Business Matters 2020 - Page 6

Dr. Mark Jousan, Joanna Santana & Molly the dog. support and companionship. “If we couldn’t be there for their pets who help them we would have let a lot of clients down,” he says. “I just feel we needed to be here for the people who have been here for us, to protect that emotional attachment of the human/pet bond that’s so strong.” By following state, federal and American Veterinarian Medical Association guidelines and adapting them to their own specific situation and setup, Jousan and staff continued serving the needs of area pet owners. “We had to cutback on some services, we just couldn’t get surgery gloves and some of the other essentials because all the protective gear was being shifted to the human side of medical treatment,” Jousan says. The clinic had to establish rules, like requiring cats to be in a carrier. “Even when the client says ‘no, it won’t go anywhere’ — but if it gets out and we lose it, that was one of my biggest fears,” Jousan says. “We’ve established some simple guidelines within the clinic and so far we’ve not had any issues. And I get back to praising the staff for reading the animals well and adapting well to the clients circumstances,” he says. That staff includes several long-time employees, including Lecia Holt, Iliana Rojas, Carolyn Lopez, Maddie Russell and Joanna Santana. A new staff addition is Klaryssa Gutierrez. While curbside pickup service may be more generally thought of in the retail or restaurant environments, Jousan and his crew drastically altered the way business was done at the clinic by providing that same level of curbside, or in this case, parking lot, drop off and pick up service. Lecia Holt says on many days she and others on the staff would track four-a-half to five miles just going in and out of the clinic to client’s vehicles. Initially Shelby Veterinary Services limited inside access to one client and their pet. But Jousan said due to the tight quarters inside that did not work. “A lot of people started advertising curbside service and we just said ‘that’s what we need to go to, not only to protect ourselves, but to still be able to function and work in a safe manner,’” he says. “It took a few days to get things running fairly smoothly but we tried to adapt to keep people safe.” Often times that resulted in a parking lot filled with 10 or 15 cars and trucks with clients either dropping off their animals and picking them up later in the day, or waiting while perhaps shots or other routine services were provided, and their pets were returned to their vehicles. “We had a couple of clients whose spouses had the disease, or other family members had it,” he says. “We put on masks, gloves, isolation gowns and shields and still treated the pets.” Most customers appreciated the extra steps taken. “We’ve had some clients who were upset they couldn’t come into the clinic with their pets, but most people were very understanding,” Jousan says. “I feel blessed to have a staff that was able to come in and out when we decided this is what we’re going to have to do, and they did it.” A focus was placed on more efficiently utilizing the staff’s time to minimize wait time for clients. “I’m a people person so I miss having the client in their with their pets, because I enjoy visiting with them, it’s more than just the vet work we talk about” he says. Jousan looks forward to the days when the COVID pandemic is a thing of the past. 6 Business MATTERS | 2020 Fall Edition