The Program

The 2021 Annual Meeting Program

Join Us February 2 – 4, 2021


**All Times Listed are EST**

February 2

11:30am-12:00pm   How To Session

12:00-1:00pm    Welcome, How To, Small Group Introductions and Association Business Meeting

1:00-2:00pm     Hot Rock Session

2:-2:30pm     Dedicated Exhibit Hall Time

2:30-4:00pm     Panel Session – The Future is Meow

4:00-5:00pm     Networking Event – Trivia Nigh!

February 3

12:00am-1:00pm    Welcome, Small Group Introductions, Hot Rock Session

1:00-1:40pm    Networking Event

1:40-2:15pm     Dedicated Exhibit Hall Time

2:15 – 4:20pm     Two Hot Rock Sessions

4:30-5:45pm     Sponsor Roundtables

February 4

12:00-1:45pm    Welcome, Small Group Introductions, Panel Session – Complete Compensation

1:45-2:15pm     Dedicated Exhibit Hall Time

2:30-4:30pm     Two Hot Rock Sessions

4:30-5:30pm     CareCredit Social

Hot Rocks

What would a VetPartners meeting be without Hot Rocks presentations? Check out the lineup!

Connecting Meaningfully Virtually

Do you listen to the radio? Your favorite radio personality knows the secrets to connecting with an unseen audience – secrets you’ll learn in this session. Sandy Weaver is a former award-winning major-market radio personality who’ll share the secrets to creating connection in a virtual setting.

Artificial Intelligence in Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary practices are busy, hectic places. Practitioners sometimes wish they could clone themselves, to get more done with less. And, when veterinary specialists are backlogged with cases, which is most of the time, veterinarians wish they could also clone their specialists! Cloning may not be available today, but artificial intelligence (AI) is. AI is showing great promise in veterinary medicine for helping practitioners do more with less … getting diagnostic results faster, starting treatment more quickly, delivering better patient care, and increasing revenue in the process. This session will help attendees understand what AI is, see how it is being applied today in veterinary medicine, and understand how it can be used to improve patient health and solve some of the problems facing the veterinary profession. Presented by Conor Guptil and Seth Wallack.

Mean People – Why COVID-19 is Making us Crazy and What we can do to Help

Veterinary Hospitals are experiencing increased hostility from stressed our clients. Exhausted team members are being abused and many are departing for easier jobs leaving teams even more stretched. We are going to be dealing with this pressure for awhile longer so how can we manage better communication and stop the madness? This talk will share some brain science insights and communication tips to calm the savage client. Presented by Debbie Boone.

Overcoming Barriers in Cost of Care Conversations

The need to find answers usually starts with a question. In this proof of concept study, the question was “How does proactively educating clients about pet health insurance really impact veterinary teams, pet owners and the care that pets receive?” To find the answers to this question, and with the support of the ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance program, Dr. Wendy Hauser designed and implemented a two year clinical study. The objective of one portion of the study was to identify what barriers prevented veterinary teams from having cost of care conversations with clients. The study uncovered five key barriers that inhibited the proactive education of clients about pet health insurance, and more globally, prevented team members from entering into cost of care conversations with clients. Solutions to overcome each of these barriers will be presented by Dr. Hauser.

The Questions That are Lost

Regardless of the context within which we have conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, there are always questions that don’t get asked. Sometimes this is because we don’t give these issues enough of our attention to actually formulate questions, while other times we don’t know how to put into words the things that we’re curious about. We’re left thinking that maybe we should know this already or maybe we’re the only ones who don’t understand. And then there are times when we know exactly what we want to ask but because we don’t fully understand the contours of what is appropriate when it comes to DEI issues, we don’t put our thoughts into words. “What if what I think is a thoughtful response or question is perceived by others to be narrow-minded and ignorant?” These are conversations, after all, in which relationships, reputations, and even careers can be at stake.
What gets lost in the apprehension is that DEI issues are all intertwined in a complex web of social, economic, and historical relationships such that not only do none of us have all of the answers, but neither will we all ever agree on the answers that are put forward. Why should anyone be expected to know so much about a topic that is so large?
This session is an opportunity to ask a question that often gets left off the table. Perhaps it is something that your brother-in-law says that you disagree with but don’t know why. Or maybe you would like to ask about something that your neighbor says that seems to make sense to you but not enough so that you’d stand behind it or say it yourself. So what do you want to ask about race, gender, ethnicity, disability, or LGBT issues with the hope of receiving a response that leaves you thinking, “Hmm…that kind of makes sense”?
This session, sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, features guest presenter Samuel M. Richards, Ph.D., HPS, an award-winning teaching professor and sociologist at Penn State University who instructs the largest race and cultural relations course in the United States.  Learn more about him here.

Evolution of the Veterinary Real Estate Market: What ALL Consultants Need to Know

Succession planning and practice sales aren’t every consultant’s area of specialty but having at least a basic understanding of evolving trends in the profession is important for all advisors. This session will provide an overview of the changing landscape in practice real estate sales which everyone should know about as well as delve into some of the details that are of particular importance to those regularly working with practice transitions. Presented by Karen E. Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA, and Daniel Eisenstadt. Topics to be included:

Overview of changes in the veterinary real estate market and the role of buyers, brokers, developers and other intermediaries:

  • Quality of veterinary facilities is improving
  • Financial and operational improvements to veterinary practices impact real estate value
  • Significant institutional investors in veterinary corporate groups is impacting value of veterinary real estate

Do veterinary real estate appraisals properly reflect the value of veterinary real estate?

  • Is the appraiser using relevant comps?
  • Who is the tenant?
  • What is the relationship between the appraised value and rent?
  • How have veterinary real estate cap rates changed in the past decade?

Strategies to improve the value of veterinary real estate:

  • Top 3 real estate improvements that can improve the value of the real estate

Top 5 lease terms that drive real estate value

Case Study using Terravet Real Estate Dashboard (this is a worksheet that will be available for attendees)

  • Importance of fair market rent and rent as it relates to practice revenue.
  • EBITDAR calculation o Demographic analysis o Geographic analysis o Calculation of real estate value

Panel Discussions

The Annual Meeting will also feature two panel discussions revolving around relevant and timely topics that impact your career on a daily basis. During each panel discussion, you’ll move into smaller breakout discussions to dig deeper into the subject and share ideas with your colleagues.

The Future is Meow

What does the profession look like for tomorrow’s vets, and what do they expect? In a veterinary landscape where mental health, work-life balance, DEI and different models of veterinary practice are all hot topics, what does the future hold for new graduates, and what do they see as the opportunities and barriers?

Moderated by Jules Benson and Sam Schopler


Sarah Montoya – Final year vet student at NCSU, 2020 National Veterinary Business Management Association (National VBMA) President

Mario Barenas – 3rd year vet student at Cornell, took part in an internship through Vet Entrepreneurship Academy (VEA) at Nationwide this past summer

Christina Tran DVM – Clinical Relations Lead Veterinarian at University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine, Past President of Multicultural Veterinary Medicine Association (MCVMA)

Complete Compensation: Models that Motivate Veterinary Employees

In this panel we will examine how veterinarians and veterinary staff are compensated discussing what works and what does not work. We will look at alternative models for compensation that motivate veterinary employees to contribute to hospital growth and profitability as well as foster a positive team culture.

The panel will be made up of five distinguished contributors to the veterinary profession:

Dr. Brigette Bain, Assistant Director of Analytics for the AVMA Economics Division

Dr. Karen Felsted, President of Felsted Veterinary Consulting, Inc.

Dr. Wendy Hauser, Assistant Vice President, Veterinary Relations, Crum & Forster Pet Insurance group (ASPCA Pet Health Insurance) and founder of Peak Veterinary Consulting

Brad Patton, President of Veterinary System Services

Dr. Peter Weinstein, Executive Director of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and owner of PAW Consulting. Moderated by Joy Fuhrman