WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital names new chief medical officer

Closeup of Dr. Raelynn Farnsworth.
Dr. Raelynn Farnsworth

With an emphasis on continuing to build a collaborative atmosphere, veterinarian Dr. Raelynn Farnsworth (‘93 DVM) takes over as chief medical officer of the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Her appointment, effective April 1, makes her just the third to lead the hospital, which has become the Pacific Northwest’s largest 24/7 veterinary referral center since opening in 1996. The appointment date also marks Dr. Farnsworth’s 20-year anniversary at the hospital.

“I am so grateful for Dr. Farnsworth’s leadership. As interim, she listened, learned, and led change. She is a critical member of a great leadership team in the hospital. She has earned the respect of faculty, staff, and students. As a WSU College of Veterinary Medicine alumnus, Dr. Farnsworth is passionate about WSU, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and our students, and she is the perfect fit to lead our hospital,” said Dr. Dori Borjesson, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine dean.

Dr. Farnsworth took over as interim hospital director in October 2020 following longtime hospital director Dr. Deb Sellon.

“When I was made interim, I didn’t expect to stay in this position, but I found that I really enjoyed it,” Dr. Farnsworth said. “It’s just a different way for me to make a difference in veterinary medicine — I’m applying the things I learned in veterinary school in a new way.”

Dr. Farnsworth graduated Summa Cum laude in WSU’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1993. She returned to WSU’s small animal community practice on April 1, 2000, following a small animal rotating internship at Ohio State University and nearly a decade at private practices in Virginia and Minnesota.

Dr. Farnsworth said she is excited about the future. She said plans to continue to work with the teaching hospital’s chief operating officer, Chris Boyd, to maintain a positive work environment because, ultimately, it’s the students and animals who benefit.

“I want our clients to be happy with us, and animals to receive the quality care we are known for throughout our region, and I want our students to be practicing state-of-the-art medicine,” Dr. Farnsworth said. “One of the things I love about (the hospital) is that we all have the same goals: teach our students and provide quality care to the animals that need us.”

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