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K-State News
Kansas State University
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Partnership with Hill’s Pet Nutrition combines strengths to advance student learning, elevate patient care

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023

MANHATTAN —The Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University helps students and clients realize their dreams, thanks largely to long-running support from Hill's Pet Nutrition.

"For the 2023-2024 school year, we are celebrating an improved standard of education for our students and services for our clients," said Elizabeth Davis, associate dean of clinical programs. "Since 2018, Hill's Pet Nutrition has consistently provided us with opportunities to enhance our state-of-the-art primary care for small animal patients while training extraordinary graduates."

Hill's Pet Nutrition, a global pet nutrition company in Overland Park, provides new resources and facilities at K-State through a partnership designed to enhance medical and nutritional care for pets. The Veterinary Health Center is the teaching hospital in K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Hill's Pet Health and Nutrition Center opened in 2021.

"Beginning in the third year of instruction, students take a core class in clinical nutrition, and, in their fourth year, students take one of the core clinical-education rotations in the Hill's Pet Health and Nutrition Center," Davis said. "We believe Kansas State University is unique in its ability to provide this type of advanced nutrition education. Ultimately, it will result in graduates who better understand how to deliver dietary recommendations to their clients and provide proper nutrition guidance."

Davis said the Hill's Pet Health and Nutrition Center has served as a home for nutrition consultation, delivered by a designated Hill's Primary Care Intern who is in direct consultation with board-certified veterinary nutritionists. Beginning in 2022, the Veterinary Health Center partnered with the University of Tennessee to recruit and hire an American College of Veterinary Medicine clinical nutrition resident whose two-year commitment delivers enhanced nutrition expertise and services.

Amanda Nascimento is currently the Hill's clinical nutrition and primary care intern and consults at least weekly with two American College of Veterinary Nutrition board-certified clinical nutritionists from Hill's Pet Nutrition, who are also adjunct faculty in the department of clinical sciences in K-State's veterinary college. Flavia Vaduva is the current Hill's clinical nutrition resident.

"We have a shared passion for ensuring nutrition is integrated into the veterinary school curriculum," said Karen Shenoy, chief veterinary officer for Hill's Pet Nutrition US. "At Hill's, this is especially important because of our commitment to supporting veterinary professionals. The hands-on learning helps develop students' skills in making appropriate dietary recommendations. It provides an opportunity for them to practice effective client communications, ultimately preparing these future veterinarians to better address client and patient needs."

Additional benefits of this partnership include a focus on animal welfare, such as Fear-Free design features for optimal routine pet care, young pet care for puppies and kittens, annual visits with preventative health care, senior pet care and nutrition for all ages. The Hill's Pet Health and Nutrition Center has provided care for 2,525 patients during fiscal year 2023. The Healthy Weight Clinic, one of the services in the Veterinary Health Center, sees approximately 200-300 patients annually.

Both Davis and Shenoy emphasized that an important long-term goal of the Healthy Weight Clinic is to help end pet obesity. Davis said the goal is to ensure that each patient receives a customized nutrition plan that is best suited for that animal to obtain optimal results.

The partnership also includes the 2023 Hill's Pet Nutrition Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Continuing Education Conference, where attendees can earn five hours of continuing education credit. It will be held in person from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 9 in Boehringer Ingelheim Auditorium at the veterinary college. This symposium features experts from the college and professionals from the industry who will be lecturing on veterinary critical care and small animal nutrition.

Media contact

Division of Communications and Marketing


College of Veterinary Medicine

Written by

Joe Montgomery