Pulse - September 2021 - 20

VETERINARY PRACTICE
MANAGERS FIND 'THEIR
PEOPLE' AT VHMA MEETINGS
The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association has been around for
40 years and its mission has always been to support its members. But
recently it has taken on a wider role.
" In 2018, we launched a critical issues
initiative around strategic pricing. We saw
it as an industry issue and something that
needed to be addressed, " Executive Director
Christine Shupe said. " That was the
first time we had tried to take on something
that big. It showed that practice
managers can have an impact. "
The initiative was launched at a summit
event in August, 2018, that was followed
by a white paper and since then " a number
of resources to help owners and managers
employ better pricing strategies. "
She also said that VHMA has collaborated
with the AVMA on some issues. " We regularly
connect with them to see where we can
mutually support each other. The AVMA is
supportive of practice managers and agrees
that they are critical team members. We're
excited that they are so supportive and value
the role practice managers have. "
But, Christine said, her association's end
game is to support our members. If they
are better off than they were before, that's
great. There's an awful lot of work to do
to continue to support our managers and
elevate their role. "
She provided this insight into how well
VHMA is doing. " When first timers come
to our conferences, I hear this every year:
'Oh my gosh, I've found my people. I've
found my group. This is where I belong.'
That's really rewarding because you've
given them some resources that are going
to a make a difference in their careers. "
Christine came to VHMA 23 years ago
after doing political work in New York
and working in nonprofit associations.
" We had 700 members when I started.
Now we're at 4,000 and more than 730
are certified practice managers. Anyone
20
who's involved in practice managing can
be a member of the association.
" Our operations were very different in
the late 1990s. Most of our communication
was by mail. We launched our first
website after I arrived. We had only limited
resources. We still have some of the
same priorities: creating a community of
peers network and providing them with
resources so they can be efficient in their
jobs. But we did it differently back then
because we didn't have the technology we
do now.
" We had a certification program when
I started and it has continued to grow
with our membership. We continue to
promote the role of the practice manager
through certification and standardization,
to provide networking opportunities for
peers to communicate with each other
and learn best practices from each other
and then to provide education for managers.
None of that has changed over the
years. But how we do it and at the level
we do has changed dramatically. "
She said that VHMA is now better
known than it was. " But it's not just about
the association, it's about the members.
Our role is to bring attention to the role
managers play and to say, 'Hey, they're critical
members of the practice team. If you
don't manage the business well, you can't
deliver good health care.' Every practice
needs someone who pays attention to the
business part of the practice so the doctors
and technicians can deliver quality care.
And it's a customer service-focused business
so taking care of clients, efficiency and
best business practices are important. "
Christine noted that as practices have
grown in size and complexity, there is
greater need for competent managers who
can take care of them. On the other hand,
she said, in some small practices, " it is the
owner who is doing everything - the
medicine and managing the practice on
top of that. " Forty years ago when VHMA
started, she said, it was unusual for someone
other than a DVM to manage a practice.
" Usually, it was the practice owners
and also their spouses. "
In today's environment in the veterinary
profession - with rapid consolidation both
of practices and vendors - managers have
a critical role to play and will continue to
be important team members in the future,
she said.
" We're always going to be here to support
our members and their development.
But I also see - and our board sees - that we
need to elevate the association to bring more
attention to our members and what they do.
That's been our focus for the last few years. "
She said that VHMA plans another critical
initiative later this year that will highlight
the role managers play and how they
can help solve industry issues and improve
the industry - not only in health care
but in how practice management can be
done to improve the well-being of all staff
members and how they enjoy their work.
" There's a lot they can do and the association
can highlight the work they do, "
Christine said.
SEPTEMBER 2021
PULSE

Pulse - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - September 2021

Pulse - September 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
Pulsepoints
SCVMA Profile
How Veterinary Managers’ Jobs Differ
Practical Pathology
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
AVMA Diplomates
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Resources
Disease Table
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - September 2021 - Pulse - September 2021
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - September 2021 - 1
Pulse - September 2021 - 2
Pulse - September 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - September 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - September 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - September 2021 - 6
Pulse - September 2021 - 7
Pulse - September 2021 - 8
Pulse - September 2021 - 9
Pulse - September 2021 - 10
Pulse - September 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - September 2021 - How Veterinary Managers’ Jobs Differ
Pulse - September 2021 - 13
Pulse - September 2021 - 14
Pulse - September 2021 - 15
Pulse - September 2021 - 16
Pulse - September 2021 - 17
Pulse - September 2021 - 18
Pulse - September 2021 - 19
Pulse - September 2021 - 20
Pulse - September 2021 - 21
Pulse - September 2021 - 22
Pulse - September 2021 - 23
Pulse - September 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - September 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - September 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - September 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - September 2021 - 28
Pulse - September 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - September 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - September 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - September 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - September 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - September 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - September 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - September 2021 - 36
Pulse - September 2021 - 37
Pulse - September 2021 - 38
Pulse - September 2021 - Resources
Pulse - September 2021 - 40
Pulse - September 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - September 2021 - 42
Pulse - September 2021 - 43
Pulse - September 2021 - 44
Pulse - September 2021 - 45
Pulse - September 2021 - 46
Pulse - September 2021 - 47
Pulse - September 2021 - 48
Pulse - September 2021 - 49
Pulse - September 2021 - 50
Pulse - September 2021 - 51
Pulse - September 2021 - 52
Pulse - September 2021 - 53
Pulse - September 2021 - 54
Pulse - September 2021 - 55
Pulse - September 2021 - 56
Pulse - September 2021 - 57
Pulse - September 2021 - 58
Pulse - September 2021 - 59
Pulse - September 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - September 2021 - Cover4
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