VetPartners 2024 Annual Conference Recap

Dr. Eleanor Green enjoys the VetPartners conference with her dog.
Jan 31, 2024 at 6:41 pm

The 2024 VetPartners Annual Conference was held January 10–12 in Orlando, Florida. The conference, which conveniently preceded VMX, provided an opportunity for veterinary industry leaders to connect before one of the largest veterinary conferences of the year.

In case you couldn’t join the nearly 100 attendees in Orlando, here are the highlights from this year’s meeting.

Valuation update

In the current unpredictable climate of practice sales, acquisitions, and value fluctuations, the Valuation Council update was timely and appreciated. Panel members Camala Baily, CPA, CVA, David McCormick, MS, CVA, Stephen Strickler, CFP, CVA, and Tara Eddleman, CVA, provided insights and recent trends from the trenches. They emphasized the fact that practice owners make major life decisions based on their practice’s appraisal, and the importance of practices using a professional veterinary valuation service so they have an accurate picture of their practice’s value. The update sparked many questions and lively conversations that carried over into the day’s breaks and networking sessions.

Veterinary team well-being

John Volk, BS, presented the findings from Merck’s most recent Veterinary Team Wellbeing Study, which was the first large-scale study of its kind following the pandemic. Key takeaways include:

  • Veterinary teams are invested in and take pride in their work.
  • The majority of veterinary professionals are satisfied with their jobs.
  • Wellbeing, burnout, and mental health are issues that persist and should be addressed.
  • There were different responses among veterinary professionals, especially between practice managers and other team members.
  • Significant financial stress is common among veterinary team members.

Overall, the findings are encouraging and signal an optimistic upturn in the profession’s well-being and a focus of practice leaders on mental health.

The future of veterinary medicine, AI-style

In an enlightening and slightly alarming presentation, Eleanor Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP, discussed present and future technology that we may see impact the future of veterinary medicine. From wearable health tracking monitors, to virtual training for surgical techniques, to brain-to-computer interfacing, Dr. Green provided a rundown of evolving technologies, many of which are made possible or enhanced by AI.

A new team utilization tool

Updates were provided from the association’s newly created Team Utilization Taskforce, which is led by VetPartners President Monica Dixon Perry, CVPM, and Heather Prendergast, RVT, CVPM, SPHR. During the presentation, Dixon Perry and Prendergast revealed the beginnings of what will become the association’s team utilization tool, a comprehensive and constantly evolving digital platform that will launch later this year and will be free and available for veterinary practice leaders all over the world.

New member induction

New member pinning is a highlight of every VetPartners meeting. During the annual conference, 12 new members were introduced and took the pledge to uphold the organization’s values. New members included:

  • Rob Best, CVPM, CFN
  • Karen Bolton
  • Joe Chickerillo
  • Erica Emmett, LVT
  • Robert Gibson, BS
  • Gail Golab, PhD, DVM, MANZCVS, DACAW
  • Bryan Gum, CFP
  • Jason Hills, BS
  • Rachel Lemcke, BS, MS
  • Patrick McGowan, MArch
  • Randy Valpy
  • Sean Wood, JD

New VetPartners members are inducted

New members had an opportunity to briefly introduce themselves and describe the role they play in supporting the veterinary profession.

The passing of the gavel

During the conference, the elected members of the VetPartners 2024 Board of Directors were announced. The current leadership board includes:

  • President: Monica Dixon Perry, CVPM
  • Past president: Robin Brogdon, MA
  • Vice president: Sarah Rumple
  • Secretary: Tony Mahan, MBA, CVA
  • Treasurer: Jimmy Bell, CPA
  • Director: Mary Berg, BS, LATG, RVT, VTS
  • Director: Andrea Crabtree, BS, VPM, PHR, SPHR, PHRca, CCFP
  • Director: Sheri Gilmartin, CVT
  • Director: Stephen Strickler, CFP, CVA

The 2024 VetPartners Board of Directors

We thank the board for committing to the upcoming term and are looking forward to the positive impact they will make on VetPartners and the veterinary profession.

After three packed days, the annual conference wrapped and attendees headed to VMX or back home to do what drives each and every one of us: using our unique talents and skills to support and elevate the veterinary profession.

Whether this was your first VetPartners conference or your twentieth, or if you were unable to join us this time, you won’t want to miss the 2024 Mid-Year Conference, which will be held August 20–22 in Kansas City, Missouri. More information will be available soon on the VetPartners website.

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Dr. Angela Beal

Angela Beal, DVM, is COO of Rumpus Writing and Editing, a veterinary-specific writing and editing company. Her past endeavors include working in small animal practice and directing a veterinary technician program for 15 years. Angela resides in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and two soccer-loving teenage boys.

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