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Ducharme named next Chief Medical Officer at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists after Nixon completes term

On May 1st, Dr. Norm Ducharme, James Law Professor of Large Animal Surgery at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, will be taking over as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists (CRES). 

He will succeed Dr. Alan Nixon, professor of large animal surgery, who completed his three-year term as CMO. As CRES’ founding chief medical officer (CMO), Nixon was pivotal in the launch and building of this new practice. “I am pleased to see CRES mature into an established specialty practice serving the downstate horse population, including their owners, trainers, and dedicated veterinarians,” says Nixon. “This could not have been accomplished without strong support from all facets of the College who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful launch. We owe the growth of the practice to the insight of the College administration, the CRES faculty, and wonderful staff.” 

Nixon will continue to oversee the establishment of a new state-of-the-art robotics-controlled imaging system. Dr. Nixon will be ending his current appointment May 1st, but will continue as a rotating surgeon in both Elmont and Ithaca.

Norm Ducharme has agreed to serve as the next CMO at CRES, reporting to and working closely with Dr. Meg Thompson, Assistant Dean of Hospital Operations, and Ms. Jill Nordberg practice manager. Drs. Nixon and Ducharme have been surgical colleagues and worked shoulder to shoulder for many years and the transition should be very smooth.

“It’s a great honor and responsibility to take up the reins at CRES,” says Ducharme, “I look forward to working in close collaboration with the clinicians and staff there to deliver the best possible care to our equine patients in collaboration with the clients’ veterinarian.”

Ducharme is a board certified large animal surgeon at Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA) and CRES, has dedicated much of his clinical and research effort to understanding the equine upper airway. His research has focused on methods of identifying and quantifying dynamic upper airway obstructions, defining the anatomical structures and their function, and developing surgical and other methods for treating equine upper airway diseases. He graduated from veterinary college at the University of Montreal in 1979 and completed his internship and residency at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. He received his Master of Science degree from the University of Guelph and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in 1985. Ducharme was medical director at CUHA from 1990 to 2014. Ducharme served as president and chair of the board of the ACVS from 2005 to 2007 and was inducted in the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame for Equine research in 2016.

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