Renovations in store for Tufts hospitals

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Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is taking on a $60 million project to extensively renovate and expand its small and large animal hospitals.

An artist’s rendering of the expansion of Tufts University’s Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals (Courtesy of Tufts University)

The first phase of the project, which will cost $8 million, will renovate sections of the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals and a small portion of the Large Animal Hospital, according to an Aug. 1 article in “Tufts Now.”

New elements will include larger reception areas with separate spaces for different species, to help reduce the stress on patients and their families waiting to see their caregivers; four additional examination rooms to accommodate the growing number of clients, from 16 to 20; new, larger treatment rooms for specialty services in ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology, and dermatology that will reduce client and patient wait times; and a reflection room offering hospital clients a quiet space to consider important decisions regarding their animals’ care.

Construction of the first phase will begin once the first $8 million is raised from donations and gifts.

Dean Deborah Kochevar said the project was necessary to continue to provide high-level service as well as attract the best students and faculty.

When the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals opened in 1985, veterinarians anticipated providing care to 12,000 cats, dogs, and other companion animals each year. Now, more than 26,000 pets come to the hospital annually, representing one of the highest patient caseloads of any veterinary academic teaching hospital in the country, according to the article. The 30-year-old building is at capacity, with 100 veterinarians who work in the small animal hospital and 2,300 students, interns, and residents who have trained in the hospital in the past three decades. About 86 fourth-year veterinary students do clinical rotations in the hospital each year, and that number will increase to 100 once the renovations are completed.