinary Affairs (ATIVA) since its inception in 2004. The ATIVA has served as a place for individuals working in Animal Health in countries around the world to share ideas and ask for assistance. The group is composed of folks from government, universities, non-governmental organizations, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the US military. The goal is to increase collaboration across organizational lines and build on each other's work instead of duplicating efforts.
Paula lives on a farm east of Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, John Belfrage, DVM, a Western Regional Epidemiologist with USDA, APHIS, VS. She has three sons ages 22, 17, and 15. Paula has been a "wheeling veterinarian" since 1987 after an accident on an all terrain vehicle.