Cat Dog

Since January there has been a breeze of optimism in the air regarding client and pet visits to our hospitals. That optimism has carried over into performance and it is my belief we are coming out of the worst recession seen in all of our lifetimes. I hate to say that as it has appeared to continue to be one step forward and two steps back or vice versa with business. But it has not been a straight line. As I cross the Country looking at perspective acquisition hospitals I see some areas that never knew there was a financial downturn and other areas that feel they are still in its midst. In the summary of it all I hold strong optimism for the remainder of this year. If days past have created anything positive it is in our management as a profession. We have learned to manage better than ever before. When I speak about Pet Partners being a management company first and foremost I speak the absolute truth. We are an operations organization that acquires hospitals. And in that order. Our hospitals are then empowered to be the best they can be with trained managers that almost always come with the practice and they are supported by some of the best people I have ever worked with from our offices in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Over the past I have spoken about the power of the wonderful people who provide the services at each and every one of our hospitals. These are the heroes that work selfishly to make sure that the pets under their care are getting the highest quality attention, service and results known. I can speak loud about “A” teams and for the most part we purchase practices with “A” teams with the idea of providing training and support to help them achieve “A+” status. And that is working well. With 500 employees and about to increase dramatically in 2012 we have taken Human Resource, staff training and accountability to an entirely new level. And it feels very good.

Since I last wrote here there have been some notable additions to the Pet Partners family. In the end of February Kellyann Haydon joined us at South Willow Animal Hospital in Manchester, NH. Kellyann is an experienced former practice owner who has taken on the Medical Director position with high energy and commitment to the wants and needs of the client. South Willow is also about to move into brand new rented facilities from its store front location where we have existed for the 9 years we have owned this practice. New leadership, new facility and new energy will allow the services of this practice rise to a new level. Wishing Kellyann and staff the best in their new home with 4 exam rooms to replace 2. While speaking about facility changes the new addition at Naugatuck, CT is about complete and this will provide much needed relief for a facility that was bursting at the seams. And our Specialty and Emergency hospital in Langhorne, PA, CARES, is about to complete an addition of 6,000 square feet to better support and accommodate the 25 clinicians and specialists who work there. That is long overdue as we continue to grow at CARES.

A great people surprise is the return of Dr. Jessica Turok to our recent practice addition, Paw Prints Animal Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana. Jessica adds some great skills in dentistry and surgery but more than that an energy and communication style all her own. Welcome back Jessica. If you are in the neighborhood and see a Maserati parked at the hospital stop by and say hello to Jessica. She can tell you the story. And even more a surprise is the return of Dr. Jacque Gilmore to service with Pet Partners. Jacque was hired at Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital 2 years ago and after one year she left for Illinois. As luck would have it she contacted us to see if we had any positions open after a year in Illinois and it so happened we had a recent vacancy and need for a new additional doctor in Maryland at the Coolridge Animal Hospital just outside Washington DC. Jacque interviewed and has accepted the position as associate veterinarian with eyes toward a future Medical Directorship with Pet Partners. Jacque was always one of my personal favorites and did such an outstanding job at Naugatuck. We are honored to have her choose to track us down for a position and relocation. She is a perfect fit for Coolridge.

Dr. Candace Erker has joined the team at Lewiston Veterinary Hospital in Lewiston, Maine. Candace began her journey with Pet Partners in early March and has fit in well. Her strengths and likes rest in surgery, dentistry, dermatology and preventative medicine. She has large animal experience and that work ethic speaks for itself. In mid-March Dr. Marcia Chien joined us at Boone Animal Hospital in Western Springs, IL. Marcia has had advanced training in many areas but most interesting is her training in surgery and ultrasound. She is a well rounded practitioner who joins Dr. Shay Redfield and her team helping to make this A Team even stronger. Welcome to both Drs. Erker and Chien.

New managers that are already making a difference are Nicole Borrelli at Naugatuck, CY; Sharon Woodbury at South Willow, NH; and Melissa Mauldin, CVPM at Bay Hill in Orlando. These three as individuals personify the “A” Team that we speak to and is at the forefront of our success. Welcome to all three and I will personally be reaching out to say hello and visit if I have not already done so.

With a lot more news to come we are prepared for the largest growth phase in our history. As a thought for all of you who like penguins I am attaching a web address for each of you to peruse. It is funny but it is serious and it represents the basics of the Pet Partners management style and substance. I will credit the person who presented it to me on my next blog.