Dr. Nathaniel “Nat” White of Leesburg, Va., has stepped down as director of Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center after nine years of service to the equine community. He will assist with the transition in leadership and continue to contribute to the mission of the center as a professor of surgery.
White had many achievements as director of the center, among which were the authorship of the definitive textbooks on colic and surgery, the recruitment of key faculty and staff to expand the center’s clinical and research excellence, the formation of the Veterinary Advisory Board, and the development of three strategic plans. He also played a pivotal role in the successful containment of an equine herpes outbreak at the center in 2007.
Dr. David Hodgson, professor and head of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named interim executive director of the Equine Medicine Center, effective May 1. Dr. Harold McKenzie, associate professor of medicine at the center, has been named the interim associate director and will run the center’s day-to-day operations under Hodgson’s supervision.
“Drs. Hodgson, McKenzie, and White will work as a team to ensure a seamless and gradual transition to the interim leadership and to make sure that service to the equine community remains at the highest possible level,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the veterinary college.
The equine medical center is a full-service equine hospital located in Leesburg, Va., that offers advanced specialty care, 24-hour emergency treatment, and diagnostic services for all ages and breeds of horses.
Schurig has tasked a team with developing several potential strategic plans that will sustain the center and enhance its programs and services. The team includes representatives from the Equine Medical Center Council.
“Once we have decided on a specific new strategic plan, we will begin the search for a new director,” Schurig said. “Dr. White will chair the selection committee.”
After receiving a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Cornell University in 1971, White completed an internship and residency in surgery at the University of California-Davis from 1971 to 1973, and earned a master’s degree in pathology at Kansas State University in 1976. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) and past president of both the ACVS and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. During his tenure at the Equine Medical Center, he was the Theodora Ayer Randolph professor in surgery from 1987 to 2004 and the Jean Ellen Shehan Chair as the Equine Medical Center director from 2004 to 2012.
White has performed a wide variety of soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries during his 41 years as a veterinarian. He is a world-renowned expert on colic and conducts research on the pathophysiology of ischemia-reperfusion, epidemiology of colic, abdominal and orthopedic surgery, and treatment of orthopedic diseases.