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AAHA announces new End-of-Life Care accreditation

LAKEWOOD, Colorado — September 18, 2020 —In an effort to help veterinary practitioners elevate end-of-life care for companion animals, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) will now offer an End-of-Life Care accreditation option for veterinary practices that focus on providing this type of care.

The AAHA Standards of Accreditation have historically included standards for traditional and referral companion-animal veterinary practices and will now include end-of-life care standards for those practices that focus specifically on end-of-life care and desire this specialized accreditation.

A task force led by Kathleen Cooney, DVM, MS, CHPV, CCFP, founder of Home to Heaven and director of education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy, as well as AAHA’s Member Experience team, and subject matter experts, established the standards for AAHA’s End-of-Life Care accreditation. Many of the standards developed by the task force are based on the 2016 AAHA/IAAHPC End-of-Life Care Guidelines. Cooney contributed to those guidelines as well.

"Today’s pet owners view their pets as family members,” said AAHA Deputy Chief Executive Officer Janice L. Trumpeter, DVM. “A poor euthanasia experience can irreparably damage the bond that a pet owner shares with their veterinary practice and the entire healthcare team. End-of-Life Care accreditation will help veterinary teams provide appropriate supportive and emotional care during these difficult periods, further enhancing and strengthening the human-animal bond."

Veterinary practices—brick-and-mortar and/or mobile—whose practice is limited to end-of-life care, as well as those practices currently accredited by AAHA that wish to add a brick-and-mortar and/or mobile end-of-life care practice are eligible for End-of-Life Care accreditation. Practices that are not AAHA-accredited and are not standalone end-of-life care practices are not eligible for AAHA’s End-of-Life Care accreditation.

Practices interested in learning more or pursuing AAHA’s End-of-Life Care accreditation can contact [email protected].

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About the American Animal Hospital Association

Since 1933, the American Animal Hospital Association has been the only organization to accredit veterinary hospitals throughout the United States and Canada according to more than 900 standards directly correlated to high-quality medicine and compassionate care. Accreditation in veterinary medicine is voluntary. The AAHA-accredited logo is the best way to know a practice has been evaluated by a third-party. Look for the AAHA logo and learn more at aaha.org.