The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has announced the hiring of a new director for the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Daniel Smeak, who currently is on the faculty at The Ohio State University, will begin his duties in August.
“Dr. Smeak is a well-respected clinician and academician, and we are pleased he has accepted the position of director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital,” said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College. “Dr. Smeak brings with him years of experience in clinical settings, and has a thorough understanding of the challenges facing faculty members working in a teaching hospital environment. We are confident in his ability to lead the hospital through some exciting times ahead, including the ongoing expansion of facilities at the Veterinary Medical Center and support of existing programs and creation of new programs in veterinary teaching, research and service.”
Dr. Smeak is a Professor of General Surgery in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, at The Ohio State University. He also serves as Director of the FCDAC Medicine and Surgery Program. Dr. Smeak received his DVM from Michigan State University in 1979. He then completed an internship in medicine and surgery at Colorado State University. He went on to receive a residency certificate in small animal surgery from The Ohio State University in 1984. He joined OSU’s faculty that same year as an assistant professor. He has since served as section head of small animal surgery and professor. Two years ago, he received a Fulbright scholarship and lived and worked in Finland for six months.
“In Finland, I was asked to reorganize the teaching hospital’s clinics to a more American style, and found a side of myself that enjoyed making programmatic change,” said Dr. Smeak. “I guess the administrative side of me came out a little bit more and I found the challenge to be satisfying.”
When Dr. Smeak first heard about the position opening up in Colorado, he was hesitant but interested.
“The Ohio State University has been very good to me, and our family has deep roots here, but I was excited by the prospect of a new chapter in my career and by the challenges presented by this position,” said Dr. Smeak. “We are looking forward to being in Colorado, though sad to be leaving so many good friends behind.”
The first item of business Dr. Smeak is working on is the selection of a new hospital administrator. The director and administrator, he notes, will work closely together to ensure the hospital runs smoothly, efficiently, and in the most beneficial way to faculty, students and clients. Upon his arrival at Colorado State, he will spend time getting to know the current system of operations as well as all the people who work at the hospital, budgets, technical and staff organization, and the design of clinics.
“I’ll be learning a lot when I arrive, and from there can chart a course if it appears that there are positive changes that can be made,” Dr. Smeak said. “I also will be working closely with Dr. Perryman on his ambitious building program for the Veterinary Medical Complex.”
After he becomes established, Dr. Smeak said he plans on spending part of his time in service and teaching. It’s been a part of his life for so long, he notes, it would be difficult to give that up. Being on the clinic floor also helps him understand the challenges facing faculty and where improvements can be made.
“I am a very seasoned academician and surgeon and have a good idea of what the faculty expects of the hospital to help meet their needs,” said Dr. Smeak. “I think I can bring a balanced direction and be a liaison as well as an advocate. I’m anxious to get started and very excited about the future possibilities for the hospital and the College.”