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Partners for Health Pets and VHMA collaboration publish white paper


Highlights the key role of practice champions in fostering a culture of preventive pet care

The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) has published a white paper entitled “A Practice Champion for Preventive Pet Healthcare Makes All the Difference.” The paper outlines a proven method for guiding veterinary practices to focus more on preventive care, which is key to promoting dog and cat patients’ well-being.

Serhii / stock.adobe.com

Serhii / stock.adobe.com

According to a company release,1 the white paper describes that for success, a champion from within the practice must spearhead a transition to prioritize preventive care. The white paper addresses the significance of Your Guide to Becoming a Practice Champion, a workbook that offers a step-by-step process for leading the transformation. This guide was created by experienced practice managers, veterinary technicians, and consultants through VHMA’s partnership with Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP), an alliance of over 100 veterinary associations, colleges, and animal health companies under the leadership of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

The paper discusses how a practice champion can utilize the guide to ensure successful, consistent incorporation of preventive pet healthcare in their practices. The practice champion is usually a veterinary technician or practice manager but can be any motivated, experienced member of the practice team. The champion is critical to long-term success by offering1:

  • Continuity—no lapses in emphasis
  • Leadership—a “go to” person for direction
  • Clarity of purpose—defines what is to be accomplished
  • Skill development—provides tools for success
  • Role modeling—motivates and helps others enact the change
  • Responsibility for outcomes—monitors cultural and behavioral changes, leading to a “problem-prevention” practice

Champions benefit from the satisfaction of enhancing the quality of care for and longevity of pets, strengthening client loyalty to the practice, and creating leadership skills to advance in their careers. The white paper explains the guide’s user-friendly roadmap and resources for making a big job manageable by organizing its contents into modules customizable for each clinic: how to get started, engage the team, and implement 3 proven strategies to make the transformation successful. They include1:

  • Creating and validating written protocols to establish uniform preventive pet healthcare methods within the practice;
  • Implementing “forward booking appointments,” a powerful tool for ensuring regular preventive visits;
  • Using social media to educate clients and maintain regular communications with them.

Christine Shupe, executive director of VHMA, explained that the association’s members field-tested the guide and experienced its effect on fostering a practice culture that uplifts preventive pet healthcare as a primary focus. She stated, in the release, “in practices where a Champion was appointed to promote preventive pet healthcare, we saw real-world evidence that the Guide’s stepwise approach produced results.”1

Based on these results, David E. Granstrom, DVM, PhD, DACVM, assistant executive vice president and chief accreditation and certification officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) added, “the practical approach set forth in the guide has the potential to transform the way veterinary medicine is practiced.”


Partners for Health Pets and VHMA collaboration yields white paper on the role of practice champions in creating a culture of preventive pet healthcare. News release. Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. January 31, 2023. Accessed February 2, 2023.

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