Inside Heart and Paw with chief veterinary officer George Melillo


Learn about the unique features and vision behind Heart and Paw’s pet care facilities

Sponsored by Heart + Paw

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Hey, everybody, Adam Chrisman here from dvm360. I'm here with Chief Veterinary Officer and founder of Heart and Paw, Dr. George Melillo. How are you, my friend?

George Melillo, VMD: Great to see Adam.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Well, thanks for having me. I gotta tell you, this is my first time in a Heart and Paw here in New Jersey, and this is beautiful. Tell us a little bit about it.

George Melillo, VMD: Thanks. You know, I'm really excited that you're here and able to see firsthand what we've been kind of creating. Our challenge was really the same as to how do we treat pets and their parents and our team members like family the way no one else has. And I think a lot of the space shows that whether it's the comfort of the lobby—or courtyard, as we call it, the warm tones, the pet friendly aspect of it—to simple things like having natural light, and skylights for our team members. And it's our 28th Heart and Paw, our 10th de novo build. So, our most recent one, and I think we've got everything right in this location.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yeah, I noticed that you have a separate entranceway for cat parents, which is great. They love that.

George Melillo, VMD: We do, we do have a separate waiting room. We have a separate exam rooms. If we had to kind of board or do medical hospitalization, we have a separate area for cats only.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yeah. And I think it's such a good reflection on your internal teams. When you feel good. You have the natural lighting here. It's just a good reflection of how you're going to treat your clients and patients externally.

George Melillo, VMD: Right, exactly. I mean, our whole vision, the whole concept for Heart and Paw was to create a place for people who love to care for pets, veterinarians, vet care teams to be happy, healthy, and successful.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: That's great. So, if someone like myself as a generalist is interested in partnering with Heart and Paw, how does that work?

George Melillo, VMD: Yeah, I mean, obviously, our go forward model is to build new hospitals such as this same prototype. And in a JV kind of co-ownership model. So, we're actually starting with a veterinarian, we want to identify that veterinarian who wants to be a co-owner, and really start with where they want to be. And we'll do some research and choose the right location together to build that hospital and to add it to the Heart and Paw family.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Oh, that's excellent. They have a lot of buy-in it sounds like.

George Melillo, VMD: Yes, they do, a lot of autonomy. For me, the biggest thing I can provide our doctors with well-being is autonomy.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yeah.

George Melillo, VMD: Let them have control of what their day, career, week, future looks like as a professional.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: That's fantastic. Well, congratulations on all the success and continued success of Heart and Paw. Wonderful. Love it.

George Melillo, VMD: Thank you so much. It's great to have you and dvm360.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Thank you. Thank you so much, everyone.

George Melillo, VMD: Thank you.

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