January 29, 2024

Schwarzman Animal Medical Center Opens New Institute for Surgical Care

As the world’s largest veterinary teaching hospital dedicated to the advancement of veterinary medicine, Schwarzman Animal Medical Center (AMC) announces the completion of its new Denise and Michael Kellen Institute for Surgical Care, as part of the hospital’s $125 million transformational center-wide expansion. Tripling the capacity with more than 7,000 square feet of state-of-the-art space, the new Surgical Institute was designed by architects Perkins & Will and now features five brand-new operating rooms, a minor procedure room, a recovery room separating dogs and cats and a new Central Sterile Center. The new facility opened today, welcoming patients (dogs, cats and other small animals) seven days per week, 365 days per year.

“We are thrilled to officially open the doors to the new Denise and Michael Kellen Institute for Surgical Care and are grateful to our benefactors who made this a reality,” said Helen Irving, RN, MBA, President & CEO of Animal Medical Center. “With approximately 1.1 million pets in New York City, coupled with 66 percent of Americans now having animals as part of their families – 70 percent of which were added during Covid – having a world-class surgery center in the heart of New York City is more crucial than ever. AMC has long been the only Level 1 Veterinary Trauma Center in New York City, and this milestone will enable us to help even more pets when they need it the most.”

“Denise and I are honored to provide the funding needed to help make this new Institute for Surgical Care possible,” said Michael Kellen, Animal Medical Center Supporter. “The Kellen family has supported AMC’s mission for many years, including the advancement of veterinary training through the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Institute for Postgraduate Education, and we are thrilled to further invest in the future of AMC with this remarkable new surgical space. The enhancements will ensure that AMC continues as a leader in the field of veterinary medicine for years to come.”

The recent enhancement of AMC’s surgical center, featuring state-of-the-art human-grade technology, distinguishes it as one of the few hospitals nationwide with such advanced capabilities. As the sole level 1 trauma center in New York City, AMC is now equipped to handle emergent and intricate cases that may pose challenges elsewhere in terms of care. This upgrade significantly expands AMC’s capacity to address critical medical situations effectively.

There are cases like Ollie, a three-year-old mixed breed who went through unsuccessful surgery elsewhere with the aim to correct excessive curvature in his front legs. It was only at AMC with a team led by Dr. Pamela Schwartz that Ollie received the expertise needed to successfully straighten out his right front leg. Or Sherlock, a Shih Tzu patient of Dr. Jonathan Ferrari, who had open chest surgery to remove a thymoma (tumor in his thymus gland) and is now cancer-free. The new surgical center will allow AMC to treat and save many more cases like Ollie and Sherlock in the future.

In addition to Ollie and Sherlock, AMC partners with the FDNY and NYPD to provide care for their K9 officers, two of whom joined for the recent “leash” cutting who went through life saving emergency surgeries at AMC. Jake, a 7.5-year-old German Shepherd trained in explosive detection, patrol and tracking, had to undergo a lung lobectomy to remove a ruptured bullae which was found on his lung lobe. Shabba, a 6.5-year-old Belgian Malinois also trained in explosive detection, had gastropexy surgery to reduce the risk of fatal consequences.

“Opening our new surgery center is a huge milestone for our entire team and expands the possibilities for the care and treatment we can provide at AMC,” said Schwartz, Department Head of Surgery at AMC. “The excitement about the lives that will be saved, treatments that will be pioneered and teaching that will occur on this floor is not just palpable, it is invigorating. As we move into this new space, we are so grateful to AMC’s supporters who have made this a reality, and we cannot wait to get to work.”

The Surgical Institute’s opening is a pivotal part of the 83,000 square-foot hospital renovation and expansion. Later in 2024, the Animal Medical Center will see the opening of the newly expanded Emergency Room, Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Unit, with expected project completion in 2025.

With a team of more than 130 veterinarians across more than 20 specialties, the Animal Medical Center provides world-class medical care to dogs, cats and exotic pets and is open 365 days a year and operates 24/7. In 2023, AMC accommodated 54,417 visits including more than 2,800 surgery visits.

For more information, visit AMC.


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