Dr. Tom Juergens Honored by AAEP’s Good Works Campaign for September
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) commends Dr. Tom Juergens, the September honoree of the Good Works for Horses Campaign, who for the past 20 years has traveled annually to Mongolia to introduce modern veterinary medicine to remote veterinarians and herdspeople to improve the health and wellbeing of the country’s horses.
Good Works for Horses honors AAEP-member practitioners who perform volunteer service to benefit horses and the equine community. Horse owners and veterinary professionals are encouraged to nominate AAEP members for this monthly recognition.
Dr. Juergens, the retired founder of Anoka Equine in Anoka, Minn., embarked on his Mongolian service in 2000 at the encouragement of the Christian Veterinary Mission. His goal was to train veterinarians in modern medicine and techniques as well as treat racehorses that compete under child jockeys at distances between 15 and 50 kilometers.
Accompanied by Dr. John Haffner of Murfreesboro, Tenn., the expedition began as a two-week mission composed of a three-day workshop of classroom and wet lab instruction on diagnostics and treatments for common ailments; and on-site care at the races, which helped build trust by showing the effectiveness of modern medicine in a region where many treatment protocols were established 800 years earlier by Genghis Khan.
The mission has since expanded to five weeks; following the three-day seminar attended by up to 60 veterinarians, Dr. Juergens travels the countryside in a Russian four-wheel drive van to provide practical training and mentorship in the field while living with remote veterinarians and herdspeople. To date, the mission has trained approximately 700 veterinarians in every province of Mongolia; some now teach at the country’s veterinary school, elevating the level of education for the next generation of Mongolian veterinarians. These trained veterinarians can also acquire Western medicines from a Mongolian-owned and -run pharmacy started by Drs. Juergens and Haffner to aid in the treatment of horses.
“Johnny and I have committed ourselves to this group of veterinarians and the care of their horses,” said Dr. Juergens. “They love their horses, which are an important part of their culture, and we’re seeing the quality of vet care improve not only for these horses but other species as well because of lessons taught on the horse.”
Throughout 2019, the AAEP’s Good Works for Horses Campaign has spotlighted AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. To discover the Good Works of AAEP veterinarians, visit the AAEP website.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.
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