Mars Veterinary Health, Banfield Pet Hospital announce $25,000 grant to spur innovation that will help ensure care is available to pets
VANCOUVER, Wash., Oct. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Banfield Pet Hospital® – the nation's leading provider of preventive veterinary care and part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of practices – today hosted its 22nd annual Pet Healthcare Industry Summit, where leaders convened to identify barriers and collaborate on innovative solutions around one of the most pressing issues impacting the profession: access to veterinary care and whether owners can obtain and pay for services and treatments for their pets. Mars Veterinary Health shared its most recently updated research showing that even with the new veterinary graduates expected over the next 10 years, a shortage of up to 24,000 companion-animal veterinarians will likely still exist by 2030.
During Summit, leaders from across the veterinary industry and Mars Petcare ecosystem discussed challenges and opportunities to help chart a course towards a more sustainable future for veterinary medicine through innovations in education systems, team-based care, and technology.
"The veterinary landscape is changing rapidly, creating unique headwinds that call for a unified and thoughtful approach to ensure the profession can meet the needs of pets that deserve high-quality care," said Molly McAllister, chief medical officer of Mars Veterinary Health. "Creating new, innovative education models is at the heart of this challenge. I'm encouraged by how the industry, academia and Mars ecosystem came together today to help move the profession in a positive direction."
A key advancement in veterinary medical education discussed today at summit is Spectrum of Care or the idea that veterinary care exists along a continuum. Spectrum of Care asks a critical question: How do we educate veterinary professionals to see pets everywhere in a way that is inclusive of the diversity of pet owners that need to be seen, while also providing quality veterinary care?
"Team-based care expands access to care for pets and their owners through more hours of coverage and shorter wait times, without added burden to hospital teams," said Mony Iyer, president of Banfield Pet Hospital. "It also allows for more effective and efficient delivery of care, including increased client education. For hospital teams, it fosters a more positive work environment, leading to increased job satisfaction and retention."
One example Banfield shared of bringing team-based care to life is its Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) Appointments, which enable technicians to provide services under the direction and supervision of a veterinarian. Banfield has delivered 2.7 million CVT appointments since 2019, and found participating technicians are 12x more likely to stay with the practice.
"Technological innovations have the potential to positively impact access to care by advancing fundamental areas of veterinary medicine, from prediction and prevention to monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment," said Nefertiti Greene, president of Mars Science & Diagnostics. "Mars Petcare has a unique opportunity to lead the way in many of these areas, with a full diagnostic offering, one-of-a-kind cat and dog biobank, and commitment to sharing what we learn with the industry."
Another example of how Mars encourages technology that advances pet health is by providing funding and mentorship to accelerate startups that are working to unlock access to care through artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions.
What's next: investing to advance access to care
As the veterinary profession works to solve access-to-care challenges, Mars Veterinary Health and Banfield Pet Hospital announced at Summit a $25,000 grant to the Veterinary Innovation Council to help build a dynamic website or repository of information on what services, programs, and resources already exist within the access to care space.
"This new grant and resource will help veterinary professionals and pet owners more easily explore their options when providing and seeking care for pets," said Alea Harrison, chief medical officer of Banfield Pet Hospital. "It's part of Banfield and Mars' ongoing commitment to leveraging our size and scale to invest and provide tools and resources that benefit the broader profession."
At last year's Summit, Mars Veterinary Health and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced a working group to deliver the Positive Pet Care Guide – a resource aimed at strengthening the relationship between veterinary teams and clients in support of providing the best possible care to pets. Since its release in April of this year, the Guide has been viewed more than 6,000 times, with hospital teams sharing the guide with clients on their websites and in their hospitals.
ABOUT MARS, INCORPORATED
Mars, Incorporated is driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. As a global, family-owned business, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world.
Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality confectionery, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 140,000+ dedicated Associates. With more than $47 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world's best-loved brands including Ben's Original™, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M's®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating a better world for pets through our global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services – including AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus and VCA™ – using cutting edge technology to develop breakthrough programs in genetic health screening and DNA testing.
About Banfield Pet Hospital®
Banfield Pet Hospital was founded in Portland, Ore. in 1955 and today is a pioneer in preventive veterinary care with more than 1,000 general veterinary hospitals in 42 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Mexico. More than 3,600 Banfield veterinarians are committed to providing high-quality veterinary care to over three million pets annually. Banfield collects data from each of these visits in the U.S.'s largest electronic veterinary health records system. Our goal is to be here for pets, people, and society. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of practices, Banfield is committed to its purpose — A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS® — because pets make a better world for us. Press seeking additional information are invited to call the Media Hotline: (888) 355-0595.
SOURCE Banfield Pet Hospital