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An update on COVID-19 from Compassion-First Pet Hospitals President and CEO, John Payne

Apr 28, 2020


An update on COVID-19 from Compassion-First Pet Hospitals President and CEO, John Payne

Over the past couple of months, managing the threat of COVID-19 has required each of us to make adjustments to how we live and work. It hasn't always been easy. Yet, I'm impressed by countless stories of adaptability and resilience from around the world and across our nation. I’m moved by the actions and positive attitudes from our Compassion-First teams in 40+ hospitals across 13 states.

Even in the best of times, our success is driven by high-level support and local autonomy, guided by our core values—kindness, integrity, community, collaboration, and empowerment. This spirit of teamwork is more important now than ever. We're prioritizing human safety and health while finding new ways to provide the best possible veterinary care for pets in our communities.

To accomplish our goals for service and safety, we've quickly established these operational shifts, and more:

  • Increased sanitization and cleaning measures
  • "Contact-less" online services: payments, forms, check-ins and check-outs
  • Telehealth appointments to limit in-person visits
  • Curbside drop-off/pick-up
  • Alternating "A & B" team schedules to limit employee exposure
  • All while remaining open 24/7 to care for pets

We trust our doctors to interpret the unique conditions in their hospitals and communities. They are empowered to make the right decisions to protect the health of their teams, clients and pets. Our veterinarians understand these decisions. And as always, the Compassion-First doctors turn to each other for additional insights, drawing from their vibrant collective of experiences and knowledge.

Open communication is helping everyone navigate this uncertain environment together. We're ensuring that both referring veterinarians and clients are up-to-date on our new safety measures, to create the best experience possible. Who wouldn't be caught off guard by arriving for an appointment, to discover their nervous pet must go inside without them? We carefully manage expectations and share changes through a combination of email, website updates, and social media posts.

We know that however long it takes, this crisis will pass. We remain focused on building a secure future for our hospitals, including the development of exceptional talent. We've moved much of our continuing education capabilities online—because, for our doctors, learning and teaching never end. And we continue to recruit outstanding veterinarians and specialists safely through virtual interviews.

Ours is a very hands-on industry. We have the privilege of greeting patients with an ear scratch or a belly rub. And we've all hugged a longtime client when sharing difficult news. Seeing faces through a screen, keeping our distance from clients, and being in alternate shifts from friends at work…these measures can take a toll on our hearts. We're focused on the bigger picture, doing whatever it takes to create more healthy, happy moments. Because the joy and comfort animals bring is more precious now than ever.

I'm proud of the kindness and patience our teams show as they protect one another and our communities during this unprecedented time—my deepest appreciation to each member of the Compassion-First family.

Be well.

John Payne

President & CEO


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