2019 VetPartners Mid-Year Meeting Hot Rocks Presentations Announced

May 21, 2019 at 4:37 pm
Sarah Rumple

The end of May is nearly here, and as the days heat up and the kids prepare for the final days of school, you should be preparing for the VetPartners 2019 Mid-Year Meeting. This year’s meeting will be jam-packed with interesting and relevant presentations, valuable networking opportunities, and fun social events. And, if it’s not yet hot where you are, things are about to heat up, because VetPartners has announced this year’s list of Hot Rocks presentations. Here’s a glimpse:

Diverse Individualization in the Veterinary Community

Tiffany Schaible and Melissa Supernor
Understanding the diverse individualization of our veterinary community is important when building a positive culture and making team members feel supported. This interactive discussion will explore various diversity concepts, including representation burnout.

The Brave New World of Pet Health Care: Pet Parent Centric and Technology Forward

Kerri Marshall
Technology is how pet health decisions are being made by pet parents—with or without veterinarians. Pets will receive better care if veterinarians can expand their definition of pet health care and transform their role from the pet’s “hands-on hero” to the pet parent’s “digital guide.” This means we must transform veterinary practice to be technology forward, patient centered, and client connected.

Corporate Squeeze: Effects of Corporate Acquisitions on Smaller Transitions and Fueling Startups

Anthony Mahan
Corporate consolidation has created an imbalance in the number of smaller veterinary practices available for sale and a premium of purchase in a seller’s marketplace. The result? Disenfranchised associates are moving from the expensive acquisition market into the startup space, and successfully so.

Purpose-Driven Marketing: How to Connect with Consumers or Bond with Employees

Cathy Lawler
Purpose-driven marketing is focused on engaging the values of customers, rather than their emotions. These campaigns address where a brand stands on social or cultural issues, and consumers (and employees) are aligning with companies that support a cause, especially one they believe in. This brainstorming session will generate value-based ideas we can use when marketing to the veterinary profession.

Practicing with Courage in the Age of Fear

Cindy Trice
As veterinarians, we don’t always have the option of getting all the answers before we make a treatment decision. Making the call and using your best judgement to help a patient, with the lurking fears of doing harm, feeling stupid, being judged, or getting sued, takes a lot of courage. During this presentation, we’ll discuss specific techniques that can be practiced in everyday life to help people become more comfortable with uncertainty. And, we’ll create scenarios where a veterinarian’s acumen is judged not solely on their knowledge, but also on their curiosity and flexibility.

The Shocking American Tragedy of the Unattached Pet Owner

Joel Parker
In 2018, Veterinary Practice Solutions undertook a study of front-desk communication barriers for U.S. and Canadian veterinary practices. The results revealed an astonishing, catastrophic communication failure and loss of untold thousands of dollars to a veterinary practice. The survey results will be discussed as well as the scoring system that gives insight into how a highly functional “in it to win it” practice handles shoppers.

Raising Our Team’s Wages Doesn’t Have to Wipe Out Our Net Income

Elise Lacher
In today’s business environment, we are competing against McDonalds and Target for the same pool of people to work in our clinics, and many of those companies are offering starting salaries of at least $12 to $15 per hour. How can we compete? Using Participation Age principals, even veterinary practices can design specific operating design choices to be able to compete.
(But who will tell Elise when her time is up?)

Compounded Drugs: The FDA Adds a New Wrinkle that Veterinarians Need to Know

Debbie Boone
Veterinary practices have used compounding pharmacies for many years to formulate medications for patients too small for standard doses of drugs. The precarious accuracy of these compounding formulations came to the forefront when a compounding pharmacy error killed 21 polo ponies. Veterinarians need more information about these companies, their practices, and the levels of inspection to make safe decisions for their patients and to protect their licenses.

Suicide Prevention as a Veterinary Practice Health and Safety Issue

Frank King
CEOs underestimate the hidden costs of employee well-being. This program helps workplaces appreciate the critical need for suicide prevention while creating a forum for dialogue and critical thinking about workplace mental health challenges. It builds a business case for suicide prevention while promoting help-seeking and help-giving.

What Does Pet Health Insurance Really Do for Hospitals?

Wendy Hauser
There have been retrospective studies conducted that evaluate the increase in client spending on insured pets. What happens when a hospital actively endorses pet insurance to its clients? This brief presentation will highlight the findings of a proof of concept study evaluating the impact of actively discussing pet health insurance on clients, animal health care teams, and revenue.

Share the Windfall

Charlotte Lacroix
Corporate acquisitions far outnumber private sales, and corporate buyout offers vastly exceed those of any associate or private interest buyers, yielding an immense cash windfall to the seller. The remaining associate veterinarians typically receive no supplementary compensation, and any previous hopes an associate may have had of buying the practice is off the table. Upon sale closure, associates are terminated by the original employer and rehired by the new owner. This presentation will explore the argument that the associate deserves a new signing bonus.

How Great Leaders Build Resilient Practices and Teams that ROAR with Purpose and Passion

Joy Fuhrman
Great leaders must develop personal and team resilience to withstand the relentless demands and pressures of day-to-day life, remain calm in the frantic chaos of society, and embrace constant changes so that we may continue to thrive. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to build not only personal resilience, but also resilient teams that are able to withstand the demands and stress of today’s workplace while continuing to innovate and thrive.

Was George Jetson Right About the Future of Communications and How We Interact?

Catherine Haskins
Brenda Andresen
“The Jetson’s,” “Star Trek,” and “Star Wars,” all have one forecast about the future in common: Texting is dead. Today, texting is the most popular form of communication among adults under 50, and more than 40% of people prefer to interact with a computer to schedule appointments. But, the future of communications tells a different story, and one that will benefit veterinary medicine. This discussion will dive into how George Jetson and Princess Leia viewed engagement and the spread of information, and how Captain Kirk made personal communication a priority with teleportation. We’ll show how these approaches can make an impact on how veterinarians engage with pet owners and hospital employees.

Moving the Needle in Veterinary Dentistry

Paul Camilo
Many of us know that the biggest opportunity for growth is veterinary dentistry, yet many animal hospitals still produce less than 3% in dentistry. However, with a few tweaks to the process and focused training, they can join the 20%-of-revenue-and-up club. This talk will go over the top veterinary dental initiatives that work.

Hot Rocks presentations are consistently a favorite among VetPartners members. Don’t miss this year’s great lineup. Hop on your computer and register now for the 2019 VetPartners Mid-Year Meeting.


The 2019 VetPartners Mid-Year Meeting

July 30–August 1, 2019

Westin Washington D.C. City Center Hotel
1400 M Street, NW

All the cool, fun, smart, and business-savvy consultants, advisors, and business professionals in veterinary medicine!

If you don’t know the answer to this, read this blog post again.

Register here.


See you in Washington, D.C.!


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Sarah Rumple is an award-winning veterinary writer and editor. Serving the veterinary industry since 2011, her writing covers everything from practice management topics for veterinary professionals to pet health and behavior topics for pet owners. Sarah’s clients include veterinary publications, organizations, nonprofit associations, media companies, individual veterinarians/practices, corporate groups, and others. Sarah is owner and chief creative officer of Rumpus Writing and Editing LLC, which she began in 2016. She and her team write more than 30 blog posts for their various clients every month. Learn more about Sarah or contact her at

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