By Cummings School Staff
The search is on for a new medical director.
Effective May 3, Dr. Virginia Rentko stepped down as medical director of Cummings Veterinary Medical Center to pursue an exciting opportunity in biotechnology research. While Cummings School conducts a national search for her successor, Dr. Cheryl Blaze will serve as the interim medical director for Foster Hospital for Small Animals and Dr. Thomas Jenei will serve as the interim medical director for the Hospital for Large Animals.
Dr. Rentko served as medical director of the Foster Hospital for Small Animals and the Hospital for Large Animals for 10 years, after spending two years as the medical director of Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts.
Under Dr. Rentko’s guidance, Tufts faculty and staff evolved the clinical computing environment in the hospitals, including moving to a new comprehensive electronic medical records system. Using client-survey data, she helped drive system changes to improve the client experience, patient care, and communication with both clients and referring doctors. Her administrative leadership also was key to the successful renovation of the Foster Hospital, as well as to the creation of the Equine Sports Medicine Complex.
In both the small- and large-animal hospitals, Dr. Rentko focused on the development of people, be they veterinary students, faculty, clinicians, or other staff. One of her team’s proud achievements was the development of a technician career-ladder structured to attract and retain talented nursing staff.
Nationally, Dr. Rentko has been a key member of the Clinical and Translational Science Award One Health Alliance (COHA), a partnership of veterinary schools working through a National Institutes of Health Clinical Translational Science Award. Dr. Rentko has become the chair of the COHA One Data Platform Governance Committee, working to build and govern a common medical record data platform for the 15 COHA veterinary schools—an initiative that could greatly increase the case data available to faculty researchers working to improve animal health and, using spontaneous models, to improve human health models.
Cummings School is conducting a national search for Dr. Rentko’s replacement. If you wish to recommend a medical director candidate, please reach out to Dr. David Lee-Parritz, chair of the medical director search committee.