Greetings VetPartners Members. Happy 2022!
As your new President, I am grateful for the trust you have placed in me to help guide the association this coming year. Fortunately for me, you elected some awesome board members that will certainly make my life easier. I would like to welcome VP Robin Brogdan, Directors Mary Berg and Steve Strickler to the board and to thank David McCormick, Karen Felsted and Deb Stone for their service this past year and beyond.
I am happy to announce that our Annual Meeting went very well and feedback from the 70+ members who attended was positive and enthusiastic. I will share with you; this meeting was difficult. Omicron made us feel like we were making plans with one foot on a banana peel and the other in quicksand, but our members came through with some marvelous Hot Rocks and our keynote speaker Dr. Jean-Yin Tan was enlightening, engaging and inspirational.
I want to give a shout out to Dr. Heather Kvitko-White for suggesting Dr. Tan to our Program Committee and to our Program Co-Chairs Mary Mongioi and Ruth Garcia and the entire program committee for working so hard to make this meeting valuable to our members. Dr. Tan shared stories of discrimination both personal and from veterinary team members that were sad and painful to hear. But she also showed us how each of us can work to end discrimination and bias through knowledge and examination of the things we do and say, often inadvertently, that hurts others. VetPartners members can be proactive by encouraging your BIPOC and LGBTQIAP+ friends who advise the profession to join.
The beach balls bounced back this year with new questions to ask during our first networking session. I discovered that Branson Bruce runs around 10 miles every day and Monica Dixon-Perry used to play slow pitch softball in school. When the ball asked me what my Olympic sport would be I said, "Spectator!".
Our Hot Rocks were well received. Members shared stories related to the topics and asked some really great questions of our presenters. These presentations are available to our members online.
Nationwide shared their newest set of pet health data called “Oodles of Doodles” which studies cancer in dogs. I encourage you to check it out at https://news.nationwide.com/popular-poodle-cross-pups-outpacing-purebred-parents/.
CareCredit also shared their newest eBook on cost of care. The data shows that 7 of 10 pet owners consider pets family yet a bill of $250 would cause them stress and payment challenges. Follow this link to read the entire study. http://petlifetimeofcare.com/#page=1.
Thanks to both of these Premier Sponsors for sharing this excellent information. A really cool thing about being at VetPartners is you get to hear the latest and greatest information – FIRST!
Our second networking session was “free form” so our members just got to sit for over an hour and have those great deep conversations that we all love. I think this may have been one of my favorite activities and I hear the same from several members. Then we had the magnificent Friday evening social thanks to CareCredit. Yes there was shrimp – and crab!
We had many first-time attendees and many new members which is very exciting. Take a look at the picture on the VetPartners Networking group on Facebook to see all the smart new people who got their pin.
New members, welcome to our association. We are thrilled to have you!
Members who couldn’t attend this year – you were greatly missed but I hope I have given you enough information about the meeting so that next time you won’t have to have FOMO.
As we embark on a new year it is my sincere wish that you all have health, joy and prosperity and that your membership in VetPartners helps you achieve that wish. Please reach out to me with any ideas, concerns or questions. I am here to serve.