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Michael J. Blackwell

Assistant Surgeon General and Director, Program for Pet Health Equity

Dr. Blackwell currently serves as the Director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee. His mission is to improve access to veterinary care, especially for families with limited means. 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 During 23 years on active duty with the U.S. Public Health Service, he achieved the rank of Assistant Surgeon General/Rear Admiral. Dr. Blackwell has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, two Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medals. He is the 2020 recipient of the Avanzino Leadership Award and the 2021 Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy awardee.