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What We're Thankful For: Animal Health

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we’re asking various teams from across the Aquarium what they are thankful for this year!

Published November 18, 2014

Today, we’re sharing responses from our Animal Health team:


Colin McDermott, Veterinary Fellow

I am thankful for the opportunity to work on a team with so many professionals and leaders in the field that keep advancing the standard of care for our animals, both in the Aquarium and through our Animal Rescue program. 

Dr. Leigh Clayton, Director of Animal Health

 I’m thankful to be connected to a veterinary profession filled with smart, motivated, passionate people who are not content to sit back and let others do the work. They get out there and drive the changes they believe are important for the animals, and people, on this planet. I’m thankful, every day, for the opportunity to work closely with an incredible diversity of animals, There is a wonder and beauty in watching other animals behave and learning about the many ways organisms have evolved to live on this planet. I appreciate being part of an institution continually striving to find ways to conserve more and become better, that isn’t content to be good enough.

Lori Westmoreland, Veterinary Intern

This year, I’m giving thanks for the amazing group of veterinarians, technicians, aquarists, staff, students and volunteers that I get to work with on a daily basis—all working together towards the common goals of conservation and education. I learn something new every day I come to work, and being part of this team is an experience I cherish!

Sarah McMillen, Senior Technician

I am thankful for being a part of an organization that is dedicated to conserving the Chesapeake Bay. As an animal lover and outdoor enthusiast I feel strongly about protecting our local watershed. I believe that the National Aquarium’s efforts through multiple, long-term restoration projects has made big strides in un-doing past destruction to the bay. These projects not only protect the natural inhabitants but also the people who depend on the watershed for natural resources. 

Amanda Bargas, Technician

This Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for conservation, wherever it is found! I’m also most thankful for the awesome Animal Health staff. 

Dr. Kat Hadfield, Associate Veterinarian

I am both excited by and thankful for the excellent teamwork within our Biological Programs team, the quality of our veterinary training programs in Animal Health and the reputation we have within our field and the diversity of our animal collection. 

What are you thankful for this year? Tell us in the comments section!

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