JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J.- —
The brand new veterinary facility on Joint Base MDL recently reopened this month and now offers countless features and capabilities that keep our Joint Base community family pets and military working dogs in excellent health.
The old building needed many updates, so it was torn down to make room for this well-organized, new facility that stands today. Construction of the new veterinary clinic lasted a year and a half.
“Because it was so cold a lot of our pipes would freeze,” said Sherritta L. Ridgely, Eakins Veterinary Treatment Facility, veterinarian, while talking about their old facility. “So sometimes in the winter only half the building would have electricity and the other half wouldn’t.”
The new and improved clinic has a full surgery suite, pre-surgical suite, designated military working dog exam room, and designated sickroom and wellness rooms exclusively for privately owned pets.
“We now have two dedicated exam rooms only for privately owned animals,” said U.S. Army Sergeant Christopher A. Kilby, Public Health Activity NCOIC and Animal Care Specialist. “Now we can more appropriately juggle our patient load and it allows us to get the proper equipment that we need because now everything has a dedicated place and a dedicated room.”
In addition to the new designated rooms for each type of animal or medical need that they might have, the new clinic also has a few new features that also keep it running more efficiently than the previous one.
“Our new vaccine refrigerator is a fridge that has an alarm so we can now have the ability to know when the temperature goes out of range,” said Kilby. “We also have a new Uninterruptible Battery System, which is a massive back-up battery, so if we have a power cut the lights will stay on for 90 min, meaning if we are in the middle of surgery when the power goes out we sew up or hurry up and finish up what we were doing.”
A lot of these new improvements not only benefit the animals and the staff handling them, but they also benefit the customers as well.
“This facility has made logistics a lot easier with the better lighting and the better use of space,” said Ridgely. “[As well as] the ability to take x-rays instead of having to refer people out to get them done.”
“To see the whole building process and to see it finally here and finished is phenomenal,” said Ridgley. “We are really glad that we are able to see our clients again.”
Overall, the new clinic is more efficient resulting in a better quality of care for the animals of the Joint Base community.