Community Veterinary Partners Will Match Hurricane Relief Donations

Community Veterinary Partners is proud to support hurricane relief efforts. Our family of 31 veterinary hospitals is actively raising funds to help families and their pets who were impacted by the hurricanes across our nation. Our animal hospitals are working hard to show their support through various activities at their clinics including pet treats for sale, nail clipping events and donation boxes. Community Veterinary Partners is also matching monetary donations at each of our hospitals up to a total of $31,000. Everyone is encouraged to donate through the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to support hurricane relief.

Click HERE to donate today using AVMF code ” Disaster Relief”.

Together we can all help families and pets in need during this time!

Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Shelton, CT Joins Community Veterinary Partners!






Community Veterinary Partners is thrilled to announce our partnership with Countryside Veterinary Hospital located in Shelton, CT on August 28, 2017. This grows the CVP family of veterinary hospitals to thirty one and the third CVP hospital in the state of Connecticut. Countryside is an AAHA accredited hospital with a large focus on client education and consistent growth in their suite of client services. The hospital offers veterinary services such as emergency, urgent care, oncology, pharmacy, in-house laboratory, ultrasound and digital radiography for dogs, cats, rabbits and pocket pets. “I’m so excited to have Countryside Veterinary Hospital as part of CVP and add to our family of animal hospitals in the state of Connecticut. As an AAHA accredited hospital and with a lead doctor who serves on the leadership council for AAHA, their level of care is exemplary. The team has been serving the clients and their pets together for over 35 years, which we’re excited to continue as partners.” Says Rob Tennant, Regional Director of Operations at Community Veterinary Partners.

Dr. Bruce Kerns, founder of the Countryside Veterinary Hospital, graduated in 1987 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. In 1999, he became only the second veterinarian in the state of Connecticut to certify as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (specialist in Canine and Feline Practice). Dr. Kerns also serves as a member on the Leadership Council of the American Animal Hospital Association. In addition to establishing the Countryside Veterinary Hospital, LLC, Dr. Kerns founded and operates Mobile Veterinary Imaging, LLC, a diagnostic ultrasound practice consulting with veterinary hospitals in southwestern Connecticut.

When it comes to partnering with CVP, Dr. Kerns says that; “In a veterinary hospital, as with any successful organization, the greatest asset is the team. As the founding partner of Countryside Veterinary Hospital, it was essential for me to find a situation for our staff where they could continue to thrive and strengthen the culture that we had developed over the years. After countless hours of investigating options in the veterinary corporate world, I was thrilled when I met the outstanding team at Community Veterinary Partners. Each individual with whom I worked during the negotiation phase and transition has been incredibly friendly, consistently open and fair in our discussions and sincerely concerned for the welfare of our staff.  By the time Countryside became a member of the CVP family, I was relieved to find in CVP, an organization with an equal commitment to the highest level of patient care, client education and staff support as we had nurtured over the years.”

Join us in welcoming Countryside Veterinary Hospital!


Adding Cold Laser and Acupuncture Therapies In General Veterinary Practice


Cold laser therapy holds a place in human and animal pain management and wound healing as non-invasive, effective therapy. Veterinary patients benefit from its ability to promote healing and relieve pain in surgical incisions, stomatitis, extractions, degenerative joint disease, intervertebral disc disease, acral lick granulomas, anal sac tumors, and rhinitis. The benefit to patients includes the decreased need for anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics. As veterinarians compete with on-line pharmacies, this face-to-face modality increases patient comfort and healing, client trust and reliance, and veterinary success and satisfaction.

Furthermore, cold laser therapy empowers veterinary technicians in a modality that they can administer and gives them the opportunity to earn praise from clients. Veterinarians and technicians can learn the principles and techniques in a few training sessions. Veterinarians diagnose the animal’s conditions and prescribe the therapy for technicians to administer. Laser sessions average 15 minutes or less, and occur frequently in the first few weeks and either heal the wound or abscess or continue at a regular interval for chronic pain management.

Veterinarians certified in acupuncture can implement laser acupuncture for patients who are needle phobic or too restless for traditional needle therapy. Hospitals that offer both modalities have a tremendous advantage in pain management for patients, therefore inspiring great trust from clients.

Cold laser therapy and acupuncture maximize options for analgesia and healing in general practice. The initial investment in acupuncture training is in time and education for the veterinarian. The initial investment in laser is in the equipment. The beauty of cold laser is that every medical person in the hospital can learn it quickly and easily. The general public is perhaps more readily accepting of the non-invasive nature of cold laser and aware of its use in human physical therapy. Veterinary hospital open houses to introduce cold laser treatments offer good business opportunities for the veterinary staff to demonstrate the comfort of the modality and to socialize with clients.

Even as veterinarians find ways to streamline inventory and pricing to compete with on-line pharmacies, hospitals that offer hands-on treatments with acupuncture and/or laser keep clients and patients walking in the door.

This blog is part 3 in a three-part series on acupuncture and laser in general practice.

Emily L. Elliot, VMD

CVP Welcomes Our 30th Veterinary Hospital in Bryn Mawr, PA!

CVP Welcomes Our 30th Veterinary Hospital in Bryn Mawr, PA!

The Bryn Mawr Veterinary Hospital, located just outside of Philadelphia, PA., has been caring for owners and their pets for over 50 years. The animal hospital was acquired by Drs. Steve Cantner and Judy Shekmar in 1979, fulfilling their life-long dream of owning a small animal practice. Bryn Mawr Veterinary Hospital has maintained a primary focus on education and client care. Their animal hospital offers clients an advanced surgical suite as well as digital radiography, orthopedics, acupuncture and cardiology.

The team at Community Veterinary Partners feels privileged that Bryn Mawr owners Steve and Judy have placed their trust in the CVP organization to carry forward their legacy of quality veterinary care, client relationships and team development. “Bryn Mawr is a prime example of a veterinary hospital that puts exceptional veterinary medicine first.  The staff is warm, welcoming and most importantly, educated on the most recent advancements in veterinary care. Bryn Mawr Veterinary Hospital provides pet owners with everything their pet could need.” comments Fali Sidhva, President and COO of Community Veterinary Partners. In addition to superb veterinary services, Bryn Mawr offers its clients state of the art boarding, grooming, training and day care services.

It was always very important for Drs. Shekmar and Cantner to be able to offer their clients the best in medical treatment as well as peace of mind when they have to leave their pet family members overnight. “We are very excited to be partnering our practice with the impressive family of CVP veterinary hospitals. We know that with this joint effort, our practice will continue to grow and thrive, maintaining the culture so unique to us, while offering our staff and clients the very finest in current and future advances in our profession.” Said Drs. Judy Shekmar and Steve Cantner.

Welcome to the CVP family Bryn Mawr Veterinary Hospital!

We’re Hiring!

Community Veterinary Partners is hiring at multiple locations in our family of animal hospitals!

Here is a list of our open positions:





New York














CVP Welcomes South Towne Veterinary Hospital in Rochester, New York!

Community Veterinary Partners is thrilled to announce the addition of our 29th animal hospital, South Towne Veterinary Hospital on Monday, May 15th, 2017. The South Towne Veterinary Hospital was founded in 1969 in Rochester, New York.

 Dr. Edward Gschrey partnered with the hospital in 1992 and became the Chief veterinarian & hospital director / owner 10 years later in 2002.  Located in Rochester, NY, the hospital strives to provide the highest quality of veterinary care to small animals and exotic pets. With a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures including ultrasound, digital and dental x-rays and surgical laser they are able to stay ahead of the curve with their current patients as well as performing procedures for other veterinary hospitals on a referral basis.   “South Towne Veterinary Hospital is a fantastic addition to the CVP family.  Their welcoming and caring approach towards all of their clients and patients coupled with their extraordinary focus on diagnostic procedures makes them a perfect partner. We are excited to continue growth into the Upstate New York Area” says CVP Director of Integration Dennis McMichael.  CVP has one other hospital in the Upstate New York Area, Liverpool Animal Health Center, located just outside of Syracuse in Liverpool, New York.

Dr. Edward Gschrey, owner at South Towne Veterinary hospital, attended Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine graduating in 1986. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, two sons, 2 dogs, 1 cat and 1 bird.  “I’m excited to join the CVP family of veterinary hospitals because the partnership will allow us to meet our hospital goals with more efficiency and support and will allow me to spend more time with my family and meet my individual goals”. His interests in ultrasound, soft tissue surgery and orthopedics make South Towne Veterinary Hospital a leader in animal health in their community and a welcome addition to Community Veterinary Partners.


Fort Washington Veterinary Hospital & CVP: A Match That Makes Sense

Community Veterinary Partners is proud to announce the newest addition to our family of hospitals: Fort Washington Veterinary Hospital. As lead doctor Dr. Jeff Berman says, these two organizations—both with a special focus on animals and humans—was a “no-brainer.”

Dr. Berman noted how important it was to maintain the “personality” of Fort Washington Veterinary Hospital while joining CVP. Ft. Washington is a four-doctor small-animal practice located 20 miles north of Philadelphia.

“We have been serving our community since 1972, and many of our clients are the grandchildren of people who have been using us,” he said. “To keep our ‘personality’ means the people and animals we care for can remain comfortable in the setting they have been using for decades.

“CVP has also been very cognizant of our relationship with our employees, many of whom have been with us for 15-20 years,” Dr. Berman said. “CVP worked very hard to make sure our staff would be taken care of the way they deserve.”

Working with a hospital as dedicated to animal welfare as Fort Washington was an obvious choice for CVP too. Dr. Berman entered veterinary care because of a very personal moment in his life. When he was young, his horse was hit by a car. His experience with the vet who treated his horse made Dr. Berman want to help animals as well. He worked as a vet tech in the Emergency Services Department at the Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine and was subsequently accepted into veterinary school.

In addition to his training in Western veterinary medicine, Dr. Berman stepped outside the box and recognized the value of alternative treatments for his patients. He became a certified veterinary acupuncturist, and in 2009, Fort Washington started offering traditional veterinary Chinese medicine.

The goal of our hospital is to offer as many modalities of treatment as we can,” said Dr. Berman. “Having the ability to use acupuncture and herbal medicine to treat — or supplement standard Western medical treatment — our patients means that I have the ability to expand my medicine bag.”

These offerings add to the compassionate care given by Dr. Berman, Dr. Lance Horwitz, Dr. Andrea Orsher, and Dr. Janet Schultz, and the rest of the Fort Washington staff. That care also includes the convenience of an in-house lab, a home delivery program for medications, and a monthly newsletter for clients’ education.

“Fort Washington Veterinary Hospital is ecstatic about joining Community Veterinary Partners,” he said. “We are really excited to be able to learn from other member hospitals and to have the chance to interact face-to-face.”

The ‘A’ Word: How to Talk to Your Clients about Dental Cleanings with Anesthesia

February is Pet Dental Health Month, and while we love a month dedicated to the importance of dental cleanings, why restrict the conversation to just one-twelfth of the year? You should be talking about pets’ dental health with owners every time they visit your practice. One reason you may not be is straightforward: anesthesia. Many clients hear that ‘a’ word and balk—at the cost, at the risks they associate with anesthesia, or at both.

Using anesthesia in dental cleanings is the only way to make sure an animal leaves your practice with a healthy mouth. According to the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), “Anesthesia free dentals provide no preventative benefit, and in fact increase the risk of periodontal disease because pet owners have a false sense of security that their pet’s mouth is healthy simply because the teeth look whiter.”

Here’s how you can broach the important subject of dental cleanings with anesthesia. The more you do it, the easier it will be—and the better you’ll be able to care for your patients.

First, explain why anesthesia is important.
You know that 60% of the tooth in a dog’s and a cat’s mouth lies below the gum-line and that anesthesia allows you to take comprehensive X-rays and thoroughly clean that area, but your client doesn’t. Tell them! You also know that the chances of a healthy pet dying by anesthesia are very low. Let them know exactly what the statistical risk is: 0.05%.

Some clients respond to numbers (like the fact that 85% of cats and dogs over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease), but some don’t. They are
likely to sympathize with their pets. Ask a client to imagine being put in a dentist’s chair, their mouth open, unable to understand the people hovering above them and unable to communicate with them. Explain that the bright lights, loud sounds, and strangers holding them down are stressful to their cat or dog. Anesthesia allows their animal to rest unaware of the procedure that’s being done for their overall well-being.

Lay out the benefits of anesthesia and the risks to a pet when it isn’t used.

A less stressful experience for the animal is just one benefit of a dental cleaning under anesthesia. Explain to your clients that X-rays under anesthesia allow you to see issues that are otherwise hidden, including:

  • Infected teeth
  • Abscesses
  • Broken teeth and roots
  • Dead teeth
  • Periodontal disease

Explain that dental cleanings without anesthesia are like looking for a problem with a house’s foundation by sweeping the floors. Not only do they miss the above, the infections they don’t catch can spread to an animal’s bloodstream, ultimately damaging their heart, kidney, and more.

Take it step-by-step.

Your client likely doesn’t know what goes on when they bring their pet in for a dental cleaning. Break the process down, step-by-step, and explain your anesthesia protocol in detail. This will help them feel more confident in your ability and conscious care. It will also give them a chance to ask any questions they have and express any concerns.

Get real with the numbers.

A major reason many owners stay away from anesthesia is the money they see leave their bank accounts after their pets have cleanings. Don’t be shy about breaking down the costs associated with this type of cleaning:

  • Pre-op evaluation
  • Equipment to administer anesthesia and monitor the animal’s status
  • Equipment needed for a thorough cleaning
  • Qualified staff and the training to monitor an animal under anesthesia

After all, these costs are for the safety and benefit of your client’s pet. And if cleanings without anesthesia lead to lost teeth or disease, those types of cleanings are ultimately a waste of money.

Know what to expect from your client.

A client who leans away from dental cleanings with anesthesia is likely skeptical—and possibly plain scared. Be aware of those emotions when you broach the subject of a cleaning, so you can be factual and empathetic.

And be ready for questions on everything, including:

  • How their pet is evaluated before anesthesia is used
  • The level of training your staff has
  • The dosages of anesthesia you use
  • Recovery time for the animal pet
  • Your use of IV fluids
  • Where the vet will be during the procedure
  • Whether their pet will wake up during the procedure

Dvm360 put together some examples of things you’re probably saying to clients that are almost definitely confusing them about dental cleanings and possibly turning them away. Check out their script here, and then evaluate the tactics you use to talk to clients.

Make resources available.

If your clients don’t get information from you about dental cleanings with anesthesia, they’ll probably get it from the Internet, which is likely to do more harm than good. Beyond Pet Dental Health Month, make resources available to your clients. The AVDC has great free fact sheets, including ones on anesthesia-free dental cleaning and periodontal disease.

And don’t forget to talk to your clients about what they can do at home to help their pets’ teeth stay healthy and strong! You can start with giving your clients this dental tips PDF.

Comprehensive Care at Ridge Lake: The Newest Member of the CVP Team

“We are proud to announce our new partnership with Community Veterinary Partners. Our doctors have provided comprehensive and compassionate veterinary care for local dogs, cats and pocket pets for over 35 years.” The anticipation of Dr. Kusterbeck, Owner and Medical Director, to be a part of the CVP family matches CVP’s excitement in welcoming Ridge Lake Animal Hospital: “The Community Veterinary Partners team is very excited to partner with Dr. Kusterbeck and the team at Ridge Lake Animal Hospital” (Dennis McMichael, CVP Director of Integration and Regional Director of Operations).

“Comprehensive and compassionate care” is certainly representative of what Ridge Lake provides to the animals of Woodbridge, Virginia and the surrounding areas. In addition to cats and dogs, the experienced staff regularly serve reptiles, birds, and other pocket pets. Their facilities also offer everything a client could hope to find and address nearly all areas of care. They have a pharmacy, a surgical suite, and exam rooms. Their digital X-ray equipment is also equipped to handle dental X-rays. Clients are happy to have the option of indoor boarding facilities—with a great outdoor walking area—and grooming services.

In addition to working hard every day to serve their patients, the staff at Ridge Lake Animal Hospital is quick to lend a helping hand to the community at large. The event Dog’s Walk for a Dog Park helped raise money for a dog park in Prince William County, and Ridge Lake Animal Hospital provided medical care and adoption services for some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Ridge Lake regularly holds rabies clinics, attends local schools’ career days, and offers reduced cost spay and neuter programs. Dr. Kusterbeck believes, “With Community Veterinary Partner’s help, we will strengthen our position in the community and continue to provide outstanding pet care into the future.”

Ridge Lake Animal Hospital opened in 1982 and became AAHA accredited in 1984. It has a long and reputable history of treating pets like members of the family. Dennis McMichael (CVP Director of Integration and Regional Director of Operations) expressed his confidence in the partnership: “Ridge Lake’s strong reputation for quality care and exceptional customer service go hand-in-hand with our organization’s ongoing philosophy of progressive practice management, making the hospital an excellent addition to the CVP family of veterinary hospitals.”

Lucky Number 7: 7 Resolutions That Will Boost Your Practice’s Success in 2017

Those New Year’s resolutions you made two weeks ago…how are they going?

Seth Jurman (Practice Manager, Sycamore Veterinary Hospital and Rhawnhurst/Elkins Park) put many people’s feelings into words: “The problem with resolutions [is]…they make us feel good at the time and offer hope and light at the end of the year. We truly intend to improve and better ourselves; and for a month or two we stick to our resolution then at some point we get side tracked and lose our drive and focus.”

If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Lots of people think they’ve failed if they’re not perfectly working towards their resolutions two weeks into the new year. Fewer people have the persistence (and hope) to pick themselves up and get started again.

Recommitting to your goals and resolutions is a big part of being successful in them.

When I asked for resolution ideas from Martha Snowman (Practice Manager, Chippens Hill Veterinary Hospital), she embodied the hope of this season: “You caught me at my favorite time of year… Imagined or not, it always seems like a fresh start and so much is possible.”

We reached out to CVP practice managers for their New Year’s resolutions and were inspired by the thoughtfulness they put into their vision for the next 12 months.

That’s why we put together a list of great ideas for resolutions in two categories:
1. Resolutions for Practice Managers & Veterinarians
2. Resolutions for Veterinary Practices

Resolutions for Practice Managers & Veterinarians

Put yourself in the pet owners’ shoes.

It’s easy to forget that the people whose pets you see every day enter your practice with uncertainty and possibly some fear about the news you’ll give them. Putting yourself in owners’ shoes will help you communicate with them better, which will help them better understand what you say, increasing their confidence in themselves and their confidence in you!

Ultimately, you’ll build a stronger bond with your clients by doing a few simple things:

  • Actually listening – Dr. Nina Shapiro (professor of head and neck surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA) says, “We’re always rushed…and the inclination is to move things along. When patients start to talk and tell their story, we need to consciously stop, button our lip, and let them finish.”
  • Communicating at their level – After you’ve listened to them, it’s your turn. Your patients shouldn’t be talked down to, but, “It’s easy to forget that not everyone is familiar with medical vernacular, and even when they are, it may not be so in the same way,” says Dr. Joanne Intile. Explain things clearly, and let them ask questions.
  • Putting out a survey – Want to know how owners feel about your practice? Ask them! Make your questions specific to get specific results.
  • Considering their demographic – Seth Jurman (Practice Manager, Sycamore and Rhawnhurst/Elkins Park) says, “I really want to understand the generational make up of each person. What a baby boomer expects and wants from their visit may be the same as a millennial however how we present ourselves must be different to yield the same results.”

  • Take a breath before you meet a client and remind yourself that you’re having a conversation with someone just like you!

    Continue your education.

    Vets and practice managers hear a lot about continuing education as a means to improve their practices. Seth says New Year’s resolutions at Sycamore Veterinary Hospital always include obtaining more CE credits and increasing training. But don’t neglect your own improvement!

    Dr. Patty Khuly VMD sets aside one Sunday a month to catch up on papers and journals, so she can stay up-to-date on trends in animal care and client communication, etc.

    CVP’s weekly newsletter is an easy way to stay on top of what’s going on in the industry. It includes brief summaries of top news stories, so you can get updated quickly. And we link to the full pieces, for when you have time to read them. Get all your news in one place.

    Practice self-care.

    Self-care is especially important considering the rates of depression among vets. A survey found that more than one in six vets has considered suicide, and many of their peers are unaware that others sometimes feel hopeless, despite often feeling sad themselves. Arwen Wainscott (Practice Manager, Allen Road Veterinary Clinic, Shippensburg Animal Hospital, Mt. Rock Animal Hospital) hopes to schedule a specialist to talk to staff about compassion fatigue, so they can recognize it in themselves and others and “…be able to help when someone seems like they might be getting rundown.”

    What can you do?

  • Meditate. – Taking 10 minutes a day to meditate can do wonders for your mental health. With practice, it can bring a sense of peace that makes tough situations feel easier and can teach you to approach every day and task with calm and focus.
  • Don’t forget your hobbies. – You work hard. But there are some things you just love to do for fun (or relaxation). Don’t neglect them! Taking your vacation time is something else you can do for you. Arwen (Practice Manager, Allen Road, Shippensburg, Mt. Rock) wants to spread her vacation time out in 2017: “…so I can hit the ground running and come back refreshed.”
  • Schedule your sleep. – A ‘good night’s sleep’ isn’t just a phrase: Sleep is good for you! Keep your brain and heart healthy and your mood bright by scheduling your sleep. It may be the only way you actually get it.

  • Resolutions for Your Practice

    Get active on social media.

    Scheduling regular updates on social media can build a strong connection between your practice and your clients, potential clients, and your community at large.

    If you’re just starting out and have someone on your team who is interested in posting regular (key word!) updates, let them try their hand! Or hire someone for social media management.

    Where could you post?

  • Facebook – Can be somewhat long-form but should still be quick; including videos & pictures is popular
  • Twitter – 140-character updates
  • Instagram – Image-based; great for showing pictures of patients or your team at work

  • What could you post?

  • Updates on open/close times
  • Details about your team’s community service
  • Pictures of patients and team members
  • Surveys

  • Improve telephone etiquette.

    Recent data analysis revealed the day of the week when practices miss the most calls: Monday. More specifically, Monday from 9 to 10 AM. Are you well staffed during this period? How about during August, which data shows as the busiest month of the year?

    Learn more about the findings from Moneypenny, and consider doing research of your own about your busy times, so you can improve your service.

    Make your waiting room more comfortable.

    You may not give it much thought, but it’s where many of your clients spend most of their time, so make your waiting room as comfortable as it can be.

    Here are a few great ideas from dvm360!

  • Create a kids’ area—complete with little lab coats!
  • Add an aquarium – It’s engaging, especially for children, and calming.

  • Work together—more!

    Martha (Practice Manager, Chippens Hill Veterinary Hospital) knows about the benefits of working together: “We have a leadership committee that consists of 1 person from each department. The group meets every 3-4 weeks to discuss improvements and problem solve in each other’s group. It’s a great way to successfully approach improvement without being adversarial. Results have been great!”

    2017 is just another opportunity to do better! We’d love to hear what you have planned for yourself and your practice this year. Comment here, or tweet us @cvpco!