The past many months have provided no shortage of challenges as we have learned to adapt to the ever-changing landscape that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented. I cannot begin to say how thankful I have been for the veterinarians and team members that make FVH such a great place to work. Their dedication to maintaining patient care, while on the front lines as an essential business, has been inspiring. And I would be doing a disservice to our loyal client base if I were to not offer a big thank you! You all have been so gracious in working with us to adapt to the new ways in which we deliver care to patients.
As we now enter Phase 2 of the state COVID-19 reopening plan, there are a few changes we will begin implementing starting June 15th:
- Normal business hours will resume: M-F 8a-6:30p (Phones answered until 6p).
- Staffing will be increased to accommodate wellness care and vaccine services.
- Surgical and dentistry appointments will be available M-F.
Our primary goal is to maintain the health and safety of our staff and clients. Over the last many weeks, we have carefully observed the various strategies deployed by veterinary hospitals in states that chose to reopen. Our biggest take-away from those observations has been to not be hasty in opening our hospital for “business as usual”. COVID-19 is still very prevalent in our country. Hospitals that have leaned into welcoming clients back inside their facility are facing much greater incidences of full hospital closure stemming from staff becoming infected.
We will continue to take a pragmatic and cautious approach to our reopening strategy; as such, we will maintain our current protocol of only allowing staff into our building through the summer. Rest assured, this is not an option we desire for you or us. The challenges presented in providing patient care from our parking lot is very demanding on staff and we empathize with you not being able to support your pet during these visits.
I would like to reassure you that we are embracing the Fear Free principles of care now more than ever. One observation we have made over these last 3 months has pleasantly surprised us; most dogs and cats do very well without their owners present. In fact, we have witnessed several patients that have had high levels of fear, anxiety, and stress at past visits do much better without the presence of their owners. This is by no means a slight on owners, but rather an acknowledgement of just how attached pets can become to our own emotional states of stress and anxiety. We are using this as a reminder to ourselves that learning new information about how best to help our beloved pets is always a part of the Fear Free mission.
We look forward to the day when we can invite you all back inside with us. Until then we thank you immensely for your patience and understanding.
Michael Bellis, Hospital Administrator