One health, one brand, one life: NAVC, tied with a (blue) bow

I go to a lot more conferences than many if not most veterinarians, which is to say I typically go to almost all of the big ones and some of the regionals, and even some of those smaller than that. Going to these gatherings of my colleagues is one of the great pleasures of my work as Nationwide/VPI’s Chief Veterinary Officer.

I’ll have a lot to say about conference season, and more to say, certainly, about our  Nationwide | Purdue Veterinary Pricing Index that we released Sunday night. But at this moment, what I am mostly thinking about after the North American Veterinary Community conference is the word “one.”

There are so many wonderful speakers at a conference, and many times I find myself revisiting our tried and true colleagues, interested to hear what they have to say about the latest trends in business, the economy or medicine. But I also find myself listening to colleagues I might not normally have known about, had I not sought out new voices at our professional gatherings.

DDrBostonr.  Sarah Boston is one of those new voices, or at least, she was new to me.

She is a veterinary surgical oncologist, and she is also a cancer survivor. She has written a book about her experience, “Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved My Life.” She’ll be part of my “Three Questions for …” series, and her story had me thinking about the inter-connectivity of all our lives, and what makes us “one,” on so many levels.

In my professional life, I am transitioning from VPI Red to Nationwide Blue, as we change our long-established brand to reflect our parent company’s shift to what we have been calling “One Brand.”   This  particular “One” actually works very well for the goals of our company to continue providing ways for veterinarians to practice good medicine because pet-owners are able to pay for it, something survey after survey says they want as much as their pets need.

Nationwide has been part of Veterinary Pet Insurance from the time our first policies were sold outside of our founding (and continuing) base in California. They have owned and supported VPI in full since 2008. But coming under the big blue umbrella later this year is an opportunity to use that famous brand to provide many more products and services to our communities and our members, veterinarians and pet owners included.

As I was thinking about the Nationwide kind of “one,” and then I was thinking about what the AVMA has been calling “One Health,” which every veterinary reader knows is about the role veterinarians play in ensuring the health and well-being not only of our animal patients, but also of their owners and the greater population of animals and people worldwide. Veterinarians are, first and foremost, doctors.

Dr. Boston’s story illustrates this, as she used her being a doctor, a surgeon and oncologist to save her own life, even though that was not in her mind when she was becoming the veterinarian she is. After her talks at NAVC, I am looking forward to reading her book.

One brand, one health, but really … one life. It’s what we do and who we are as veterinarians and as people.  It’s the care we give for animals, for other people and for ourselves.

One. What a great takeaway from one of the best conferences for medical professionals in the world.


nwTreechargeThe NAVC conference in some ways marked the public beginning of our transition to the Nationwide brand. We debuted the new look for our convention booths, the full “island” version in Gaylord trade show hall, and our smaller “inline” version at the Marriott. We are pretty thrilled at how they turned out, especially the “trees” that have chargers where folks can plug in their electronics and sit while they recharge.

So yes, we really like our new booths, and we weren’t the only ones. Quite a few people stopped by to talk, to sit and to recharge. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, this next bit is yesterday’s news, but I still want to note that the American Veterinary Exhibitors’ Assoc. named our “island” booth the best of its kind at NAVC. Our event coordinator (and resident miracle worker), Tara Van Atta (that’s her on the left in the image on the front page of this blog), deserves a lot of the credit for this achievement. I am thrilled to see her hard work publicly acknowledged.

If you’re going to WVC, please drop by and see our new Nationwide blue dog house  — and see us, too, of course.   As I said when I first announced the brand change, there are more good things coming to the veterinary community from us.