2021 Annual Meeting & Conference

Programs

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Workshop

VALUE-BASED Pricing Strategies and Tools Workshop
Speaker: Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA

Implementing a pricing strategy isn’t just about deciding what percentage to increase fees by. Value-based pricing intuitively makes the most sense in setting prices. Value-based pricing, however, is hard—how do you determine how much value a particular service and the related client experience provide to a pet owner? This workshop address what we now know about client price expectations and present best practices that are key to implementing an effective pricing strategy.

This is a pre-conference event, separate registration and fees apply.

View Workshop Program Details

Thursday, September 9, 2021

8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. – General Session

Uncovering the Mojo to Productivity, Saving Time and Getting More Done
Speaker: Fred Moore

In this fast-paced, entertaining and informative program you will learn how to use your time better, triple productivity and do something that most people in the world don’t do; get what they want out of their lives and business!

You’ll learn things like:
  • Brainstorming techniques for tackling problems
  • The Magic of Productivity-Blocks
  • Why time management is a joke
  • The one thing most people leave out when setting a goal
  • The lazy persons guide to productivity
After this program you will have the tools you need to get more done in less time, you’ll relieve some stress and you will Do So Much More!

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable Discussions

Table 1: Share your favorite time management hack.
Table 2: How are you navigating post-COVID safety in your practice?
Table 3: Share your most successful marketing messages and branding
Table 4: What have you incorporated post-COVID to improve operational efficiencies and flow?
Table 5: How are you managing generational differences in your practice?
Table 6: Share what your practice has done to address staff burnout
Table 7: Share an out-of-the-box idea you implemented when managing a short-staffed organization.
Table 8: Other than increased compensation, share a successful recruiting strategy or tactic
Table 9: What communication technology do you use to alert your team members when clients are coming, going, and calling?
Table 10: Practice hours and staff scheduling – what’s been working for your team given the higher than usual patient visit trend?
Table 11: The pandemic has cause unforeseen supply shortages; share your workarounds for inventory management
Table 12: What is your best tip for your personal well-being during these stressful times?
Table 13: Emergency and Referral/Specialty - How are you managing GP referrals, given that all practices are struggling with staff shortage and team burnout due to increased patient visits.
Table 14: Looking to 2022, what are your biggest budgetary concerns? What is your financial management strategy in uncertain economic times?

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Educational Sessions

Track A: Growing Leaders from Within
Speaker: Amy Newfield, MS, CVT, VTS

Why do we need technician or CSR leaders in our hospitals? How do we go about choosing the best candidate for a leadership position? Once they are in the position how do we ensure their success? If you are looking to promote staff to leadership role or looking to fill a void in your hospital this lecture will review best practices moving staff from the floor to a leadership role. Ensuring their success by avoiding common new leadership pitfalls will also be discussed.

Track B: Take-Aways and Lessons Learned from Implementing A New Pricing Strategy
Speaker: Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA

One of the most important decisions a veterinary practice must make involves setting prices for new products and services and changing existing prices. The impact of these decisions can be significant and far reaching. Strategic Pricing, which relies on a systematic process to translate customer value, costs, strategic objectives, and competitors prices into the right price, can eliminate arbitrary pricing. Join host Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA, as she leads a panel of managers who have experimented with new pricing strategies in their practices. 

Panelists will share the inside story on how they decided the product or services that was addressed, the steps used to determine price structure, efforts to elicit staff input, staff training strategies, client response, financial outcomes, and more. During the candid discussion, panelists will offer tips for success and identify barriers that can impact implementation.

When the session concludes, participants will be equipped with insights and information to confidently undertake strategic pricing in their practices.

Track C: Panel Discussion - Career Opportunities for Managers
Moderator: Jake Waas, CVPM

If you ask veterinary hospital managers what they do, most will say that they are responsible for overseeing staff, policies, and finances, but the manager’s role can vary from organization to organization, depending on the size, specialty, and ownership model. Additionally, veterinary management careers are not limited to the practice setting. VHMA has assembled a diverse panel of professionals, including those who have leaped from the practice setting to consulting and industry. The panelists will detail the varied roles they play and will reveal the pathways that got them to where they are now. Whether you are new to the profession or searching for career options, this candid discussion will provide fresh perspectives on the wide range of options available to veterinary practice managers.

1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Educational Sessions

Track A: Handling the Unique Employment Law Challenges of the Veterinary Practice
Speaker: John MacDonald

Veterinary practice employees handle unique time pressures, difficult pet owners, and a host of other factors which regularly create intense work environments. Recognizing this reality and setting up mechanisms to handle the busy reality of a typical veterinary practice can prevent unnecessary disputes and even costly employee-based litigation. This session will identify conditions and situations which often lead to such problems and suggest methodologies for defusing or eliminating employment-related conflicts using a series of examples and real-life scenarios.

Track B: Managing Up, How to Use Financials to Impact Your Practice
Speaker: Ali Todd

Financial statements reveal the health of a veterinary hospital. But how do you, as a practice manager, utilize them to effect change at your hospital? This session will not just cover the basics of financial statements – it will explain how you can use them to change data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into performance improvement. It will also explore how to create a financial partnership with the hospital owner, including how often to meet, what checks and balances should be in place, and what key performance indicators to review to help make the biggest impact.

Track C: Managing 100 Teams in One: Top Tips to Creating Cohesive Specialty Teams
Speaker: Amy Newfield, MS, CVT, VTS

Managing 100 Teams in One: Top Tips to Creating Cohesive Specialty Teams
Within any specialty hospital, there can be countless smaller teams that seem to operate independently of one another. The challenge we face is how to create a more cohesive hospital when dealing with numerous strong independent teams. The discussion will focus on the unique issues of managing a specialty hospital and the most effective ways to structure leadership within a specialty hospital. By diving into these questions, participants will learn how to manage just one hospital rather than 100 in one.

3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. – Educational Sessions

Track A: Eliminating Bullying and Harassment in the Clinic/Hospital Setting
Speaker: John MacDonald

By some accounts, as many as 20% of American workers experience on-the-job bullying and other forms of harassment. Several states have passed legislation to address the bullying problem, and OSHA may be drawn in on such conduct as well. Learn how to identify harassment/bullying in your practice, discuss what managers can do to address this problem, and review the role social media plays in this problem.

Track B: Panel Discussion: The New Frontier: Compensation Innovations to Attract and Retain Great Employees
Moderator: Debbie Hill, CVPM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CCFP

Managers are responsible for hiring, retaining, growing, and creating a skilled team. A practice's compensation strategy figures prominently in this process. But attracting the best employees and getting them to stick around in a competitive job market is a challenge. Traditional compensation approaches may no longer be effective. Debbie Hill will moderate a panel of experts who will share insights and discuss innovative compensation strategies they have implemented to secure and retain highly qualified and talented team members. The information shared in this session can be applied to defining and developing comp strategies.

6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. – Vendor Presentations

Fear Free Impacts on Hospital Culture, Patient Care, and Leadership
Speaker: Natalie Gruchow, CVPM, SHRM-CP

Would you like to decrease compassion fatigue for your team? Are you having trouble filling vacant job openings? Do you want your patients to receive the best possible care? If you answered yes to any of these questions, implementing a Fear Free culture may be a win-win solution for your patients, clients, and team. This Fear Free overview will provide easy to implement tips from the only Fear Free Certified Practice in the Dakotas, such as effortless facility updates and steps to form a Fear Free Committee. To successfully introduce new processes, you need to know how to effectively lead change management.

Presented by Fear Free, LLC

STOP Letting a Valuable Team Member Collect Dust: Leverage Your Website to Reduce Stress and Streamline Your Business
Speaker: Cassandra Parsons

Your website is a part of your team - it should increase your practice efficiency and elevate your operations. In this value-packed discussion, we'll demonstrate how digitizing your business model through proven tools will lead to less stress for your team and more convenience for your clients. You'll learn how to: 1) garner qualified clients and reduce redundant phone calls, 2) streamline communications & modernize the care process, and 3) automate recruiting of qualified professionals to your team. You will walk away with actionable, data-driven ideas that incorporate every part of your client relationship, making your website your best hire yet.

Presented by ViziSites Inc.

 

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – General Session

Creating the Perfect Schedule - An Interactive Workshop
Speaker: Darren Osborne, MA

Have you ever had one of those perfect days where everyone shows up early for their appointment, the staff are on point and you break a record - all the while it felt effortless? Why can’t every day be the perfect day? In this interactive session, we are going to see what it takes to create the perfect day.

After breaking into teams, we will start with identifying the perfect client. Next, each team will build an appointment schedule around their perfect client and finally build an HR schedule to fit their schedule. At the end of the session, Darren will monetize the different schedules and see how them compare financially.

Friday, September 10, 2021

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – General Session

Don't Let People Issues Limit Your Growth – Create a Talent Plan
Speaker: Steve Van Remortel

Among the human resource issues facing managers today are: attracting and retaining employees to meet the needs of the practice, creating a compelling office culture and employee value proposition, developing a leadership pipeline, and enhancing employees' skills to address a changing industry.

Left unchecked, these challenges can result in:
• Ineffective communication/conflict
• High turnover
• Bad hires
• Underperformance/Unfulfilled potential
• Uncertain succession planning
• Limited Growth

When managers neglect to plan strategically for their "talent" or employment needs, hiring, managing, and performance-both employee and business---are compromised. Outlining a plan to address people issues proactively addresses these challenges.

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn how to create a Talent Plan that is responsive to the common talent issues many practices confront and:
• Create a 3-year vision/a bullseye
• Create a 3-year talent plan to achieve it
• Execute 4-month sprints to make the vision a reality

Although talent will continue to be a primary constraint to growth, this workshop will help managers master the skill of proactive talent planning and create high-growth teams and organizations.

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable Discussions

Table 1: Share your favorite time management hack.
Table 2: How are you navigating post-COVID safety in your practice?
Table 3: Share your most successful marketing messages and branding
Table 4: What have you incorporated post-COVID to improve operational efficiencies and flow?
Table 5: How are you managing generational differences in your practice?
Table 6: Share what your practice has done to address staff burnout
Table 7: Share an out-of-the-box idea you implemented when managing a short-staffed organization.
Table 8: Other than increased compensation, share a successful recruiting strategy or tactic
Table 9: What communication technology do you use to alert your team members when clients are coming, going, and calling?
Table 10: Practice hours and staff scheduling – what’s been working for your team given the higher than usual patient visit trend?
Table 11: The pandemic has cause unforeseen supply shortages; share your workarounds for inventory management
Table 12: What is your best tip for your personal well-being during these stressful times?
Table 13: Emergency and Referral/Specialty - How are you managing GP referrals, given that all practices are struggling with staff shortage and team burnout due to increased patient visits.
Table 14: Looking to 2022, what are your biggest budgetary concerns? What is your financial management strategy in uncertain economic times?

Table 15: Meet VHMA Leadership (Friday only)

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Educational Sessions

Track A: Dare to LeadTM -  Primer for Courageous Leadership at Work, Part I
Speaker: Mimi Darmstadter, PPC

Grounded in the content of the best-selling book, Dare to LeadTM by Brene Brown, this program introduces participants to "daring" leadership skills that are the foundation of her companion curriculum. Participants will first learn about the four Dare to Lead cornerstone skills:

1. Rumbling with Vulnerability
2. Living our Values 3. BRAVING Trust
4. Learning to rise

Following this overview, the workshop will place specific emphasis on Skill Set #1, and participants will experience firsthand what it means to rumble with their own vulnerability. 

Track B: Fun with Budgets
Speaker: Darren Osborne, MA

The best thing about budgets is it allows you to see into the future. Seriously, you can take last year's revenue and expense figures and project them forward to see what next year can look like. Of course, we have no way of knowing exactly what will happen, but a budget can help us see the impact from raising fees, hiring a new veterinarian, expanding dentistry, or giving staff raises. Fortunately, as a manager, you have more than enough time to do all this during the idle hours of 2 am, and 4 am. Right? Done right, a budget can be created with limited time. During this presentation, Darren will show you how to create a draft budget quickly using twelve months of actual profit and loss data and a couple of shortcuts.

Track C: Closing the Skills Gap: Examine Current Challenges and Anticipate the Training Needs of the Future Workforce
Speaker: Julie Nash, CVT, CVPM, PHR, SHRM-CP

As recruiting and retaining the most talented veterinary team members becomes more difficult every day, we can no longer wait for skilled team members to come to us. To continue to experience success, we must anticipate skill gaps and performance issues that will occur. Learn how to take a proactive approach to address gaps by building bridges that upskill your workforce and develop your organization’s own talent. Attendees will be able to:

• Examine global human resource trends affecting the workforce and identify the impact to our future workforce in veterinary medicine
• Identify current and future gaps in soft skill areas such as communication, critical thinking, leadership, and the implications of learning disabilities
• Identify steps to assess and close skill gaps in the veterinary practice and employ realistic strategies for creating internal training programs that meet the needs of the modern learner

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Educational Sessions

Track A: Dare to LeadTMLeaning into Braver Conversations, Part II
Speaker: Mimi Darmstadter, PPC

In Part II, participants will deepen their Dare to LeadTM conceptual knowledge by focusing on the second skill set, Living Our Values. They will identify and then learn how their specific values inspire bravery in the workplace. Additionally, this session will highlight how other strategies, skills, and behaviors create conditions for effective, albeit and often "scary," interpersonal interactions.

Track B: Care to Share? Using Storytelling as a Tool to Support Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Speaker: Shandell Maxwell, Ph.D.

This presentation is designed to help people embrace the idea and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion through storytelling. The session will begin with a high-level overview of the background and push for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and transition into a conversation about racial literacy, storytelling techniques, and leadership connection. Attendees will then craft their own stories about injustice they have experienced, witnessed, or heard. This interactive approach will induce empathy and understanding about others through the sharing of stories.

Track C: Working at Communication in 24/7 Environment to Make it Work for Your Team
Speaker: Susie Crockett, CVPM

Communicating with the many and varied stakeholders in a veterinary setting can, at times, be taxing. If that setting is a hospital or practice that operates 24/7, 365 days a year, the challenges can be formidable. Although managers may think that getting staff on the same page is unachievable, with work, managers can create a climate that fosters effective communication. In this session, participants will learn strategies for bridging communication gaps, improving listening, and developing and implementing plans to strengthen staff connections.

3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. – Educational Sessions

Track A: Emotions as Fuel
Speaker: Julie Squires, BA, CCFS

Many of us have been taught that emotions are "touchy-feely" and that they are something that gets in our way. We spend a lot of time trying NOT to feel what we feel, and in veterinary medicine, we feel a LOT. As a leader, you are a source of inspiration for others. How you handle your own emotions is being observed every day by your staff and colleagues. The goal isn't to feel happy all the time; the goal is to be willing to experience both positive and negative emotions in equal proportion. This session will give you a completely fresh perspective on emotions, teach you how to gain authority over them, show you how to generate any emotion you want, and dramatically improve your leadership style as a result.

Track B: Better Than a Crystal Ball: The Data Behind Emerging Veterinary Trends
Speaker: Sheri Gilmartin, CVT

If your practice is like most, you're scrambling to meet client demand and retain your exhausted staff. You're also likely dodging that niggling question dancing around the back of your mind: How long will this last? Drop your tarot cards and crystal ball, and let's wade through the data together to see what's going on. We'll dive into stats from the VHMA Insiders' Insights KPI dashboard and take a look at some critical key performance indicators and benchmarks for the veterinary profession. We'll explore emerging trends and tackle some potential reasons why revenue is growing faster than visits. We will discuss important KPIs like Change in Active Patients and Revenue Per Unique Patient. Participants will walk away with actionable insights.

Track C: Remote Work in Veterinary Practices
Speaker: Elizabeth Fritzler, DVM, CVPM

This session will address why incorporating remote work is important, what roles work best remotely and how to implement best practices. We will also look at some case studies and hear from panelists on real life implementation.

6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. – Vendor Presentations

Building a Betterinarian
Speaker: Heidi Hulon, DVM, CCFP

What does it take to manage a successful veterinary clinic? Needed are technical skills, as well as personal skills. There is plenty of training to be proficient at the work, but very little training to be proficient in handling what the work does to YOU. This talk examines and addresses the training for the person within the animal health industry.

Presented by Elanco

Saturday, September 11, 2021

8:00 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. – CVPM Roundtable Discussions

CVPM Roundtable Discussions

Program descriptions coming soon.

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – General Session

Veterinary Medicine in a Post COVID World-Making Sense of a Disrupted Marketplace
Speaker: Travis Meredith, DVM, MBA, Dip. ACT

The year 2020 changed how veterinary hospitals operate – from what they purchase to how they communicate and how they care for their patients. This session will highlight the ongoing issues and insight into the market for veterinary medicine, made available through www.vetwatch.com, the profession's most comprehensive reporting platform of key economic trends. Among the topics covered are the Veterinary Consumption Index---an essential proxy for patient growth and variability across the markets---the evolution of the cost of goods for the practice, a study of consumer preferences and trends in veterinary spending, and an analysis of practice performance, which includes a review of 5,000+ small and mixed animal practices. Get a handle on trends and developments in the practice and the industry to be well-prepared.

10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – General Session

Fail Fast & Pivot
Speaker: Lisa Lounsbury

As the world works to bring back a sense of normalcy, it's important to accept that "What used to be Normal" is no longer "Normal." The truth is, we are now living in a "New Reality," and the harder we resist this new reality, the longer it will take to move forward and thrive. Rather than reflecting on the challenges of the past, it's vital to Reconnect with each other and focus on what is really important in order to achieve Success. Lisa will deliver an energetic, inspiring, and empowering talk on how you can experience Resiliency and Post-Traumatic Growth using the Fail Fast and Pivot process. Be prepared to move and be moved!

1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. – Technology User Groups

A post-conference workshop, registration required, no registration fee

Are you utilizing all Weave has to offer? Create a smoother patient experience from start to finish.
Technology Guide: Michael White

A refresher course on Weave that will positively impact your bottom line.

Attendees will be required to review and sign our COVID-19 Notice and Release either in advance of the event or on site upon registration/check-in.  Attendees will be required to review and acknowledge our health screen on site.