Not all practices are created equal—each one is comprised of a unique combination of values, skills, personalities, and achievements. For more than 3,600 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, one of the greatest of those achievements is AAHA accreditation.

At AAHA, we like to say our accredited hospitals are “Champions for Excellent Care,” and we urge them to publicize their accreditation using both the tools we’ve developed ( and creative ideas of their own.

Learn how Valley Cottage Animal Hospital in Valley Cottage, N.Y., put their accreditation to work setting them apart in their community for more than 25 years.

Trends: Valley Cottage has been accredited for over 25 years. What originally motivated you to become AAHA-accredited?

Valley Cottage Animal Hospital: Dr. Russell Petro, the founder of Valley Cottage Animal Hospital, knew when he opened his doors that he wanted to provide only the best for his clients and patients. He knew AAHA accreditation would hold his practice to the highest standards and set him apart from the rest!

Trends: How did you celebrate your milestone anniversary?

VCAH: Dr. Jessica Downing attended the AAHA Nashville 2014 conference to accept a plaque recognizing our 25 years of accreditation. We shared the pictures on our Facebook page with the community and we had a special lunch for the team. Dr. Tortorice also wrote an article about what it means to be an AAHA-accredited hospital and it was published in our local Rivertown Magazine.  After publication, we framed the article and now it proudly hangs in the hallway of the hospital for clients to enjoy.

Trends: How do you educate your clients about AAHA accreditation and promote it within your community?

VCAH: We are proud to display the AAHA logo on all materials that are given to clients and prospective clients when we attend community events. At our hospital, new clients also receive an AAHA brochure as part of their welcome packet. Our Facebook page periodically displays AAHA banners and a page on our website is dedicated to sharing what AAHA is and what it means to be accredited. 

Trends: What does AAHA accreditation mean to your staff?

VCAH: It means that we care. We care about our patients and clients enough to set our standards high and to be evaluated periodically to ensure we are exceeding those expectations. We work together as a team to achieve these goals.

Trends: What creative ideas do you use to highlight your accreditation within the hospital?

VCAH: We have wall space behind our reception desk that we use to highlight our accreditation, including the AAHA logo, examples of AAHA standards, and photos of our team following those standards.

Trends: How does AAHA accreditation benefit your practice most?

VCAH: AAHA accreditation sets our hospital apart from the rest. It shows that we are committed to our patients. We are very proud to be one of a very small percentage of veterinary hospitals to achieve accreditation.

Trends: How do you make AAHA accreditation meaningful to prospective clients?

VCAH:AAHA is an important topic when our team explains how we are different. Not only do we provide general and 24/7 emergency care, but we are held to the highest standards of that care by being AAHA accredited. We feel it is important to let potential clients know that we are one of only three animal hospitals in our county to hold that title.

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Red is your guide to everything AAHA. Whether you’re looking for association news, updates on our educational offerings, the latest books from AAHA Press, deals from our Preferred Providers, or fun reads from various AAHA staff and AAHA-member veterinary professionals, this is where you’ll find it.

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