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June 2021 Spotlight Practice
Integrative Pet Care
Megan Ridley, DVM, CCRT, CVSMT, CVA
Kelli Martin, DVM, CCRP, CVAT
Renee Yacoub, CVT, CCRP, CCRVN
Established in 2005, Integrative Pet Care (IPC) is a stand-alone veterinary rehabilitation facility in the heart of Chicago. With two underwater treadmills, two class IV lasers, two class IIIb lasers, TENS/NMES units, therapeutic ultrasound, a Piezo shockwave, and a spacious gym, we are well-equipped to treat a large variety of both orthopedic and neurologic cases. In addition, IPC is in the forefront of training veterinary professionals in the field of animal rehabilitation. We are an internship site for students enrolled in canine rehab certification courses from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI) and the University of Tennessee. Prior to the pandemic, IPC hosted approximately 30 to 40 interns annually for additional training and certification completion. Also, we hosted University of Illinois veterinary students for annual wetlabs in order to expose them to the field of rehab. We look forward to welcoming students back in our facility in late 2021 and to further expanding our training program.
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Our veterinary team consists of Dr. Megan Ridley and Dr. Kelli Martin. Our practice manager is Sarah Jackson. The rest of our staff consists of five rehab therapists, two therapy aides, and two patient service coordinators. Staff members are trained and certified in various services that include acupuncture, VSMT (veterinary spinal manipulation therapy), massage and rehabilitation.
Prior to the pandemic, we offered in-clinic demo sessions to teach clients both therapeutic exercises and massage techniques to perform on their pets at home. In-clinic client participation during initial consultations and follow-up visits was also significant. During the pandemic, IPC, like all veterinary facilities, has had to change protocols because clients have not been present in the clinic. In order to maintain a high level of client communication and involvement, starting in April 2020 we implemented telemedicine. For initial consults, clients submit gaiting videos of their pets along with a standard questionnaire and records/diagnostics prior to the scheduled appointment. The initial consult is then divided into two sections. The first portion is a zoom call between the doctor and client, the second an in-clinic physical exam that the owner is not present for. Subsequent communication and rechecks are via email, phone calls or zoom, depending on the owner's preference. In addition, zoom demo sessions have taken the place of in-person demo sessions. Rehabilitation therapist Renee Yacoub, CVT, CCRVN, CCRP, guides clients through exercise and massage techniques and creates custom home exercise plans. These sessions provide an effective mode for teaching and have afforded our team a unique view into patients' progress in their home environment. Client feedback indicates that they are very happy with the way in which telemedicine keeps them involved in their pet's therapy progress and connected to the IPC care team. As we start to reopen, we plan on continuing telemedicine as an important part of our client communication process.
Recently IPC has undergone some important changes. For the past four years IPC has been part of the Ethos Veterinary Health Specialty Hospital network. In April 2021, IPC became the third partner-practice of Veterinary Rehabilitation & Orthopedic Medicine Partners (VROMP). We worked collaboratively with Ethos to demonstrate VROMP's capability to provide rehab-specific resources and expertise to support the unique needs of IPC as a stand-alone facility. We will continue to support our close relationship built with Ethos through local and national referral partnerships. VROMP was co-founded by a small and closely-knit team of veterinary and business management resources including AARV founder Dr. Julia Tomlinson, BVSc, MS, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR, CCRP, CVSMT, and advisor Dr. Evelyn Orenbuch, DVM, DACVSMR, CAVCA. The group is dedicated to partnering with and mindfully growing practices focused solely on high quality, non-surgical, rehabilitation and orthopedic medical care. As we return to a more normal world, IPC plans to continue to provide exemplary veterinary care to the pets of Chicago. We are excited about our partnership with VROMP and their support to expand IPC throughout Chicago and increase accessibility and quality of veterinary physical rehabilitation nationally.
Practice Manager, Sarah Jackson