In recognition of World Mental Health Day on October 10, MSU CVM announced the establishment of the Maggie Freeman-Bishop Office for Health and Wellness. The office was created through a gift from Dr. Emily C. Freeman and Ms. Sara J. Bishop to fund the renovation and maintenance of the psychological services office area within the College to support the health and wellness of faculty, students, and staff.
Through the years, Dr. Freeman, who graduated from MSU with a both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in geosciences and meteorology, and Ms. Bishop have developed close relationships with the veterinary community and felt it important to help create a safe space for those in the profession dealing with mental health challenges. The two wanted to do so to honor the memory of their pug, Maggie, who passed away in 2019. After learning about MSU CVM’s in-house psychological services, they knew they had found the perfect way to remember their beloved pet.
“We had the privilege of meeting many amazing veterinarians and technicians along Maggie’s journey—and each of those encounters has changed us for the better,” Dr. Freeman said. “Through Maggie, we have learned and appreciated much about veterinary medicine and the critical importance of empathy and patience. Access to veterinary treatments and medicine—more importantly veterinarians who were incredibly patient-focused—kept Maggie alive for nearly 17 years.”
As Maggie aged and her health became complicated, Dr. Freeman and Ms. Bishop found the curiosity, tenacity, and compassion of the numerous teams and specialists that they met with beyond compare. Even though Maggie was one of many complex patients these teams managed, Dr. Freeman said they felt the kindness and compassion of her veterinarians, who agonized, worried, and even cried alongside them.
“We believe veterinarians and clinic staff need a place to take a breath, have a difficult conversation, or have some privacy while dealing with complex information and emotions,” said Dr. Freeman. “We hope this gift to MSU CVM will help prepare future veterinarians and staff to handle complex mental health challenges. We cannot think of a better way to honor Maggie’s tenacious spirit than to help those that cared for her to take care of themselves.”