PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Fall 2021 - 8

Team Talk
By Katie Semuta, CVT
Manager, Business
and Development
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that
our personal wellbeing is of the utmost
importance for us to be happy and
healthy. We have learned what it is like
to do everything from home all the
time: work, play, eat, and teach our
children. Some still had to maintain their
daily routines outside of the home and
work in less-than-ideal conditions. We
had to take drastic measures to ensure
the safety of ourselves, employees,
and clients. We saw what it was like to
have our world flipped upside down in
a matter of days. People have learned
the importance of making time for
themselves and creating a healthy worklife
balance. From my experience in the
veterinary field, this is something that
is very difficult for our profession to
balance. Professionals in the veterinary
world had to focus on that balance
more than ever during the COVID-19
pandemic. We were forced into
reorganizing our lives with no control
over the rules, and it made us realize
how important family and friends are to
have balance in our lives.
Now that we are coming out of COVID,
and hopefully staying out, it is important
to focus on the human aspect of animal
care, making sure that veterinary
professionals can keep a positive
mindset while working face to face with
clients again. We may have become
used to curbside veterinary care where
we had minimal in-person interaction
with owners. However, this did not
allow us to provide the level of care
that clients and their pets deserve. It is
time to regain and renew relationships
with our clients and remember they
are just as important to your practice as
8 | Keystone Veterinarian
the patients you are treating. It is time
to come together as a profession and
refocus our attention on being the best
we can be in our profession for both
clients and patients. One way to do this
is to support PVMA's charitable arm,
Animal Care PA (ACPA).
ACPA is focused on helping animals in
need by providing food and medical
care grants, along with awarding
scholarships to veterinary students and
veterinary technology students. The
pandemic put a tremendous strain
on our programs because now, more
than ever, people are seeking financial
assistance to provide medical care and
food for their pets and paying for everincreasing
college tuition costs. Our
three programs are The Last Chance
program, Henry's Helping Paws program,
and the Scholarship program. While
these programs have been operating for
several years, there was a need to make
some changes to improve the programs,
in particular The Last Chance program
(TLC).
ACPA's TLC program has been helping
pets and owners since 2009 by
providing medical care grants to
participating practices for clients who
are facing financial hardships when their
pet needs lifesaving veterinary care.
Much like everything else, COVID-19 has
greatly impacted the program's funding.
We have seen significantly greater
needs for financial assistance; however,
we have seen a drastic decrease in
the donations that fund our program.
Consequently, we implemented
stricter eligibility requirements for our
participating practices. Our TLC program
is available to veterinary practices that
are staffed by all active PVMA Members.
Being staffed with all PVMA Members
comes with added benefits including, but
not limited to, discounted continuing
education, HR support through FocusHRO,
and opportunities to get involved in
various committees.
The TLC program supports veterinarians'
treatment of patients who might
otherwise be euthanized, which, in
turn, helps with the wellbeing of
the veterinarian and support staff.
Participating practices simply apply for
the TLC grant on behalf of the client. The
grant application is then reviewed by the
committee. After an award amount is
determined, a check will be mailed to the
practice. The goal of the program is to
offset the cost of lifesaving treatment for
a client who is facing financial hardships
that prevent them from paying for
treatment on their own. You can think
of it as " doing your part " for a charitable
program to help those in need. All we ask
in return is that you help raise awareness
of the program with your peers and the
public.
Many animals may not have received
the proper veterinary care during 2020
due to the financial hardships created
by the pandemic, but we now have
an opportunity to help those owners
and animals by contributing to ACPA's
charitable programs. This could be as
simple as donating to ACPA, attending
our fundraising events, signing up to
participate in the TLC program, joining
the ACPA Board of Trustees, and/or
encouraging a peer or associate to sign
up for PVMA Membership. The veterinary
industry is booming right now and 2021
has given us the opportunity to refine
our programs, in addition to offering
opportunities for veterinary professionals
to become more involved in PVMA and
ACPA to benefit themselves and animals
throughout Pennsylvania.
In addition to our TLC program, ACPA
has the Henry's Helping Paws (HHP)
program, which focuses on helping
Senior Citizens provide food and wellness
care for their pets. Currently, the HHP
program is only operating in Chester
County, but the need is there to expand
throughout Pennsylvania. Without proper
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PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Fall 2021

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