Safari represents Team Based Veterinary Medicine. This team all understands the rules of the game. How to greet clients, how to comply with their wishes and how to wish a fond and sincere farewell. All team members are trained every Wednesday on both customer service and technical issues. Many veterinary facilities allow the client to only interact with the veterinarian. At Safari, we trust our whole team to provide information and services to our clients. Should the team member have an issue or question that they cannot answer they will say “I’ll be happy to find that out for you” and they will do just that. Our team works with our veterinarian to support our clients. This gives Safari many points of contact and a more stable system of service than the traditional form of veterinary practice where there is just one point of contact (the vet).
Operating the Team requires standards. Standards allow for each team member to know what the veterinarian is doing and for the veterinarian to know what the team is doing. We have written standards of Ethics, Care, Communication, Appearance, Service, and Conduct. These Standards are the foundation that supports the Team in performing their functions, tasks and duties.
The ethical standards set guiding principles such as “Respect all Life” and “Diagnose before you Treat” or “Do what is best for the pet”. These guiding principles are used to make decisions about what we “ought” to do. When you can have a whole team doing what they ought to do you have a very powerful force caring for your pet.
Our people are not paid on production. They are mostly fueled by the emotional paycheck received when they do something good for a client or a pet. Each Wednesday we celebrate these actions among the team so that we all know the rules of the game we are playing and how serving the client and the pet in the highest form is how we score points.
The Safari Train – A Christmas 2019 Story
Merry Christmas Safari Team! As you know the Swahili word for “journey” is “Safari”. Safari was named this because there are many journeys that Safari takes. You as a Safari employee are on a journey of personal knowledge and development that teaches you about animal care, husbandry and medicine as well as how to work as a team and handle difficult situations. The Safari Pet is on the journey of life starting as a puppy or kitten or other baby critter progressing through adolescence to adulthood and finally to the senior years and death. The Safari Client is on a journey of knowledge about the care of their pet and building of relationships with you the Safari Team. Safari as a business is on a journey to pioneer the care of pets and provide veterinary medicine the way it should be: At The Highest Level of Excellence.
For a moment think of Safari like a train. A train that stops at the different “Stations of a Pet’s Life”, the “Puppy Station”, “Adolescent Station”, “Adult Station”, and “Senior Station”. The train is made of train cars linked together. Each of these cars has a purpose, a function a reason for being. For example, there is the “Surgery Car” that at the “Adolescent Station” provides spay or neuter services for the pet. Each train car has people that provide these services and the cars are linked together by our communications tools the treatment boards, the forms, the computer system. A train is different than other forms of travel in that a train is on tracks that keep the journey certain and provides guidance for where and how the train goes. These tracks are the Safari Standards of Care, Service, Conduct, Appearance and Communication. Without which we could stray off the path of effective pet and client care. Guiding Principles are the “Signals” that help focus the correct decisions such as “We Diagnose Before We Treat”, “We Never Say NO”, “We Always Do What is Best for The Pet”, “We are Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen”, “We Respect ALL Life”.
Whether the train has a steam engine fired by wood, coal or diesel or an electric source does not matter. They all require energy to move the wheels. The energy comes from the relationships that people have with pets, called the “Human Animal Bond” or just “The Bond”. Safari provides services to these loved pets throughout all stations of their life creating positive energy that fuels the engines of the Safari Train. The Safari Train is manned by the Safari Team that all work together to make each stop at each station a success.
Every team member has a role. For example, Dr. Garner is the face of the train and its guiding light allowing us to all see where we are going and what our future is. The Safari Train has been on its track since 1984 and is strong, sturdy, and determined to make headway in veterinary practice for years to come. Mikey is the chief engineer with his drone flying ahead to spot obstacles and find new directions. Lori is our scheduler, keeping the train on time and getting us to each station by the time the pet or client is ready for us. Kenneth likes to sit at the front of the train, tooting the whistle to greet clients old and new, and passing on all the news.
Every member of the team brings a different skill; Ryan is always calm and methodical even when it seems like we are on a runaway train, he has a mastery of the pillars, keeping things on tack. Kathryn (tall Kathryn) is like the steward dispensing compassion and knowledge instead of drinks and snacks. Katharyn has her own style, she greets the clients with jokes and laughter and an underlying SWAN like efficiency. Brandy is a new addition, bubbly and friendly who is coming up to speed thanks to the tutoring of her coworkers.
The surgery car is a busy one. There is a rush hour in the morning with all hands-on deck to get the pets ready for surgery. Lacey calmly and efficiently monitors the pets and knows where to find every instrument big or small. Gina is the queen of maintenance making sure that everything is clean and prepped so we can deal with any situation, she keeps us on track. Allison comes fresh from technician school full of knowledge and ready to acquire the skills she needs to be a great vet tec.
This train works 7 days a week and Dara takes charge at the weekends. Her ability to deal with any species or situation makes her a valuable asset to the train. Veronika is the head porter. Her job is to get everything in the right place; unpacking orders, filling prescriptions or fetching pets for exams or surgery. She is always ready to lend a hand.
The medicine car is a big and complicated. Communication skills are the key here. Sergio uses all his knowledge and Spanish skills to explain the doctor’s findings and recommendations. Which makes him a favorite with the clients. Scout may be new, but she has impressed with her ability to focus and do a good job no matter how much is happening at home. Amanda is young for a crazy cat lady, but her cat wrangling skills are phenomenal, and she always has a smile! Jessica may be gone but not forgotten, we can’t wait till her new baby is big enough to leave at home so Jessica can return to our team. Dr Gibson had a long journey before she got on the Safari train. She brought with her a sharp intellect, tons of enthusiasm and knowledge and a sunny outlook that is rapidly making her a favorite with our clients. We are very happy to have her at the front of our train.
Grooming sometimes looks like a circus car. We have seen all kinds of animals poking their heads out of the windows. Linda is their conductor. She makes sure the grooming pets make all the correct stops whether it is hospital services, boarding or grooming. Priscilla is the ringleader, keeping everything moving and cracking the whip to keep the customers happy. Sarah is a detail-oriented groomer, cracking jokes as she turns out one masterpiece after another. Mikey works the weekend so other people can have some family time. He brings many years of experience to the team and a rare ability to work fast when needed. Grooming is a team effort. Carla is cheerful in the face of mean cats, gentle with the little furry creatures and a match for any fractious dog. Savanah is a great bather, making dogs look and smell great with ease and a smile. Mary may be small, but she has a big personality and a good attitude despite the chaos at home, a valuable asset to the grooming team.
In charge of the boarding car we have Jamie, he has true grit; organizes our cage situation never complains and guides the training and duties of his staff. Scarlett is a great addition to the boarding car. She has a real rapport with the pets and clients, a positive attitude and a hard worker. Katie is the baby of the boarding family, she has boundless energy, compassion for the animals and willingness to learn.
One of the tenets of Safari is that we never say no, resulting in the addition of two new cars; Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine. Wilson brings his veterinary background and his affinity for animals making him the rehab dog whisperer. Celia is a hard worker, who cares deeply about the pets in her care and Safari. She is quick learner and loved by clients and pets alike. Ruby is our technical specialist, nursing and nurturing the cells that make regenerative medicine possible, a real gem who will lead a hand in any department! Melinda is our communications expert, spreading the word of Safari (and how great stem cells are) both near and far. Her tireless efforts liaising with stem cell patients is invaluable.
The Safari standards are the rails which keep this train on the tracks. Mrs. Garner oversees train tract maintenance; keeping the standards maintained and passing them on to each new generation of Safari team members.
You have embarked on a journey that will change you forever, a journey of pet care, teamwork and personal and professional growth. This train journey visits stations of a pet’s life following the rails of standards, guided by principles of practice and delivered by members of an empowered team. We are providing pet care services that generate the value that provides the energy to propel the engine of the human animal bond in the Safari Train.