Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center Offers Innovative Services With Equi-Assist Home Care Nursing Program

The University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center provides a revolutionary program called Equi-Assist, designed to provide compassionate nursing care for horses discharged from New Bolton Center with specific long or short-term health care needs and specialized wellness care. 

The service is also available to horse owners and primary care veterinarians with patients that may not have been hospitalized at New Bolton Center, but would benefit from Equi-Assist care. Equi-Assist nurses travel to equine patients within a 25 mile radius of New Bolton Center located in Kennett Square, PA.

Launched in 2010, the Equi-Assist Circle of Care is centered on providing state of the art compassionate care for horses in a familiar environment to help decrease stress and promote recovery and wellness. The Equi-Assist nurse service works with each horse’s primary care veterinarian, owner, trainer and farrier, as appropriate, to provide high quality patient care and to maintain open communication among all parties.

“Equi-Assist is based on the hypothesis that a familiar home environment is better for healing and recuperation than an extended hospital stay,” said James A. Orsini, DVM, Director of the Laminitis Institute at New Bolton Center. “Our program acts as a bridge between veterinary hospital treatment and routine health care that horse owners and trainers can provide to ensure optimum health. We are pleased with the positive response from satisfied horse owners and the peace of mind that the program provides to them. ”

Acting as a liaison between owners and other primary care providers, the Equi-Assist nurse may provide any number of services that do not require the “hands-on” expertise of a veterinarian, but may be beyond the level of care that an owner or trainer is comfortable providing. Examples of care include ongoing wound management, postoperative colic care, neonatal care, laminitis/founder aftercare, reproductive issues, administering of IV medications, and more complex treatments. To complete the Circle of Care, Equi-Assist also offers nutritional counseling, massage therapy and vacation care when owners need to be away.

Equi-Assist nurses are licensed and highly trained veterinary technicians with years of experience in critical care. Equi-Assist nurses may help horse owners learn bandaging and other techniques so that they can care for their horses on their own during the critical recovery period or manage all aspects of a prescribed onsite treatment, depending on owners’ needs and schedules. Most importantly, Equi-Assist nurses maintain a record of care and treatment to help the primary care veterinarian and farrier work together to provide the best possible individualized health care for each horse.

“Our Equi-Assist nurses have spent years caring for animals in the hospital environment, including adult and neonatal intensive care units,” said Dr. Orsini. “They are familiar with the hectic schedules that many veterinarians juggle day-to-day and can help streamline the communication with owners, as well as provide peace of mind.”

For more information on the Equi-Assist program and the services it offers, talk to your New Bolton Center clinician or call 610-925-6739 or email [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> . Visit our website at <>  to meet our program supporters and coordinators, connect with our Facebook page and Twitter account and learn how a team approach to equine health care can benefit your horses.


About Penn Vet

Penn Vet is one of the world’s premier veterinary schools and is the only school in Pennsylvania graduating veterinarians. Founded in 1884, the school was built on the concept of Many Species, One MedicineTM. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the school serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients at its two campuses, from companion animals to horses to farm animals.

In Philadelphia, on Penn’s campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Ryan Hospital) for companion animals; classrooms; research laboratories; and the School’s administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, PA, includes the George D. Widener Veterinary Hospital for large animals; diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry; and research facilities to determine new treatment and diagnostic measures for large-animal diseases. For more information, visit <> .