Penn Foster Vet Tech Student Ryan Banks Wins National Purina Award

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Penn Foster Vet Tech Student Ryan Banks Wins National Purina Award

Banks pioneered a weight management program for patients at Sand Creek Animal Hospital

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 29, 2013) Penn Foster, a leader in career-focused online and blended education designed to address the skills gap in America, today announced veterinary technician student Ryan Banks has received the national Weight Coach of the Month award from Purina, a pet food and products company.  Banks completed a Purina Weight Coach program about two years ago and was recognized for his work implementing a weight management program for the patients at Sand Creek Animal Hospital.   The program, similar to a Weight Watchers for pets, offers nutritional information and weight loss counseling and tracks the amount of weight pets lose.  In the two years since the program launched, the pets Banks has worked with have lost more than 80 pounds.

“A few years ago, I watched the owners of an overweight dog who had fallen down the stairs put their pet to sleep,” Banks said. “That experience made me realize the importance of preventing obesity by working with pets and their owners to manage eating and exercise habits.”

In addition to his work as a veterinary assistant at Sand Creek Animal Hospital, Banks is also pursuing his associate’s degree in veterinary technology at Penn Foster.  After high school he knew he wanted to work with animals but he felt overwhelmed when he attended a traditional college and was in lecture classes with hundreds of students.  He left college and began working full-time at a vet hospital, knowing that he would return to school to complete his education. Penn Foster’s flexible online veterinary technician program gave him the opportunity to complete his education on his own time andat his own pace.

“Ryan’s work with the weight management program illustrates the value that veterinary technicians add to veterinary practices and hospitals across the country,” said Dr. Jim Hurrell, Director of the Veterinary Academy at Penn Foster.  “As the vet tech field continues to grow in the coming years, we need more students like him who understand the importance of excelling in and out of the classroom.”

About Penn Foster

Founded in 1890, Penn Foster has been a leader in career-focused distance and blended learning for more than 100 years. Since its inception, more than 13 million people have enrolled in its high school, career school and college to learn advanced skills, further their education and better position them for life success. Today, Penn Foster graduates 25,000 students yearly and enrolls more than 100,000 new students each year in programs designed to address the skills gap in middle skilled careers. Penn Foster's high-quality, affordable distance education allows students the flexibility to complete programs around their schedules with 24/7 access to a supportive online community of students and faculty. For more information, visit www.

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