Blogs

Recognizing Your Hard Work

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Graduation season is upon us. I am sure that most of us have or are planning to attend some type of graduation or award ceremony this year. I know that I feel so much respect and admiration for those being recognized for their hard work. As manager’s our efforts often go unnoticed and our teams are generally unaware of the crisis averted due to our work behind the scenes. For us, the satisfaction from a job well done is enough. Well, it doesn’t have to be! We are currently accepting applications for the dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year (PMOY). This incredibly prestigious award is in its fifth year as one of the industry’s few opportunities to highlight ...
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Our time is the most valuable commodity we have. Freely giving of that time for a greater purpose without expectation of something in return is the most precious gift we can offer. For those who give this gift so willingly to our Association: Thank You! The VHMA was built on the shoulders of people just like you, selfless professionals who saw something greater in our potential. While we have so many opportunities for members to contribute and volunteer, serving on the VHMA Board of Directors requires the most time and effort. While this may seem intimidating at first, I assure you the rewards far outweigh the costs. To those members who raised their hands ...
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Spotlighting Our Members

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2019 is the Year of the Member and VHMA is shining the spotlight on our colleagues and asking them to share both their professional and personal stories. The profiles highlight the depth of experience and expertise our members bring to the association and provide insights into what makes each of them unique. The VHMA supports its members in many ways, one of which is to foster relationships. These profiles may help to expand connections and build rapport with other management professionals. This month I am submitting my member profile in lieu of a president’s letter in the hope that you will get to know another side of me. I invite you to read the profile ...
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As our practice teams help to drive brand value and recognition in our hospitals every day, they also play an active role in the client relationship. Nevertheless, consumers make choices and decisions that may make or break their relationship with your business on far more than the services and products offered. Driven by increasing public demand for transparency coupled with widespread instant access to information has provided a fertile ground for the growth of social movements with a potentially significant impact on businesses. Consider speaking with your employees about these potential circumstances, revisit your organization's code of conduct (dependent ...
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Team Building Activity

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Team Building Activity     As a manager I am constantly looking for team building activities that our staff will have an impact.  Over the last couple of years we had done some enjoyable staff events but none that really helped them work together as a team in a competitive environment, and my staff thrives on competition.  This idea evolved from the idea of doing a scavenger hunt.  We just wanted something a little more challenging and we have several staff members who follow the show The Amazing Race.  Warning:  Planning this does takes a lot of time and I did a majority of the work at home since it was a surprise.                We told the staff ...
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Greetings VHMA, According to the groundhog, we are due for an early spring this year. I know for many of you it couldn’t be more welcome. We are already enjoying spring like temperatures here in Florida and I don’t envy those dealing with the polar vortex and insanely cold temperatures. While we were enjoying our warm weather here in the Sunshine State, we experienced an unenviable situation at our practice. It was about 10 p.m. when a young woman and her mother came in to our 24-hour emergency service. They were quite upset as their pet had been vomiting for some time. Unfortunately, our team was attending to two other critical patients and there was ...
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Contracting JA Greene to build our vet clinic was a huge, embarrassing mistake. I'm posting a brief summary of our experience here, in hope that others might avoid similar misfortune. After deficiencies in our drawings were found prior to bidding, Mr. Greene was instructed to complete a thorough plan review, and bid work to complete the project, with any deficiencies in the drawings corrected. He had numerous examples of similar projects, and presented himself well as an expect in the design and construction of facilities like ours, and so was trusted to review and modify our drawings. Now, eighteen months after starting construction 8/2017, on ...
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January 2019 has been, in a word, unsettling! Economic, political and global developments are challenging the status quo and raising questions about the future. How will these events influence the next 11 months? I wish I had a great response to that question, but I am neither an economist nor clairvoyant, so I will refrain from making predictions. As president of the VHMA, an association recognized as a resource for the entire veterinary sector and a trusted source for industry insights, research, and advocacy, I can assure you that our organization will continue to track and monitor trends and emerging issues to offer members the education, tools, and insights ...
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As we wrap up this holiday season, I had the opportunity to reflect on some of the great gifts I’ve received. Lots of good stuff gifted by thoughtful friends and family which I truly appreciate. I realize however, that gifts are tokens of friendship, fondness and appreciation, but they are rarely transformative. I realized instead that actions and words are transformative and enduring. Recently dvm360 and VHMA announced the Practice Manager of the Year (PMOY) . Before making a decision, we pored over many applications, identified 10 finalists and ultimately named Angelina Morgan, CVPM, the PMOY. The application narratives highlighted practice challenges ...
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It was great to see so many of you in Baltimore in October for the 2018 VHMA Annual Meeting and Conference. The two and a half days flew by! To those that attended the conference, please know that I appreciate your involvement and the effort required to leave your practices, clients, patients and families for several days to take part in this event. I feel privileged to lead this unique association of professionals who are committed to staying on top of changes and advances in the industry and using this knowledge to benefit patients, clients and practices. It’s the way we live The VHMA Life. It is how we remain motivated, connected and inspired. At the ...
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Successful employees enjoy coming to work and are happy to work at their jobs. Happy employees not only motivate the team, they also contribute to creating a positive work culture where employees thrive. In reality, even under the best conditions, not all employees are on the same page in terms of motivation and their commitment to adhering to rules, standards and more. To address these differences, leaders must understand that they play a role in building, contributing to and maintaining the culture and integrity of the team. As leaders, managers, supervisors, and team members, we set examples for others to follow. Sometimes these actions are effective and ...
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Year in Review

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As VHMA closes out its fiscal year and takes inventory of its accomplishments, innovations and challenges, I would like to acknowledge our members, the Board, staff and Business Alliance Partners because all of you have contributed to VHMA’s growth and development. Through your input and support, VHMA has successfully identified and provided the tools and resources that are essential for managers who are eager to lead their practices and the industry. Moreover, you have been instrumental in helping VHMA develop best management practices that are the foundation of thriving practices. What accounts for VHMA success? I maintain that it is tied to the ...
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Truth can be stranger than fiction. Several years ago, a New Yorker sued the City for two undecillion dollars ---more money than actually exists on the planet—after he was nipped by a dog on a city bus. Yes, it was more than just the bite that upset him. His photo was taken without his permission during treatment. Waiting for the punchline? There is none, but the anecdote reveals that litigation is not always anticipated, warranted or rational. Sometimes a seemingly innocuous event can snowball into the unimaginable. According to Basha Rubin, Forbes Contributing Editor, statistics show that between  36%-53% of small businesses are involved in at least one ...
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Playing Nice Online

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​ We’ve all been there... There’s a problem with a supplier or vendor. You’re incensed, irate, fuming…face it, you’re mad! You know that with a few keystrokes you can plunk your gripe into a public forum and---select all that apply---alert colleagues/discredit the vendor/ assuage your anger. Hold on! It’s time to start counting… remember the childhood admonition of 'counting to 10' before taking action? Venting a personal grievance in a member forum can sabotage relationships, sully reputations (yours included) and interfere with member use of the site. Is this the behavior you would display in a meeting? Imagine this scenario…you’re attending ...
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I recently participated in a first-of-of its-kind, comprehensive pricing workshop organized by the VHMA. The 2018 VHMA Critical Issues Summit on Pricing explored the potential of adopting Value-Based Pricing in the veterinary industry. Marketing expert Uptal Dholakia, Ph.D., introduced participants to Value-Based Pricing, a framework that merges academic research, proven best practices and concepts from marketing and psychology to create a solid foundation for formulating realistic and compelling pricing decisions. VHMA invited industry leaders, consultants and managers to collaborate and brainstorm for two days in a setting that featured expert presentations, ...
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Got Conflict?

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It’s July and that means BBQs, hot summer days, cold drinks with friends, maybe a good book under a shady tree or enjoying the sea, sand and surf. It’s the Dog Days of Summer, yet I’m thinking about October! I recently spent some time delving into VHMA’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Conference program--a forward-thinking agenda that addresses emerging issues and topics in veterinary management. The conference is scheduled for October 17-19 in Baltimore, MD. Scrolling through the program, I honed in on the title, “Got conflict?” Absolutely…I manage people and teams in the workplace! As we are well aware, managers wear many hats, among them is keeping individuals ...
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Driving Strategic Directions

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I want to share a special ‘thank you’ to the VHMA Board of Directors, VHMA staff and to each of our members. Each June, the VHMA BOD and staff gather to review and update the association's strategic plan. This year we spent three days in Indianapolis, IN where we took an in depth look at the progress on our strategies over the past year, assessed changes to our environment and set out to prioritize the work for the coming year. This effort is one of the primary responsibilities of the Board and the role of the staff to implement. Every participant was engaged and enthusiastic about the progress and future of our association. It is this level of energy and drive ...
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While many of us enjoyed this Memorial Day outdoors with friends and family, relaxing or spending time at a neighborhood cookout; I hope that each of us took a moment to reflect and show our gratitude to the heroic men and women who sacrificed so much so to ensure that we can enjoy these freedoms. Thank you to all our members and their families who have served our great nation. Memorial Day is also widely acknowledged as the unofficial start of summer---although summer does not officially arrive until June 21. Mention summer and we often think of vacation, BBQ, long days and enjoying cool drinks. I’m sure that if I asked a group of you to tick off the images ...
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Staff Wellness

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Did you know that Veterinary staff experiences death FIVE times more often than any other medical profession. THAT IS HUGE! It is estimated that 3% of client contact in an average veterinary clinic involves euthanasia or death. Our society as a whole, does not talk about death, we are death denying, and even as veterinary professionals, we are not always comfortable talking about it. There are feelings of guilt over a treatment that didn't work out, clients that couldn't pay the bill ... there are always stressors. Do you know the many symptoms of stress?  Nausea, heartburn, backache, insomnia, chest pain, asthma, headaches, dry mouth are just a few, there ...
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Let's Go Swimming

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I have previously introduced you to my border collie, Dash Nash and his sister Daphne. True to their nature, they love being outside and active. This is great, of course, except when it gets really hot here in Florida. They rarely stop moving and we worry about them overheating. We have to watch them closely and make sure they go inside, cool down and drink lots of water. If only we could get them to swim in the pool and cool off, they could enjoy being outside longer. After much effort and little success, we reached out to a friend, accomplished agility competitor and fellow VHMAer, Susan. She encouraged us to keep at it and invited us to spend some time ...
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