The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SCPA) is offering a three-month paid Community Medicine Education Training (CoMET) program. In partnership with Young Community Developers (YCD), this program is designed to reduce the barriers to entry for the animal well-being field while also supporting the SF SPCA’s broader efforts to engage and support communities historically underrepresented in the veterinary field.
CoMET provides an opportunity for individuals to learn about the field, professional paths and opportunities, and develop essential skills by participating in lectures, workshops and assisting at SF SPCA’s various clinics (Community Veterinary Clinic, Mobile Vaccine Clinic and Spay/Neuter Clinic). Upon completion of the program, participants will have broad, introductory experience for work in a variety of roles in animal welfare, receive a certificate, and can apply to be considered for a full-time position at the SF SPCA. There will be two trainees in each CoMET cohort.
According to a 2020 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 92% of veterinarians and veterinary technicians and 74% of animal shelter workers are white. A more diverse veterinary workforce is necessary to keep pace with an increasingly diverse society, and by removing barriers and creating inclusive work environments, we can improve access and quality of veterinary care.
Maddie’s Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, is providing $300,000 in funding over three years for CoMET.
“We are incredibly grateful to Maddie’s Fund for their generous grant in support of our Community Medicine Education Training program,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to Maddie, this support will help make veterinary medicine more accessible to those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the field. We are honored to partner with Maddie’s Fund in making animal welfare more inclusive.”
“Maddie’s Fund is proud of our long history of support for the San Francisco SPCA,” said Mary Ippolitti-Smith, Executive Leadership Team, Maddie’s Fund. “CoMET exemplifies how we can co-create meaningful and authentic partnerships with community, with the potential to not only impact CoMET graduates but the entire animal well-being field. CoMET continues the SF SPCA’s legacy of innovation as the team continues to find new ways to improve and change the work we do on behalf of the people and pets in our community.”
CoMET comes at a time when the nation is facing a severe veterinary staffing shortage that is only predicted to worsen in the coming years. Helping develop skilled professionals in the veterinary field will increase the SF SPCA’s capacity to serve our community of animals and their humans.