How Employee Well-Being Boosts Patient and Business Outcomes


By Veterinary Innovative Partners

Lessons learned from VIP’s veterinarian-owned-and-operated hospitals

Growing up, you may have pictured yourself becoming a doctor, a firefighter or an artist – pursuing whatever deeply inspired you as your career path. Dr. Brett Shorenstein, co-founder of Veterinary Innovative Practice (VIP), spent his early career in finance. After just three days on the job, he knew he made a mistake by not following his true calling – caring for animals. His passion led him to a post-baccalaureate program and veterinary school so he could eventually do what he loved every day.

Most veterinarians and their teams know that the field can be challenging, but when it’s a genuine passion, you are determined to find success for your patients. Unfortunately, some veterinarians lose their enthusiasm throughout their careers from unrealistic work expectations. As veterinarians enter the field or explore new workplaces, consider your personal and professional priorities to determine how an employer aligns with your goals.

As a network of veterinarian-ownedand- operated hospitals, VIP recognizes the importance of hospital-level autonomy. It encourages the vital balance between providing exceptional medical care with making the right business and management decisions for each team.

“Veterinarians understand their community and their pets. They have insight into which strategies best fit the needs of their employees and the pets they serve,” Dr. Shorenstein said. “As a network of hospitals, we acknowledge that these strategies are not a one-sizefits- all approach, and what works best for one clinic may not be suitable for others. Hospital-level autonomy is crucial to the success of each practice to ensure the well-being of pets, their families and our team members.”

Strong leadership in the hospital is vital to a practice’s success, but those decision-makers are also responsible for the well-being of their team members. At VIP, we are proud to offer competitive benefits and have eliminated noncompete agreements. Instead, we ensure our teams have the support they need to be successful and passionate about coming to work each day. Support goes beyond great health care plans and tuition repayment assistance – it’s also How Employee Well-Being Boosts Patient and Business Outcomes Lessons learned from VIP’s veterinarian-owned-and-operated hospitals about being there for each other in everyday life, like when someone’s child has a dance recital or if they need to take time off for a mental health day.

“Building a valuable team member experience is essential for any business to thrive,” said Michele Silverman, Chief People Officer at VIP. “The veterinary industry presents its own challenges – some days can weigh heavily on our team members. It’s our leaders’ responsibility to not only encourage balance but to also exhibit it themselves and provide an unmitigated willingness to finding the best, and sometimes creative, ways to support our staff.”

The support needed to build a successful practice goes beyond personal benefits, it’s also about your community and network of support. A network of hospitals like VIP provides peer-level support from fellow veterinarians and their teams. This camaraderie enables the sharing of best practices, a listening ear from someone who can deeply relate to your unique experiences and much more. Support should also come from management and the HR group, which is constantly evolving. HR responsibilities extend past implementing company policies; they should also be there to support team members throughout their career journeys. By offering friendly faces and helping hands, we create stronger connections and innovative solutions.

“Work-life balance can be challenging for any professional, but by fostering autonomy, promoting and setting the right examples for health and well-being, and encouraging peer-level support, we have the ability to set a positive example for change in the veterinary industry,” Dr. Shorenstein said. “I’ve witnessed the impact a well-supported veterinary team can make when caring for their pets. Their happiness and passion for what they do makes all the difference.”