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March 20, 2009, West Palm Beach, FL – The Palm Beach Zoo has named Dr. Michele Ann Miller, DVM, Ph.D., as Chief Veterinary Officer and Director of Conservation Medicine. Her appointment coincides with the completion of the new Melvin J. and Claire Levine Animal Care Complex which will house the Salvatore Zeitlin Animal Hospital and the Center for Conservation Medicine. Dr. Zeitlin will continue his service as Senior Consulting Veterinarian for the zoo.   

Palm Beach Zoo President/CEO Dr. Terry L. Maple said, "Dr. Miller was hired after a national search that took one year to complete. She is one the best trained and experienced zoo veterinarians in America and she is accomplished in field medicine, the cornerstone of our new Center for Conservation Medicine. She has been on the job only a few weeks and she is already making a significant difference in our day-to-day operations. Dr. Miller's partnership with Dr. Zeitlin will give us round the clock coverage from two of the most talented and dedicated veterinarians in the zoo profession."  

“Dr. Miller is one of the most respected veterinarians in our field,” said Dr. William Karesh, the head of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Global Health Program.  “She has taken a leadership role in solving critical health issues for zoos as well as free-ranging wildlife around the world.” 

Dr. Miller, in discussing her new role at the Palm Beach Zoo said, “I am very pleased to be joining the Palm Beach Zoo team at this exciting time, and proud to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful new facility.  Having been through the challenges of opening a new hospital at Disney, I can bring that experience and the lessons we learned to this project. The Levine Complex has huge potential to benefit animals at the zoo as well as animals throughout the region and the world.  We are looking at animal health and wellness on a global scale, expanding beyond zoo borders to study the challenges and opportunities. We can better understand how to take care of animals here through research in the field.  I’m especially proud that this will be a LEED certified green building, in keeping with the zoo’s deep commitment to conservation.”  

Dr. Miller holds a B.S. in Physics & Zoology, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Veterinary Science, and a D.V.M., all earned at the University of Wisconsin.   For the past eleven years, she has served at Disney’s Animal Programs in Buena Vista, FL, where she was Veterinary Operations Manager and also served as staff veterinarian.  Prior to joining Disney, she worked at North Boulder Companion Animal Hospital, Busch Gardens – Tampa, the Los Angeles Zoo, Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego, and the San Diego Zoo. She was also Program Director and Faculty Veterinarian at San Diego Mesa College.   

Dr. Miller has been awarded many competitive grants in medicine, conservation and research, and has received international recognition for her achievements. She is a former President of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


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