Michael Blackwell
Published November 7, 2022

Dr. Michael J. Blackwell is the director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he works to improve access to veterinary care for low income families and their pets. Blackwell’s background includes working in animal shelters as a board chair and administrator

While he is no longer in clinical practice, he owns and operates practices in Oklahoma and Maryland that specialize in companion animals and livestock.

Blackwell is the founder of AlignCare, an outreach project at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, focused on pet health equity and improving access to veterinary care. He also served as the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee and as chief veterinary officer of the Humane Society of the United States. 

He also served as the chief of staff for the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States; deputy director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine for the FDA; and the chief veterinary officer for the U.S. Public Health Service. During his 23 years of active duty at the latter, he achieved the rank of Assistant Surgeon General and Rear Admiral. 

Blackwell earned his master’s degree in public health from Loma Linda University and his doctor’s of veterinary medicine degree from Tuskegee University.

Courtesy of Blackwell

Pronouns: he/him

Expertise: Veterinary medicine, veterinary care, public health, pet health equity, veterinary accessibility

Location: Knoxville, Tenn.

Email: mblackw1@utk.edu

Phone number: (865) 414-6044

As Heard on The Community Cats Podcast: “Dr. Michael Blackwell, Director of the Program for Pet Health Equity, University of Tennessee”


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