The AAHA online Community is open!
Introducing an exciting new benefit exclusively for AAHA members: The AAHA online Community. A special place where AAHA members can meet and discuss the issues that matter most to them, find answers, and learn to practice better medicine together.
“It’s an opportunity for people of all levels and experiences to interact with one another, which makes it easier for AAHA members to share knowledge and learn from each other,” Cara Hopkins, AAHA’s online community manager, told NEWStat.
The AAHA Community is meant to fill this need in the veterinary profession as a place where people can really talk about difficult things and get input from a larger community, Hopkins says. “The closest analogy I can think of is that it’s like being at a conference, like Connexity,” Hopkins adds. “You never know who you might meet in the hallway or what types of conversations you might have.”
Or what lasting friendships you might make.
One of the things that makes AAHA online Community different from other online discussion groups is that everyone in it is someone who’s committed to being a part of AAHA, says Hopkins, and that’s where the camaraderie and sense of community come from: “These are people in the profession who really care about upholding AAHA standards, and the teamwork that’s involved in maintaining those standards year after year.”
While some online discussion groups for professionals can seem like places for people to gather and gripe about their problems, the AAHA online Community is designed to be different.
“AAHA wanted to create a place that’s really about solutions, not just a place to come and vent.” Hopkins says. “Although that might happen sometimes,” she adds with a laugh.
If it does, it’ll be a safe space to do it.
In the AAHA online Community, you can:
- Ask questions and provide answers
- Bring your most challenging problems to the Member Forum and offer your expertise
- Like, comment on, and post messages and polls
- Share resources
- Upload documents that would benefit your AAHA-member colleagues, and download helpful material that will help you and your coworkers practice better medicine
- Follow tags
- Stay current on topics like the AAHA Standards of Accreditation, COVID protocols, and staffing
- Start articles
- Share links to newsworthy content to get feedback and spark discussion
- Network by finding other AAHA members in the Directory and completing your profile to start making connections
Hopkins has been overseeing AAHA’s beta-testing of the site with a small group of AAHA members since January. This week it went live.
Jennifer Mitchell, DVM, a veterinarian at AAHA-accredited Thiensville-Mequon Small Animal Clinic in Thiensville, Wisconsin helped beta-test the site, and she’s thrilled that it’s finally gone live.
“Already, there have been some engaging discussions and knowledge sharing, which is the real value of this community,” she told NEWStat. “So often, we're operating in our own little bubbles of daily practice, and now we have a dedicated space to connect and share our ideas and experiences with others who understand our passions and struggles.”
Mitchell’s fellow beta-tester Danielle Pitre, practice manager at AAHA-accredited Lafayette Veterinary Care Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, told NEWStat that she’s already begun incorporating some of the advice, suggestions, and ideas that she’s gained from this group: “It’s been so helpful to our practice on several different occasions including areas where we need suggestions—such as hospital protocols, human resources, mental health—in areas that I might not be too familiar with and need guidance.”
“This community can benefit AAHA members in so many ways,” Pitre adds. “We can all relate that the past two years have been challenging due to the worldwide pandemic so it's nice to see us all come together to help one another succeed.”
“This community becomes more valuable with every new member” says Mitchell. “And I can't wait to see it reach its full potential as more people join and engage.”
How do you join? It’s easy. There are no hoops to jump through—AAHA members can log on right now. Go to community.aaha.org and log in using your existing AAHA account, which is the same username and password you use to access your other AAHA member benefits.
Or cut to the chase by joining, then simply direct message her in the AAHA online Community platform itself.
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