Critical Care Society Selects First Certified Veterinary Hospitals



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The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society has awarded its highest distinction—Level 1 Emergency and Critical Care Facility—to two Wisconsin veterinary hospitals.

Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists in Glendale and Fox Valley Animal Referral Center in Appleton became the first two hospitals to obtain Level 1 certification under a new program administered by the San Antonio-based VECCS.

Level 1 hospitals must meet strict staffing and equipment standards, including the ability to receive small animal emergency patients around-the-clock and the full-time employment of an American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care diplomate.

Lakeshore, which operates two other hospitals in suburban Milwaukee, was certified first, edging out Fox Valley.

"Lakeshore ... continuously works to raise the level of patient and client care,” said clinical supervisor Elke Rudloff, DVM, Dipl. ACVECC. "Our status as the premier VECCS-certified Level 1 Emergency and Critical Care Facility is a testament to our efforts.”

Dr. Rudloff and Andrew Linklater, DVM, are Lakeshore’s two ACVECC diplomates.

Lakeshore reported that it met a number of other requirements, including:

• Diagnosing and managing cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, gastrointestinal, urogenital, neurologic, environmental, hematologic, hemorrhagic, toxicologic, and coagulopathic emergencies.
• Providing ongoing resources and continuing education for all technical and veterinary staff.
• Providing blood transfusion therapy.
• Offering multimodal pain management for ill and injured patients.

The VECCS certification program was unveiled in February and went public in September, said Kelli Albarado, the organization’s director of operations.

Three certification levels are available, based on when a hospital is open, the equipment utilized and the personnel present. Receiving the first Level 2 designation was Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin in San Rafael, Calif. Level 3 was bestowed upon Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin in Austin, Texas.

The American Animal Hospital Association also manages a program that holds veterinary clinics to high standards. More than 3,200 members in the United States and Canada have AAHA accreditation.

None of the four VECCS-certified practices is AAHA-accredited.

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