Although each and every finalist had something worthwhile to say — and I encourage you to read all their entries — I will admit I was happy with the selection of Wesley Taylor of Mercy Animal Hospital (Gardendale, AL) as the 2015 Veterinary Economics Practice Manager of the Year, sponsored by Nationwide. The announcement was made Sunday at The CVC in Kansas City.
That’s because his work has the potential to help heal the rift between the veterinary and sheltering communities, and in so doing help pets and pet-owners alike. From his PMOY essay for DVM360.com:
Since we opened in 2007, Mercy has accepted low-cost spay/neuter certificates from the Friends of Cats and Dogs Foundation (FCDF). Since their founding, FCDF has provided low-cost options for pet owners resulting in more than 25,000 subsidized surgeries performed. As I planned strategic partnerships and outreach to accompany the opening of Mercy West last year, I reached out to FCDF to see how we could work together to help raise awareness for spay/neuter, as well as incentivize more pet owners to elect to have their pets spayed or neutered. […]
The key to this event was partnership and fiscal responsibility. It’s rare for a privately owned veterinary practice in Alabama to truly partner with a nonprofit organization. And by partner I mean to so closely tie mission and money. Anyone who participated in our Spay Day event received a surgery and a rabies vaccination for $20. We made this event a success because Mercy agreed to perform surgeries for the regular FCDF certificate price and agreed to accept $10 for every rabies vaccination. By providing access to care, we believed we would have a great opportunity to retain these clients—most of whom would probably never step foot in a veterinary practice.
[…] As it turns out, we were right. We currently retain over 65 percent of clients whose first-time visit is because of our affordable spay/neuter programs. For Spay Day, the number was even higher—80 percent retention.
Fantastic work, all around!