Valerie E. Ragan, DVM
Dr. Valerie Ragan is director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine for the VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Ragan is responsible for expansion of the role of the center in the areas of public health and policy, and international veterinary medicine, including increasing opportunities for student engagement in national and international veterinary and animal health organizations involved in public veterinary practice.
Prior to joining VA-MD Vet Med, Dr. Ragan was the president of AgWorks Solutions LLC, an agriculture consulting company in Washington, DC, where her activities included resolving animal health issues such as disease control, eradication, and surveillance, and international veterinary capacity building.
From 1988 to 2006, she was employed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). After five years of private practice, she began her work with the USDA as a veterinary medical officer and public practice career trainee. She then served as an area epidemiology officer and senior staff veterinarian/national brucellosis epidemiologist. She subsequently served as assistant deputy administrator of the agency’s Veterinary Services program. In that capacity, she served as the national animal health surveillance coordinator, and established the National Surveillance Unit at USDA’s Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health.
Dr. Ragan completed her pre-veterinary work at Virginia Tech and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1983 from the University of Georgia. She also completed post-graduate work in biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.
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Bess J. Pierce, DVM, MZS, Diplomate ABVP, Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ACVSMR
Dr. Bess J. Pierce, associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences, was appointed director of CENTAUR in November 2011. She joined the faculty of the college in 2007 to lead the Community Practice service in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, leaving 15 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in a variety of assignments worldwide, including three years at the DoD Military Working Dog Veterinary Service in San Antonio, Texas. She remains an active member of the U.S. Army Reserve and is currently a colonel assigned as the Senior Veterinarian for the Public Health Command Region – Europe in Landstuhl, Germany.
Dr. Pierce earned a B.S. in biology from Tulane University in 1986, an M.Z.S. in wildlife biology in 1990 and a DVM from Auburn University in 1992. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine/Feline Practice) and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Small Animal Medicine). Additionally, she received an advanced certificate titled "Animals and Human Health: A Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy Activities and Learning" from University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work in 2010.
Dr. Pierce has extensive expertise in working and service dog health care, and in promoting strong handler/canine partnerships. Her primary research interests are canine sports medicine and rehabilitation, and the impact and utilization of animal assisted activities in military and law enforcement settings.
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Nathaniel L. Tablante, DVM, MPVM, MS, DACPV
Dr. Nathaniel L. Tablante is associate director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine and associate professor and Extension poultry veterinarian at the University of Maryland, College Park campus of the VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Tablante is responsible for advancing the center, advising pre-veterinary students, and increasing opportunities for engagement with corporate poultry medicine.
Dr. Tablante has over 30 years of experience as a veterinarian in government, industry, and academia. He has spent a large part of his veterinary career as a field veterinarian in the Philippines, Canada, and the United States. He has 25 years of experience in poultry health management, epidemiology, and biosecurity and has authored and co-authored numerous articles and educational materials on poultry health, biosecurity, and disease prevention. He has also served as a consultant on poultry biosecurity and Avian Influenza preparedness and response in the United States, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, and the Republic of Georgia.
Since assuming a faculty position at the University of Maryland in 1997, Dr. Tablante has implemented an Extension and applied research program that focuses on improving poultry health and production through biosecurity and disease prevention on the Delmarva Peninsula and the mid-Atlantic region. His research involves investigating multiple poultry and zoonotic diseases of economic and public health importance.
Dr. Tablante is an active member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) where he serves on the Epidemiology, Education, and Public Health Committees. He has also played a major role with the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) which he joined as the AAAP representative in 2006 and served as its president from 2011-2012. He took a one-year sabbatical leave from the University of Maryland to serve as an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2013-2014 Congressional Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition to his DVM degree from the University of the Philippines, Dr. Tablante completed a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (major in public health) at the University of California-Davis and a Master of Science (major in poultry health and epidemiology) at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.
Stephen F. Sundlof, DVM, PhD
Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, a former executive with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), served a two-year assignment with the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM), and is currently serving as adjunct faculty. Sundlof's focus is on food safety and security, and career transition training for veterinarians interested in public service.
Sundlof has served as director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition from 2008 to 2010, and spent the previous 14 years as director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. He began his career in 1980 on the faculty of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Sundlof has published numerous articles in scientific journals on drug residues and food safety. From 1994 to 2008, he served as chairman of the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Codex Alimentarius Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and a former president of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.