Washington State University veterinary college to open Spokane clinic with $3.5 million gifts

In March, Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine signed an agreement to open a satellite clinic at WSU’s Riverpoint campus in Spokane within the next year.

The development and operation of the clinic will be aided by $3.5 million in private gifts. A $2.7 million estate gift from Dr. Bernard Pinckney, 1944 WSU veterinary alumnus, stipulated that his gift was to be used to establish a satellite clinic to offer continuing education opportunities for students and practitioners.

An additional $800,000 for the project is provided by the estate of former West Richland, Washington, resident Charlotte Hays. Hays’ estate provided almost $1 million to WSU. The Hays estate gift came to the veterinary college thanks to her long time association with Dr. James Benson of Richland, a 1969 WSU veterinary alumnus.

On January 30, the WSU Board of Regents approved a $1.75 million construction budget for a major renovation project of an existing 7,000 square foot building owned by WSU. It is located at 218 East Spokane Falls Boulevard and was previously occupied by BPS Plumbing. The remodeled building will feature space for four to six contract veterinarians, and will also include exam rooms, basic radiologic services, and two surgery suites. An outpatient facility only, the clinic will not provide extended hospitalization services.

Additional support for the project comes from the WSU Minor Capital Improvement program and extramural instructional support for theWSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Construction is slated to begin soon and the College of Veterinary Medicine hopes to open the clinic by December.

“Dr. Pinckney was a remarkable veterinarian and a generous donor,” said Bryan Slinker, dean of WSU’s veterinary college. “Donors like him and Ms. Hays are the lifeblood of our college’s ability to innovate and move forward even in these troubled financial times.” Slinker emphasized the importance of continuing to look for opportunities and ways to advance the college in times of economic turmoil.

“Moving forward in a responsible and measured manner is important for advancing any institution,” he said. “Being able to find reasonable opportunities in troubling times is often what separates great educational institutions from the rest.”

A 1944 alumnus, Pinckney practiced for more than five decades in his Tacoma clinic. He also spearheaded several public art projects that resulted in a larger-than-life bronze sculpture, The Caring Call, being installed on the WSU campus in Pullman.

The satellite clinic will enable the college to provide WSU veterinary students with additional training opportunities in specialized fields of veterinary medicine, while offering advanced services to the public. The clinic’s focus will be on outpatient care in specialties that include ophthalmology, advanced dentistry, dermatology, oncology, and internal medicine. The Inland Empire Veterinary Medical Association, a professional association of private practitioners in the region, welcomes these advanced services, which will complement their practices.

Long time veterinary ophthalmologist and owner of the Animal Eye Clinic of Spokane, Dr. Bill Yakely will lease space to continue his practice within the new facility with his current staff. Under an agreement between WSU’s veterinary college and Yakely, WSU veterinary students will be accepted by the practice for ophthalmological training.

“It is a very important and cost-effective benefit for us to have Dr. Yakely and his staff continue to train our students,” said Slinker. “His affiliation with teaching ophthalmology in this college extends over many years and we are very grateful.” The college will also recruit additional veterinarians by contract to teach Pullman-based classes, supervise students in their senior year, and provide service