Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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2 Today's Veterinary Business Welcome! Editor-in-Chief Deborah A. Stone, MBA, Ph.D., CVPM Editor Ken Niedziela Art Director Brent Cashman Vice President of Sales & Marketing Rick Boggess Director of Sales Doreen Carpenter Senior Account Executive Chelsea Elbert Senior Account Executive Allyson Archambault Account Executive Paige Ellington Director of Audience Development Sondra Reynolds Director of Training and Channel Relationships Rachel Bailey Group Publisher Chris Kelly NAVC Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Bohn, MBA, CAE NAVC Chief Media and Sales Officer Laura C.S. Walker Kelly Baltzell, MA, Beyond Indigo Pets president Mark Cushing, JD, Animal Policy Group partner Amanda Donnelly, DVM, MBA, ALD Consulting owner Eleanor Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences dean Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD, Veterinary Business Advisors founder Mary Beth Leininger, DVM, former AVMA president and retired Hartville Group executive Zack Mills, DVM, Duluth, Georgia, practice owner Jeff Thoren, DVM, PCC, BCC, Gifted Leaders founder Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT, E3 Management owner Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP, veterinary industry consultant Editorial advisory board An Official Publication of the Welcome! NAVC board of directors President K. Leann Kuebelbeck, DVM, DACVS Immediate Past President Gail Gibson, VMD President-elect Cheryl Good, DVM Vice President Paige Allen, MS, RVT Treasurer Laurel Kaddatz, DVM Directors Harold Davis Jr., RVT, VTS (ECC) Sally Haddock, DVM Bob Lester, DVM Mark Russak, DVM, CVJ Today's Veterinary Business (ISSN 2574-5816 print and ISSN 2574-5824 online) is published bimonthly (Feb/Mar, Apr/May, Jun/Jul, Aug/Sep, Oct/Nov, Dec/Jan) by the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), 622 E. Washington St., Suite 300, Orlando, FL 32801. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Please note: The opinions stated in this publication are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of NAVC or its editorial advisory board. Subscriptions only: For a new subscription, renewal, cancellation or address change, contact 630-739-0900 or visit to complete an online form. Your subscriber ID is directly above your name on the address label. Free subscriptions only to qualifying subscribers. Qualifying subscribers include veterinarians, members of the veterinary health care team, veterinary school faculty, veterinary students and other professionals allied to the field. Eastern States Veterinary Association Inc. (NAVC) reserves the right to determine eligibility for a free subscription. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CDS/Today's Veterinary Business, 440 Quadrangle Drive, Suite E, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Ken Niedziela • Editor I was this unknown entity running a veterinary hospital. When I started there they were losing money, but within a couple of months they started to show some profit. – Mark Opperman Leave a phone message for Mark Opperman, CVPM, and odds are the practice consultant extraordinaire won't call back from his home base of Lawrence, Kansas. "Normally, about three weeks out of four, I'm on the road, either doing seminars or consults or teaching at one of over 20 veterinary schools," he said. "I was just in Minneapolis, and now I'm in Chicago for a financial boot camp. Next week I'm in Fort Lauderdale, working in a practice, and then I'm at the Fetch meeting." Frequent-flyer miles pile up for Opperman, who cut his entre- preneurial teeth as a boy trying to support his widowed mother and two older sisters. His neighborhood lawn care venture, Have Mower Will Travel, did OK, but when his mother told a teenage Opperman, "We really need to make some money," he approached West Haven, Connecticut, veterinarian Terry Claypoole. Turned away because he was underage, Opperman eventually was hired as Dr. Claypoole's kennel attendant. Over time he took on office manager responsibilities, and then he left to enroll at Coe Col- lege, which is where Dr. Claypoole tracked him down and asked if he might want to return someday as administrator of the veterinarian's new practice, New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine. "I started taking business classes, graduated with an undergradu- ate degree in biology, psychology and business, and started working at Central Hospital as the administrator in the late '70s," Opperman said. "Back in those days there was no such thing as a non-veterinarian owner or manager of a practice," he said. "I was this unknown entity run- ning a veterinary hospital. When I started there they were losing money, but within a couple of months they started to show some profit." Long story short, Opperman began writing articles in Veterinary Economics and arrived at the metaphorical fork in the road: Stay at Central Hospital or start a consultancy. He chose to go into business for himself and launched VMC Inc. Today, Opperman debuts as the newest columnist in Today's Veterinary Business. His column, Practice Smarter, can be found on Page 50 in this issue. "I want to provide state-of-the-art information to help practices practice smarter, not harder," he said. "The information I provide will be practical in nature and can have a dramatic impact on making a practice more successful." Opperman is not the only addition to Today's Veterinary Busi- ness. On Page 8, courtesy of the animal health insights firm Anima- lytix, is The Vetalytix Report, an in-depth look at how veterinary prac- tices, broken down by region, are performing in key business areas. We're delighted to bring you Practice Smarter and The Vetalytix Report in each issue of Today's Veterinary Business. Let me know what you think by emailing me at Sincerely, Ken Niedziela A growth opportunity

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