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Reflections

By January 9, 2018August 16th, 2023No Comments

An outside view of the clinic

I cannot believe that Don and I moved our business into the 355 Carlanna address one year ago! What a wonderful and stressful decision that was for us to make. I remember that there were many discussions over our dinner table trying to look ahead, wondering what the “right thing” was for us to do. If you know us, you know that we both are closer to retirement age, and were not certain if we should or even wanted to dive into significant debt with moving our business to a building that was 4x larger than the one we were currently in. There were many factors to consider and changes that we would need to make if we were going to take this leap.

If we were going to pursue getting a larger building, then we would need to see about hiring another doctor. I could not continue at the pace that I was working; people were often frustrated with the fact that they could not get an appointment in with us, that there could be anywhere from a 5-7 day wait. I already worked 10-12 hours days and just did not see where I could stretch myself any farther to accommodate the needs of the community. We had to make some decisions as to what the next step was going to be with our business, and it boiled down to these options:

1. Stop servicing the off-island communities. For those who don’t know, we have a small clinic on Prince of Wales and I went there a minimum of twice a month on my days off, when weather permitted.

2. Stop seeing new patients and be more selective of who we saw, or:

3. See about hiring another doctor.

Don and I were blessed to be able to choose option 3, as Dr. Jolene Pflaum had reached out that she would like to come work for us after she graduated from veterinary school.

Having Dr. Jolene want to join our family left me feeling a certain sense of freedom, as I could share late night call-outs, which often come after a long and exhausting day. The challenging part of having two doctors in a 1300 square foot space was the lack of room. Room for more staff to help her, room for patients, room for equipment. Our space was so tight already that many days we felt we need to put on rubber suits and slather ourselves with oil to just pass each other in the hall. Well, Don and I knew that if we were going to bring on Dr. Jolene then we would need a larger building. It so happened that the 355 Carlanna address was up for sale.

Well, we did it! We signed the paperwork. I donned a pink hard hat, courtesy of my contractor, and took the sledgehammer to the wall in the new building. We watched our new clinic emerge from blueprints to a fully functioning clinic about 5 months. The process was like watching a child learn to ride a bike. There were moments of falling, bursting into tears of frustration, getting back on the bike, falling again, until one day you figure out the balance and then suddenly, you are moving forward.

A year later we have worked through most of the bruising, scrapes, and scratches that came with the first year of growth. We are a two doctor practice that is open 6 days a week, we employ 20 people, a few who are furthering their education through our clinic to become licensed veterinary nurses, we offer community education classes every other month, we have boarding services, and we have space to become more pet friendly.

There are moments of frustration as I guess there are with any growth. There is some negativity from the community about how expensive we are, that we have a new building, more staff, or how we have become too big. For the most part, our community has embraced us. They too have been excited for the new services, more space, and more available hours! Those that know us, know that we love what we do! We are proud to be able to offer more for our patients and clients. We are grateful and feel blessed to celebrate our one-year anniversary at 355 Carlanna. We hope that you love our new building as much as we do!

Submitted by Dr. Marna Hall

Calling All Animal Lovers: Join Us for an Open House Extravaganza!

Get ready for our Open House Extravaganza on June 15th from Noon to 3PM! Explore our clinic, learn treatments, enjoy a BBQ, and more!

Click below for all the details. We can’t wait to welcome you – see you there!

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