New Director Named for Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University has named Dr. Daniel Dwight Smeak director of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Smeak will join the university from The Ohio State University where he was professor and prior chief of small animal surgery. He also was director of the Franklin County Department of Animal Control/Collaborative Medicine and Surgery Program.

     Smeak started as director on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

     He obtained his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Michigan State University, where he graduated with high honors. He received his bachelor’s degree in veterinary sciences from the same university. As a new veterinary graduate, Smeak studied at Colorado State University in the internship program at the hospital.  

     A diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Smeak specializes in small animal soft tissue surgery, such as surgeries on the head, neck and ear, as well as oncologic surgery and exotic animal surgery. His research focuses on surgical implants, wound healing and contamination, the role of antibiotics in surgery and surgical training methods.

     "We are pleased to have Dr. Smeak take the helm of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital," said Dr. Lance Perryman, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "We look forward to continuing to provide the best animal care in the nation, as well as conducting internationally-recognized research for cures and treatments of diseases that effect both animals and humans at the hospital, under his leadership. His passion for teaching and improving the lives of animals through innovative medicine will serve our faculty, students and clients well."

     Also an expert in developing innovative teaching techniques, Smeak has extensive experience in teaching including instruction in emergency and intensive care, surgery, surgical anatomy, veterinary pharmacology related to antibiotics, surgical pathology, raptor rehabilitation and exotic animal surgery, and emergency and intensive care veterinary medicine.

As part of his goal to improve teaching methods in veterinary medicine programs, Smeak has developed numerous DVD, Web and video-based platforms for interactive veterinary medicine instruction. His teaching methods, developed to improve teaching in surgery, also created a more ethically-based surgical instruction program.

Earlier this year in Washington, D.C., he was awarded the 2006 William and Eleanor Cave Award for outstanding achievements in the development and advancement of humane alternatives in veterinary education.

"It is a privilege to represent one of the most premier veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States," Smeak said. "The hospital has world-renowned faculty and staff and provides some of the most comprehensive, cutting-edge animal care available anywhere in the world. Along with providing outstanding service and teaching, the hospital also offers advanced treatment and research on spontaneous diseases in animals."

Smeak was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Helsinki, Finland, in 2004 where he evaluated and improved clinical and teaching programs for future small animal surgery residency development. He served as a Fulbright Program Reviewer in Finland in 2005. In 1990, he was a visiting surgery professor in Switzerland, where he introduced an autotutorial and simulator program to their surgery curriculum.

A prolific researcher and author, Smeak has written more than 80 peer-reviewed research articles, was a consulting editor for three books and presented extensively in the United States and abroad on veterinary medicine topics. His research has been funded through grants from numerous agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Canine Research Foundation, Morris Animal Research Foundation, International Foundation for Ethical Research, Merck and Kenneth Scott Prevention of Cruelty for Animals.

His many awards include the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Teaching Excellence Award, the Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, a Fulbright Teacher/Research Award, the Waltham Award for outstanding contributions to improving the quality of the practice of veterinary medicine in the international community, Outstanding Veterinary Dermatologist Award from Stanford University, and the Referral Veterinarian of the Year (three times) from The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association.

     The Veterinary Teaching Hospital is part of Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

     Dr. David Lee, former director of the hospital, left the university in June 2006. Two interim directors, Dr. Martin Fettman and Dr. Dean Hendrickson, oversaw hospital functions during the hiring process for the new director.