About Dr. Tom Cat and
the Post-GFC Consulting Offerings
"AVMA Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year 2012"
Click here to read the Fingerprints Article
FADE TO PAST - WORLD EXPERIENCES BEING ACCUMULATED
In 1967-68, LT Tom Cat was working with Montangards in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam. While he carried a Merck manual and was planning to "return to the world" and attend veterinary school, he was actually using his Animal Science/Animal Production background (B.S., Montana State University) with their livestock.
Tom Cat was a healthcare administrator (1966 to 1969) in the US Army, before attending veterinary school at Colorado State University. He added leadership skills, medical system management, and team work to his life experiences during this time.
One more year of pre-veterinary courses was completed (B.S. Veterinary Science) before Colorado State University selected its first class of Viet Nam veterans. Tom Cat's entry class averaged four years older than the graduating seniors that year. He noted early and often that the Veterinary Teaching Hospital systems did not teach any form of healthcare leadership, business, or organizational behavior, and to compound that fact, they were not profitable.
During his last two years at CSU, he was instrumental in establishing the Native American Program for the National Student Chapter of the AVMA. There were no Native Americans in veterinary medicine at that time. It started with eight reservations, putting veterinary students on the reservations of the west, allowing Native American youth to shadow the students and learn about potential healthcare careers. Today, it is still operating with the Navajo.
After getting his veterinary degree, he joined the faculty at the Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, spent 30 days in their progressive and demanding faculty development course, programmed the first veterinary computer-assisted instruction courses, and further established his speaking and writing credentials.
In the late 1970s, Tom Cat spent three years developing veterinary healthcare facilities and delivery teams in Japan, and served as the US Forces' Pacific veterinarian. He was involved in many epidemiological and healthcare issues in the greater Pacific Rim region, as well as veterinary contingency planning for many potential issues, locations, and countries.
In the early 1980s, Tom Cat was tasked to be the Project Officer for the Army-Air Force consolidation, where 660 veterinary positions worldwide had to be reduced to 440, with the US Army becoming the executive agent for all of the Department of Defense. This required in-depth knowledge and prospective staffing methodologies for worldwide veterinary resource realignments, as well as developing the long-term Department of Defense budgets and development plans.
In the mid-1980s, Tom Cat return to academic studies to pursue his fourth degree, a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University, four semesters in the fast-track middle healthcare managers curriculum, plus a one-year residency at multiple sites across the USA.
After graduating from Baylor, Tom Cat had the opportunity to take a small, broken down, $100,000 a year gross, veterinary facility in the Rheinpfalz, in Germany, to a nine-satellite, central hospital complex, and within 18 months, the veterinary complex was driving over a million dollars a year. Concurrently, he led the US Forces veterinary rapid deployment teams, accountable for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia, and developed strategic assessment and strategic response contingency plans for those geographic areas.
In 1987, AAHA asked Dr. Tom Catanzaro to assume the role of changing its hospital inspection program to a member consultation program based on the on-site survey program for hospital certification. He had finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) at Baylor University in 1985 and was working on his board qualification at American College of Healthcare Care Executives (ACHE). In the subsequent four years at AAHA, Tom guided the entire hospital inspection program overhaul and development of the new standards for veterinary hospital certification. More importantly, he recruited veterinarians and veterinary technicians to join the hospital survey team, and initiated quarterly in-service training retreats to enhance the skills and knowledge of the hospital survey team in areas of leadership, management, and cutting edge programs to enhance liquidity in member hospitals. This "new consulting team" was also instrumental in starting the AAHA bookstore, contributing the first AAHA-generated resources, which have evolved into the highly diversified AAHA Press.
In 1991, Tom became the first veterinarian to achieve Diplomate status from the American College of Healthcare Care Executives (ACHE), 30,000-plus members specializing in healthcare administration, and in 1996 was awarded Fellow status (less than 10 percent of the 30,000-plus members achieve this distinction). As Tom Cat says, it is his yardstick of excellence, and makes him stay current in the cutting edge knowledge and skills in healthcare situations.
Catanzaro & Associates, Inc., was formed, with Thomas E. Catanzaro, DVM, MHA, FACHE, known to many in this profession just as "Dr. Tom Cat", and Philip Seibert, Jr. CVT, as the core consulting team. During the following next sixteen years, Dr. Tom Cat and Phil expanded the team and developed over a dozen nationally respected consultants. Phil went on to independent success in the veterinary practice safety arena, and has become a nationally respected expert. Concurrently, starting in 1997, Veterinary Practice Consultants became the alter-ego of this consulting team, and assembled an amazing library of contemporary practice leadership, management, and operational material published in the public domain. The principle author of the publications was the team leader, Thomas E. Catanzaro, DVM, MHA, FACHE.
In the past ten years, Dr. Tom Cat has authored fourteen veterinary management textbooks and over 30 Signature Series Monographs to share contemporary knowledge with the profession. We are proud of the quality commitment of our clients, as well as the services we can provide to support their quest for excellence. We also believe continuous quality improvement (CQI) is required for clients to perceive quality - and remember, clients perceive pride as quality. Pride must be established in the work ethic to ensure continuous improvement occurs within the practice systems.
In 2001, the Australia Veterinary Association invited Tom Cat to speak at their annual meeting in Adelaide, South Australia. Many friendships were formed, and the Dean of the Sydney Veterinary School, Dr. Ruben Rose, and Tom Cat made a pact: when his fifth year students started getting meaningful externships in area practices, Tom Cat would return and conduct courses for those practices on how to become profitable with new graduates as staff doctors. That university speaking tour occurred in 2004, included the Veterinary Nursing School in Auckland, New Zealand, and created consulting requests to be initiated in Australia and New Zealand. During a consulting return visit to OZ, the AVPMA (Australian Veterinary Practice Management Association) hosted a "capital city" speaking tour early in 2005, creating more consulting requests. We now have 34 practices in Australia and 15 in New Zealand receiving our consulting support.
The diversity and experience Dr. Tom Cat has brought to the veterinary profession is hard to match, and his awareness of the variables and similarities is legendary within his consulting clients. His willingness to share that knowledge and worldwide insights in his publications has had a major impact on his colleagues and the profession, with many consultants "borrowing" from his literature for their own clients, as well as many practices assuming new operational methods using the "do-it-yourself" publications.
TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE WITH VETERINARY CONSULTING INTERNATIONAL
In 2007, to better serve the international veterinary profession, Dr. Tom Cat reorganized his consulting services into an electronic-based, worldwide, veterinary consulting service. Blackwell Publications and Veterinary Information Network (VIN) have been major factors in allowing this to occur, while Gen-X and Gen-Y staff learning styles have made it a critical necessity. Catanzaro & Associates, Inc. (dba Veterinary Practice Consultants) were no longer serving the profession in a "new millennium" way. Veterinary Consulting International was established to better meet the emerging professional demands around the globe. The Internet is the new playing field. Paper is giving way to electronic messaging, in practice and in consulting, and demands are expected to be met almost instantaneously - electronic relationships are growing and evolving to be the preferred communication styles.
The scope of services of Veterinary Consulting International has multiple modalities and many different formats, designed specifically for the diversity of needs of veterinary practices around the globe. For instance, at our VCI seminars, there is ALWAYS a follow-up period included in the registration, such as 90-days' tracking and feedback after a Seminars at Sea adventure. Full-year consults are our preferred delivery modality, since it allows us to build a leadership team of doctors and key staff, as well as follow the integration of programs and procedures into the existing practice culture. With three architecture texts, Tom Cat loves to do pre-architect floor plan development. In some communities, especially in Australia, there is NO architect requirement, and Tom Cat works with contractors and draft persons to learn how to design and economically build an effective veterinary facility. Please review the scope of consulting services elsewhere in this web site.
In January 2010, Tom Cat assumed the role of Hospital Director, at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Adelaide (Roseworthy Campus), South Australia. He was instrumental in capital expense equipment procurement and establishing the "black belt" nursing team (Six Sigma nomenclature) before returning to Brisbane in September 2010 to return to consulting full time. As such, on-site consulting by Tom Cat is now available in Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand; travel will be arranged for consultations as needed. E-mail consulting can also be done, so NEVER hesitate to bump Tom Cat personally, DrTomCat@aol.com.
The American Veterinary Medical Association selected Thomas E. Catanzaro, DVM, MHA, LFACHE, to receive the Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year 2012 Award, presented at the Annual Meeting in San Diego. Being the one vet out of 89,000 eligible was a humbling honor, and representing Leo Bustad, the founder of theDelta Society and the term Human-Animal Bond, is a charter honored by Dr. Tom Cat in the past, present, and future.
In 2014, I have added a new program, TIME TO SMILE AGAIN, to better meet the needs of practice's struggling with the post-GFC reduced traffic and reduced discretionary income syndrome. It was initially offered only in Brisbane, QLD, and now with Tom's relocation, it is offered to the Denver area veterinary practices, since commuting will be required for my half-day recurring follow-ups. If there are a sufficient density of requests from another locality, it may be exported outside the greater Denver catchment area. but that will be handled on a case-by-case basis .
In 2016, Tom Cat relocated to Lakewood, CO, to be closer to his family and grandkids, and to reduce travel costs for potential USA and Canadian consulting clients.
Veterinary Consulting International affiliates with respected consulting and industry leaders in veterinary medicine. Dr Tom Cat continues to provide veterinary practices around the globe with leadership training, team building, management assistance, and instruments tailored to the diversity of veterinary medicine. Please review the scope of services within this web site.
Our publications are being converted to electronic means, to better meet the GEN-X and GEN-Y desires for Internet-based resources. They are guaranteed to exceed your expectations, it's that simple! If you'd like a full list of our publications, visit the publications area of this web site. We stand ready to assist you and your hospital team and look forward to working with you.
Veterinary Consulting Internationals and the VCI logo are registered trademarks All rights reserved.
The information in this manuscript is copyrighted by Veterinary Consulting Internationals 2017. No portion of this manuscript may be reproduced or stored in any form without the expressed consent of Veterinary Consulting Internationals
DR. TOM CAT GUARANTEE
No consultant can guarantee any outcome. Outcomes result from practice implementation, and are therefore variable at best. Consultants offer advise, and Dr. Tom Cat offers time-tested experience and advise. We do guarantee our ethics.
When we initiate any on-site consulting engagement, a Letter of Agreement is initiated, clearly stating the cost and retainer requirements. This letter of agreement empowers the client to disengage if there is NOT a fit, and concurrently gives Dr. Tom Cat the right to disengage if he perceives there is not a fit.
If this "non-fit disengagement" occurs while Dr. Tom Cat is on the initial visit, there will be NO TIME CHARGES assessed; only the direct travel expenses will be invoiced.
What we do guarantee is NOT TO GIVE UP . . . we will offer alternatives to the alternatives until something clicks . . . until the practice starts to achieve new levels of performance, we are NOT done. That is why there is e-mail/telephone follow-up at a minimum, and quarterly visits with the diagnostic, full-year, consulting program.
Tenacity is our watchword - "complacency be gone" our mantra . . . and:
Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't,
you will make your own belief come true!
We currently operate in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
We have operated in Japan, United Kingdom and Europe.