VMG, Zoetis and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) have collaborated to offer the VMG/CVPM scholarship program, which provide veterinary professionals an opportunity to attain the highest level of certification a veterinary manager can achieve---the Certified Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM) credential. The CVPM, which is offered through VHMA, qualifies the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully manage the ever-changing business management of today's veterinary practices. CVPM candidates must document experience, knowledge and pass an examination.
The 2020 VMG-CVPM Scholarship recipients are: Kristin Balderson, Dekalb Animal Hospital, Tucker, GA; Holly Daugherty, Encore Vet Group, Virginia Beach, VA; Susan Driever, Animal Hospital Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX; Marsha Morgan Godfrey, Hunters CanyonVet, TX; and, Mercy McClendon, Animal Care Clinic, San Luis Obispo, CA. All scholarship recipients are active in VMG study groups.
About the VMG-CVPM Scholarship
The VMG-CVPM Scholarship is awarded to managers employed by veterinary hospitals belonging to Veterinary Management Groups (VMG’s) whose professionalism, expertise and commitment will be enhanced with CVPM certification. The scholarship award includes a CVPM exam fee waiver, a complimentary registration to participate in the VHMA’s eleven-week CVPM Test Preparation Program, including: a print copy of the CVPM Preparation Workbook and access to two VHMA Empower U Self-Assessment examinations, and $1,000 cash toward the purchase of publications on the CVPM recommended reading list, and a one-year complimentary VHMA membership.
Meet the scholarship recipients
Kristin Balderson has been employed by DeKalb Animal Hospital---a five-doctor practice--- for 13 years. She worked her way from kennel attendant, technician assistant, receptionist, lead receptionist, front office manager, office manager, to practice manager. Currently, she collaborates with the owner to make business decisions that will promote the growth and success of the practice. The veterinary field is where her heart is, although she graduated from college thinking she would pursue a career in finance or marketing. She even went on to attain paralegal certification but could not bring herself to leave veterinary medicine. She describes the scholarship as, “such an honor, which will open doors for me. I cannot wait to get my certification and I know my life will change for the better and I will have an opportunity to create my legacy.”
Holly Daugherty joined the team at Pet Care Veterinary Hospital in 2011 as a credentialed veterinary technician and shortly after began managing the inventory. She enjoys project planning and goal setting and helping the team discover and expand their skills and passions. Change management is another area in which she excels and in 2019 she helped her private practice transition to a part of Encore Vet Group. In 2020, she worked with the team to prepare for AAHA re-accreditation and an OSHA safety audit. She is pursuing a BS in business management and minoring in marketing at Old Dominion University. For Daugherty, the CVPM designation is vital to her future success in the field. “The scholarship is so helpful in providing the support I need to earn that designation successfully and I am thankful to Zoetis for sponsoring it,” she said.
Susan Driever has worked at Animal Hospital Highway 6 since May 2015, when her husband took on full ownership of the practice. Previously, she was a software trainer and regional manager of a retail training company. As practice manager, she takes pride in seeing her team innovate and succeed and believes that when management trusts staff and provides them with the proper tools, they can improve processes and procedures. For example, the owner and Driever developed a broad COVID safety protocol framework. The team discovered ways to streamline practices and increase efficiency as service methods changed.
Driever describes herself as a lifelong learner and hopes to round out her management knowledge and become a better veterinary practice manager with the CVPM credential. She said, “Currently, my focus is on being the best manager I can be and earning my CVPM certification is an outward sign that I’m committed to continuous growth and professional development.”
Marsha Morgan Godfrey has been with CanyonVet for 7 years. After leaving an extremely high stress position in veterinary management, she accepted a kennel position at CanyonVet. While working in the kennel---a role she held for three months---she was reminded of how much she loved the veterinary industry. She worked at a number of positions in the practice and eventually became practice manager and oversees all operations, inventory, and staff management. Her favorite part of her job is helping her team learn and grow in the industry. According to Godfrey, the best patient care comes from training the best people to provide it. Godfrey is thankful for the opportunity to earn the CVPM and noted, “The CVPM will provide me with the acknowledgement of all I have accomplished in my career and the drive to continue to grow in the future.”
Mercy McClendon has been with Animal Care Clinic for seven years. She advanced from CSR to office manager and, in 2016, became the hospital administrator. She describes her most significant responsibility as strategizing a big picture vision for the practice with the owner to ensure the practice is efficient and productive and the team is healthy and happy. She believes in leading by example and emphasizes the importance of caring for and protecting the team emotionally, physically, and legally. Finding opportunities that will help team members expand their professional skills and flourish personally is also a priority. The most effective managers, according to McClendon, are committed to doing what is right and strive to understand the details of employment law.
The CVPM, said McClendon, “gives me legitimacy and proves I am an expert at my job. My goal is to help other hospital administrators and I think the CVPM will open up that pathway for me.”
“Thirteen impressive applicants, five outstanding scholarship recipients!” The selection process was extremely difficult. Those who were selected are exemplary professionals with a demonstrated commitment to the profession, their practices, teams, and patients. It is clear that this scholarship will provide them with the credential and skills to have an impact on veterinary practice management. Congratulations to all of the talented recipients,” said Christine Shupe, Executive Director, VHMA.
About The VHMA
The VHMA is a nationally recognized thought-leader and innovator in providing training, education and resources to its more than 4,000 members while being a resource that the entire veterinary sector trusts for industry insights, research, and advocacy to assure performance at the highest levels. VHMA's core purpose is to advance and support veterinary practice management professionals by developing professional competence, supporting and encouraging standards through the industry's highest-level certification program, the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM), and providing individuals with a network for professional connection and support. For more information go to http://www.VHMA.org.
About Veterinary Study Groups, Inc.
Veterinary Study Groups, Inc. provides a structure that enables practice owners to benefit from each other’s wisdom, ideas and experiences through Veterinary Management Groups. Each VMG is made up of 16-22 veterinarian owners and other practice leaders who meet biannually to share information, data, and management experiences. Mutual support and motivation help VMG members attain higher levels of success as practice administrators and leaders. More information about Veterinary Management Groups, including membership and contact details, may be found at www.veterinarystudygroups.com.
Zoetis is a global animal health company. Building on 60 years of experience, Zoetis delivers quality medicines and vaccines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, bio devices and a range of services. The company is working every day to better understand and address the real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals in ways they find truly relevant. For more information go to: http://www.zoetis.com
The VMG/CVPM scholarship program is sponsored in-part through an educational grant by Zoetis.