Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Amanda Olejarski, PhD

Committee Member

Jeremy Phillips, PhD

Committee Member

Gary Coutu, PhD


Access to veterinary care is a complex and wicked social problem. The problem is multidimensional in nature, comprised of a number of barriers ranging from financial to cultural to physical. The Multiple Streams Framework is used to provide a theoretical foundation for the analysis. Subsequent chapters identify the problem, politics and policy streams surrounding this issue. This research examines the issue of access to care as a spatial construct by identifying and analyzing the geographic distribution of the ratios of veterinary staff across the United States to the number of households and predicted companion animal populations. It uses spatial statistics to identify regions of low access. Telemedicine and the associated politics and policies are then explored as possible solutions. This work adds to the existing literature through the identification of the counties and regions with low access, by establishing benchmark ratios at various percentiles and by providing themes derived from human medicine that could be used in veterinary medicine to increase functional access to telemedical care for veterinary clients and patients.