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Zoetis donates surgical masks to Tuskegee Veterinary Teaching Hospital

June 02, 2020

Contacts:  Anissa Riley, College of Veterinary Medicine

Dean Perry and Dr. Gilbreath with donated masks
Dean Perry and Dr. Gilbreath with donated masks.

As the country moves through the coronavirus pandemic, there has been several efforts to help bridge the supply gap of personal protection equipment (PPE). Recently, Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine received a donation of non-sterile surgical masks from Zoetis.

“Under the direction of one of our faithful alumnus, Dr. Christine Jenkins, Zoetis is donating non-sterile surgical masks to assist with our health and safety as we continue veterinary services to our clients in the veterinary medical teaching hospital. The continuation of collaboration among academic, industry and public communities is critical to navigating and survival through this coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the college.

Dr. Jenkins, a 1984 alumnus of the college and a strong supporter of veterinary medical education, serves as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Veterinary Medical Services and Outcomes Research at Zoetis. In April, she as a representative of Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges awarded $630,000 in scholarship funds to 315 second- and third-year veterinary students at 33 colleges of veterinary medicine through the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program for 2020. Recently, Dr. Jenkins also through Zoetis teamed up with the American Veterinary Medical Association to share valuable tips and takeaways for pet owners in caring for their pets in a coronavirus webinar.

“Zoetis recognizes the unprecedented change that COVID-19 has brought to educational institutions.  The safety and wellbeing of faculty, staff and students is paramount as institutions strive to fulfill their missions,” Dr. Jenkins said.

“As such, we at Zoetis want to be of assistance and realize that a key mission is providing service through the veterinary teaching hospitals which requires the institution’s colleagues to utilize personal protective equipment.”

Zoetis has purchased a limited supply of non-sterile surgical masks for donation to veterinary colleges.  While they are not protective against COVID-19 infection, surgical masks may be useful for routine veterinary procedures in the teaching hospital. 

Dean Perry has appointed Dr. Ebony Gilbreath, associate professor and necropsy section chief in the college’s Department of Pathobiology, to oversee the process of distributing the donated masks within the college as needed.  Dr. Gilbreath is also the appointed chair of the newly developed college’s Safety Precautions Subgroup during the COVID-19 crisis. 

“Again, I appreciate Zoetis as well as all of our faculty and staff for working together and supporting each other as we adapt to and transition through this health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has required and continues to require patience and support of each other as we continue to navigate these difficult times for our Tuskegee University family, community-at-large and the world,” Perry concludes.

About Zoetis

Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and precision livestock farming. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2019, the company generated annual revenue of $6.3 billion with approximately 10,600 employees. For more information, visit

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