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11:16 AM   April 19, 2014
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Tufts Gets $2.5 Million for Hospital Renovations

Posted: Jan. 27, 2014, 1:10 p.m. EST

A $2.5 million gift from a pet-owning couple has rocketed Tufts University more than halfway toward its goal of raising enough money to renovate and expand the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals.

The donation from Travis and Anne Engen leaves the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine just $2.2 million short of its $5 million target, the university reported Monday. Raising $5 million by year’s end would trigger an additional $2.5 million challenge gift from the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund.

 Foster Hospital
Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals
The Engens are Foster Hospital clients and long-time supporters of the veterinary school.

"The Engen family and trustees of the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund understand what the hospital renovation will mean for us and truly value the school’s mission of clinical service, teaching and research,” said Deborah T. Kochevar, DVM, Ph.D., dean of the Cummings School. "With their support, the Cummings School is now much closer to obtaining the funding needed to start Phase I construction, and we hope to be able to do that soon with continued support from the community.”

The first phase would cost about $8 million and is designed to increase the number of examination rooms and create larger treatment rooms for ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology and dermatology services.

Foster Hospital was built in 1985 to accommodate 12,000 companion animals a year. The patient rolls grew to 28,000 in 2013.

Renovations are overdue, said Virginia Rentko, VMD, medical director of Tufts’ small- and large-animal hospitals.

"The renovation is not about bricks and mortar,” Dr. Rentko said. "It’s about what happens inside: medical innovation and education, enhancing our care, and maintaining high standards of quality for our patients and their owners.”

The construction project is part of Tufts’ $65 million master plan, which includes an equine sports medicine complex that would be built at the Large Animal Hospital.

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