COS - 144 - New Veterinary Business Models to Keep Pet Care Affordable

Dr. Bob Lester believes owning pets shouldn't be a luxury that few people can afford. The veterinary profession needs to think creatively about how to keep medicine accessible to pet owners across socioeconomic groups. In this episode, Dr. Lester joins Dr. Andy Roark to discuss his recent article which outlines 15 new business models our profession might approach to help pets get the care they need.

Tear Down the Wall (Original Article):

Wellhaven Pet Health:

Uncharted Veterinary Podcast:

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Dr. Bob Lester remains as passionate about the veterinary profession as the day he entered veterinary school (sometime last century). He is a firm believer in the veterinary profession's double bottom line proposition of doing well by doing good.

Dr. Lester is a graduate of Oregon State and Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and completed the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Leadership Academy.

He spent his early career as a small-town mixed animal practice owner before joining the founding leadership team at Banfield Pet Hospitals. At Banfield, he held positions in medicine, operations, franchising, human resources, and professional relations. After a rewarding career at Banfield/Mars Inc., he left as Vice President of Professional Relations to help found the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine where he served as Assistant Dean. Dr. Lester’s LMU-CVM team pioneered a novel community-based clinical education program and developed the professional skills curriculum including instruction in communication, leadership, teamwork, and practice management.

Bob is now a co-founder, Chief Medical Officer, and member of the Board of Directors for WellHaven Pet Health, a family of companion animal practices that believes in caring for the caregivers so that they can care for others. WellHaven Pet Hospitals are both new build full-service AAHA/Fear Free hospitals, acquired and joint venture affiliate practices.

Bob was a two-time gubernatorial appointee and Chair of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board. He was the state delegate to the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. He served as a site team member for the AVMA Council on Education, and on the Job Analysis Task Force for the International Council for Veterinary Assessment. Dr. Lester authors the column “Creative Disruption” for Today’s Veterinary Business.

In addition to his board position at WellHaven Pet Health, he serves as a board member and Treasurer of Pet Peace of Mind a non-profit which keeps hospice patients together with their pets through the end of life. He also serves as Vice President of the board of the North American Veterinary Community, and on the advisory boards of easyvetclinic, Pet Desk, AirVet, and the LMU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Lester’s interests include all things veterinary, writing, start-ups, speaking, business and leadership development, the human-animal bond, and giving back to the profession that has done so much for him and others.

His family includes his wife Crystal, two amazing daughters McKenzie and Paige, and two rescue Yorkie’s Jessie and Woody.
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