TVMF Promotes a Culture of Wellness Through Philanthropy

Multiple studies have shown that helping others has additional benefits such as reducing stress, improving emotional well-being and even improving physical health. An integral part of the mission of the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) is providing veterinarians and veterinary students with ways to give back and connect with the communities they serve.

TVMF’s flagship program, the TVMF PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors) program, provides both veterinarians and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine (TAMU-CVM) students with opportunities to give back. Through the TVMF PALS program, veterinarians are able to connect with homebound seniors in their communities and provide much-needed veterinary care to those seniors’ beloved pets.

“TVMF and participating veterinarians provide medical care free of charge to the furry companions of homebound individuals,” said TVMF Vice President Dr. Tracy McAdoo said. “The love and comfort these pets provide to their owners is immense. To be able to provide convenient quality health care to these important companions is priceless.”

TVMF provides additional volunteer opportunities for students to participate in the TVMF PALS program around holidays such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day, when students are invited to decorate baskets of goodies for TVMF PALS clients and their pets and hand-deliver these presents. These opportunities not only benefit TVMF PALS clients but also provide a much-needed mental break for students, getting them away from the stress of exams and studying for a short while and connecting them with needy families in their community. Response to this activity has been overwhelmingly positive, and some students have been so inspired by this interaction that they have organized teams of dog walkers to provide exercise for TVMF PALS pets.

This fall, TVMF presented a panel discussion for veterinarians, veterinary professionals and members of the TVMF Board of Trustees titled, “Incorporating Philanthropy into Your Veterinary Practice.” These panels have made a profound impact on the students who attend as they exhibited concern not only for how they can incorporate their philanthropic impulses into their practice but also how they can find a healthy work-life balance as they come to terms with the rigorous demands of veterinary practice.

“I have been exposed in a practical way to how I can personally make a positive impact on my community as a veterinarian,” said Devyn Schultz, a TVMF student representative.

Schultz and fellow TVMF student representative Serene Yu have spearheaded the creation of TVMF’s new Philanthropy Scholarship Award. The goal of this award is to promote and recognize a culture of philanthropy in the student population by encouraging students to cultivate a balanced, well-rounded life and become involved with their community. This award, to be presented annually, will recognize two students who have been engaged in philanthropic activities and who have inspired others to engage in charitable activities or otherwise promoted a culture of philanthropy.

When others ask, Dr. McAdoo happily shares her enthusiasm for TVMF’s mission and encourages others to become part of the positive impact that TVMF programs are having throughout the great state we call home.

“I would encourage any interested individuals to consider sharing their time and talents with the Foundation,” Dr. McAdoo said. “You will be truly blessed by the opportunities to uplift the profession while offering needed relief to the community. Your gifts help us fund scholarships for students, provide financial support for a veterinarian or veterinary student recovering from an illness or natural disaster and provide aid for pets in need and comfort for their owners.

“I am so proud to be a part of this caring, thoughtful group of individuals,” she continued. “We sincerely appreciate any contributions from the community, so we can continue to serve our profession and community and pursue our shared goals.”

Over and over, TVMF staff and Trustees have been impressed with the commitment, intelligence and passion for veterinary medicine that is exhibited by both TVMA members and TAMU-CVM students. TVMF is proud to work with these individuals and hopes that by encouraging a culture of philanthropy we are helping to provide both students and TVMA members with tools that will not only help them serve their communities but also help them cope with the rigorous demands of the profession.