Why VetCor?

VP Operations Sean SornsinAn Insider's Perspective by Sean Sornsin

Sean Sornsin is a Vice President of Operations at VetCor. He has been in the veterinary field for 13 years and has held titles ranging from Technician, to Practice Manager, to Field Trainer, Field Director, and even Consultant.

In February of 2016, we partnered with our first practice in Kentucky, Elk Creek Animal Hospital. It is a beautiful facility in suburban Louisville, filled with a dynamic, energetic and loyal staff. Elk Creek has been a labor of love for owners Dr. Alex Shelly and his wife Jessica since they started it in 2004 and built it from the ground up – literally. Jessica told me that her kids, as youngsters, slept in chairs as the Shelly’s built the place and the additions over the years. It’s a place their entire family very has memorable shared experiences, and where the kids grew up.

As a Regional Manager at VetCor, I’ve been a part of over 20 site visits and closings for new partnerships. When I sat down with Jessica after arriving for their site visit, I asked the normal questions, “How’s everyone doing with the news? How’s the team?” Her response made me chuckle, “My team is great,” she said. “They are excited. My kids are the ones that are worried.”

Jessica explained to me that her three sons had been getting dropped off by the school bus every day at the hospital. Upon hearing that Mom and Dad were selling it to someone else, they were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to be dropped off after school like they always had been. Coming to the Elk Creek Animal Hospital was a huge part of their day. It meant getting the chance to see the staff and pets, to be around Mom and Dad, eat any leftover treats from the break room, and just mingle around the Elk Creek family. It was like their second home.

For some reason, that story always stuck with me. And it’s the example I use when other hospitals ask me, “What are the benefits of the VetCor model?” Of course, the tangible benefits are easy to explain – a great support system with all the departments, new resources for doctors and staff, medical standards set at the hospital levels, etc. But it’s the intangible benefits that are hard to demonstrate – we support your mission, and you maintain your culture.

I laugh now when I am at Elk Creek and I see the boys come in and head to the break room to check for food or chat with their parents or staff. It just seems right. That’s what the VetCor model is all about – helping practices evolve and grow, while maintaining their culture and community connections.

There are a lot of benefits to the VetCor model. Many are very important, none as important as making sure that the Shelly Boys can get off the bus, and still feel like they are home.