History of the EMC
Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, was created in 1984 through a gift from the late Mrs. Marion duPont Scott, the donation of 200 acres of land at Morven Park from the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, and contributions from the private sector for equipment purchases. Located in the heart of Virginia horse country, it has since become a premier full-service equine hospital that offers advanced specialty care, 24-hour emergency treatment and diagnostic services for all ages and breeds of horses.
As a campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, the center was one of the first university veterinary hospitals in the eastern United States to concentrate exclusively on equine medicine and research. Due to the critical need for specialized medicine and surgery in this area of the country, the hospital’s caseload grew rapidly. Initially planned for 20 to 30 staff members and six faculty, the demand for clinical service, teaching and research resulted in the hiring of additional staff and veterinarians.
The hospital now sees more than 2,500 patients annually and employs equine healthcare professionals who surround patients with expert attention and heartfelt care. The center also serves the region’s private practitioners by working collaboratively to diagnose and treat cases and by providing oppportunities for advanced continuing education.
Just a short drive from the major stables, courses and tracks in both Virginia and Maryland, the Equine Medical Center continues to provide comprehensive equine healthcare services, cutting-edge research for the advancement of the equine industry and specialized training for the world’s veterinary students.
Following is a timeline containing significant milestones in the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center’s history:
- September 1983 – A ground breaking ceremony in Leesburg, Virginia, is attended by more than 300 guests.
- September 1983 – Dr. G. Frederick Fregin is selected as the founding director.
- September 1984 – The center opens and becomes one of the first university-affiliated veterinary hospitals in the eastern United States to concentrate exclusively on equine medical care and research.
- October 1984 – A dedication ceremony is held featuring dignitaries from Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland, prominent politicians and donors, and representatives from throughout the equine community.
- June 1989 – The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center’s Council is established.
- December 1991 – Two new laser surgery systems are acquired to enhance surgical services.
- December 1993 – A major colic study is completed by the center’s faculty members.
- April 1993 – Farrier services become available.
- April 1993 – Transfusion medicine is offered.
- October 1996 – Laparoscopic surgery becomes available.
- October 1996 – Nuclear scintigraphy is offered.
- September 1997 – An equine ambulance is purchased to provide emergency services at equine field and sporting competitions.
- October 1997 – A videoconferencing system is installed linking the Leesburg, Blacksburg, and College Park campuses of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
- May 1998 – An Equine Protozoal Myelitis (EPM) study is completed by the center’s faculty resulting in the creation of Marquis®, the first FDA-approved treatment for this disease.
- November 2000 – An advanced computed radiography system is acquired.
- May 2001 – The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center’s Memorial Garden is created by the center’s Council.
- November 2001 – Construction of the James P. Mills Diagnostic Treadmill Building for housing the center’s new high-speed treadmill is completed.
- April 2002 – Treadmill service for the evaluation of equine respiratory, cardiac, and performance problems is offered.
- June 2003 – Dr. G. Frederick Fregin steps down as director of the center.
- February 2004 – A state-of-the-art Animal Biosafety Level 2 Isolation Unit specifically designed to quarantine horses with contagious diseases starts operation.
- March 2004 – Dr. Martin Furr is named the Adelaide C. Riggs Chair in Equine Medicine by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
- April 2004 – A Veterinary Advisory Board is established to assist the hospital’s faculty in providing the highest quality of care to horses throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
- April 2004 – The first MRI unit for standing horses on the East Coast is installed.
- June 2004 – Dr. Nathaniel A. White, II is named Jean Ellen Shehan Professor and Director of the center.
- January 2005 – A new high-speed video camera is purchased to be used for gait analysis.
- May 2005 – A Walk of Honor is added to the Memorial Garden in which clients and horse owners can honor their beloved animals by purchasing a brick engraved with their name.
- September 2006 – IRAP therapy service for treating lameness becomes available.
- October 2006 – Acupuncture service for pain management is offered.
- September 2007 - The Distinguished Service Award is established to recognize individuals who have generously and tirelessly provided leadership and expertise to help the Equine Medical Center attain a higher level of achievement in service, teaching and research. The inaugural award is presented to Mrs. Shelley Duke.
- June 2008 – Construction of a new molecular research lab is completed and the Regenerative Medicine Service is launched.
- April 2009 – A dedication ceremony is held for the Paul R. Fout Barn.
- June 2009 – Five hundred visitors attend the Center's Open House in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
- October 14, 2009 - The Center celebrates its 25th anniversary with a capstone event featuring remarks by President Charles W. Steger, Dean Gerhardt Schurig, Shelley Duke, Dr. Nat White, and Dr. Jennifer Barrett.
- November 2010 - Miss Beverly R. Steinman receives the EMC's Distinguished Service Award.