Pet Partners prepares for the New Year with some excitement and with some sadness. We have together weathered a major hurricane that hit some of our practices very hard and hit my home town in Fairfield, CT with a vengeance. In fact weeks later, there are still homes without power in my town but in all, the effect was short lived and we are all back to some semblance of normal at all our veterinary locations. The practices affected found ways to keep services for the pets in need open and operational even without power. We all pay tribute to that effort and that concern. It was greatly noticed and appreciated. It speaks to leadership at all those locations.
It was very sad news on Thanksgiving afternoon when Julie Stewart, an employee of ours at Southern Tier Veterinary Associates in Vestal, NY lost her home and her pets to a house fire. She, her mother, father and handicapped brother escaped unharmed. They are currently being housed by the Red Cross and all of us at Pet Partners are committed to helping the family get back on their feet. They lost everything. If you would like to help with any kind of contribution of money, clothes, household goods, etc. please contact Rich Michaud at Pet Partners via email@example.com or Janae Haley, the Regional Manager for STVA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Either can help facilitate the effort underway to help the Stewart family.
There have been many new additions to Pet Partners since I last wrote to you all and a lot has been happening. We do not speak enough in regard to CARES. CARES is our Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Langhorne, PA. This 24/7 facility provides top line, exemplary care and critical care under the medical leadership of Dr. Jon Rappaport and the management leadership of Donna Steckley. This rapidly expanding medical center has multiple specialists in surgery, internal medicine, oncology and single specialists in cardiology, dermatology, radiology, neurology, ophthalmology, and just added anesthesiology and critical care. CARES will also be the seat of telemedicine where we will shortly have the capabilities of providing uniform radiograph reads for all the Pet Partners hospitals in an inexpensive and timely manner. This will raise our diagnostic capabilities in a very positive way and add a true dimension to our standards of care.
CARES is now the only private practice in the greater Philadelphia area with a board certified anesthesiologist! Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Caniglia on achieving this great honor! Dr. Caniglia leads the anesthesia team at CARES and she is also available as a resource to local veterinarians and to the entire Pet Partners teams of doctors. Learn more about Dr. Caniglia here! http://www.vetcares.com/about/bios/caniglia_a.html Starting this week, CARES is also proud to announce the addition of Dr. Suzanne Dempsey. Dr. Dempsey is taking charge of and creating the critical care aspect of this fine hospital and also further developing the standards for emergency medicine. The emergency team at CARES is a motivated and solid group with high standards and outstanding medical outcomes. Suzanne will have a great team to work with. Welcome, Suzanne!
Another great addition to the Pet Partners team is Dr. Nicholas Nelson who joins Dr. Tom Butera on the Medical Officer team. Nick is boarded in veterinary practice and has completed his MBA. He will be working on the strategy and execution of a team effort to support the great medicine that is occurring at all our locations. Nick comes with great experience in the application of solid primary care and has had strong experience at the secondary care level having overseen the growth and development of a large specialty hospital on the West Coast. Dr. Nelson has hit the ground running and has already had outstanding reviews from the doctors he has worked with. His follow-up and continued mentoring will lighten the load Tom has been carrying over the past two years as we have grown. Hats off to Nick and his new home at Pet Partners!!
I need to go back to the end of October and salute the accomplishments of a strong group of managers that were trained and certified by our Regional training team. The picture below tells it best. Congrats to all involved and I know the experience was a good one and also provided great guidance in their pursuit of management excellence. Casey Green (Greenbelt), Shauna Corsaro (Regional Manager), Janae Haley (Regional Manager), Debbie Heaven (North Ridge), Claire Lane (Andover), Jenny Smith (High Peaks), Bobbie Cericola (Brentwood), Kathy Miller (Care Animal Clinic), Linda Bramhall (Adams) and Sandy Borcheller (Williamsburg).
As one can see, Casey Green from Texas is still smiling after 3 intense days of training in weather colder than his norm and with nine women in the room. Great job Casey!!
Last time, I introduced you to Dr. Lewis Berman and his Park East Animal Hospital who joined us October 1st of this year. Since this fine hospital joined us we have had four new additions. Adirondack Animal Hospital in Glens Falls, New York joined us on October 15th and all is well there under the medical leadership of Dr. James Glendening, a classmate and colleague of mine from Cornell, and the management leadership of a very qualified Lisa Glendening. Located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, this hospital is now the closest location to our offices in Wilton, NY. Again, welcome, to Jim and Lisa. On October 22nd we added a new emergency center in Odessa, Texas. Permian Basin Emergency Veterinary Clinic provides emergency care nights and weekends for the primary care practices of Odessa, and Midland, Texas. This area is well known for its high school football and also oil and gas exploration. Under the guidance of Corey Green, this practice is off to a good start and a plan is already underway to build a new facility in a better location and step up the relationships with the pet owners of the area and the referring veterinarians.
Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut joined the Pet Partners family on November 19th this year. Dr. Jeff Berzon and his partners Dr. Kenneth Knaack and Dr. Gus Gustafson have joined the family and they bring a new specialty service to us along with a primary care facility. This rare combination has existed for over 30 years and in fact, this practice dates back into the 1800s and is likely one of the oldest ongoing veterinary facilities in the northeast. Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut has strong surgical and medical referral practices and are successfully complemented by a strong primary care hospital in the adjacent building. Located in the upscale community of West Hartford, CT and ably managed by Susan Walsh, we are thrilled to have Jeff, Ken and Gus as part of our team. Welcome to you all!
On the same day in Audubon, NJ just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia we brought a very nice primary care hospital into the family. Audubon Veterinary Associates is a long standing community practice with a great leader in Dr. Pat Picone. Pat has a wonderful reputation as a veterinarian, and as a person, so we are excited about his partnership with Pet Partners. Joining Pat is Diane Parkerson who takes charge of the management duties at Audubon. Welcome Pat and Diane!
With the addition of these new and exciting practices and people we have also had the pleasure of brining a fine group of new people into the family. Pet Partners is well aware that excellence in the delivery of top class medicine and client outreach and communications is based on the right PEOPLE. I dislike using a list but the family is growing at such a pace I need a list to be sure we do not forget anyone. As you will note, many of the people listed are veterans of Pet Partners taking on new roles at new locations or at their former location. Congratulations to the entire listed team and the two new doctors at CARES for making their choice Pet Partners affiliated hospitals. The list is:
New Practice Managers and/or Medical Directors • Sandy Borcheller – New Practice Manager at the Animal Clinic and Wellness Center • Kimberly White – now the Practice Manager for both Cypress Creek and Bayonet Point • Stephanie Emmert – now the Practice Mamager for both Coolridge Animal Hospital and Telegraph Road Animal Hospital • Patti Bass – new Practice Manager at Spooner • Jennifer Daily – New Practice Manager at ABE • Dr. Kelly Bowman – South Willow Animal Hospital (currently serving as Practice Manager and Medical Director) • Dr. Katy Korpan – new doctor at Albemarle Veterinary Health Care Center • Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Moreno – formerly at Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital, new Doctor at High Peaks Ray Brook • Dr. Katherine Makowski – New doctor at High Peaks • Dr. Angela (Ella) Parker – New Doctor at Spooner Veterinary Clinic • Dr. Matt Peuser – moved into role of Medical Director at Olathe • Dr. Stephanie Brand – new Medical Director at Smoky Hill • Dr. Allison Spansky – New doctor at North Ridge • Dr. Rebecca Owens – Medical Director at Telegraph Road • Dr. Kelly Sheasley – New doctor at ABE
So on we go to an exciting end of the year and the beginning of a new one. The January Meeting in Baltimore this year will be different and directed at an agenda of bringing our clients back into the hospitals to provide them with the best medicine possible that will extend the life of that pet in good health. In the end, this is what the client wants and what they really value. In 2013, and in the years to come, we will work together to provide a WOW! experience for our clients. We will want them to leave and be excited about their experience so they tell others. We will drive deeper into the electronic media to facilitate this word of mouth and we will make exemplary customer contact at every step of the client experience the norm instead of the hope. The practice leaders who attend will bring the message back to each of you in the practice and I, personally, will be delivering this message and helping to provide the training and the tools to execute on a plan that will create the WOW! factor for our clients.
In addition, we will support this WOW! experience training and measurements with new approaches to smart reminders for our clients of what their pets need. In a survey of a number of clients in the Midwest, we found that most of our clients did not know they were due for services even though they had received our traditional reminders. With that known, we will embark on a plan to remind more often and in different ways and place the follow-through on the teams at the practice. The pets benefit from wellness as we know it and definitely live longer. In addition, our business grows. When our business benefits our employees benefit. It is a true win/win for all involved!
Along with smart reminding, we will work hard on pricing strategies and medical consistencies. Compliance with our clients begins and ends in their belief that they are receiving value. We are making every effort to decrease the costs of certain products like flea and tick to our clients all the while maintaining our business model. Medical consistencies at every practice means an alignment of the standards of care and their measurements to be sure we are living up to the standards that we have all set together. You will be hearing more about this in the days to come and I assure you, all of this is to your benefit.
I am hoping that all of you are doing well and are prepared for the Holiday Season before us. From all of us at Pet Partners and our growing family I wish you and yours the happiest for the season.