Michael Blackwell (DVM, MPH)
A life of public service is what exemplifies Dr. Michael Blackwell. Like his father, he earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Tuskegee University. He also earned a Master of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University.
Dr. Blackwell’s career has been anything but traditional. He currently serves as the Director of the Program for Pet Health Equity, College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His mission is to improve access to veterinary care, especially for families with limited means. He chairs the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition.
Previous to this position, Dr. Blackwell served as:
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee
Chief of Staff, Office of the Surgeon General of the United States
Deputy Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration
Chief Veterinary Officer, U.S. Public Health Service
Chief Veterinary Officer, The Humane Society of the United States.
During 23 years on active duty, he achieved the rank of Assistant Surgeon General (Rear Admiral) of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Also, he owned and operated private veterinary practices in Oklahoma and Maryland.
Dr. Blackwell has received numerous awards and recognitions, most notably, the U.S. Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal (which is the highest personal honor award), and the Meritorious Service Medal (the second highest personal honor award). He also twice received the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal.