A message from AAHA's Member Experience director



November update

We may be ending 2020 differently than any year before thanks to COVID-19, but AAHA’s Member Experience team is still available to meet your needs. Many practices are operating only through curbside services, and we respect the need to limit foot traffic into your hospitals. We also want to protect the health of AAHA employees, so travel restrictions will remain until at least March 31, 2021. We will reassess and make changes as it is safe to do so.

Until then, we’re conducting virtual evaluations, and we’ve heard in a recent survey that these are going well! If you’d like to share feedback, please contact us at 800-883-6301 or [email protected]. We provide many other services online, including courtesy call walkthroughs for anyone interested in accreditation, and lunch-and-learns for your whole team.

To ensure your practice consultants can dedicate their time to your specific hospital’s needs during your evaluation, we ask that you send us some paperwork ahead of time. Visit aaha.org/virtual-evaluation for more on the process and a list of documents to send us electronically. But please don’t just rely on our website. We at AAHA are so much more than evaluators—we’re your partners through it all, and we’re here to help.

Please talk to us sooner rather than later. We may have resources, such as virtual pre-evaluation Q&A sessions to test your technology and devices, that will help everything go smoothly. Reach out a week or two prior to your evaluation—the closer to the date, the better—so we can help troubleshoot in advance.

Above all, we want your work to be meaningful during this time. We’ve heard that the accreditation process can boost morale and offer a nice escape. It’s a good team-building activity, and an opportunity to do something beneficial for the practice and your patients. Whether you’re working toward accreditation for the first time or the tenth time, we have options for you. Please get in touch and talk to us about what you need.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Michelle Johnson, PHR, CCFP
Director, Member Experience

Additional resources from AAHA
AAHA’s COVID-19 resource center
Frequently updated COVID-19 articles
AAHA’s partner resource center

AAHA members have shared that they are coping with COVID-19 in a variety of ways, including:

50% are using curbside appointments
85% experienced staffing changes
15% are utilizing telemedicine

May 9 COVID-19 update from AAHA


May 9 COVID-19 update from AAHA

May 9 update

As the pandemic continues, it’s clear the effects of COVID-19 are going to be unfolding for a long time. While we can’t know exactly how our profession will be impacted, we can predict with relative certainty that there will be ripple effects on professional and personal levels for years to come.

One question we’ve been pondering is: How can AAHA membership be a source of guidance, support, and inspiration in this “new normal?”

As we all adjust to these changing circumstances, we will be looking to you to tell us what challenges you’re facing, and to contribute insights to shape how veterinary jobs and businesses will look in a post-COVID world.

Like many of you, we at AAHA have had to pivot and create crisis procedures on the spot. Once the dust settles, how will we all capture and retain what we’ve learned to address future unforeseen circumstances? While we can’t prepare for every possible disaster, there are nuggets of wisdom and gained knowledge from the ways we’ve dealt with the pandemic that can inform emergency planning to cover a wide variety of scenarios.

In the meantime, AAHA is here for you with online CE.

It might be difficult to see the end now, but we look forward to a time when we can gather in learning, collaboration, and contemplation once again.

We at AAHA continue to be inspired and astounded by the resilience, strength, and compassionate service of our members and the veterinary profession as a whole.

Additional resources from AAHA
AAHA’s COVID-19 resource center
Frequently updated COVID-19 articles
AAHA’s partner resource center


April 22 COVID-19 update from AAHA

April 22 update

As we shared last week, we’re continuing to gather relevant COVID-19 resources based on feedback from AAHA members. Please see some updates below, scroll down for previously posted resources, and check in often with the AAHA-Accredited Members Facebook Group for advice from other veterinary professionals such as these COVID-19 practice tips from AAHA members.

We’re here to help; as always, don’t hesitate to contact your Member Experience team at 800-252-2242 or [email protected] for anything you need during this difficult time.


Telemedicine resources
The Real-Life Rewards of Virtual Care (downloadable booklet)
FDA says yes to telemedicine—by not saying no
Using telemedicine to help care for veterinary patients during COVID-19 (AVMA)
COVID-19 state orders regarding telemedicine and more (AVMA)

Client communications and shareable resources
What one AAHA-accredited practice wishes they could tell their clients
Customizable COVID-19 client letter templates (appointment updates, curbside appointments)
Can I still take my pet to the vet during COVID-19?
Caring for patients and interacting with clients during COVID-19 (AVMA)
Communicating with veterinary teams and clients (AVMA)

CARES Act resources
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (AVMA)
The CARES Act: What veterinary staff should know
SBA loans: The money problem
The PPP is out of money. Now what?

Unemployment resources
COVID-19 unemployment insurance (AVMA)
USA.gov: Unemployment help
US Dept. of Labor Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak
US Dept. of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers

Team leadership resources
Aspire leadership courses for veterinarians, including:

Veterinary practice data
COVID-19 employer survey: See how your hospital’s handling of the pandemic stacks up
VetSuccess Veterinary Industry Impact Tracker

Guidance on determining essential vs. nonessential veterinary services
Triage: Determining when cases are urgent or non-urgent (AVMA)

Keeping team members healthy
Guidance for managing veterinary employees with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure or disease (AVMA)
Safe Alternative Ways to Run a Successful Practice During COVID-19 (Midwest Veterinary Supply webinar)
Interim vaccination considerations

Resources for Canadian members
Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) COVID-19 Response Information Sharing (Webinar)
Resources from the Canadian VMA
Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses
OVMA Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ
Veterinarians and COVID-19 in Canada (Canadian government)

Additional resources from AAHA
Frequently updated COVID-19 articles
AAHA’s partner resource center


April 15 COVID-19 update from AAHA

April 15, 2020 update

We recently surveyed some of our members to learn more about the resources we could provide during this time and find out what help the veterinary profession needs right now.

While AAHA doesn’t have a solution to every challenge, we are continuously compiling our own resources and networking with the rest of the industry to share relevant information as it becomes available.

Below you will find some links to start addressing the most pressing concerns expressed by your survey feedback. As always, don’t forget to check in with the community in our AAHA-Accredited Members Facebook Group, where your peers are just a post away.

We know these are difficult times and we don’t want to make things any harder. That goes for upcoming AAHA accreditation evaluations as well. While some members have expressed concerns about preparing for an evaluation during this time, others have used periods of downtime to focus on their accreditation. That’s why, rather than implementing one policy for all practices, we are working with each practice individually to decide next steps regarding AAHA evaluations. If you have concerns about your capacity to handle an evaluation (which are currently being done virtually), please contact your Member Experience team at 800-252-2242 or [email protected]. We’re here to help, we promise.


Understanding the CARES Act and SBA loans
Practice liquidity during a pandemic: a guide to the small business loans offered through the CARES Act (NEWStat)
The CARES Act: What practices should know (NEWStat)

Biosecurity best practices
2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines

Online CE
AAHA Learning (50 free CE hours for AAHA members! Watch for our new Forensics Process course coming soon.)
Aspire leadership courses for veterinarians

How to keep team members healthy
Guidance for managing veterinary employees with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure or disease (AVMA)
COVID-19: FAQs for veterinarians and veterinary clinics (AVMA)
COVID-19: Protecting your veterinary team during the pandemic (AVMA)
What to do if your partner has coronavirus, according to a doctor who self-quarantined (Prevention)

Mental health, team morale, and self-care resources
AAHA's Guide to Veterinary Practice Team Wellbeing
A leader’s role during times of fear (Aspire)
COVID-19 and wellbeing (AVMA)
Wellbeing in a time of COVID (My Veterinary Life)
COVID-19 webinar series (AVMA)

Guidance on determining essential vs. nonessential veterinary services
Triage: Determining when cases are urgent or non-urgent (AVMA)
Veterinary medicine during a time of restriction of elective services and social distancing (Canadian VMA)
Veterinary practices are essential businesses (AVMA)

Pet owner tools and shareable resources
Changes due to COVID-19 (client letter/curbside appointments template) (AAHA Publicity Toolbox)
COVID-19: Protect animals by planning for their care (AVMA)
COVID-19 social tools (AVMA)
Minimizing COVID-19 exposure and social distancing in veterinary practice (AVMA)
Caring for patients and interacting with clients during COVID-19 (AVMA)
Can animals catch COVID-19? Probably not. But then along came a tiger . . . (NEWStat)

Financial forecasts and resources
Budgeting during a pandemic: Advice and a break-even calculator (NEWStat)
Free legal aid for veterinary practices (NEWStat)
Student debt: know your options (Trends)
Safe Alternative Ways to Run a Successful Practice During COVID-19 (Midwest Veterinary Supply webinar)
Check back soon for updated financial information in our COVID-19 resource center.

PPE usage and conservation tips
Guidelines for use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic when demand exceeds supply (AVMA)
Short on masks and gowns? The FDA can help you make the most out of what you have left (NEWStat)
Surgical mask and gown conservation strategies: Letter to healthcare providers (FDA)

Additional resources from AAHA
Frequently updated COVID-19 articles (NEWStat)
AAHA’s partner resource center


March 23 COVID-19 update from AAHA

We know that many of you are facing seemingly impossible circumstances. Some of you are questioning whether you should stay open, regardless of whether the federal government designates veterinary hospitals as essential businesses or not.

We are listening to our members, who are calling and emailing their Member Experience team and posting in the AAHA-Accredited Members Facebook Group.* In addition to questions about how to stay open during these difficult times with curbside services, telemedicine, inventory management, client communications, and staff wellbeing in mind, you still have to do the day-to-day work of caring for pets. You’re also asking about how to pay your employees, how to handle unemployment, and how to apply for government aid.

These are unprecedented times calling for resilience and creative adaptation in practice, including the conservation of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the delay of elective surgeries, which AAHA supports.

Things are changing extremely quickly. If you have tips, questions, insights, or even a bit of hope to share, please contact us or reach out to your peers in the AAHA-Accredited Members Facebook Group, where AAHA staff, including practice consultants, accreditation specialists, learning facilitators, executive leadership, and board members, are frequently active.

One of your most valuable resources as an AAHA member is your Member Experience team. Whether you have a question about your evaluation, are wondering about an upcoming event, or simply need someone to talk to, reach out to us at 800-252-2242 or [email protected]. We’re here to support you, and we encourage you to continue to support one another.

Tips for you and your team
Watch this video for tips on how to manage this difficult period.

AAHA-accredited Members Facebook Group
Fellow AAHA members are just a “post” away. Connect, get advice, and gain peer-to-peer support. Join here.

Virtual evaluations
AAHA is transitioning to virtual accreditation evaluations only through at least April 20. Get preparation tips.

AAHA guidelines
Get the latest from biosecurity experts through the 2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines and associated webinar.

PPE Conservation
See guidelines for use of PPE during COVID-19 from AVMA and surgical mask and gown conservation strategies from the FDA. Check with your state/provincial government for current PPE use or redistribution to human healthcare providers.

Health resources
For the latest information on getting tested for COVID-19 in your area, see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. The CDC is an excellent COVID-19 resource in general, as is the World Health Organization.

Small business resources
The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) has a COVID-19 section with business guidance and details on how to apply for disaster-relief small business loans. Also see the resources available from the US Chamber of Commerce.

Unemployment Resources
At usa.gov/unemployment, you can find information on individual unemployment claims, including special sections on COVID-19 unemployment benefits.

Animal health resources
Review considerations for mobile veterinarians and other AVMA resources.

Breaking news and forthcoming resources
Get the latest COVID-19 updates from NEWStat. Learn more and sign up.

Practice culture resources
Get tools and resources to help support your team’s wellbeing, and reach out to your Member Experience team to request a virtual, RACE-approved practice culture session.

CE resources
Keep staff engaged and turn downtime into CE time with free RACE-approved online CE. Learn more and get started.

*Please note, the AAHA-Accredited Members Facebook Group is open to AAHA-accredited and preaccredited members only.