Invite-Only VIP Event
Exclusive for Practice Owners & Managers

Friday September 29th, 2023 6PM
27 S. Park Street, 2/F, San Francisco

RSVPHighfive Vet Event for Practice Owners and ManagersWe'd love to have you join us as the very important peer. Highfive Vet Wholesale Event for Practice Owners and Managers

Dr. Julie Smith, DVM, DACVS, CCRT, MBA

Executive Director, Sage Compassion for Animals
Coach & Consultant

I graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1988 and then graduated from U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. I went on to do an internship at North Carolina State University, and then a residency in small animal surgery at the University of Georgia. I was an associate professor at Kansas State University in soft-tissue surgery prior to starting as an Associate Surgeon for Veterinary Surgical Associates (VSA) in1997 – which later became SAGE Veterinary Centers. I became board-certified in surgery in 1997 and one of the practice owners in 1999.

I became a Managing Partner for SAGE Veterinary Centers in 2010 and received an MBA from Saint Mary’s College in 2013. I served as Medical Director from 2013 to 2018 in addition to my Managing Partner role. I was responsible for recruiting, hiring, and supervising highly skilled veterinary specialists within the practice. In 2018 the practice restructured and took on an investment partner and I became a SAGE Veterinary Centers Board Member.  I also collaborated directly with the executive and leadership teams as Chief Strategy Officer. I retired from SAGE Veterinary Centers in 2022 after a 25-year career.

In 2019, I began work to form SAGE Compassion for Animals (SAGEC4A). SAGEC4A is a 501c3 non-profit that strives to prevent suffering and euthanasia by providing financial assistance to families with companion animals in medical crisis. I am excited to be serving as Executive Director, helping get the work done as outlined and directed by the Board in support of the Mission, Vision, and Values of SAGEC4A.

I became a Hudson Coaching Institute Certified Coach in 2023. I chose to become certified through their training course because I was impressed with their coaching models and their commitment to an evidence-based approach. I have served as a mentor, a coach, and an advisor throughout my career, and it has always been one of the most rewarding portions of that career. My focus is on career and leadership coaching.

I serve as the Treasurer for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) and Chair of the AVMA’s Veterinary Economic Strategy Committee (VESC). I am also on the Leadership Council for the Positive Coaching Alliance, a non-profit whose goal is to change culture and behavior throughout youth sports.

Discussion Topics:
Recruiting & Retaining Talent - How to Compete On Something Besides Money

Rachel Lemcke, MS

Founder, Amwell Data Services

Rachel is the founder of Amwell Data Services, a full-service independent veterinary laboratory consulting agency. She formed Amwell Data Services to help give veterinarians and their teams more margin, with the larger goal of helping make careers in veterinary medicine more sustainable.

Throughout her time as a veterinary Lab Manager, Rachel realized many veterinary practices aren't leveraging their laboratory services as well as they could for overall practice stability and growth. She now saves independent veterinary teams time and money by helping them strategically plan and utilize their lab services. As an independent veterinary laboratory consultant, she works with a variety of practices, from small animal to equine, and start-ups to legacy practices. Her primary focus is optimizing efficiency, quality science, and profitability to help veterinary practices save (or make!) enough money to help retain staff. One of her independent small animal GP start-up clients saved a projected $115K+ on their lab services contract, and she recently saved an established small animal practice an estimated $305K on their lab contract extension.

She's brand-agnostic and refuses any kickbacks or commissions from lab vendors. She gets veterinary teams the most from their lab services, whether that's through personalized lab equipment recommendations, vendor contract negotiations, compliance-sensitive cost-based pricing for lab testing, lab spatial reorganization (or design), or other custom projects.

Beyond the lab, she's an avid orchid grower and enthusiast, watercolor and acrylics painter, and adoptive mom of beloved 17.5-year old farm cat "Sneakers."

Discussion Topics
: My talk will explore how to individualize the practice and lab vendor partnership to better meet the current and forecasted business and clinical needs of the practice. Strategic vendor management and practice management can simultaneously decrease costs of lab services and increase accessibility of care while maintaining profitability.


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