Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, the events of 2020 brought a lot of challenges and unknowns. Through it all, we continued to find the light in the darker days. Though there may be no stranger (or rarer) year to reflect on, we want to recognize our team members and partners who worked tirelessly to collaborate, innovate and successfully help to redefine the work experience in veterinary medicine. Here is a look back on our team’s achievements and a look ahead to the exciting days to come.
Making a positive impact and leveraging resources amidst uncertainty
We put our cultural values of love and respect into practice whenever we can – inside and outside of the Rarebreed walls. And with COVID-19’s far-reaching impact, we applied those values in tangible ways. First, we made sure our partner hospitals received hazard pay, because their commitment to animals and the pet owners they serve deserves to be rewarded. And when we received Paycheck Protection Program funding, we felt compelled to return it so it could be used by the small businesses that truly needed it.
Not only did we do what we could monetarily, but also our hospitals donated much needed medical equipment. With mounting shortages around the country, we provided three ventilators to hospitals in Maine and Connecticut so they could be used to treat human COVID-19 patients.
Amidst all of the potential setbacks, we continued to grow – hiring 150 people this year into jobs with incredible benefits, bonuses and/or profit share. We are proud to offer them a part in a company that truly cares for their physical, mental and financial health. And during an economic downturn, we are grateful to be part of the solution.
This year brought us new (socially distant) friends
As we continue to create best-in-class opportunities for veterinary professionals, we’ve partnered with great companies and organizations to bridge current service and offering gaps.
Recognizing our flexible, partnership-oriented approach to M&A and scalable technology, Trilantic North America, a leading private equity firm, became a substantial minority investor. This investment will further enhance the exceptional work of our current veterinary professionals and enable us to continue to attract leading veterinary talent as an employer of choice for those dedicated to animal health.
Veterinary Management Groups (VMG)
Offering a limited number of memberships for groups like Rarebreed, we were honored when VMG invited us to join their organization. Additional access to thought leaders and innovators through VMG will allow us the opportunity to share ideas, data, management experiences, resources, problems, and solutions. Not to mention, the mutual support and motivation through this collaboration will allow us all to attain higher levels of professional success.
Maine Veterinary Medical Center (MVMC)
As a company that truly cares about our employees’ wellbeing, we were thrilled to name Dr. Virginia Gill as our first Director of Wellness and Sustainability. Dr. Gill, who also currently serves as the Head of the Oncology Department and Medical Director at MVMC, is providing support programs, psychologist access, and mental health forums to help our entire healthcare team thrive in the veterinary profession. “If a healthcare team member is in a healthy mental place and can thrive in an environment that promotes wellbeing, then exceptional patient and client care are inevitable,” says Dr. Gill.
Opening in Portland Maine in March of 2021, PetMedic, an after-hours and weekend urgent care facility, bridges the gap between family veterinarians and emergency hospitals. Like the urgent care model in human healthcare, this much-needed veterinary service complements trusted family veterinarians and allows us to provide compassionate and quality care for animals with non-life-threatening conditions, while alleviating the case overload at emergency hospitals.
A strong foundation for continued growth
We always push to innovate and ensure our practices stay current with the latest technology trends. So, in addition to providing our practices with new equipment from the beginning, we also look for ways to implement new tools that can provide them with data in real-time. “In just over a year, we have leveraged the cloud to implement all core software systems necessary for a high-growth company,” says Jeremy Halperin, Chief Technology Officer of Rarebreed. “To create predictive KPI’s, the technology team has made great strides in integrating all aforementioned systems, along with data from our hospitals.”
We’ve also continued our commitment to staying current with employee wellbeing. Since our mission is to welcome and provide exceptional work experiences for everyone, we formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee to ensure this effort is intentional and traceable. Comprised of leaders from our practice community and headquarters, the committee is identifying actionable items aimed to increase diversity and inclusiveness at Rarebreed, and hopefully, in the veterinary profession.
New employees and partners- same commitment to love, respect, and fun
2020 brought new partners and talented team members that empower us to continue to enhance the business of veterinary care. From updated offerings to technology upgrades, committee creation to employee wellbeing, we continue to set the standard for employee experience and partnership excellence. This year reminded us why our commitment to love, respect and fun matter, as our employees can attest. “I am grateful for working with such wonderful and dedicated folks, and the fact that Rarebreed is providing 591 people with jobs right now,” said Sarah McDowell, Recruiter for Rarebreed. “I am also grateful for opportunities to connect with members of the team through HIIT Cardio classes, coffee chats, happy hours, and our wellness forum!”
While this was certainly not the year we were expecting, we look to the future with grateful hearts, open minds, a deepened commitment, and unbreakable resolve to continue to uphold our values of love, respect and fun in 2021.