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IS ON THE MOVE! by Michael P. Naughton

In February, VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital moves to a new 42,000 sq.ft. facility on Sepulveda Blvd., one block south of its current location. The spacious, 3-level facility contains nine fully equipped surgery suites, 19 examination rooms, two procedure rooms, CT and MRI, medical oncology suite, bone marrow transplant center, a radiation oncology suite housing a linear accelerator, a rehabilitation center, pharmacy, laboratory and spacious parking among other features. VCA’s new state-of-the art hospital is one of the largest integrated veterinary medical centers in the world, providing all around specialty comprehensive medical and surgical care. I take my dog to VCA West LA, and can attest to its quality and integrity. They have top notch specialists, veterinarians and fees are fair for services rendered. I had the pleasure to interview David Bruyette, VCA’s West Los Angeles Medical Director and internal medicine doctor specializing in Endocrinology.

MN: VCA is an Animal Hospital that encompasses many aspects of veterinary medicine. DR. BRUYETTE: We are a unique hospital not just a general practice or specialty practice...what I call a “hybrid hospital” offering both. We have six full-time general practice veterinarians/specialists in multiple areas and 49 doctors. Our goal is to have 50-55. We employ 150-160 staff, but want to increase it to 250. On the specialty side we have medicine, surgery, cardiology, behavior, ophthalmology, dermatology, radiation, physical therapy and oncology. Specialty services are in-house. Clients won’t be moved from facility to facility; they will be seen by a specialist the same day if that’s what they require. Specialty services are available 24/7 days a week, we never close. Comprehensive care is available for almost anything a pet might require. MN: What’s your role as VCA Medical Director. DR. BRUYETTE: I’m an Internal Medicine doctor and see patients, with diabetes, thyroid, and adrenal problems, but my main role is to oversee operations of the hospital. As Medical Director, I supervise the staff and our Hospital Manager (Rayna Faumuina) takes care of staffing issues (front office/technical staff) and is our liaison to the corporate office. We have supervisors for the technicians and supervisors for the front office staff that report to Rayna. When I started in 1996, we only had four or five specialists, and a couple of general practitioners. Slowly, over time, we have added doctors and services.

MN: VCA has 600 animal hospitals in the U.S. with over 200 board-certified specialists for patients and it’s growing. Are there misconceptions about pet hospitals and health care? David Bruyette, DVM, DACVIM Medical Director DR. BRUYETTE: When VCA started, concerns were that the face of veterinary medicine VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital would become corporate and an impersonal environment. VCA has emphasized there are advantages MN: Let’s talk about VCA West Los Angeles Animal to being incorporated with respect to economy of scale Hospital’s move in February. and streamlining many business aspects that could DR. BRUYETTE: We have had our current 10,000 foot take away from what we’re doing. It frees doctors time to space for almost 30 years; our new hospital is 42,000 practice top quality medicine in facilities like our new, square feet allowing us to do many things. We are state-of-the-art hospital with a staff of talented, enthuincreasing our exam rooms to 19, and have added more siastic health care professionals. doctors to decrease wait times. Our CT Scanner and MN: Let’s talk about your community outreach proMRI will be in-house and a linear accelerator is added grams and VCA Charities. for radiation therapy. In the past we had to go to UCLA DR. BRUYETTE: Through VCA Charities, we support for radiation treatment. We will have nine surgery suites, many charitable organizations around the United States. dedicated to orthopedic, neurosurgery, and ophthalmolFrom food banks to helping during natural disasters like ogy among other specialities. And everyone is excited Katrina, we give charitable contributions: money, food and that the attached parking has over 250 parking spots. most important, manpower in terms of doctor and techMN: You’ve recently added Home Delivery Service nician support to help. We offer free boarding services in for medicine. areas suffering from disasters such as wildfires, floodDR. BRUYETTE: We offer home delivery for medicine ing, tornados. Due to a fire in Northern California we and food. People can sign up and get on a rotating basis. opened VCA hospitals for boarding so people who were

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evacuated had a safe place for their pets; one less thing they worried about. We have over 600 hospitals networking together to respond rapidly to emergency situations. MN: There are many facets to your new facility? DR. BRUYETTE: VCA runs a large system of laboratories which is the Antech part of it. We are likely the largest provider of veterinary laboratory services in the U.S. with an imaging branch, Sound-Eklin, a part of VCA providing radiology, ultrasound equipment, and interpretation. On the veterinarian side, many of the images we take: x-rays, CTs, MRIs and ultrasounds are stored locally, but off site, and viewed by a team of radiologists. Veterinarians in the company or those using the Antech imaging services can tap into that expertise and have their images viewed by a Board Certified Radiologist. This increases the level of medical care a practitioner— VCA employed or not, can afford to their patients. MN: Is the initial pet health exam is free? DR. BRUYETTE: Yes. Throughout the year we offer (on our website, in newsletters) special things such as new pet exams, dental awareness, obesity, senior wellness, etc., where we do our best to pick up on disease early, before an animal becomes ill. If you go to the VCA Antech website or our website, (www.VCAWLA.com) you will see when these promotions are available and you can print coupons directly from the website. l

david.bruyette@vcahosppitals.com visit: www.VCAWLA.com 310.473.2951 1900 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025

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