Bright Idea from Accreditation

February 7, 2018


Wellness at work

Healthy cultures start with healthy teams. Take the first step toward individual and workplace wellness with these practical tips from our accredited members:

“We work very hard to fit a 'family lunch' into our day almost every day. It gives us a chance to laugh and enjoy each other and to truly take a break. I think it helps my team thrive.”
–Marcy Hammerle, DVM
The Pet Doctor, O'Fallon, MO

“We implemented a wellness challenge for our employees. Team members get points for things like eating fruits and veggies, exercising, avoiding sugar, and taking time out for mental health, and prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place. They are really getting into it.”
–Gabrielle Feldman
The Drake Center for Veterinary Care, Encinitas, CA

“We make half our staff meetings virtual, so employees don't have to drive in on their day off. This year, we are also opening our owner meeting to anyone who wants to schedule a time to talk. It's outside the clinic, outside work hours, and private. We also have a strict 'no gossip' policy.”
–Michele Forbes, DVM
Compassionate Care Animal Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI

“We offer online therapy to our employees. They have unlimited use with access to over 2,500 licensed therapists.”
–Jennifer Galvin
Advanced Animal Care, Fort Mohave, AZ

“We have quarterly hospital-sponsored staff outings, including miniature golf, Dodgers games, brunch, and bowling. We also do unplanned Starbucks runs.”
–April Heitkamp
Moorpark Veterinary Hospital, Moorpark, CA

“We devoted a staff meeting to sharing our 'balloons and sinkers' and talking about gratitude and self-care. Afterward, some spontaneous 'I’m thankful for' notes appeared on our kitchen white board.”
–Hilary Mellor, DVM
VCA Canada Bayview Animal Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

“We have been doing hospital-wide activities sponsored by different departments every month. Some examples include a Valentine’s Day game, potlucks, and a Christmas decorating challenge. We also just started a monthly yoga class where an instructor comes in for an hour over lunchtime.”
–Julia Katzenbach, DVM
Mesa Veterinary Hospital, Golden, CO

“We always try to encourage each other by pointing out nice things someone else on the team has done for us using a kudos board. At each monthly team meeting, we read them all and draw small prizes for both the writer and the recipient.”
–Carolyn Hendricks
Animal Medical Center, Morgantown, WV



Need additional inspiration?

Check out, where you can:

AAHA members can also order up to five free copies of the guide and roundtable at

Be well—and stay tuned for additional tools and resources coming later this year to help you on your journey to a healthy workplace culture.

Please send questions, feedback, or tips you'd like
to share to

American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), 12575 W. Bayaud Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80228

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