Posted on 02/02/2016
Cutting the ribbon at the grand opening of the new Angell at Nashoba veterinary clinic at Nashoba Valley Technical High School are Dr. Ann Marie Greenleaf, left, chief of staff at Angell Animal Medical Center, and Nashoba Tech Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz, as officials and students in Nashoba Tech’s Veterinary Assisting program, look on. To the right of Klimkiewicz is state Sen. Eileen Donoghue. The clinic, a partnership between Nashoba Tech and Angell Animal Medical Center, is open to pet owners who qualify financially. It is staffed by an Angell veterinarian and veterinary technician.

Angela Rhodes Ayer
Chatting at the grand opening of the new Angell at Nashoba veterinary clinic at Nashoba Valley Technical High School are, from left, Nashoba Tech Superintendent Dr. Judith L. Klimkiewicz, state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, Dorothy and Don Ayer, who is a Nashoba Tech School Committee member from Chelmsford, and committee Chairwoman Jennifer Rhodes of Shirley.

Chatting at the grand opening of the new Angell at Nashoba veterinary clinic at Nashoba Valley Technical High School are, from left, Dr. Ann Marie Greenleaf, chief of staff for Angell Animal Medical Center, Nashoba Tech Superintendent Dr. Judith L. Klimkiewicz, state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, and David Hedison, executive director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority.

 WESTFORD — The Angell at Nashoba veterinary clinic officially opened for business this week, with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Nashoba Valley Technical High School.

        With the clinic’s opening, Nashoba Tech is now prepared to educate “the future leaders of the veterinary profession,” as Ann Marie Greenleaf, Angell Animal Medical Center’s chief of staff, said.

        The clinic, located at the back of the school with free parking, is a partnership between MSCPA-Angell Animal Medical Center and Nashoba Tech’s brand-new Veterinary Assisting program.

        The clinic will be open weekdays, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will offer spay/neuter services, vaccinations and basic veterinary care for the pets of residents of Nashoba Tech’s district who qualify financially.

        Only freshmen and sophomores are being accepted into the Veterinary Assisting program this year. Five sophomores signed up, and 10 freshmen have joined the program since the freshman exploratory process, in which all first-year students spend the first half of the school year sampling all 19 technical programs before choosing the program they want to pursue, ended.

        The clinic — and the Veterinary Assisting program — are the brainchild of outgoing Nashoba Tech Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz, who one day was driving by MSPCA-Angell West on Bear Hill Road in Waltham. She had been thinking about adding Veterinary Assisting at Nashoba Tech, and decided to walk into the clinic and get the ball rolling.

        “I’m very lucky I stopped by Angell Medical on Bear Hill Road that day,” Klimkiewicz told the crowd of school and local officials, students in the Veterinary Assisting program, and the architects and developers of the clinic.

        Greenleaf said she thought the partnership was a great idea from the outset.

        “When they asked if we were interested, we jumped right in and said, 
‘Absolutely,’” she said, adding that they looked to a similar partnership between Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine and Worcester Technical High School called Tufts at Tech.

        “This is a great opportunity, modeled after Tufts at Tech, which is the leader in creating this type of partnership,” she said, “and they’ve been very helpful in developing our program. We look forward to broadening our scope to include high-school students. There’s a real dearth of veterinary technicians, and these are the future leaders of the veterinary profession.”

        The Angell at Nashoba Clinic will be staffed by Dr. Laurence Sawyer 
and Lisa Quinones, a certified veterinary technician.

        Betsy Hensley, who has more than 20 years in the veterinary industry, is teaching Nashoba Tech’s Veterinary Assisting program, through which students will be able to watch surgical procedures and learn from professionals. Hensley said students will learn about handling and restraint, safety, anatomy and physiology, husbandry, breed
differentials, disease humans can get from animals, and much more.

        Dr. Sawyer called the new clinic “gorgeous and state-of-the-art.”

        “They did a fantastic job building it,” she said of the space, which 
at one time held the now-defunct Upholstery program, and has been used for storage and by the school’s Drama Club for the past decade or so. “When I was interviewing for the position, it was like a big warehouse-type of space, so it was hard to envision it. But it’s phenomenal, and it will be a great teaching tool for the students here at Nashoba Tech.”

        Nashoba Tech School Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Rhodes said the clinic and Veterinary Assisting program are exciting additions to the school.

        “This is a great partnership,” she said. “It’s great for the community and great for the students. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about it, so there’s a lot of excitement in the community for it, too.”

        To qualify for use of the clinic, clients must present a photo ID and one of the following:
• Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program card.
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card.
• Food Stamps/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
• Spay and Neuter Assistance Program certificate.
• Proof that the client resides in public/subsidized housing.

        The phone number for the Angell at Nashoba clinic is 978-577-5992. 
Students are being accepted for the 2016-17 school year. Call 978-970-4611, ext. 1123