FORT COLLINS – Meet Dr. Tim Hackett, and it’s easy to envision the kid who brought home rabbits, lizards and pigeons begged from friends, the boy who populated his Boulder home with orphaned baby birds and squirrels – and then grew up to be a leading veterinarian in the field of emergency and critical-care medicine.
Hackett is a familiar face at Colorado State University’s renowned James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where he has worked for a dozen years as section chief for the Critical Care Unit and Urgent Care Service. A CSU professor of emergency and critical-care medicine, Hackett has served for more than a year as interim director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
On Jan. 15, he will become hospital director on a permanent basis, Dr. Mark Stetter, dean of the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, announced Friday.
“Dr. Hackett has ably led the Veterinary Teaching Hospital on an interim basis for the past 15 months, demonstrating his skills in guiding continued hospital progress and in partnering with leaders both on and off campus,” Stetter said. “I’m excited to have his talents in place on a permanent basis.”
The CSU hospital is home base for one of the nation’s top-ranked vet schools, is the site of groundbreaking research discoveries that inform both animal and human medicine, and is a destination hospital for livestock, horses and pets with both advanced and routine healthcare needs.
“The CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is a point of pride for our college, our university and our state,” Stetter said. “Dr. Hackett and his team will continue building on this foundation as we look ahead to new challenges and opportunities in veterinary medicine. He will have a key role in advancing our reputation for excellence.”
Hackett replaces Dr. Dean Hendrickson, former hospital director who now guides the CSU vet school as associate dean for Professional Veterinary Medicine.
As director, Hackett is responsible for daily operations and long-term planning at a veterinary hospital notable for its $12 million annual budget; 600 annual student, faculty and staff employees; and client visits expected to surpass 40,000 this fiscal year.
The hospital campus is home to acclaimed work in veterinary diagnostics, cancer treatment, cardiology, neurology, orthopeadics, rehabilitative services and surgical advances.
“I’m honored and happy to be given the reins to see this hospital through its next phases of planning and growth,” said Hackett, who also has served as Small Animal Medical Chief of Staff.
“I look forward to working with our great hospital team to improve clinical operations, to fulfill unmet veterinary needs, to train the next generation of veterinarians, and to continue our role as the go-to place for veterinary medicine in the region,” he said.
Alongside Hackett will be Gail Gumminger, who is returning to the job of hospital administrator, a role she filled for four years before working during the past year as associate director for CSU Human Resources. Gumminger is skilled in guiding smooth daily operations and effective communication at the hospital and was interested in returning to her former job, Hackett said.
Hackett is a Colorado native who earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at CSU in 1989. He has worked at several veterinary clinics in California; has published and lectured extensively on critical illness and injury among animals; and is well-regarded as a national leader in veterinary medicine, holding the role of Past President and Regent for the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. (Find his full CV at http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/Documents/hackett-cv.pdf).
Last fall, with support from the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center and private donors, Hackett oversaw the grand opening of the E. Myrl Halstead Jensen Center for Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. He has been instrumental in developing additional renovation and facilities plans for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the CSU South Campus.
Looking ahead, Hackett said the hospital must continue striving for financial self-sufficiency in light of dwindling state funding. He foresees working more closely with Colorado’s beef, dairy and equine industries. He envisions teaching not only clinical skills, but demonstrating for students how they can make a living pursuing veterinary medicine with a range of species and specialties.