When it comes to creating a successful hospital brand identity, Michael Hargrove, DVM, MBA, CVA, owner of AAHA-accredited North Shore Veterinary Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, has been there and done that—and is excited to share his experience as a learning facilitator at Veterinary Management Institute (VMI).

Learn more about what he’ll be bringing to the 2018 sessions and how his unique perspective can help you take your own practice to the next level.

What excites you about the VMI program?
When I became a practice owner 13 years ago, the first thing I did was hire a practice manager! I am big believer in the importance of a practice manager to a successful practice. What excites me about VMI is the ability for us to help individuals grow as practice managers in a program that is specific to veterinary medicine and not just management in general.

Why were you interested in facilitating a VMI session?
I am passionate about veterinary practice and anything I can do to contribute to the profession makes me happy! I wear a number of hats (veterinary management consultant, practice owner, and practicing veterinarian), so I believe that I can offer a unique perspective to VMI attendees. I like to share real-life experiences and examples, rather than just present conceptual information. Also, I was born in Ft. Collins, I'm a three-time graduate of CSU, and my practice has been AAHA-accredited since 1979, so the combination of supporting AAHA and getting back to see friends and family in CO is a wonderful opportunity!

What information do you plan to present at VMI?
My session at VMI focuses on creating value in veterinary services. We talk about hospital identity and brand and how to differentiate practices from competitors. We touch on core values, standards of care, and the importance of effective and regular communication for hospital teams as the building blocks of success for value creation. There is an opportunity to learn not only from my experiences, but also for attendees to share their own ideas so that we can tap into all of the experience and perspectives of VMI attendees!

What skills and information do you hope attendees will take back to their practices?
My goal is to help managers better understand how clients perceive their practice and how the manner and consistency in which they deliver client and patient care makes a huge impact on the "brand identity" of the hospital. I want managers to leave my session with ideas on how to differentiate their practice from others in the community and develop loyal clients.

If VMI attendees could implement one change or improvement at their practice after attending your session, what would you envision that to be?
I'm sure everyone will take something different from the session, but I think my primary goal would be to encourage managers to develop a "values-based" culture in their practice that will lead to happier team members and clients.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
This will be my fourth year of involvement with VMI. I never cease to be amazed at the quality of the attendees and I would encourage any current or budding veterinary managers to attend VMI. There is so much that you will learn—not only from the learning facilitators, but from other attendees as well. They have a wealth of knowledge and you will develop a network of friends and colleagues that will be an invaluable resource during your veterinary management career!

Learn more about the program and enroll at, or call AAHA at 800-252-2242. Save $500 when you register by January 8.

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