Gifts Support Tufts Renovation


Within a month of receiving a challenge grant aimed at supporting the renovation and expansion of one of its teaching hospitals, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has raised 50 percent of the funds needed to be awarded the challenge money thanks to a generous $2.5 million donation from a Connecticut couple.

The campaign to renovate the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals — which was launched last spring — received an important boost from a 2:1 challenge gift given by the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund last December. The Cummings School must raise $5 million by the end of 2014 to receive a $2.5 million donation from the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, an independent private foundation dedicated to continuing its namesake’s philanthropy.

That goal came closer into view this month with a $2.5 million gift given to the school from Travis and Anne Engen, hospital clients and long-time supporters of the school. The Engens were motivated to contribute to the renovation because of personal experiences with their Tufts veterinarians.

“The Engen family and trustees of the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund understand what the hospital renovation will mean for us and truly value the school’s mission of clinical service, teaching and research,” explained Deborah Kochevar, DVM, PhD, dean of the Cummings School. “With their support, the Cummings School is now much closer to obtaining the funding needed to start Phase I construction and we hope to be able to do that soon with continued support from the community.”

Phase I of the renovation project is projected to cost $8 million and will increase the number of state-of-the-art examination rooms; create larger treatment rooms for specialty services in ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology and dermatology which will reduce client wait times for such specialized care; and develop new areas in the hospital that are central to clients’ comfort.

The Foster Hospital was built in 1985 to provide care to an estimated 12,000 cats, dogs and other companion animals annually. The hospital treated 28,000 patients last year and that number is expected to grow by 4,000 cases. The 30-year-old building is at capacity and renovations are needed to continue to deliver the best in patient care and client service.

Including the recent gifts and money raised in 2013, the school needs $2,262,500 to meet the challenge and begin Phase I construction. Improvements to the Foster Hospital are part of a longer-term Master Plan that envisions reshaping Tufts Veterinary Hospitals by also adding new facilities, such as an Equine Sports Medicine Complex at the Large Animal Hospital.

Anyone interested in learning more about the hospital renovation is encouraged to contact Ana Alvarado, senior director of development, at (508) 839-7905 or


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