We continue our Community Helper series by recognizing the work of Dr. Corey Gallagher, owner of Northwoods Veterinary Clinic in Gillett. Along with having a passion for animals and veterinary science, Dr. Gallagher takes pride in volunteering and using his talents to help those in countries less fortunate.
“Most of my volunteer work has been missionary work through an organization called Christian Veterinary Missions,” said Dr. Gallagher about his charitable work. “I’ve been on three trips to Nicaragua and I recently just got back from Africa.”
While in Africa, Dr. Gallagher lectured at two universities in Ghana, which is a country that is facing a shortage in veterinarians.
“I went there to help with their new veterinary programs and help teach the students, so that they can advance their veterinary program there and be able to take care of the animals that they need to and help them help their communities by taking care of their farm animals and small animals,” Dr. Gallagher explained.
The goal of the mission was to help the students learn to help their communities, rather than come in and do the work for them. Dr. Gallagher said he enjoyed the desire of learning that the students displayed.
“It was quite exciting to see the passion the students had and just the opportunities that they’re going to have, both as a veterinary professional and what they can do for their communities,” Dr. Gallagher said about teaching the students. “Hopefully they’ll be able to help people be healthier in that country. The hope is that they’re going to be able to go out in their districts and help take care of farm animals and help with the food source and everything there.”
Dr. Gallagher says the students that he was teaching were near the end of their studies, and while his expertise is in small animals, the students have been training veterinary health for all animals, which can be critical for their livelihood.
“In rural, Third World Countries, they may only have a couple cattle,” explained Dr. Gallagher. “It’s kind of like a savings account. If that cow, or sheep, or goat dies, they basically lose all of their investment and any income that they might earn in the future. Having veterinarians there that can help keep those animals healthy helps sustain them as a family, and also so that they can help feed their community.”
Most of the people that rely on their animals for income, Dr. Gallagher says, have only a few animals that produce for them, which can magnify the need to keep them healthy, but that’s not the only purpose of his work.
“We’re trying to spread the Gospel as well as make relationships,” he said about the mission. “Being able to go into somewhere and helping them work with their animals then builds a relationship where you can then share with them your beliefs. They can tell you about their struggles and you can share that way. It really opens doors there.”
Dr. Gallagher says what makes the Christian Veterinary Missions unique is the connection they can build with those in other countries through their animals, which helps them go places that other missionary services cannot get to. Despite traveling to Third World Counties to teach others, Dr. Gallagher says he’s blessed to have the opportunity.
“I’ve actually been blessed even though I’m going there to bless someone else. They’re so thankful and they literally don’t have anything, but yet they want to give you something. Just being able to help and see the students flourish and their eyes light up, and the light bulb click, like ‘oh yeah that’s why I learned that’ and seeing that is really cool.”
Deciding to use his talents for a specific mission was something Dr. Gallagher decided later on in his life, while he was attending veterinary school. He recommends to those thinking about volunteering that it’s never too late to make an impact in someone’s life.
“You got to go do it,” said Dr. Gallagher. “Sometimes it’s knowing where or how. You sort of have to look what you’re passionate about and what maybe your skill level is, but if you search far enough, there are usually organizations and they surely could use you.
TCHDailyNews congratulates Dr. Corey Gallagher of the Nothwoods Veterinary Clinic in Gillett, as this week’s Community Helper.