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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Dr. Kevin Brightbill has assumed the role of Pennsylvania’s state veterinarian.

The announcement was made Monday by Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. Brightbill will direct the work of the department’s Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services. He will also oversee the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory and lead several public-private industry and interdisciplinary partnerships, including the Pennsylvania One Health Task Force.

“A healthy food supply is the foundation of a strong economy,” Redding said. “Human and animal health are inextricably linked, and the work of our public veterinarians is crucial for tracing the origins of disease outbreaks, preventing foodborne disease, and developing and implementing the policies that protect the security and quality of our food supply.

I am confident that Dr. Brightbill has the right combination of diagnostic skills, analytical thinking and thoughtful diplomacy to lead efforts to make Pennsylvania’s $135.7 billion agriculture and food industry secure, and to swiftly and effectively react in emergencies.”

Brightbill has served as assistant director of the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services since 2016, playing a key role in emergency response and preparedness for the state’s poultry, dairy, pork, beef and deer farming industries.

“I am pleased to serve the commonwealth at a time of dynamic change in the agriculture industry, and a time of ever-present disease risk,” Brightbill said. “It is a tremendous honor to lead a team of talented diagnosticians, researchers and animal health technicians in combating and preventing disease. And it is a pleasure to work with industry leaders to develop policies and management practices that safeguard our health and our food supply and build our industry.”

A Millerstown, Perry County, native, Brightbill joined the department with more than 13 years’ experience as a large and small animal vet at Millerstown Veterinary Associates, working his way up from a veterinary assistant during vet school to vice president of the practice.

He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree in animal bioscience from Penn State University.

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