Why should general practices have all the corporate fun? BrightHeart Veterinary Centers had a plan for acquiring specialty and emergency clinics years before it owned a hospital at all. Businesspeople at its heart saw an opportunity in veterinary medicine for growth, especially in a niche where owners were willing to pay a lot of money for topnotch care. Earlier this year, BrightHeart snagged its first clinic: Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center in Bedford Hills, N.Y. Dr. Alan Green, former owner of Katonah and now BrightHeart's director of practice management, felt like he'd "entered the big leagues" when his hospital was bought in June. The transition was respectful of the clinic's culture, and Dr. Green says BrightHeart transitions in the future will happen like that.
Part of his excitement stems from a desire to improve the profession. He and Dr. Philip Bergman, DACVIM, PhD, chief medical officer, envision clinical trials and other research taking place at BrightHeart hospitals. In fact, BrightHeart has joined the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Foundation as a corporate charter member partner, and CEO Howard Rubin and founder Robert Miner say they want BrightHeart to become the "Mayo Clinics of veterinary healthcare."
"It's going to be thrilling to work with clinics on a collegial rather than competitive basis," Dr. Green says. He sees a day when BrightHeart's clinics compile information on treatments to benefit the scientific community.
BrightHeart last month acquired its second hospital: Farmington Valley Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Avon, Conn. And the organization has letters of intent to purchase three more practices in the coming year.