Into the New Year...
As we surge into the New Year, I want to reflect on the Annual Leadership Conference in Baltimore that was attended by over 90 people this year. The enthusiasm and ongoing passion for the medicine discussed at this meeting is carrying into 2013. With just 5 weeks behind us in this year, we see a lot of interacting among our 36 practices and with the aligned dental program just getting rolled out, we are aiming at increasing the number of visits and stemming the tide of the industry norm of declining visits to primary care veterinary hospitals.
The thrust of the meeting was based on major strategy sessions at the executive level and ongoing meetings with Medical Directors and Associates from throughout the Pet Partners family. To add to the medical aspects of Pet Partners, a new and enthusiastic Medical Advisory Board was formed on January 1st and they just completed their first all-day meeting at CARES in Langhorne, PA. The CARES team, under the guidance of Dr. Jon Rappaport and Donna Steckley, rolled out the red carpet for the visiting doctors and created an environment of increasing enthusiasm for the medicine that Pet Partners supports.
The foundation for our Leadership Meeting was creating a Wow! experience throughout the hospital, but especially at the front desk. Having this as the centerpiece of our discussions, it was readily understood that the client of 2013 is different and has more information and more demands of us than ever. With training and proper measurements, we will be able to monitor client responses to our teams and train to improving those interactions and relationships at every hospital. In support of this top class experience for the client, we are making sure that we are segmenting our communications and inviting our clients back using all the technology available. Face to face smiles and greeting clients and pets by name is always a crowd pleaser and builds trust.
In further support of the Wow! are pricing strategies that begin to take the sticker shock out of our practice visits. We are well directed at this agenda with all the measurements we need to make great changes in this area. Additionally, we are concentrating our efforts on medical consistencies within practices and helping all doctors with standards of care as the guidelines for their medical performance. This has been driven by our doctors and has been well received by all.
Thirty five practices that included all Medical Directors and Practice Managers met in Baltimore to collectively align the management teams of each practice and offer support in the areas described above. The highlight of the meeting was the formal dinner on Wednesday night and the awards ceremony that recognized the winners in four different categories:
Pet Partners DVM of the Year 2012 - Dr. Chuck Carmichael (Woodstock Veterinary Clinic)
Pet Partners Practice Manager of the Year 2012 - Kimberly White (Cypress Creek Animal Hospital & Bayonet Point Animal Clinic)
Pet Partners Hospital of the Year 2012 - Boone Animal Hospital (Brenda Smaller, Practice Manager & Dr. Shay Redfield, Medical Director)
Pet Partners Rookie Veterinarian of the Year 2012 - Dr. Kelly Bowman (South Willow Animal Hospital)
I also wanted to be sure that I made a formal introduction to our last practice purchase in 2012. We all welcome Beavercreek Animal Hospital outside Dayton, OH. Dr. Jerry Wolf is our latest addition as the Medical Director with us and Jodi Keighley has taken the reigns as Practice Manager. This beautiful practice in the Dayton suburbs was a fitting addition to our family at the 11th hour of 2012. Welcome to you both and your entire team. I also would like to offer a warm welcome to two very special veterinarians who have joined our team at Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Emily Salvatore, a recent Cornell grad, joined the team in December and has come into this practice with rave reviews. Dr. Kathy Clark, a seasoned veteran of veterinary practice and a wonderful team leader and diagnostician also joined the superb team at Naugatuck. I am personally blessed to have this wonderful team close to my home to take care of my feline, Virgil, and our two Goldens, Sara and Abby.
In the continued interest of cases that catch your eye, I am attaching the radiographs from Dr. Steve Leshem from the Veterinary Specialists of CT. Dr. Leshem is a boarded surgeon with an intense case load. Below are some radiographs from one of his latest orthopedic successes. Comminuted femur Pre-Op; Post-Op; Femoral Bone Transplant Lateral. Enjoy!
So we head off into the year with passion and hopes for an early spring here in the Northeast, rain in the plains and Texas and good health for everyone.
Ted A Sprinkle. Jr. DVM
Chief Executive Officer