Our VPP Community,
As I write this letter, we are 8 weeks into the most unique challenge many of us have ever faced. I’ve been thinking about how I want to address our community in the midst of this health crisis, and one word continues to come top of mind: Gratitude. We asked a lot of our hospitals in those first few weeks, and we continue to do so. Stay open to care for the animals in your communities in the face of deep uncertainty about a new and unknown health risk. Come in and conduct your work in a way that’s different than you’ve ever done before. Change with us as we learn new things each week. Persevere.
There are no words I could write that could properly express my gratitude for this team, for how we’ve risen to this challenge. Our reception teams have pivoted from providing face-to-face service to not only working the phones all day and smoothly running the logistics of curbside care, but absorbing the anxieties of our clients as they try to get care for their animals amid a global pandemic. And they’ve done a tremendous job of it. Our technicians running curbside service are literally working on the front lines, interacting with clients and patients and acting as the face of our hospitals (with masks on!). Our doctors working day-to-day with our Operations, HR and Marketing teams to create plans catered to their hospital, in many cases as the virus was running rampant in the communities right outside their hospital’s doors. We did all of this while homeschooling our children, worrying about our elderly relatives, losing loved ones, and feeling uncertain about very fundamental things like whether or not we could safely shop for food.I said in my previous letter that our ability to quickly pivot was not only unique, but is what would allow us to endure. I feel so much gratitude to each and every one of you; you’ve allowed us to continue providing care to our patients, which is the heart of our mission, and is what will allow us to excel and thrive into the future. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.There’s no denying that the last eight weeks in the US have been incredibly challenging, and even downright terrifying at times, but there is also a lot for us at VPP to celebrate right now. We’ve all worked incredibly hard, and a lot of good has come from it.
- While 7 of our 1000+ employees have tested positive for COVID, 6 are fully recovered and back to work, and 1 is home and expected to make a full recovery. Due to our uncompromising commitment to our team members’ safety, we’ve prevented spread within hospitals of a virus that is incredibly contagious. THAT is truly something to be celebrated. Safety First!
- We’ve seen our revenue increase by greater than 15% from the week ended of March 29th – we are safely seeing more clients and patients.
- We’ve been able to bring back 50 furloughed hospital employees due to stabilized – and now rebounding – revenues. What does that mean? It means all the measures we quickly put in place across our hospitals are working, and because of it we’re able to bring back 50 of our colleagues.
- We’ve onboarded 2 new doctors this month and additional 12 new doctors will be starting in June. Don’t forget that before this crisis, recruiting was one of our central challenges, and that isn’t going to go away once our hospitals are back to fully servicing the patients in our communities. We have continued our strong recruiting efforts to position our hospitals for success as the restrictions around COVID ease
- We were able to negotiate down our annual health insurance premium increases from an initial increase of 18.2% down to 8.9%. Additionally, we decided with our doctor partners that the company would absorb 80% of this premium increase. This will result in individual in a on a single plan seeing their premium increase by about only $10.00 per pay period.
- We have been successful in working in cooperation with our hospitals to maximize a vendor rebate which resulted in doubling the rebate from that vendor.
- When it became clear that members of our community were going to be financially burdened by this crisis, we raced to set up an Employee Assistance Fund to help our team members. I believe we were one of the first companies to start a fund, and others have now followed in our footsteps. To date, $50,715 has been donated, and 132 of our team members have received aid. Truly incredible.
There’s certainly a lot to celebrate, but we have a long way to go in this, and I want to encourage you all to take care of yourselves. This is an extremely heavy time and we’re all carrying around a lot of extra stress. Please remember to make time for things that brings you joy. We’ve all worked very hard, and this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. If you need a little extra support, don’t forget that every employee has access to our ComPsych – EAP for emotional support at no cost.Thank you for all that you are doing. The work you do matters, and we are getting through this together.John