Jen Ward grew up in a spirited and often irreverent intellectual household where her bohemian university professor parents surrounded her and her four siblings with books, animals, and a passion for learning. Prior to becoming a veterinarian, Jen earned a BA and MA in English Literature, and thought she might live out her life as a writer. Along the way to morphing from the English lit major-aspiring writer to veterinary pathologist she worked as a gardener, roofer, farm hand, copy editor, bike messenger, high school English teacher, bartender, kennel assistant, veterinary assistant, and lab assistant, as she followed the trail of breadcrumbs leading her to find her true passion. During this journey, Jen’s dog Abraham was an important mentor. Abraham’s severe skin allergies eventually led her to the medical school library, where she spent hours researching and learning about allergy, immunology and immunopathology, and then as a natural progression, taking a lot of science classes, and leaving Hawaii to attend vet school at WSU. When she applied for her pathology residency there were three criteria: the school had to have a strong dermatology department, a dermatopathologist on faculty, and it had to be in a warm sunny place. At the University of Florida, she worked closely with Dr. Pam Ginn and the clinical dermatology team during her residency and in a subsequent dermatopathology fellowship. Jen then moved to Seattle, and in 2009 she founded SVP to pursue her vision of a way of practicing pathology that she couldn’t provide from within the university or existing commercial lab structures. SVP specializes in a relationship-based approach to companion animal pathology, grounded in clinicopathologic correlation, and offers a general surgical pathology and cytopathology service with particular subspecialty focus on dermatopathology, oncopathology, and GI pathology.
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