ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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ISVMA 2009 Spring Seminar Series

Our sponsors:

matsco pfizer


Register using the online registration form and pay with your credit card.

ISVMA is proud to offer another outstanding learning opportunity for veterinary professionals! With support from Matsco and Pfizer.

Seminar Dates and Locations

Please click on the locations for additional information:

March 14, 2009 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield, IL

*March 21, 2009 at The Stonegate in Hoffman Estates, IL (this seminar will not include the CVT/Veterinary Assistant track)

March 22, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Willowbrook, IL

Seminar Schedule

8:30 a.m. Registration opens
9:00 a.m. Sessions begin
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch break
1:00 p.m. Sessions resume
3:30 p.m. Sessions end

Continuing Education Credit

Attendees at the ISVMA 2009 Spring Seminar Series will receive 6 hours of continuing education credit.

Practice Owner/Manager Program Description


Veterinary Technician/Assistant Program Description

Hard Times Management: Improving Your Hospital in a Recessionary Time

2009 is a history making time in America’s economy. With concerns and fear abounding, what can we infer from the forecasts and studies specifically about the business environment and the pet owning “market”? Is Veterinary Recession Proof? Is this a time for decline or a time to get better?

Learn the strategies from the business community that can position you to thrive in difficult times from hospital management specialists. Get the answers and insights from management consultant and national expert, Christine Merle, DVM, MBA on different aspects of practice management. Judy Jennings, MBA, Matsco, A Wells Fargo Company, will give you the latest on the financial markets and access to capital. Expert accountants will update you on the latest tax considerations for 2009 and beyond.

Topics Include:

  • Pet Owner Spending: Are Happy Days still ahead? Reports say that veterinary medicine is recession proof – find out what pet owners have done this past year and what is yet to come. Based on information from surveys including yet to be published in 2008 and 2009. (Christine Merle, DVM, MBA)
  • Cracking the Credit Crunch - What do senior economists at America’s top rated bank say about the economic future? Find out the latest survey information on lending from bank officers nationally. Learn what the reality is for veterinarian’s access to capital and if the time is right to start, expand or transition a practice. (Judy Jennings, MBA)
  • Incremental changes mean BIG differences - Has your recent growth been small? Or does it feel like your practice might be at a plateau- find out how to make incremental changes based on selected areas of revenue that can lead to direct dollars at the bottom line. We always focus on the top 20% of our clients but what about the rest- do they have any value and if yes, how can we get them to move upwards. (Christine Merle, DVM, MBA)
  • Business and Tax Changes in 2009 - What do you need to know to prepare for 2009 and beyond? Get the latest information on tax changes so you can plan accordingly.
    Ask the Experts- Hard Times Panel Discussion (Christine Merle, DVM, MBA; Judy Jennings, MBA; tax accountant)

“Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.” -Churchill




* This CVT/Veterinary Assistant program will only be offered on March 14 in Springfield and March 22 in Willowbrook.

Raising the Bar - How to Get the Most Out of Your Veterinary Technicians & Assistants:

  • Veterinary Nursing: Ethics and Professionalism - There is more to this profession than just “tender loving care”.
  • Dr. Kirby’s Rule of 20: 20 essential tools of monitoring, diagnostics and assessments to use in the critically ill ICU patient.
  • Basic Patient Parameter Assessment (Triage): Review of Vital Signs and Their Clinical Importance. Evaluation of the patient through physical findings is the “gold standard” for determining patient status. Vital signs, to include: level of consciousness, respiratory rate/effort, heart rate/rhythm, and perfusion parameters provide clinical signposts that point that point to trends of change, warning the team of complications.
  • Leadership and Management: How to become an indispensable part of a winning team and increase practice profitability through the appropriate use of staff.




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About the Speakers:

Christine A. Merle, DVM, CPA, CVPM is a Consultant with the Brakke Veterinary Practice Management Group a division of Brakke Consulting, Inc. She is a small animal practitioner from Chicago, IL and holds degrees from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and DePaul University Kellsted Graduate School of Business as well as being a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM). She served as Assistant Dean for Public Engagement and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of
Veterinary Medicine until 2005. As a teacher, she developed and provided business education and career development information to veterinary students, veterinarians and other animal health professionals.

Christine’s goal is to advance the veterinary profession through the education of animal
health professionals and the public. She is a popular speaker at veterinary conferences
and was awarded the North American Veterinary Conference Practice Management Speaker of the Year in 2008. An active member of several veterinary organizations, Christine served as the president of VetPartners, formerly known as the Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors (AVPMCA) in 2007-2008.

Christine has a particular interest in communications, organizational behavior and
integration of marketing into private practice by focusing on staff and client education.

Judy Jennings, MBA has been the midwest Regional Manager for Matsco, A Wells Fargo company, for more than a decade. She has a banking, sales and marketing background and has worked in the healthcare area for over 20 years.



About the Speaker:

Mr. Angel Rivera CVT, VTS (ECC) obtained his veterinary technician training in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Prior to coming to the Animal Emergency Center in 1991, he worked as an emergency service veterinary technician at the University of Pennsylvania Small Animal Hospital Emergency Services. After coming to Wisconsin, he served as a critical care technician and assistant supervisor at the critical care unit in the veterinary teaching hospital University of Wisconsin. Currently he is the Hospital Administrator, and Nursing Education Coordinator at the Animal Emergency Center. Mr. Rivera has been a guest lecturer to veterinarians and technicians at national and international meetings. Mr. Rivera was voted speaker of the year for the 1995 North American Veterinary Conference (technician program). He is the author and co-author in various journals, magazine articles, and research abstracts; as well as author/co-author in various textbooks published for veterinarians and technicians. Mr. Rivera's special interests in the specialty of veterinary emergency and critical care are ventilatory support and management, acid-base disorders and endocrine emergencies. In 1998, Mr. Rivera obtained his certification as a veterinary technician specialist (VTS) in the field of emergency and critical care. Mr. Rivera appeared on the cover of the July/2004 of Veterinary Technician Journal as one of the key-note speakers to technicians on veterinary emergency and critical care nursing.

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
1121 Chatham Road
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 546-8381

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