Sessions & Speakers

Thursday, September 15 | Conference Opens

Daniel J. Fletcher, Ph.D., DVM, DACVECC

Daniel J. Fletcher, Ph.D., DVM, DACVECC

Dr. Fletcher has been on the faculty of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine since 2006. After receiving a BS in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California Berkeley/San Francisco, he obtained his DVM from the University of California at Davis. He then completed a rotating internship and emergency and critical care residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He has received multiple teaching awards, including the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award in 2020, and is co-chair of the RECOVER Initiative, which published the first evidence-based veterinary CPR guidelines. He is past President of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. His research interests include approaches to chest compressions in CPR, disorders of fibrinolysis, epilepsy, and the use of immersive simulation in teaching. He has been building simulators for veterinary education since 2009 and is the primary developer of Open VetSim, an open-source veterinary simulation platform. He opened and is the director of the Tetlow and Roy Park Veterinary Innovation Lab, an immersive simulation center at Cornell in the fall of 2015.


RECOVER CPR Workshop: Are your CPR protocols up to date?

  1. Describe the evidence-based approach to chest compressions and ventilation in dogs and cats in cardiopulmonary arrest.
  2. Given an ECG trace, develop an advanced life support treatment plan for a dog or a cat in cardiopulmonary arrest.
  3. Develop a monitoring plan for a dog or cat during CPR to maximize basic life support interventions and identify the return of spontaneous circulation.

When patients experience cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA), seconds count. A well-trained and prepared veterinary health care team can mean the difference between life and death when a patient experiences CPA. Once CPA occurs, high-quality Basic Life Support (BLS), including chest compressions and ventilation, is arguably the most important part of resuscitating the patient. Once chest compressions and ventilation have been started, advanced life support (ALS) interventions can help maximize the chance of achieving the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). This lecture will review the updated RECOVER 2.0 guidelines, including best practices for training all members of the veterinary health care team to participate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) attempts, optimal approaches to monitoring patients at risk of CPA, and the evidence-based approach to providing optimal chest compressions and ventilation in dogs and cats. The ALS algorithm, including drug therapy with vasopressors, parasympatholytic and anti-arrhythmic agents, and the approach to electrical defibrillation will also be discussed. In addition, the use and interpretation of the most valuable types of monitoring equipment during CPR will be explained This session will prepare you and your team to maximize outcomes during CPR using the most up-to-date evidence-based veterinary CPR guidelines.


Acute management of respiratory distress patients

  1. List the 8 primary differential diagnoses for acute respiratory distress.
  2. Develop a prioritized differential list based on respiratory pattern and initial physical exam.
  3. Devise an initial therapeutic plan for a patient in respiratory distress.

Patients presenting in acute respiratory distress represent a stressful part of the emergency clinician’s job. A systematic approach to diagnosis and targeted treatment are critical for stabilizing these challenging patients. This lecture will present an approach to rapid diagnosis of the most likely of the eight primary causes of respiratory distress based on physical exam and historical findings. Acute management strategies for each of these eight primary causes will then be discussed.


Diagnosis and treatment of emergency bleeding disorders

  1. Explain the stages of clot formation using the cell-based model of coagulation.
  2. Based on physical exam and initial diagnostics, differential primary and secondary hemostatic disorders.
  3. Develop an initial treatment plan for a bleeding patient.

Diagnosis and treatment of coagulation disorders and disorders of fibrinolysis can be challenging in the acute setting. This lecture will review the physiology of clot formation and fibrinolysis and the pathologic processes that can lead to acute bleeding. We’ll then review a diagnostic approach to determining the cause of bleeding using physical exam parameters and diagnostic testing. Finally, a review of treatment options for common causes of acute bleeding will be presented.

Cathy Cooney

Kathleen Cooney, DVM, CHPV, CCFP

Dr. Cooney has been practicing advanced end-of-life care since 2006. She is Director of Education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) and Chief Medical Officer of Caring Pathways, Inc., is a past President of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC), and assisted in the development of AAHA’s End-of-Life Accreditation Program. Dr. Cooney is well-known for her work in companion animal euthanasia and has authored two books, numberous articles, and book chapters on the subject. She has collaborated on end-of-life training for the AVMA, AAHA, NAVC, IAAHPC, Fear Free Program, SVME, and many more. As a strong advocate for best practices in all aspects of end-of-life care, Dr. Cooney lends her expertise to conferences worldwide. She is currently working towards board certification in animal welfare and is an Affiliate Faculty member at Colorado State University where she teaches end-of-life topics and welfare.


Session 1: Modern Memorialization Activity Hour — Creating beauty in times of sadness

  1. Realize the variety of products available  
  2. Gain confidence making memorial items with clients
  3. Recognize the importance of creating tribute items
  4. Know where to find products and how best to offer them

Clients treasure a variety of memorial items that honor their beloved pets. Now, you can learn how to help your clients make their own during this fun, activity hour. From paw prints to decorated body transport bags, there’s no limit to what can be created to show love for the human-animal bond. Dr. Kathleen Cooney, Director of Education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA), will offer up the latest memorial items veterinary teams can create with their clients, and what's available for teams to honor their own pets. Come tinker around with what's available while we create together.


Session 2: Emotionally Intelligent Euthanasia

  1. Increase emotional awareness during euthanasia procedures
  2. Protect against internalization of others’ grief
  3. Define emotional intelligence
  4. Find EuHarmony

Familiar with Emotionally Intelligent Euthanasia (EIE)? If not, you need to be. It’s all about keeping your personal emotions in check to preserve your own mental wellbeing — so you can help clients better deal with theirs. It’s important to understand what we’re feeling during euthanasia and what clients are experiencing. This knowledge guides our communication and makes end-of-life work more enjoyable and even fulfilling. During this hour with Dr. Kathleen Cooney, “master of euthanasia zen,” you’ll explore concepts like self-awareness, social skills, and empathy to build lasting EIE. This session is ideal for everyone in veterinary medicine — and especially for those feeling dissatisfied with euthanasia-related work. Not only can you immediately apply what you learn at work, but you’ll appreciate these skills in your personal life, too.


Session 3: End-of-Life Communication Workshop

  1. Learn at least 5 phrases that can be used in any situation
  2. Achieve common ground with clients and their goals
  3. Recognize the difference between sympathy, empathy, and compassion
  4. Describe an animal’s passing using safe and gentle language

Discussing end-of-life care isn’t easy for anyone unless they have the right tools and techniques. During this session, you’ll learn how to say the right thing during emotional times — making everyone feel better while improving trust between client and staff. Whether it’s reception, the medical team, or management, effective communication before, during, and after death becomes effortless with the right training. Join the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) for this critical workshop designed to evolve every member of the vet team into confident and skilled end-of-life communicators.

Karen E. Felsted

Karen E. Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA

Dr. Karen Felsted is a CPA as well as a veterinarian who has spent the last 20 years working as a financial and operational consultant to both veterinary practices and the animal health industry. She is active in multiple veterinary organizations, has written an extensive number of articles for a wide range of veterinary publications, and speaks regularly at national and international conferences. In 2011 and 2017, Dr. Felsted was awarded the Western Veterinary Conference Practice Management Continuing Educator of the Year and in 2014, the VetPartners Distinguished Life Member Award.


Session 1: Measuring and Monitoring Efficiency and Productivity in Your Practice

  1. Learn how to define key metrics important in measuring efficiency and productivity
  2. Identify strategies to improve efficiency and productivity
  3. Determine how to select which areas to focus on in your practice

It’s no surprise that the pandemic took its toll on productivity. And because the hiring market is just as tough as that nasty infection, you need to look deep for solutions. Hiring more people may be an option if you can even find them. Instead, what about doing more with what you have? In this session, you’ll learn how to focus on driving profitability and satisfying clients’ needs. The first step is to define appropriate metrics to use in measuring current efficiency and productivity. And then, you’ll learn how to use these results to identify strategies and create goals for measurable improvement.


Session 2: Inventory Accounting: Getting It Right Is Critical!

  • Identify the crucial basics of inventory accounting
  • Determine if your figures are accurate and what they reveal about inventory costs
  • Specify changes you can make in your inventory system to better control these costs

The bulk of your inventory — drugs, medical supplies, and food — is also the bulk of your expenses. And like everything else in the world these days, the prices are going up, up, up. There’s no better time than now to fine-tune your inventory management skills. Why? Because these skills are exactly what you need to keep costs in line. You might be thinking that your inventory accounting is done just right. Guess again. Or at least question it. In this session, you’ll learn how.

Senani Ratnayake

Senani Ratnayake

Senani has been educating veterinary pros since 2004, receiving multiple awards for her contributions to the profession, including the 2021 Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada’s RVT of the Year and the Founders Award from Dr. Andy Roark’s Uncharted Veterinary Community. She is a thought-provoking storyteller, providing practical tools and applicable solutions for the everyday realities of the veterinary profession.

Senani began her career as an RVT discovering her niche after recognizing that many of her colleagues chose veterinary medicine because they felt more connected to animals than people. She used her experiences and knowledge, combined with her natural way with words, to become a catalyst for change within the industry by founding Motivatum Consulting.

Experience this session to understand why feeling valued builds connection — and how those connections motivate learning, which leads to change and creates measurable results.


“Why Can’t They Just…?” Shifting Perceptions and Tackling Drama

  1. Evaluate our personal situations in order to better visualize capacity and actualize change
  2. Assess professional roles and learn how our biases and expectations set us up for either success or failure
  3. Identify ways to put a new lens on everyday topics promoting personal growth and value of each team member

Do you ever find yourself wondering, “why can’t they just…”? Well, that mindset ignites drama that no one needs. It’s all about not actually seeing or understanding other perspectives on shared situations. And when team members and clients have their own set of circumstances to manage, achieving unity can be a challenge.

Utilizing activities designed to discuss and explore perceptions, we will achieve a better appreciation of their impact, consequences, and how to navigate them. Addressing all facets of the organization, this workshop will help you and your team align with each other, get engaged, and grow.

George E. Moore

George E. Moore, DVM, Ph.D., DACVPM, DACVIM

After graduating from the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. George Moore spent more than two decades in the US Army, much of it in support of the military working dog program. He is currently a Professor at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Indiana. A board-certified internist, his research interests include infectious disease epidemiology, vaccine safety, and evidence-based medicine. Dr. Moore has authored/co-authored more than 150 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.


Session 1: Canine Vaccination Guidelines – Updates and Communication (in a Vaccine-Hesitant World)

  1. Identify changes or updates within the new vaccination guidelines
  2. Explain how changes may modify existing vaccination protocols
  3. Discuss how client beliefs influence what they hear and see regarding vaccines

Updated guidelines may necessitate changes to your practice’s vaccination protocols. What protocol changes should you consider and implement? Perhaps more importantly, what changes in your team’s communication should be considered and included when speaking with pet parents? This session will examine the newly updated AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines and discuss their potential impact on practice protocols and client communications.


Session 2: New Things We’re Learning about Canine Vaccine Safety

  1. Explain variability among vaccines and their components (vaccine factors)
  2. Compare variability in adverse events among patients (patient risk factors)
  3. Identify ways that patient and vaccine factors should affect vaccination protocols

Vaccine safety concerns can be a deterrent to pet parents’ compliance with our vaccine recommendations. Is there any scientific support for their concerns? Recent research findings can help guide vaccination strategies and communication. This session will discuss new research in canine vaccine safety and its potential impact on practice protocols and how you communicate them to your clients.

Debbie Boone

Debbie Boone, BS, CVPM

Debbie Boone, BS, CVPM, has worked in the veterinary profession for more than 35 years. After earning her bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University, her duties as a client care representative quickly transitioned into hospital administration. As a result, Debbie’s experience spans the management spectrum of small-animal, mixed-animal, specialty, and emergency practices.

Debbie is an expert in team communication — from creating positive practice culture and developing workable solutions to improving veterinary practices. Her business, 2 Manage Vets Consulting, helps practices develop extraordinary team communication and business skills, enhancing patient care and improving profitability while increasing practice value. She strives to improve the lives of our beloved pets by using her expertise to improve workplace culture and the wellbeing of veterinary professionals.


Session 1 - Giving Engaging Team Meetings

  1. Learn how to get staff involved in group works
  2. Demonstrate, interactively, the process with attendees using core values words
  3. Teach leaders how to direct group conversations to yield productive and “sticky” results

Team meetings can be either fun, engaging, and productive — or they can be filled with complaining and boredom. You can’t expect that every meeting will be a cheerleading session. Yet, you can learn how all can be beneficial to the success of the practice, the growth of the team, and the care of our patients. Be a member of a mock staff meeting during this session that’ll use core value words based on the mission statement theme, We Are a Wonderful Animal Hospital. The goal is to engage the team using relatable and memorable key elements. Be ready to pipe up and share your thoughts.


Session 2 - You Said WHAT?! Training Your Team How to Say Things the RIGHT Way

  1. Learn the technique behind proper word choices
  2. Understand the best way to train team members how to gracefully set client boundaries without making them angry
  3. Illustrate how words trigger either negative or positive reactions in others

OMG! Some of the things people say to our clients and each other are unbelievable! Yet, the speaker is often clueless about the word choice that set the person they were speaking with "on fire." Language is subtle and nuanced. Choosing the correct word at the right moment takes planning and training. During this session, you’ll learn how to diagnose problems using words and phrases from real-life recorded phone calls. Then, we’ll share their best word choice tips and tricks for touchy situations like telling a client “no.”


Listening With More Than Your Ears — It's All About the Body

  1. Learn active listening skills
  2. Demonstrate the importance of reading the body language for successful communication
  3. Hear real-world situations and how to resolve them by understanding body language cues

At just two days old, babies can read the body language of their moms. When did we lose this intuitive skill? It’s time to recapture it by learning how to interpret physical cues that provide insight into what others are really thinking and even if they’re being truthful. It’s vital to listen intently with focus and watch others with equal focus. During this session, you’ll learn the ins and outs of body language, and even act out certain scenarios in a charades-type game to hone your skills.

Cheyanne Flerx

Cheyanne Flerx

Cheyanne Flerx is a former veterinary assistant, hospital marketing manager, and self-proclaimed "Social Marketing Nerd." She loves to study and learn all things surrounding social media marketing and translates her findings into relevant knowledge for #VetMed.

As the owner and founder of her business, Hey Cheyanne, she dedicates her knowledge and experience to teaching vet teams how to use social media more efficiently and effectively. Cheyanne has worked with clinics, veterinary consultants, and veterinary tech companies worldwide to help them increase their social media presence and apply strategies and systems appropriate for their teams and practices.


Top Marketing Mistakes Your Team is Making with Social Media

  1. Discover your team's strengths and weaknesses in using social media
  2. Learn how you can help your team improve and implement their social media skills more effectively
  3. Understand how to track your team's overall progress and success with social media

Your team is one of your most powerful assets, especially when using social media for your practice. But, do they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to make your social media a marketing powerhouse? In this session, you’ll discover what your team might be lacking and work through an action plan to help you empower them to succeed in their efforts. Bring your cell phone or mobile device for some fun, interactive learning!

Kenichiro Yagi

Kenichiro Yagi, BS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)

During his 20-plus years in the field, Ken has discovered and refined his role as a veterinary technician by promoting compassionate and progressive care for patients and their families. He earned his VTS certification in emergency and critical care as well as small animal internal medicine — and his master's degree in Veterinary Science. He is currently the Chief Veterinary Nursing Officer for Veterinary Emergency Group, and the Program Director for the RECOVER Initiative. Over the years, he has received the Veterinary Technician of the Year award by NAVTA, the Veterinary Technician of the Year award by the California Veterinary Medical Association, the RVT of the Year award by the California RVT Association, and the AVECCTN Specialty Technician of the Year award. Ken co-edited the Veterinary Technician and Nurse’s Daily Reference Guide for Canine and Feline and the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking. Ken publishes articles and presents internationally on topics in ECC, transfusion medicine, and the veterinary nursing profession.


Paying Veterinary Technicians like Nurses: Is it Possible?

  1. Discuss the pros and cons of increasing wages for veterinary technicians/nurses
  2. Describe the potential financial impact of higher wages on a veterinary practice
  3. Identify opportunities to improve the nursing team and practice efficiencies to make higher wages sustainable

The top-cited reason for veterinary technicians and nurses leaving the field today is pay. What if we could remedy that so these vital team members were being paid $23-48/hr (the national average is $17.74/hr) to make staying in the job sustainable? That working multiple jobs or large amounts of overtime to make ends meet was no longer necessary? We'll explore real-life examples of wages being increased using VEG as a case study on how significantly raising wages can impact culture, team, and business finances — and how to sustain it.

Friday, September 16

Ann Sproul

Ann Sproul

Ann joined IDEXX in 2013 as part of the Software and Services education team, providing high-quality continuing education to practices and leading the educational program, speaker recruitment, and training for the annual IDEXX Information Management Conference. She joined the Commercial Learning and Development team in April 2016 as the inside sales trainer and was responsible for the coaching and sales development of new and tenured inside sales professionals. She is a credentialed ATD Master Trainer. In her current role, she leads Product Marketing for VetConnect PLUS translating customer needs into functional enhancements and positioning to both internal and external audiences. Prior to joining IDEXX, she spent 10 years as a veterinary technician and practice manager and still serves monthly as a relief technician.


Find 10 minutes in your pocket: clinical decisions made easier.

  1. Learn how smart devices can support clinical decisions on the go.
  2. Understand how workflow optimization yields more time for care…for you and your patients.
  3. Take advantage of technology to enable consistent and efficient pet owner communications.

Long strings of numbers and reference intervals is so yesterday. Simple tools can add context to results to create a comprehensive view of patient diagnostics. In this session, we’ll discuss how important clinical decisions can be uncovered and expedited using modern technology. Plus, it might just get you out the door a little bit earlier!

Sarah Machell, Bsc., DVM

Sarah Machell, Bsc., DVM

Dr. Machell is a 1997 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College. Following graduation, she established and operated a small animal practice in Oakville, Ontario, from 2000-2018. She has been practicing telemedicine since 2018, joined Vetster as its Medical director in 2020, and in 2021 established Westover Virtual Veterinary Care Services (a CVO accredited facility). Dr. Machell is enthusiastic about the progressive career avenues that virtual care practitioners are able to explore in an profession not generally known for location flexibility. She is equally as passionate about the ability of virtual care to improve access to veterinary medical care for millions of pets and pet parents who lack the ability to connect through traditional channels.


Building your Virtual Practice. Opportunities for existing traditional models and a virtual first experience.

  1. Learning how and when to incorporate your team when leveraging virtual care within your practice.
  2. Understanding best practices for building a successful virtual practice.
  3. Realizing what success looks like as a successful, exclusively virtual practitioner.

If you’re looking to grow your practice by expanding into virtual care, don’t miss this session. We’ll review the key considerations when looking to introduce virtual care into your traditional practice; Who are the critical players within your practice team that are imperative to have “on board”? What are the imperative operational priorities when implementing virtual care into your traditional practice work flows? Virtual first/only practitioners are also increasing in their numbers, is this something for you? Learn more about the exciting emerging opportunities for this role in the veterinary profession and how to see success as a virtual care provider.

Ralph C Harvey

Ralph C Harvey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVAA, UTCVM

Dr. Harvey teaches anesthesia and pain management in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, Tennessee. He previously served as the Section Head for the Small Animal Surgical Services and as a member of the University Faculty Senate. His veterinary degree is from the UTCVM, and his post-graduate training included internship, residency, and fellowship at Cornell’s Veterinary and Medical Colleges.

Having worked in a private small animal practice, Dr. Harvey is certified as a specialist by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia. He has served as its Executive Secretary and as a member of the ACVAA Board of Directors. He currently is a member of the Fear-Free Executive Council."


Hot Off the Press: Review of AAHA 2022 Pain Management Guidelines

  1. Review the evolving philosophy of pain management from a reactive or as needed to a proactive approach.
  2. Discuss the various pain assessment tools available for both acute and chronic pain.
  3. Focus on current treatment options for chronic pain and structure treatment recommendations in a tiered approach based on the evidence.

Earlier this year, AAHA updated its Pain Management guidelines that present a practical and logical approach to the assessment and management of both acute and chronic pain in canine and feline patients. The guidelines provide pain management as a continuum with resources to the entire veterinary team. At this session, you’ll learn how to confidently and accurately create reproducible pain assessment and treatment plans, with guidance on reassessing and adjusting plans as needed.

Joya Griffin

Joya Griffin, DVM, DACVD

An Ohio native, Dr. Griffin graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine where she earned numerous awards, including the Dermatology Service Award for her aptitude in clinical dermatology and her research on Malassezia otitis externa. It was at Cornell where she first learned the amazing transformation a dermatologist could make in the health and quality of patients’ lives. She completed an internship at VCA Berwyn and Aurora Animal Hospitals in Chicago where she was awarded the Intern Abstract Award for her presentation on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Dr. Joya is a Diplomate of the College of Veterinary Dermatology with a special interest in fungal and immune-mediated skin diseases as well as feline and equine dermatology. She is the star of National Geographic’s WILD television series, “Pop Goes the Vet with Dr. Joya,” which highlights the challenging and mysterious cases she encounters in veterinary dermatology.


Session 1 - Cytology Skills for Skin Cases – Tips and Tricks to Become a Pro

  1. Know how to easily obtain appropriate diagnostic samples for cases that commonly present
  2. Differentiate between infectious, immune-mediated, and neoplastic conditions
  3. Learn when additional diagnostic may be needed and what treatments may be indicated

This session will focus on how to make an easy and quick cytologic diagnosis to best treat common dermatologic conditions in dogs and cats.


Session 2 - Polyps, Pain & Pus…Yuck: Treating and Preventing Recurrent Ear Disease

  • Interpret cytology and choose the best otic therapy
  • Manage the underlying causes of ear disease to prevent a recurrence
  • Learn what to do when the right treatments don’t work

This session will focus on the long-term management of ear disease.

Carrie Jurney

Carrie Jurney, DVM, DACVIM (Neuro)

Dr. Jurney graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia college of veterinary medicine absolutely sure she would be a surgeon. Like all best-laid plans, this path turned out to be the wrong one. After a residency at the University of Pennsylvania, she found her perfect path in neurology/neurosurgery. Ever since Dr. Jurney has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently the practice owner at Jurney Veterinary Neurology.

Her journey to working on veterinary wellness began in 2015 after helping a coworker through a mental health crisis. Shortly thereafter she joined the admin team at Not One More Vet (NOMV) and began taking extensive continuing education courses in crisis intervention and compassion fatigue. In 2020 she took over as President of NOMV. While there, it has grown to be the largest wellness-focused charity for veterinary wellbeing in the world.


Not One More Vet

  1. Identify systemic veterinary problems affecting mental wellbeing
  2. Identify personal risk factors that contribute to mental wellbeing issues
  3. Discuss actionable solutions to intervening mental wellbeing problems

The veterinary field is rife with mental wellbeing challenges, yet the reasons are difficult to pinpoint. Dr. Carrie Jurney, president of Not One More Vet, will shed light on systemic issues that challenge mental wellbeing — and the personality traits that make some of us more vulnerable. The results of this session are the actionable insights she’ll provide that you can put to work immediately.


Spinal localization (1 & 2)

  1. Learn the basic neuroanatomy involved in spinal disease/localization
  2. Understand gait analysis
  3. Learn the systemic approach to localization

In this two-hour clinically focused series, you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of spinal localization. Each spinal segment is covered and detailed exam findings discussed. Tips and tricks will be interspersed throughout the mix of videos to further illustrate the procedure. By the end of this double header you’ll be able to localize like a neurologist.


A whole lotta shaking Part 1: Emergency Seizures

  1. Understand what seizure patterns constitute an emergency
  2. Understand the decision tree and action steps involved in treating status epilepticus
  3. Discuss emerging therapies including at-home treatment of cluster seizures

Dr. Carrie Jurney will be covering the updated recommendations for seizure management in this two-part series. First, you’ll learn about emergency management. What do you do for the dog who is having a seizure right in front of you right now? Do all cluster patients need to be hospitalized? What kind of treatments can you offer for at-home severe seizures when clients can’t afford the gold standard? Be sure to attend both sessions to learn the answers to all of these critical questions…and more.


A whole lotta shaking Part 2: Maintenance Seizures

  1. Learn the definition of epilepsy
  2. Understand when to start treatment and how to change treatment plans
  3. Gain a working knowledge of commonly used drugs and their contraindications

In this two-part lecture, Dr. Carrie Jurney will be covering the updated recommendations from the International Epilepsy Task Force, drug selection, monitoring, adding and removing medications as well as burst therapy. You’ll also learn about new medications on the horizon that may greatly help your patients.


You Spin Me Round: Vestibular Disease

  1. Understand the relevant anatomy of the vestibular system.
  2. Understand localization of peripheral and central vestibular disease.
  3. Understand the common conditions that cause vestibular symptoms, their prognosis and treatment.

How confident are you in diagnosing and treating dizzy dogs and cats? If you need a refresh, be sure to attend this session where Dr. Carrie Jurney will review neurolocalization and focus on differentiating peripheral from central disease. You’ll also learn about some of the most common diseases that cause vestibular symptoms, how to diagnose and treat them, and how to offer a thorough prognosis.

Niccole Bruno, DVM

Niccole Bruno, DVM

Dr. Niccole Bruno, is the CEO & Founder of BLEND, a veterinary hospital certification program in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). She attended Tuskegee University for her undergraduate studies and earned her DVM degree from Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2006.

After serving in hospital leadership for more than eight years, Dr. Bruno realized the critical value leadership has in creating a diverse and inclusive hospital culture. She is intentional in the recruitment and retention of diverse individuals while creating a space for them to thrive. She continues to pay it forward by dedicating much of her time to speaking and mentoring students from elementary to veterinary schools to increase representation and build the pipeline of BIPOC students into the profession. Upon completing the Purdue University Diversity and Inclusion program in 2020, her awareness, continual exploration, and study into the diversity deficiencies of our profession ignited her vision to create BLEND. Dr. Bruno currently remains a member of the Cornell University Advisory Council, serves as an Advisory Board member for Pawsibillities, and the DEI Commission for the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Session 1: BLEND: The Great Resignation: Exploring the influencing factors that impact veterinary medicine

  1. Learn how The Great Resignation is contributing to toxic workplace culture
  2. Discuss how a toxic culture leads to employee turnover
  3. Highlight the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to improve veterinary hospital culture

“The Great Resignation” is a term used to describe the number of people leaving their jobs as yet another side effect of the pandemic. Studies show that within the first six months of this mass exodus, toxic culture was listed as the greatest predictor of attrition, even more so than compensation. People care about being paid, but they care more about how they are treated. Are we a workforce in crisis? The stressors in our profession — both personally and professionally — are leading to a turnover rate double that of medical doctors. Additionally, veterinary teams face mental health issues (anxiety, stress, burnout), poor work-life balance, and a lack of diversity. Each of these elements directly affects an organization’s culture. Attend this session where we’ll discuss these factors, why you need to address them, and how to do it.


Session 2: BLEND: A new initiative in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  1. Understand the state of veterinary medicine and highlight barriers within our profession
  2. Describe the impact diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) education can have in transforming hospital culture
  3. Introduce the “BLEND” mindset in daily application for all veterinary professionals and their leadership

BLEND is a veterinary hospital certification program aimed at educating and training our profession in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The goal is to improve cultural competence — cultivating and strengthening relationships within the communities we serve. The program empowers leaders to build and manage their teams with inclusivity and empathy, navigate difficult topics, and promote diversity and inclusion. You’ll learn what you need to become equipped to form relationships with your clients to forge unity, trust, and awareness. This session will provide an overview of BLEND’s curriculum and how it can be integrated into veterinary practices.


Session 3: Workshop Concepts: Incorporating a BLEND mindset into practice

Co-presenter: Genine R. Ervin-Smith, DVM, MPH

  1. To transfer the knowledge of a “blend” mindset into practical applications for daily usage in veterinary medicine.
  2. To collectively develop strategies that improve outcomes for the proposed scenarios related to veterinary medicine."

Using a BLEND mindset, this workshop is your chance to collaborate and innovate while we work through common scenarios and set the groundwork for preventing toxicity. What is your role in creating solutions and not pushing problems? Whatever your role on the veterinary team, we all have the power to create a culture of inclusion and work through conflict. After all, it’s all about Creating a Better World!

Genine R. Ervin-Smith, DVM, MPH

Genine R. Ervin-Smith, DVM, MPH

Dr. Ervin-Smith is a Los Angeles, California native, and a 2007 graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school, she continued in her studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she earned a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental and Global Health Sciences. Her veterinary journey has spanned across the avenues of clinical practice, investigative analysis, community activism, and leadership as a multi-unit hospital Director of Veterinary Quality for Banfield Pet Hospitals in Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas, Research & Development veterinarian with Virbac US, and Chief of Staff for Veterinary Centers of America, Inc. (VCA).

Deborah Thomson

Deborah Thomson, DVM

Author of The Art of Science Communication and Chair of the World Veterinary Association's One Health Education Subgroup, Dr. Deborah Thomson also founded One Health Lessons. This organization inspires children and adults worldwide to value the interconnection between human health and the health of the environment, plants, and animals. She has served as a Science Policy Advisor in the United States Congress, is a clinical veterinarian, and award-winning public speaker. Her articles have been printed in multiple publications, including The Lancet Planetary Health.


Workshop: Communication, One Health, and You

  1. Release fear of difficult client conversations
  2. Practice One Health in unexpected ways during your daily clinical shifts
  3. Increase the amount of client consent to your diagnostic plans

We all have to navigate difficult client interactions now and then, especially when it comes to disagreement over your proposed diagnostic and treatment plans. If you want to improve your odds of getting patients what they truly need, you need to make this workshop part of your Connexity plans. Because when you learn how to tailor your message by appropriately “reading” each client, you’ll know how to deliver news in a manner that affirms action. The key to increasing your odds of achieving agreement is by learning how to tailor your message to individual clients. While we learned how to do veterinary medicine in school, our education didn’t teach us how to communicate it. Let’s work on that, together!

Cynthia Otto


Dr. Otto, a tenured Professor of Working Dog Sciences and Sports Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, is board certified in veterinary emergency medicine/critical care and canine sports medicine/rehabilitation. As executive director and founder of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, she oversees fitness and medical care of the program’s detection dogs, provides rehabilitation and conditioning for police and other working dogs, and conducts vital research on and by detection dogs. With more than 120 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and book chapters, she is an internationally recognized expert in both emergency medicine and working dog science. Dr. Otto was Pennsylvania’s 2002 “Veterinarian of the Year,” received Ohio State’s Alumni Recognition Award (2006, 2018), Distinguished Alumnus Award (2008), AVMA’s Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Mark Bloomberg Award (2019), and Asa Mays DVM, Excellence in Canine Health Research Award (2021).


AAHA Working, Assistance, and Therapy Dog Guidelines - Pt 1: Dogs with Jobs

  1. Recognize the operational differences between patrol/protection, dual-purpose, and detection dogs
  2. Identify the differences between service, therapy, and emotional support dogs
  3. Learn about the working environments of various types of dogs with jobs

From airports to schools to shopping centers, working dogs are ubiquitous. How do you know what dogs perform which roles? In this session, Dr. Cynthia Otto will cover the 2021 AAHA Guidelines on Working, Service, and Therapy Dogs where you'll learn the different careers of working and service dogs. When you have these dogs as patients, it’s critical to be aware of the legal and practical differences between the types of service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support dogs.


AAHA Working, Assistance, and Therapy Dog Guidelines - Pt 2: Partnering with the canine team for optimal care

  1. Develop a plan for clear communication with the working/service dog handler
  2. Implement cooperative care approaches for medical examination and treatment of working/service dogs
  3. Recognize the occupational hazards, including medical treatments that can impair the dog’s working career

As is clearly evident, there’s a unique relationship between the working/service dog and its handler. Their communication is a language all its own and you need to understand it in order to provide effective care. That means a cooperative care approach is warranted. It integrates low-stress handling, with handler participation, so everyone benefits. If working/service dogs and their handlers are among your clientele, you need to attend this session. With Dr. Cynthia Otto at the helm, you’ll learn about specific tools and techniques to facilitate an effective and safe evaluation process. In addition to the occupational hazards that these teams face, it’s important to understand the medical care that may impact performance — and that includes common medications and procedures that could alter the canine’s ability to do its job safely and/or effectively.

Omar Farías, DVM

Omar Farías, VMD

Dr. Farías was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He received his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania. For 11 years, he worked in a small animal practice, first as an associate and later as a practice owner. While in practice, he dedicated part of his time helping several local animal welfare organizations. In 2011, he joined Hill’s Pet Nutrition as a Professional Consulting Veterinarian and has held positions of increasing responsibility and currently serves as the Senior Manager, Professional Partnerships & Events. Dr. Farías serves as a board member for the Pride Veterinary Medical Community as the President-Elect and as a board member for the Mark Morris Institute.

Addie Reinhard

Addie Reinhard, DVM, MS

Dr. Reinhard is the Founder and CEO of MentorVet, an evidence-based mentorship and professional development program for recent veterinary graduates. She is a veterinary wellbeing researcher who focuses on developing and evaluating innovative interventions to support mental health and wellbeing within the profession. Dr. Reinhard is on the research team for the third phase of the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study. In 2021, she completed a master’s degree in Community and Leadership Development, a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching and Learning from the University of Kentucky, and holds a certificate in Veterinary Human Support from the University of Tennessee. She is also a certified QPR instructor.


Mentoring: From Good to Great, Parts 1 and 2

  1. Describe the current state of mental health and wellbeing among young veterinarians
  2. Understand the factors that may impact early-career wellbeing
  3. List three techniques to support early-career veterinarians

Among all veterinarians, young professionals experience the highest levels of stress and burnout. If you’re relatively new to the profession or managing those who are, you need to understand what’s behind this unhealthy trend. Attend this session to learn all about the data from the new Merck Animal Health Wellbeing Study, which specifically explores young veterinary professionals’ mental health and wellbeing. Program evaluation data will be discussed revealing the power and impact of targeted, evidence-based interventions to support mental health and wellbeing in the profession. Finally, tips will be presented on how you can help support the next generation of veterinary professionals.


Helping the Helpers: Techniques to Support Veterinary Professionals in Suicidal Distress- QPR Training Workshop

  1. Discuss warning signs of suicide
  2. Implement communication tactics to respond to warning signs
  3. Discuss research findings on suicide within the veterinary profession

With the uncertainties of the world on the rise, so are suicides. That includes the veterinary profession. How many times have you been shocked to hear or read about a colleague’s tragic demise? Did you ponder the signs? Wished you could have intervened? It’s a fact that those in the veterinary profession are more likely to die by suicide than the general population. What do we do about it? Learn to recognize the signs. Respond to those in need. Reduce the stigma associated with mental wellbeing issues. The tips in this session could save someone’s life.

Stephen Van der Watt

Stephen Van der Watt

Steve, Co-Founder & President, Aurik, has extensive experience in supporting sales growth teams in the corporate insurance and employee benefits space, providing world-class business solutions. He has spent 32 years building sales teams that are consultative, helping to drive solutions and relationships, and has supported 5 startups to become multi-million dollar companies.

He has been an executive on the boards of companies globally and has managed all aspects of a business. Steve has also helped build many revenue-generating successful business plans and launched first-to-market products and programs."


Have I Built a Job or Have I Built an Asset? Maximizing Your Financial Exit

  1. Implementing systems and processes to improve market position and exit with a higher multiple.
  2. Building your pitch deck to potential buyers and investors.
  3. Transitioning your clinic into an asset.

Did you know that only 4% of all US businesses have succession plans in place? When it comes time to transition into the next phase of your personal journey, there are several steps you can take to transform your practice into an asset that is attractive to potential successors and investors. In this session, you will learn how to improve your position in the market and define your succession plan.

Saturday, September 17 | Conference Closes



Dr. Bellows received his undergraduate training at the University of Florida and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University in 1975. After completing a small animal internship at The Animal Medical Center in New York City, he returned to South Florida, where he still practices companion animal medicine surgery and dentistry at ALL PETS DENTAL in Weston Florida. He is certified by the Board of Veterinary Practitioners (canine and feline) since 1986 and American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) since 1990. Dr Bellows was president of the AVDC from 2012-2014 and is currently president of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry.

Dr. Bellows’ veterinary dentistry accomplishments include authoring several articles, being a frequent contributor to DVM Newsmagazine, and a charter consultant of Veterinary Information Network’s (VIN) dental board since 1993. He was also chosen as one of the dental experts to formulate AAHA’s Small Animal Dental Guidelines, published in 2005 and updated in 2013 and 2019.


Analysis of the Oral Microbiome: A Diagnostic/Prognostic Tool (Canine and Feline)

  1. Learn the composition of the oral microbiome and their definitions.
  2. Understand how the microbiome is determined.
  3. Learn how the microbiome can help veterinarians and their patients.
  4. Review previous and current research projects concerning the oral microbiome.

In this session, you’ll develop an understanding of the oral microbiome and learn what to watch for to predict underlying and future periodontal disease, tooth resorption, and halitosis. Early detection for risk of dental disease, utilizing screening tools such as oral microbiome testing can improve the prognosis of felines with dental disease. Further, intervention and understanding of oral health risk factors that contribute to systemic disease development are critical to maintaining overall patient health.

Garth Jordan

Garth Jordan

Garth Jordan is the CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association. Over the past 15 years, he has served in executive roles at professional associations, including three different C-level positions: Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Strategy Officer. This purposefully designed diversity of experience has given Garth the opportunity to lead diverse teams through strategic planning and successful execution, build businesses with customer-focused value propositions, and develop a well-rounded business and cultural acumen geared toward achieving an organization’s goals through high-performing teams.

Garth’s recent accomplishments include using Design Thinking to design and execute a complete digital transformation of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s business model — helping the organization achieve its goal of becoming “the Netflix of associations.”


Design Thinking: Empathy-based Design that Strengthens your Team

  1. Create innovative solutions that better meet your staff and customers' needs
  2. Develop a culture of innovation in your team that breaks down silos and embraces empathy and co-creation
  3. Reduce risks in projects using a collaborative and iterative approach

You’ll enjoy this design thinking workshop that is a creative problem-solving session based on the principles of design thinking. During this activity-based workshop, you’ll learn about the three phases of the design thinking process: empathy, ideation, and prototyping.

Empathy: Developing a deep understanding of the problem that your target audience faces and empathizing with them.

Ideation: Coming up with many ideas on how the problem can be solved.

Prototyping: Creating a prototype of potential solutions and then testing it with real people.

Josh Vaisman, MAPPCP

Josh Vaisman, MAPPCP

Josh believes all veterinary professionals deserve to feel fulfilled by their work each and every day. Through his company, Flourish Veterinary Consulting, he combines more than 20 years of veterinary experience, a master’s in applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology, and education in Positive Leadership and Positive Organizational Scholarship, and a passion for guiding leaders to cultivate work environments in which people can thrive.


Candid Converstations to Cultivate Connected Veterinary Teams

  1. Learn Amy Edmundson’s foundational research on psychological safety
  2. Understand how to utilize psychological safety assessments
  3. Learn the 5-Element framework for increasing psychological safety in veterinary teams
  4. Experience methods for increasing psychological safety in the workplace

The success and wellbeing of a team is limited by the ability of its members to interact, communicate, and connect effectively. Teams that are able to leverage productive, challenging conversations and come together over a belief that “getting it right is better than being right” tend to perform better — and feel better. All of this is underpinned by an organizational concept known as psychological safety.

In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll share the science of psychological safety and explore a 5-element framework for cultivating it in veterinary teams. Participants will leave with evidence-based skills for conquering incivility, being generous, getting honest, listening appreciatively, and growing from failure. You'll also have ample opportunity to ask the experts for advice on playing with these concepts to build candid, connective conversations in your team.

Philip Richmond, DVM, CAPP, CHPHSA, CPPC

Philip Richmond, DVM, CAPP, CHPHSA, CPPC

Dr. Richmond is the Founder & CEO of Flourishing Phoenix Veterinary Consultants and practicing medical director of a small animal hospital in New Port Richey, Florida. He is passionate about positive culture and wellbeing in veterinary workplaces. He holds multiple certifications in the fields of applied positive psychology, workplace wellbeing, psychological health and safety, resilience training, behavior change, and suicide prevention. Dr. Richmond is involved in several current state and national initiatives to improve wellbeing in veterinary medicine—including the VMAE Wellbeing Committee, FVMA Wellbeing Committee, the CDC/NIOSH NORA Healthcare & Social Assistance Council, and the MentorVet advisory board. For his service, Dr. Richmond has been awarded the FVMA Gold Star & FVMA Veterinarian of the Year.

Alyssa Mages

Alyssa C. Mages, BS, CVT

Alyssa comes from the oceanic realm originally having graduated from URI with a BS in Marine Biology. She transitioned to the veterinary space and ultimately became credentialed, graduating with high distinction from Manor College while passing the VTNE that same year.

Alyssa has spent the majority of her veterinary career in ER/CC, anesthesia, oncology, and academia — and has also been cross-trained throughout the profession in laboratory animals, LA/wildlife, and various managerial positions.

She co-founded Empowering Veterinary Teams and is the Chief Visionary Officer overseeing content development and clinical skills training implementation. Alyssa has spent the past year traveling for conferences, authoring multiple articles, hanging out on several podcasts, and doing all she can to transform growth and development throughout the veterinary industry.


Session 1: Medical Math Mentality (M3)

  1. Understand conversions and master dose calculations
  2. Learn percentage solutions at 100%
  3. Take the sting out of dilutions
  4. Infuse boluses with ease
  5. Calculate CRIs in four steps

Math is the subject that tends to elicit more than a few groans and let’s be honest, it can cause some serious brain cramps. But in our profession, it’s necessary. So math is actually a pain with a purpose! You’ll learn from Alyssa Mages the foundations of medical math from conversions to dilutions, take a deeper dive into IVF, and understand CRIs. Woven throughout, you’ll also walk away with EVTips to make the process as smooth as possible — creating a math mentality instead of the math that makes us mental!


Session 2: Up & Away - The Only Way to Schmear

  1. Understand the methodology of making a blood film
  2. Recognize disease processes that would require this analysis
  3. Be able to confidently perform the up and away technique

While technology and artificial intelligence have given us faster analyses of our samples, VTs are still the ones in charge of making those viable samples. In this session, Alyssa Mages we’ll not only discuss the methodology behind blood films, but do a deeper dive into why they’re necessary. You’ll learn about disease processes that are pertinent in diagnosing, and even take a stab at doing them – literally. It’s all in the wrist. We’ll take it up and away, together!

Cherice Roth

Cherice Roth, DVM

Dr. Cherice Roth is a graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. Along with her Doctorate, she also holds a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry. She is currently the Chief Veterinary Officer of Fuzzy Pet Health and an advisory board member for Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Professionals Instilling Black Excellence. Dr. Roth is an author of children’s books, too. Her titles, “What’s a REAL Doctor?” and “What does a REAL Doctor look like?” both focus on veterinary medicine, diversity, STEM, and representation within medical fields. She believes that veterinary virtual care is the answer to health disparities in pets as well as part of the answer to psychological health issues of veterinary professionals.


Session 1 - DEI Panel

Details to come


Session 2 - Accessing Digital Pet Care

  1. Identify pet parent populations not receiving veterinary care
  2. Discuss barriers to care
  3. Learn methods for engaging and providing care

Our profession has traditionally been slow to adopt change. The pandemic threw a wrench into that practice as vet teams were forced to engage in and embrace new methods of patient care — virtually. We were on a roll with telehealth and telemedicine. How can we keep that momentum moving? Without specific guidelines or intentionally including virtual care into our field, we are doomed to perpetuate the same biases and discrimination that plagues veterinary medicine via the virtual platform. The consequences continue to leave the most vulnerable people and pets without medical care and sustain the idea that veterinary professionals are not to be trusted or to be looked to for help by these populations. As veterinary medicine learns and grows in virtual care, it’s vitally important to continually evaluate, reflect, and research best practices. In this session, you’ll learn about telehealth, telemedicine, and how the veterinarian-client-patient relationship impacts both. You’ll also learn best practices and how virtual care can positively impact BIPOC and low-resource pet parents. Plus, we’ll focus on how virtual care platforms can help brick-and-mortar clinics provide operational support, improve team mental health, and accelerate positive medical outcomes and the vision for an inclusive future of pet care.

Heather Kvitko-White

Heather Kvitko-White, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Heather L. Kvitko-White is a board-certified small animal internal medicine specialist, an industry leader, and a national speaker who teaches veterinarians and organizations a commonsense approach to improving patient outcomes while managing costs. Often helping to bridge the gaps between academia, industry, and practice, she provides expert leadership and project management for veterinary educational events and develops and delivers pragmatic medical content at all professional levels.


Session 1: This is NOT your normal Cushing's lecture

  1. Improve your clinical index of suspicion for Cushing’s specifically by learning when NOT to test
  2. Understand various pit-falls in diagnostic tests of cortisol and how they might influence our processes
  3. Learn tips and tricks to make Cushing’s management more affordable without compromising quality

Using a pragmatic and easily understood approach, Dr. Kvitko-White will cover diagnosis and management of Cushing's Syndrome. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of diagnostics better than ever before and with a new perspective on this highly treatable condition. You’ll also learn that monitoring and management don’t have to be extensive or expensive — a very pleasant surprise!


Session 2: What you REALLY want to know about diabetes

  1. Learn about the various types of insulin and when to choose each one over the other
  2. Understand the true significance of the blood glucose curve
  3. Define current nutrition recommendations and how this might alter a “typical” plan

When you have a diabetic patient, how do you choose one type of insulin over another? Does diet really play an important role in disease management? Can your clients afford treatment? Dr. Kvitko-White’s pragmatic and cost-conscientious approach to medicine will give you actionable insights that you can immediately put to work in your practice.


Session 3: Feline Hyperthyroidism: A Few New Tricks for the Old Cat

  1. Review the full complement of thyroid hormone testing in cats
  2. Discuss borderline TT4 results and the difference between occult and overt hyperthyroidism
  3. Introduce the concept of Iatrogenic Hypothyroidism during treatment

Since hyperthyroidism emerged as a disease, how did it progress to now being one of the most prevalent old cat diseases in general? How has the growing body of research impacted the diagnostic and monitoring process? Dr. Kvitko-White will discuss it all in a way that you’ll learn about the emerging recognition of iatrogenic hypothyroidism and how it may impact survival of your patients.

Emily Tincher, DVM

Emily Tincher, DVM

Dr. Emily M. Tincher is a collaborative and data-driven leader who advocates for a pet-parent-centered approach to communication and medicine through Spectrum of Care methods. She is a second-generation veterinarian and a 2016 graduate of Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Tincher has practiced clinically in small animal emergency general settings. As the Director of Veterinary Relations at Nationwide Pet, she oversees operations and strategy in the veterinary space, including industry relationships and outreach to veterinary students, veterinarians, and veterinary teams. She serves on the AVMA Early Career Development Committee and is President of the Board of Directors for the Veterinary Leadership Institute.


An Introduction to Spectrum of Care

  1. Recognize that perceptions around pet healthcare delivery are changing
  2. Discuss the concept of “Spectrum of Care” and where it fits into pet healthcare
  3. Apply Spectrum of Care principles to case-based examples

In 2019, Nationwide consumer research teams spent months talking to pet families across the United States. A commonly occurring theme heard from these pet families was that “the gold standard of care that vets learn in school clashes with client expectations.” For veterinary healthcare teams who see pet families every week, this may not feel like a startling insight, but it's not a theme commonly represented among veterinary industry studies. This started Nationwide on a journey to uncover more about the needs of pet families and the role a Spectrum of Care approach fits into pet healthcare.

The goal of this approach is to empower pet families to access pet healthcare that best fits their expectations and financial considerations. Research indicates that up to 50% of US pets do not see veterinary healthcare teams, even for urgent care. In this session, we’ll explore the underlying trends driving this behavior.

Jules Benson, BVSc MRCVS

Jules Benson, BVSc MRCVS

Dr. Jules Benson is a strategic industry leader focused on ways technology and data can transform the veterinary profession and the lives of animals. He is a 2004 graduate of the University of Liverpool's School of Veterinary Medicine, a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and practiced clinically in the Philadelphia area before transitioning to roles within the animal health industry. Dr. Benson brings his experience in marketing, start-ups, and data insights to his roles as Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer, the Veterinary Innovation Council Board, and the MentorVet Advisory Board.


Enabling a Spectrum of Care to Increase Access to Care

  1. Identify how practicing a Spectrum of Care increases access to care
  2. Recognize ways that current survey-based research around client communication is limited
  3. Discover a new approach to communicating with pet families around a Spectrum of Care

The best way to communicate with a diverse range of pet families is to know HOW to communicate with all of them. We see these differences in the communities we serve every day. And yet, we are taught to communicate our recommendations for pet healthcare as if there is only one best option, regardless of the family’s situation. As we know, pet families have a broad spectrum of financial and other resources. Not understanding what’s available to them may lead to inefficient and often frustrating interactions. In this session, you’ll learn a unique approach to communicating around a Spectrum of Care method to uncover underlying needs that will lead to more care for more pets.

Danielle Lambert

Danielle Lambert

Her colorful background is what makes Danielle uniquely prepared to help veterinary brands develop effective branding and marketing campaigns. And when it comes to social media, there's no one in #vetmed with the proven ability to repeatedly create viral posts that Danielle has!  Danielle utilizes her unique experience — including five years in practice management — to guide some of the biggest brands in veterinary medicine.  She’s a passionate activist, using her social media following to discuss topics like living wages, anti-racism, and empowering female entrepreneurs.


Building and Marketing a Brand that Top Talent Can't Resist

  1. Understand what motivates and attracts today's talent. 
  2. Gain clarity on the difference between marketing and branding. 
  3. Have the basic knowledge of how to create an attractive brand that resonates with talent

Hiring is harder than ever, but is the only solution $100k sign-on bonuses? Nope. In this interactive session, Danielle will help you uncover your secret weapon: a great brand.

A brand is so much more than your logo, it's a way to represent your values, goals, and personality in everything you do. Marketing helps you communicate what you're about, but branding helps you define it.

Danielle will help you identify what today's talent wants. From there, we'll clarify the unique experience you offer and how to communicate it on social media, your website, and IRL. We'll look at branding examples throughout vet med and beyond. You'll leave feeling inspired and prepared to create a brand so strong that job applicants won't be able to resist applying!

2022 Sponsors

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