My first dog was a stray Shepherd Collie mix my brother and I spotted on the side of the road one hot North Carolina summer day on the way to the farm to pick beans. We had been begging our parents for a dog to no avail. But when we saw this pup sitting quietly in the tall weeds on the corner of the road by a fence, looking lost and as if she was waiting for someone, we started really pleading. My mom, thinking it a safe bet said, ”If she is still here when we come back we will stop.” Three hours later, much to her chagrin, the pup was still there, waiting just for us! Mom stopped – a woman of her word – and we brought Sandy home, sitting in the back seat between two very excited children. We were in love immediately as she began to enthusiastically lick us and wag her entire body with joy of finding her “people”.
Several hours later when my Dad arrived home he saw the dog and shook his head in disbelief. Not only was she an unspayed female, she also had a huge umbilical hernia the size of a softball. The very next morning off we went to see Dr. Bill Pinson. Our “free dog” had a major surgery before we had her three days. Thanks to Dr. Pinson’s great care we were blessed with this wonderful dog for many, many years. She is a delightful memory in all my childhood adventures as we roamed the pastures and the woods together.
From the moment Sandy came home, veterinarians became my heroes and I began my love affair with the veterinary profession.
I decided at an early age to become a veterinarian. I even volunteered with Dr. Pinson’s practice to learn all I could about my future career. My determination lead me to NC State University and their Animal Science (PreVet) curriculum. But a handsome and charming young man named Mike distracted and later married me so I ended my education with my Bachelors of Science degree.
In 1985, I saw my opportunity to enter veterinary medicine when my husband and I moved to Greensboro, NC.
I was the Hospital Administrator for the veterinary practice for 19 years, growing it from two doctors to five. We added satellite practices, one which I had the fun project of building from the ground up.
When my owner headed to retirement I took on a new challenge as the Chief Operating Officer of an 11-doctor mixed animal hospital with both large and small animal specialists on staff. The practice was open 24/7 for Emergency care and we ran the shelter for the county. My veterinary management experience broadened tremendously in this job. I worked with Simmons on a practice valuation when the owners decided to divide the large and small animal divisions. I was extremely proud to have moved the shelter euthanasia rate from 98% to 75% and to have pushed the county to build a larger facility with some help from our practice fundraising. It was at this practice group that I built my second veterinary hospital from the ground up. I later helped design and plan a 10,000 sq.ft. building when the main practice moved.
In 2008 it was time to share my 23 years of veterinary practice management knowledge and experience with other veterinary teams. I opened, Debbie Boone-2 Manage Vets Consulting, LLC and thanks to the many supportive people who appreciated my experience as a manager and a leader, it has been a thriving business. I have traveled to almost every state in the country working with veterinary teams as a consultant, trainer and speaker.
I have been thrilled to work with many wonderful veterinary practice owners and their teams. Together we improved practice culture, owner and team work life balance, customer service, patient experience and the profitability of their practice.
Every veterinary practice is different and unique and so is every veterinary practice consultation. I customize an action plan based on practice need – no cookie cutter workbook – but a plan built just for you. Does it make my work more challenging – sure- but my clients win because the work we do together is made to order. My goal is to teach and coach practice leaders to learn smart business practices so they can fly solo. It always makes me proud to see my clients grow to self-reliant leaders.
I guess you can say that in some way I am trying to pay back veterinarians for all they have given me…even back to healing a yellow and white mixed Shepherd puppy named Sandy.
Writing and Speaking
Debbie is a well-recognized expert on monthly paid veterinary wellness plans. She co-authored the book, “The Veterinarian’s Guide to Healthy Pet Plans“, and often teaches workshops on the subject. You can find her peer reviewed articles in Vet Team Brief and see her frequently quoted in TRENDS magazine. She was a member of the Author Task Force charged with writing the Veterinary Practice Management Essentials which is downloadable for free thanks to an educational grant from Partners for Healthy Pets.
The Veterinarians Guide to Healthy Pet Plans
Debbie co-authored the book,“The Veterinarian’s Guide to Healthy Pet Plans“. Learn how bundling plans can work for you!
She presents on communication and business practices at all major conferences and is the instructor for Patterson Veterinary University’s Communication and Customer Service class. Debbie is proud to be a member of the Fear Freesm Advisory Board and Speaker’s Bureau with Dr. Marty Becker and a host of amazing behavior experts and patient champions.
Listen to Debbie talk about
her business on Piedmont Live
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson