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College of Business cohosts Veterinary Management Institute

February 14, 2014

Newest institute on campus offers veterinarians from across North America executive-level management training in conjunction with established American Animal Hospital Association program.

Dr. Michael Cavanaugh welcomed participants to the Veterinary Management Institute on Jan. 30.Veterinary professionals from across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico met for the first session of the new Veterinary Management Institute(SM) Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in the College of Business at Colorado State University.

VMI originated with the American Animal Hospital Association in 1990. For nearly 24 years,VMI has been recognized as the leader for management education for veterinary professionals. This year, the Center for Professional Development and Business Research in the College of Business at Colorado State University and AAHA have joined forces to offer a new, redesigned version of this executive-level management program.

“This move to offer the prestigious Veterinary Management Institute through Colorado State University leverages the strengths of our top-ranked veterinary medicine program and College of Business to benefit veterinary professionals and communities across the country,” said  CSU President Tony Frank, Ph.D., D.V.M.,  “As a land-grant university with a strong commitment to outreach and lifelong learning, we’re proud to partner with the AAHA to offer exceptional management education that’s targeted to the needs of this important industry.”

First cohort of professionals

The first cohort of participants consists of veterinarians, practice managers, technicians, other practice staff, and professionals desiring to work in veterinary practices. Participants were welcomed by AAHA chief executive officer Dr. Michael Cavanaugh, D.V.M., DABVP; Jim Francis, Ph.D., director of the Center for Professional Development; and Dr. Mark Stetter, D.V.M., dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Kara Keesling, D.V.M., VMI advisory board member, also gave an opening topic discussion on employee engagement.  

Strategic decision making

Christina Schlacther, Ph.D., chief executive officer of She Leads and author of Leading Business Change for Dummies (Wiley, 2012) and Critical Conversations for Dummies (Wiley, 2013), led a full-day workshop on Friday on strategic decision making for enhanced productivity and mastering the art of communication. Schlachter focused participants on creating a line of sight, to make effective and productive decisions that equate to long-term results.

Friday evening, the group toured the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Finance for managers

On Saturday, Victoria Wagner, director of performance improvement for the University of Colorado Health and former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Kodak Colorado, facilitated a full-day workshop on finance for managers and professionals. Wagner’s course built participants’ skills in financial statements, the necessary language of finance for business practitioners, business planning, lean management, and how to utilize the financials in making important decisions. Wagner encouraged participants to walk away with understanding the big picture of what’s happening in their practices, how their roles/departments fit in, how they can impact company performance, and how performance will be measured.

The 10-part VMI program runs from January to November each year, and includes 83 hours of continuing education consisting of three in-person sessions, monthly virtual classes, workgroups, and discussions. Future topics will cover services marketing, inventory management, strategic human resource management, supervision and conflict management, strategic entrepreneurship, and more.

Participants will work with leading professors from the College of Business as well as experienced experts ranging from professionals who have led or consulted with successful veterinary practices to experts who have served with Fortune 500 companies.

Members of the VMI will meet again on campus in June for the second in-person session.