MedVet is committed to celebrating the beauty of individuality and the unique contributions everyone can make to society. In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we are pleased to share about some history makers who are improving the lives of pets and people in the veterinary profession.
Just like people, pets can experience physical disabilities due to genetics, trauma, illness, or old age. Derrick Campana is the Owner and President of Bionic Pets, a custom manufacturer of veterinary prosthetics and orthotics. Campana is one of only a few individuals worldwide who makes custom animal prosthetics. His innovative work has made these options for pets more commonplace and attainable. To date, he has helped nearly 35,000 animals with mobility devices, from dogs and cats to llamas, sheep, rabbits, and even elephants. MedVet’s very own Dr. Karl Maritato (MedVet Cincinnati) and Dr. Sean Murphy (WestVet Boise) have worked with similar external prosthetics to help pets lead active, healthier, and happier lives.
Brandy Duhon, DVM
Brandy Duhon, DVM, embraces her role as a teacher, mentor, and role model for students with disabilities. As a child, she was diagnosed with meningitis, resulting in having both her hands and a portion of her foot amputated. Yet, with tenacity and drive, Dr. Duhon pursued her dream career in veterinary medicine and is currently the Clinical Instructor of Shelter Medicine and Surgery at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduating in 2013, Dr. Duhon has had many individuals interested in pursuing careers in the veterinary profession reach out to ask her about her experience. According to Dr. Duhon, “Disabilities are all different, and just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I think knowing I went through veterinary school, and I am a veterinarian now, it means a lot.” Dr. Duhon advocates for students of all abilities to have access to achieving their dreams.
Lisa Greenhill, EdD
Nearly 12 percent of DVM students self-identify as having a disability, according to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). Lisa Greenhill, EdD, Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity at the AAVMC, is helping change the way veterinary education approaches accessibility and inclusion for underrepresented populations, including students with disabilities. Hired by the AAVMC to develop DiVersity Matters, Greenhill is reevaluating traditional academic approaches to make it possible for individuals of all abilities to successfully study and practice veterinary medicine. Her work primarily focuses on the ongoing growth and application of the DiVersity Matters initiatives, while advocating the veterinary profession as a viable career option to underserved and marginalized communities.
- “About Bionic Pets.” Bionic Pets, https://bionicpets.org/
- “Meet Roy.” WestVet Stories, 16 August 2016, https://www.westvet.net/project/meet-roy/
- Tong, Tracey. “The Dr. Dolittle of Pet Prosthetics.” Modern Dog Magazine, The Dr. Dolittle of Pet Prosthetics | Modern Dog magazine
- Traverse, Teresa K. “Derrick Campana: Meet the Man Saving Pets with Prosthetics.” PetMD Editorial, 26 January 2018, https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/derrick-campana-meet-man-saving-pets-prosthetics-36829
- “Leadership 2020.” Association of Shelter Veterinarians, https://www.sheltervet.org/leadership
- Mattson, Kaitlyn. “Ableism in Veterinary Medicine.” AVMA, 26 May 2021, https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2021-06-15/ableism-veterinary-medicine
- Gleenson, Miun. “Veterinary Schools Rethink Standards for Students with Physical Disabilities.” Insight into Diversity, 18 May 2020. Veterinary Schools Rethink Standards for Students with Physical Disabilities | INSIGHT Into Diversity
- “Dr. Lisa Greenhill.” American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, https://www.aavmc.org/staff/dr-lisa-greenhill/