It has become abundantly clear that the implications of coronavirus will be significant, far-reaching, and uncertain. The pandemic has touched every state, traversed the globe, and strikes without regard to gender, race, socio-economic level, and age. In its wake are concerns and questions: When is it finally over? When will business return to ‘normal?’ Will the delivery of veterinary care look different? Unfortunately, we don’t have answers. Your VHMA membership, however, can offer you professional guidance and support during these unsettling times.
VHMA members are motivated and committed to excellence, professional growth, and community. To remain strong and connected professionally, I urge you to rely on your member benefits and resources, which can be a professional lifeline regardless of whether you are commuting to an office, working remotely, or sheltering at home.
In March, we identified a number of resources available to members to help them adapt and learn while staying safe. Although some VHMA educational programs have been modified, the association continues to provide high-quality and relevant programs and resources. We have added topics that address the changes in veterinary management precipitated by the virus. Member response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I thank you for supporting these efforts.
If you have not explored the VHMA Coronavirus Resource page, please do so. This specific resource, as well as the full complement of VHMA offering, can help managers keep current on the industry’s most volatile issues, learn about policies and procedures from your colleagues, ask questions, and share information with others. Listed below is an overview of resources and new developments:
- The Coronavirus Resources page highlights trends and best practice “gems” from member discussions that have been tagged and organized for you. Samples of policies and resources can also be found here in one easy to access location. Additionally, links to other industry resources and partner tools are available. This resource is updated daily.
- Coronavirus pop-up webinars that educate members about changes in Human Resource law, money management during a crisis, and strategies for helping staff stay positive in times of crisis can be found on the resource page and in the OnDemand catalog. Topics include: Coronavirus-Employment Law Updates Managers Need to Know, Coronavirus-Financial Matters Owners and Managers Need to Focus on, Coronavirus - Leading for Resilience in Times of Crisis, and Coronavirus-Payroll Issues Managers Must Know. More are in the works!
- The VHMA website also contains additional On Demand educational webinars available through AVMA and CareCredit, as well as a listing of industry resources. https://www.vhma.org/resources/coronavirus
Please know that the association is continually assessing and evaluating the situation to make adjustments that will allow members to continue learning and acquiring certification. The CVPM Board has approved several accommodations to ensure that members do not lose their certification due to circumstances beyond their control. The accommodations include extending deadlines, waiving late and rescheduling fees, and waiving the in-person CE requirement. These accommodations are limited and specifically targeted to individuals immediately impacted.
If you know of coworkers and colleagues who would benefit from VHMA resources, please direct them to VHMA’s DISCOVER VHMA 30-Day Trial Membership program, which runs through April. The trial membership includes access to tools and resources offered to members and new offerings that are helping managers navigate the unchartered waters we are currently experiencing. Trial members who join the VHMA after the trial period concludes will be offered a pro-rated membership for the remainder of 2020.
Now more than ever, we realize the importance and power of community. Your VHMA community is here to support and lend guidance as we try to make our way forward. Reach out, stay connected, and ask for help if you need it. In her March President’s message VHMA President Michelle Gonzales-Bryant, CVPM highlighted resources should you find yourself or recognize that a staff member is in a dark place – these are worth repeating:
In the void of uncertainty, we carry on. We respect the directives of our state and local leaders, we do our best to stay safe, we tend to our loved ones, and we plan for our future. The coronavirus may have thrown a wrench into our plans, but we are united, resourceful, creative, and adaptable, and we look for ways to cope and even thrive.
The best to all of you. Remember, you are not alone.
VHMA Board of Directors and Staff