Community Veterinary Partners is Hosting a Free Practice Leadership Workshops on November 8th and 9th 2014.

Community Veterinary Partners is hosting a free two-day summit in November aimed at building leadership skills for veterinary hospital owners and key staff members.

Day 1, scheduled for November 8, is aimed at DVMs and VMDs and key support staff. This will introduce some of the key leadership dynamics in the workplace including hospital culture, emotional intelligence, situational leadership, and creating accountability in the workplace.  Designed for doctors and support staff in supervisory roles, this workshop will focus on developing employees into everyday leaders.

Day 2, scheduled for November 9, is more appropriate for owners and senior management staff, including practice and office managers. This year’s program theme is “Cultivating the Future Leaders in Our Practice (Because I don’t want to do this job forever).”

Dr. Wendy Hauser is a former owner of Coal Creek Veterinary Hospital, a 2011 AAHA Hospital of the Year finalist. She has been an associate, an owner and successfully sold her practice, becoming managing DVM of Coal Creek until she left in 2013. Dr. Hauser is a board member of the American Animal Hospital Association, and she participates in various speaking and training sessions across the country.

The workshops are free for hospital owners and staff in good standing with Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association or the Delaware Valley Academy of Veterinary Medicine.

The event will be held at Seasons 52 Restaurant in King of Prussia, Pa. Space is limited for this event so please register your team members by emailing For more information, click HERE for an informational flyer.

Animal Hospital of Dauphin County Kicks Off Educational Campaign For Referral Services

The Animal Hospital of Dauphin County, a CVP family hospital, kicked off an educational campaign for its growing suite of referral services last week at an event with the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association.

More than 50 local veterinarians and technicians attended the continuing education event, held at the Hollywood Casino in Grantville, PA. AHDC showcased the new referral services now available at the hospital, based in Hershey, PA.

Dr. Jason Tomes spoke about ultrasounds, Dr. AJ Cooley discussed orthopedic and soft-tissue surgery, and Dr. Jonathon Goodwin detailed his work in cardiology.

“Years ago local veterinarians and their clients had to travel several hours to benefit from comprehensive referral services professionals,” said Dr. Bob Sarsfield, AHDC co-owner and medical director. “The leadership at AHDC recognized the need for these services on a local level and we are excited to be able to offer these services to our colleagues, their clients, and their patients throughout south central Pennsylvania.”

The event also served as one of PVMA’s District 6 Dinner Meetings.  The event was made possible through the generous sponsorships of Calico Group, Hills Pet Nutrition, and Zoetis.

PVMA’s Executive Director, Charlene Wandzilak, provided an update of PVMA activities in the areas of continuing education, advocacy, and practice management.  “We are very pleased to be able to promote this mission by partnering with our friends at AHDC and their Referral Services Team,” Wandzilak said. “Events like this are key to furthering our role as an effective resource to PVMA’s more than 1,900 members throughout Pennsylvania.”

To learn more about the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County, visit:

To learn more about the AHDC Referral Services Team, visit

To learn more about the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association visit their webpage

Calico Group ( provides loans to veterinarians and also purchases and leases back real estate from veterinarians.


We're hiring a Marketing Manager

We’re on the lookout for an entrepreneurial marketing manager. Here’s the full job description where you can also apply for the position.

Have You Seen our New Video?

We’re excited about the new video we put together showing what it’s like to work with Community Veterinary Partners. We’re showcasing it right now on our home page, so check it out. (You can also see it at the bottom of this post.)

The video includes interviews with Dr. Bob Sarsfield, our partner-owner at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. There’s also commentary by our president, Daniel Eisenstadt, who talks about the kind of partners we’re looking for, and why it’s so important to have a succession plan in place.

Our Hospitals (and we) are Hiring

We have several openings for veterinarians, technicians and (at CVP) a senior accountant.

Check out our employment page for more details.

Welcome to the Family Shippensburg & Winding Hill (We Tripled in Size This Year)

In the last few weeks we’ve added four new hospitals to the CVP family, bringing the total number of partnerships to nine. We’ve now tripled the number of CVP hospitals in 2012.

“This has been an exciting year for us at Community Veterinary Partners,” said Daniel Eisenstadt, president of Community Veterinary Partners. “We’ve added six terrific hospitals to the family this year. These are long-standing businesses with deep ties to their local communities. They are a perfect fit for CVP because they share our commitment to excellent medical care and strong business results.”

The four newest locations are in central Pennsylvania. The partnerships are consistent with CVP’s operating philosophy to operate non-competitive hospitals in regional geographies. The hospitals are:  Shippensburg Animal Hospital, Mount Rock Animal Hospital, Allen Road Veterinary Clinic and Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic.

Shippensburg, Mount Rock and Allen Road are part of the Shippensburg Animal Hospital family, which has been serving the Cumberland Valley region of Pennsylvania for the past 60 years. CVP’s partner and director of medicine for the hospital group is John D. Stoner DVM, who has operated the hospitals for 24 years. The partnership with Dr. Stoner closed last month.

“We provide a personal approach to the medical care of our patients,” said Dr. Stoner. Our three small-animal locations deliver comprehensive veterinary care including outpatient medical and routine surgical as well as more advance orthopedic surgical care and diagnostics.”

Shippensburg Animal Hospital and its dedicated staff are active members of the Cumberland Valley community and support the local shelters and animal rescues in a variety of ways. They participate in discount spay and neuter programs and help raise money and increase support for needy and unwanted animals.

“We are excited about our partnership with CVP and the opportunity it provides us to continue to grow and better serve the Cumberland Valley’s animal health needs,” said Dr. Stoner.

Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic is located in Mechanicsburg, Pa.  It has been owned and operated by Drs. Steve Tagg and Doug Brenner since 1982. The hospital is a nine-time and current winner of the “Simply the Best” award, as chosen by Harrisburg Magazine. CVP’s investment in Winding Hill closed earlier this month.

“Partnering with CVP was a big step and an important decision for us,” said Dr. Tagg. Being a partner rather than an employee was a big factor in our decision. We are looking forward to having less administrative responsibilities so we can concentrate on medical management.”

Earlier this year we welcomed Paradise Animal Hospital and Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital to the family.

About Community Veterinary Partners

Community Veterinary Partners ( co-owns and manages nine hospitals within 150 miles of Philadelphia. CVP works with veterinarian owners who want to continue running the medical side of their practices, but want help with the day-to-day administrative and team management tasks. CVP creates a long-term strategy and develops sustainable methods for veterinary practices to continue thriving — well into the future. Our staff includes management professionals and veterinarians who bring the resources that busy practices need to flourish. We take care of the important business work and staff management tasks that veterinarians simply don’t have the time to manage.

Want to Learn Social Media, Finance & HR Management This Weekend?

We have five seats left for our Practice Builder workshop this weekend. The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 11th at Seasons 52 in King of Prussia, Pa.

Co-sponsored by Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and the Delaware Valley Academy of Veterinary Medicine, the workshop will present experts in social media, finance and human resource management.

Attendees will work in small groups throughout the afternoon to ensure an interactive experience.

The topics are:

Where’s the money? Real-life ways to improve practice cash flow,” by Gary Glassman, CPA, of Burzenski & Company.

Social Media Marketing: The new word of mouth and what it means to client communication,” by Andy Burstein, CEO of VetJump.

Hospitality in a hospital setting: Does the client ALWAYS come first?” by Suzie Weaver, director of human development at CVP, and Bash Hallow, CVPM & LVT, of Hallow Consulting.

Who can attend? DVM/VMDs in good standing of either PVMA or DVAVM. Because of space limitations, we request practices limit registrants to hospital owners and one guest.

To register, email us at Email Dr. Travis Meredith with any questions:

We're Hiring a Senior Accountant

Community Veterinary Partners has an opening for a senior accountant. This person is responsible for accounting and administration solutions for our veterinary practices as well as our management group. Accounting duties include, but are not limited to, management of account reconciliations, cash management, accounts payable, month-end closing, financial reports and related analysis. In addition to the accounting responsibilities, this person assists with new investment analysis, conducts due diligence of potential investment opportunities, and other special projects.

The ideal candidate will have a college degree and 5+ years of experience using Quickbooks and Excel. Working knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) is desirable.

The successful candidate should have a proven track record of being able to adapt to changing priorities, ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines as well as be able to demonstrate professionalism with superior communication skills at all times.

Send a resume and cover letter to Marc Nathan at to apply.

Dr. Karen Felsted: Say it in English

The Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study made it very clear that veterinarians and their team members aren’t doing as good of a job in communicating with pet owners as we’d like to think we are.

For example, only 57 percent of pet owners completely agreed with the statement “My veterinarian communicates with me in language I understand” and only 44 percent completely agreed with the statement “My veterinarian clearly explains when I should bring my pet in.”

What this tells us is that we are asking clients to make decisions about things we recommend that are difficult to understand, scary because it involves a beloved family member and expensive and we can’t even explain clearly to them what we want them to do!

Without a doubt many veterinarians are genuinely trying hard to communicate with pet owners but it’s clear we need to improve how we do it.  First of all, it is critical that doctors & staff tell the same story.  It confuses clients to get different recommendations from different team members; pet owners expect us to be clear about what we think is best for their pet.  It also confuses technicians and other team members when they hear doctors give different recommendations for the same problem or preventive care situation.  And once team members are confused, we have lost the ability to use them well in the client education process.  If they don’t know what to say, they either won’t say anything or they will try to interpret what they’ve heard and may end up giving the wrong information.

Doctors and other team members also need to remember that people learn in different ways — some adults learn best by listening, some by reading and others by doing.  Communication with a client shouldn’t be limited to the exam room conversation; all of the common recommendations and information should also be included on the practice’s Web site, in handouts, in newsletters and email blasts and in any other web-based communication the practice engages in.  The same message should be conveyed in many different forms.

In the next edition, we’ll talk about some specific language that makes a difference in talking to pet owners.  What has worked for you?

Dr. Karen Felsted

Read all of Dr. Felsted’s blogs here.

Dr. Karen Felsted: The Hidden Value of the Exam

When veterinarians surveyed in the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study were asked about communicating with pet owners about the examination process, 51% completely agreed with the statement that “I talk my clients through the exam, explaining what I am doing in detail.”  Another 37% somewhat agreed with that statement.

Comments made by pet owners in the Bayer study focus groups, however, told a different story.  Many did not know their veterinarian was doing a full nose to tail exam; instead they thought that when the doctor had his or her hands on the pet, they were merely stroking it or keeping it from jumping off the exam table.

One of the simplest things that can be done to educate clients about the physical exam process is to describe it as you go. For example, say things like “I’m listening to Fluffy’s heart — the rate is normal and I don’t hear any murmurs” and “I’m palpating Fluffy’s abdomen now — the kidneys are of normal size and I don’t feel any masses.”

If you are a veterinarian examining 15 pets a day, this may seem very boring after awhile but pet owners generally only get this information once a year max.  To them it is new and fresh information and critical to their understanding not only of the care the pet needs but the value that the veterinarian and his or her team provides to the pet and the pet owner.  This ongoing communication also strengthens the bond between the pet owner and the practice team.

This concept can actually be expanded to the rest of the team.  When an assistant walks into the exam room to leave the necessary vaccines, they should introduce themselves and say “These are the vaccinations Fluffy needs — Dr. Felsted will be in to see you in just a minute.”  When a technician takes the pet to the back to weigh it, they should explain what they are doing.  “I’m going to take Fluffy to the back to weigh him; we’ll be back in a minute.”  Even more important is to say something when Fluffy is brought back to the exam room; for example “Fluffy has gained 2.3 pounds; Dr. Felsted will talk with you about his weight and nutrition when she comes in.”

Do you think your clients appreciate the full physical exam done on their pet?  What do you do to make sure they do?

Dr. Karen Felsted

Read all of Dr. Felsted’s blogs here.