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  • Writer's pictureTori McLamore

A Living Legend: First Black Veterinarian in Cleveland, OH

Written by: Dr. Tierra Price

Original Date Posted: October 4, 2021

Dr. Evan Morse is Cleveland, Ohio's first Black veterinarian. Dr. Morse founded the Warrensville Animal Center and is still the owner and lead doctor there today.

Originally from Richmond, VA, Dr. Morse attended Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1968.

Dr. Morse started the Warrensville Animal Hospital in 1972. In 1976 he started the Free Animal Clinic Team, providing free services to the surrounding community one Wednesday each month to the first 100 people who can demonstrate proof of low income.

Dr. Morse has always been passionate about diversity in (and out of) vet med. In 1965, he marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr in the historic Selma to Montgomery March for fairness and equity. He has been at the forefront of the movement signifying the relevance of diversity and inclusion throughout the veterinary profession, as in relates to colleague and client interactions. He served on the Task Force on Diversity of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as well as the Diversity Committee of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association. For nearly 15 years, Dr. Morse sought funding and sponsorships, retained speakers, planned agendas, and chaired and presented at each and every AVMA Diversity Symposium.

Today, the profession continues to echo the words Dr. Morse spoke at the AVMA Diversity Symposium in 2009, "To effectuate its goals, methodical planning and careful implementation must be carried out by the entire profession. We must move beyond simple diversity awareness and go into competency-based understanding."

Dr. Morse's service has not gone unnoticed by the profession. In 2004, Dr. Morse received the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association's Distinguished Service Award "for exemplary service, vision, and dedication in fostering a veterinary community of inclusion." In 2011, Dr. Morse was awarded the President's Award from the AVMA, "in recognition of Dr. Morse's four decades of tireless efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession.."

Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Morse also has a passion for fishing and jazz music. He served as president of the Cleveland Trout Club and the Northeast Ohio Jazz Society.

I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Evan Morse and was in complete awe of what he has accomplished. I'm so glad to know that doctors like him have been serving the community and paving the path for the next generations. Dr. Morse has a spirit about him that will inspire anybody.

Let's continue to grow this community and find these "hidden" (but not so hidden) gems to inspire and encourage those that follow.

The information for this article was provided by Dr. Evan Morse and adapted from various articles and interviews from various sources. You can view the full articles and interviews below.

About the author:

Dr. Tierra Price is a recent graduate of Virginia-Maryland CVM and an emergency veterinarian in Los Angeles, CA. As the founder of BlackDVM Network, Dr. Price hopes to elevate Black veterinary professionals through community, professional development, and access to economic opportunities.

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