Dr. Dana N. Zimmel, an equine medicine specialist and the University of Florida Veterinary Hospitals’ chief of staff, has been named associate dean for clinical services and chief medical officer at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. The college’s dean, James W. Lloyd, D.V.M., Ph.D., made the announcement following a national search. The new appointment was effective April 1.
“Dr. Zimmel has an impressive history with this college, both as a longtime equine medicine clinician and as a capable administrator,” Lloyd said. “Since becoming chief of staff in 2010, she has helped the UF Veterinary Hospitals grow to become one of the leading veterinary medical teaching institutions in the world, second to none globally. Her new role will allow her to expand her leadership further within our administrative team and I am delighted that she has agreed to accept the job.”
A clinical associate professor in the college’s department of large animal clinical sciences in addition to her chief of staff role, Zimmel joined the university in 2002, working first in extension, then large animal medicine and later progressing to leadership roles. She became chief of staff of the UF Veterinary Hospitals in 2010, when the position was created in alignment with the UF Health strategic plan, focused on patient-centric care. Under her leadership, hospital caseload has grown from 20,542 patients in fiscal year 2011 to 32,871 patients seen in fiscal year 2014.
In 2012, Zimmel spearheaded an effort to collaborate with Marion County-area veterinarians to open an emergency and critical care veterinary clinic in Ocala. The clinic now employs 10 staff members, and is supported by three faculty members and three house officers.
The College of Veterinary Medicine comes under the administrative umbrella of UF Health and UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“A vibrant and high-quality clinical environment is critical at UF Health, not only to achieve our patient care goals, but as the basis for excellence in education and research,” said Dr. David S. Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs for UF and president of UF Health. “In creating a new administrative position at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Dean Lloyd is establishing an important structure in which the associate dean for clinical services will be at the table with her associate dean counterparts in education and research to address daily operational issues, as well as long term strategies.
“Dr. Zimmel’s success in expanding the size, scope and stature of clinical services at the UF Health Small Animal Hospital, her entrepreneurship and innovation in establishing emergency and critical care veterinary services in Ocala and her personal commitment to excellence in serving all the missions of the college, makes her perfectly suited to be the college’s inaugural associate dean for clinical services and its chief medical officer,” he said.
Dr. Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and head of UF/IFAS, said Zimmel’s track record makes her the ideal choice for her new position.
“We look forward to working with Dr. Zimmel in her new leadership role,” Payne said.
Lloyd called the UF Veterinary Hospitals “a major and invaluable” part of the college, having critical impact across the college’s three-part mission.
“For this reason, the Dean’s Council agreed to create the new associate dean for clinical services and chief medical officer position, in order to assure full and appropriate representation of the hospital and the clinical services it provides in the overall administration of the college,” Lloyd said.