2021 Practice Manager of the Year: Catherine Coloccia

dvm360dvm360 July 2021
Volume 57

This practice manager wowed judges from dvm360® and the VHMA with her unique leadership approach and solution-oriented mindset. (Sponsored by Nationwide).

Catherine Coloccia, practice manager at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital in Bridgewater, New Jersey, has been named 2021 Practice Manager of the Year by dvm360® and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA).

“Congratulations to Catherine for all her amazing work as a practice manager throughout the ongoing pandemic,” said Mike Hennessy Jr, president, and CEO of MJH Life Sciences™, the parent company of dvm360®.

Catherine Coloccia PMOY

Catherine Coloccia, 2021 Practice Manager of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Apex Media)

“Her motivational leadership style and her unique ability to step out of her comfort zone to identify and implement innovative solutions make her truly deserving of this award. Additionally, we would like to thank our friends at Nationwide® for their sponsorship of the Practice Manager of the Year Award. As a very loyal supporter of veterinary professionals since day one, this would not be possible without their greatly appreciated assistance.”

Adam Christman, DVM, chief veterinary officer for dvm360®, said in a press release, “The practice manager truly is the navigator of the ship. Our clinics would be lost without an effective leader steering our hospital in the right direction for success. Congratulations to Catherine!”

Coloccia, who was selected from over 140 nominations, impressed judges with her maternal and motivational leadership style, as well as her ability to step out of her comfort zone to identify and implement innovative solutions.

“Outstanding practice managers have several attributes in common. They are committed to the practice, well informed, innovative, thoughtful, confident, and lifelong learners,” Christine Shupe, CAE, executive director of Veterinary Hospital Managers Associates told dvm360®. “

“This year’s PMOY, Catherine Coloccia, exhibits all of these qualities. Her efforts to overhaul the practice’s dental services department benefited patients, clients, and the practice, and showcased her leadership and management abilities. We are excited to see how she employs her skills, out-of-the-box thinking, and dedication to ushering in change and improvements in the months ahead.”

Dressed to impress

Since becoming the hospital’s practice manager, Coloccia has been known for showing up daily in business attire and heels. She says staff members often joke that they can find her by the clicking of her shoes. Coloccia believes that dressing in heels and business clothing distinguishes her as an authority figure, but no matter how tall her heels may be, she’s always ready and willing to support her team during messy and challenging scenarios.

“Every single time the need arises, I will be there, in the trenches, to assist my team. I have held patients in heels, picked up poop in heels, vacuumed and mopped the floors in heels, cleaned cages in heels, and will proudly do whatever else the staff requires of me,” said Coloccia.

“I believe that in those moments, you are demonstrating a very true and raw sense of leadership that illuminates relatability and comradery.”

In addition to looking the part, Coloccia has worked diligently to make her hospital a better place for patients, staff, and clients. As of 2021, her hospital is now 100% paperless.

More about the contest

To be considered for this award, practice managers had to either nominate themselves or be nominated by a coworker or pet owner. Practice managers were judged on their lifelong learning, adaptions to change, leadership, and decision- making, as well as team motivation and management to qualify for the contest. Once the contest closed on April 30, 2021, judges narrowed down the 10 top entries and then selected the winner. This year’s winner, Coloccia, will receive:

  • 1-year membership to the VHMA or reimbursement for 2021 dues if already a member
  • Complimentary registration to the 2021 VHMA Annual Meeting and Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • A stipend of up to $1250 for traveling, lodging, and meals for the 2021 VHMA Annual Meeting and Conference
  • Complimentary registration to any MJH conference of her choice
  • 1-year appointment to the dvm360® editorial advisory board

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 1 million insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds, and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses, and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Products underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (California), Columbus, Ohio; National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, Ohio. Agency of Record: DVM Insurance Agency. All are subsidiaries of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2021 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook  or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-672-9259 or visit BestPetInsuranceEver.com.

About VHMA

The VHMA is a nationally recognized thought leader and innovator in providing training, education, and resources to more than 4000 members and a trusted resource the veterinary sector relies on for industry insights, research, and advocacy to ensure 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, and providing individuals with a network for professional connection and support. For more information, go to www.vhma.org.

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