Hospital director puts VMI executive learning into everyday practice

“I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who's looking to further their career development and their professional learning,” said Courtney Hubrecht, hospital director at AAHA-accredited Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists in Loveland, Colorado, and a recent graduate of the Veterinary Management Institute (VMI). “The caliber of content and speakers was fantastic. The program structure allowed me to put the concepts I was learning into my daily practice at Four Seasons and share them our team.”

VMI is an executive-level leadership training program developed by AAHA and Colorado State University’s College of Business for experienced practice managers and owners. Participants earn 38 VHMA CVPM Qualified and RACE approved CE hours. The program is offered twice a year over the course of five months and is delivered online. According to Hubrecht, “The remote opportunity allowed for flexibility. I could still participate even if I was out of town. And the way it was broken up into different weekends for shorter amounts of time, I didn’t have to block out entire days.”

It helps employees, like Hubrecht, who want to advance their careers and improve their practice by learning sophisticated, industry-specific techniques in areas that range from strategic leadership, veterinary financial management, video marketing, and entrepreneurship to team building, culture, and effective communication.

“One of my favorite speakers was Ed Goodman,” said Hubrecht. “I really loved the concept of the spiral thinking method introduced by Ed Goodman. Basically, it allows you to not get stuck in the details when you're trying to problem solve or look at a new project from a high-level perspective. When I brought the spiral thinking exercise back to our meetings with our department heads, many of whom are doctors, it allowed us to talk through big concepts strategically and create a very safe space. Everyone could feel comfortable participating because the premise of the spiral thinking is that there's no holding back and no judgement.”

Hubrecht also enjoyed Dr. Temple Grandin's lecture on understanding the human-animal bond. “It was great, not only to hear her experience and all the admirable accomplishments that she has had in the world of animals, but also the fact that you can apply what she's saying so much to what we do day in and day out with small animals. I was able to bring that back to my team. When our patients have low stress and a pleasant experience, it's not only best for their wellbeing, but also for our team. It helps create an environment and a workplace that feels comfortable, with good energy.”

Her experience with VMI prompted Hubrecht to complete a Four Seasons video as her capstone project. “In 2019 I had a vision for a video, but putting it together felt intimidating. VMI was the catalyst that pushed me to put all the footage together,” she said. The lecture and guidance from Craig Spinks helped Hubrecht overcome the level of intimidation she had been feeling. The video, which has been shared by Four Seasons on social media and in recruiting efforts, has received high praise from viewers. You can watch Hubrecht’s impactful video here.  

The VMI program is open to veterinary professionals from around the world, and the connections participants make with their peers can be lifelong. Said Hubrecht, “Any opportunity where veterinary management professionals can network and pursue greater education is going to be advantageous to the business and to that individual. I would absolutely recommend VMI to anyone considering it.”

The Veterinary Management Institute is executive-level leadership training for experienced practice managers and owners. The next VMI session starts July 16, 2022, and runs through November 13, 2022.  

It features:   

  • 38 VHMA CVPM Qualified and RACE approved CE hours 
  • Virtual learning with a cohort of peers who become a lifelong professional resource, even after the program ends 
  • Expert learning facilitators, including world-renowned Temple Grandin, PhD, MS, a professor in animal sciences at CSU, who is known as a spokesperson for people with autism and an authority on the human-animal bond. 

Learn more or register today