You will regularly interact with our veterinarians, technicians and fourth-year students while at the teaching hospital, but there are also teams of compassionate and highly trained people – like Materials Department manager Travis Burke – working behind the scenes to ensure all our patients receive exceptional care.
Travis joined the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s team in January of 2015. He was born in Pullman, graduated from Pullman High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from WSU. He shares a home with his dachshund, Daisy, whom, he says, “is a very good girl.”
He recently took the time to discuss his experiences at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and other thoughts.
What does a materials supervisor do?
I am responsible for ordering and distributing medical supplies for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The Materials Department maintains the hospital’s supply stockroom and inventory control processes, ensuring our doctors and students have all the supplies they need. We also manage receiving duties for the hospital, handling deliveries of supplies throughout the day and preparing most of the hospital’s outgoing packages.
What is your typical day like at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?
On a typical day, I have a pretty good mix of desk work and working on my feet. I spend most of my time placing orders with vendors, checking in our incoming supplies and shelving them as orders arrive, and processing payments for our supply orders. I also visit departments throughout the hospital to check their inventory of medical supplies, restocking the rooms that need to be resupplied.
What made you want to work in veterinary medicine and at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?
I love working with animals and knowing that I am helping them is incredibly fulfilling. When I was growing up my family almost always had at least one pet, so I learned to connect with animals from an early age. But it was not until I got into college, when I took two student positions in the veterinary college, that I started to consider veterinary medicine as a possible career option. When a position in the Materials Department opened at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital a few years ago it seemed like a natural fit for me.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite part of my job is that I get to be a person who is excited to go to work each morning. I know that what I do every day at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital has an impact on the people who walk through our doors. I also enjoy getting to walk around to hospital while delivering supplies and packages. It allows me to get to know everyone who works here and gives me a window into everything we do at the hospital.
What is a current project you are working on at the hospital?
Right now, I am focused on the hospital’s goal of implementing a modernized inventory management system. This system will need to interact with every department in the hospital and will be linked to the electronic medical records system the hospital is also rolling out. Both new systems will help the hospital meet its goals of boosting financial performance and continuing to provide exceptional patient care for our clients.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am kind of a nerd and the thing I enjoy most in my spare time is reading. And when it comes to books, I like a variety of genres, but I am particularly fond of fantasy and science fiction. I love playing games with friends, especially the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons, and I frequently host game nights at my home. I also like painting miniature figurines used for a variety of games and hobbies. I am an outdoors enthusiast too, and I enjoy camping, hiking and biking throughout the Pacific Northwest. I also enjoy music and going to concerts.