Galaxy Vets is launching nationwide

dvm360dvm360 October 2021
Volume 52
Issue 10

This new healthcare system, co-owned by employees prioritizes burnout prevention with an overarching mission to "bring veterinary medicine back to veterinarians."

Ivan Zakharenkov "Zak," DVM, MBA, CEO of Galaxy Vets (Photo courtesy of Galaxy Vets).

Ivan Zakharenkov "Zak," DVM, MBA, CEO of Galaxy Vets (Photo courtesy of Galaxy Vets).

Ivan Zakharenkov “Zak,” DVM, MBA, founder of 2 successful veterinary startups, SmartFlow and Veterinary Integration Solutions (VIS), will lead as the CEO of Galaxy Vets—a new US employee-centric veterinary healthcare system with a mission to “bring veterinary medicine back to veterinarians.”

Galaxy Vets will allocate equity in the network to its employees (ie, veterinarians, specialists, technicians, and administrative personnel) deeming them co-owners and shareholders of the whole organization. Additionally, the company will become a VIS client and will be built on its proprietary Operating Platform, according to a company release.

Using VIS methodology and technology to curtail veterinary burnout, the company will acknowledge the main reasons veterinarians consider leaving the industry: poor work-life balance and work culture, substandard compensation, excessive workload, and mental health issues.

“As a burned-out vet in the past, eradicating this chronic illness of our profession has become a very personal goal for me,” said Zak in the release. “My previous research, 'The Burnout Investigation,' my MBA thesis on lean thinking, and the management methodology I have developed, brought me closer to finding a solution to veterinary burnout."

"Having helped over 600 practices with workflow optimization in my SmartFlow days and then 3 years of consulting corporate groups on sustainable growth as the CEO of VIS, I believe I’ve found a formula to create a burnout-free veterinary organization where all employees feel happy and empowered," he added.

Galaxy Vets is funded by veterinarians and utilizes a unique business model. It will selectively purchase general practices and ensure the previous owner roll 50% or more of the selling price back into the company in exchange for equity in the entire enterprise, ultimately powering its future development. According to the release, the company will implement further operational improvements in the acquired practices, thus providing a significantly higher payout to the previous practice owners compared to what is on the market.

In addition to this, Galaxy Vets will acquire general practices within a small area. Then it will develop a new surgical and emergency specialty hospital with its reference laboratory, fostering a unique, vertically integrated veterinary healthcare system.

“For the past decade, veterinary medicine has been taken over by private equity capital which is completely detached from the realities of our profession. Forced to generate revenue for investors, traditional consolidators often fail to fulfill their promise to improve the businesses they acquired, including better care for the veterinary teams," Zak said.

"This factor—combined with an unprecedented burnout rate in the veterinary profession, subsequent shortage in the veterinary workforce, and an all-time high pet ownership rate—presents a threat to the industry,” he added.

Currently, the company is in search of partners and employees nationwide. Here are 3 ways to join this healthcare system:

  1. Practice owners planning to sell their businesses can roll a part of their ownership into Galaxy Vets, thus rendering higher multiples than with any existing consolidator, becoming a part of the operational changes and keeping leadership positions in their clinics.
  2. Practice owners not planning to currently sell can become investors in exchange for their referrals and lab work.
  3. Veterinary teams, including specialists, ER, GP, relief veterinarians, technicians, and receptionists can become employees of Galaxy Vets, earn the highest compensation on the market, and based on their tenure, receive equity in the entire network, with the chance of further investment in Galaxy Vets.


Galaxy Vets, a new veterinary healthcare system co-owned by employees, is launching nationwide. News release. August 9, 2021; Galaxy Vets. Accessed September 1, 2021.

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