Florida Vet’s Big Idea Is a Small One
EZ Vet clinics cater to pet store customers in Pinellas Park and Clearwater, Fla.
EZ Vet’s first two 50-square-foot veterinary clinics are inside Pet Supplies Plus stores.
Miami veterinarian Barry Goldberg, DVM, may be onto something if his start-up business follows the successful course of CVS Pharmacy’s Minute Clinic chain.
Dr. Goldberg in late January opened a kiosk-style veterinary clinic inside a Pet Supplies Plus store in Pinellas Park, Fla. The EZ Vet station employs a veterinarian and veterinary technician who diagnose and treat minor ailments and offer non-emergency services such as vaccinations and check-ups.
More than 300 pets have seen at the Pinellas Park clinic.
Opening 12 miles away in Clearwater, Fla., on March 23 is Goldberg’s second miniature clinic, also inside Pet Supplies Plus.
“I believe that this will increase access to affordable and quality health care for thousands of pets in the local community,” Goldberg said.
The entrepreneur and inventor is looking to expand outside Florida, chief operating officer Kimberly Kulhanjian said, but Goldberg has a long way to go to match human medicine’s Minute Clinic, which in 15 years has set up in more than 900 locations nationwide.
Goldberg rents space from Pet Supplies Plus for his 50-square-foot kiosks, which are equipped with basic tools of the trade, such as an exam table, video otoscope and petMAP blood pressure gauge. Missing are surgical instruments, chemistry analyzers and space-eating equipment such as X-ray machines. Specimens are sent out for testing.
EZ Vet offers exam-and-vaccine wellness packages for cats and dogs at prices ranging from $60 to $85. Microchips run $25, a nail trim $12 and a heartworm test $30.
The kiosks were specially built, Kulhanjian said, and Goldberg hopes to open 100 of them over the next three years.
Operating hours vary. The Pinellas Park clinic accepts walk-in and scheduled patients 29 hours a week and is closed Monday and Thursday. The door is shuttered at the Clearwater location on Wednesday and Sunday, but the kiosk is staffed 32 hours a week.
Goldberg, a 1974 graduate of the Tuskegee University veterinary school, at one time owned eight charter Banfield hospitals, the last of which he sold three years ago. He holds patents for the BioCam video otoscope, an infrared thermometer and several anatomical models used in the veterinary industry, Kulhanjian said.
Goldberg also finds time to practice occasionally at his Miami brick-and-mortar hospital, EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center.