At BluePearl, we care for pets when they need it most – but we don’t forget to care for people, too. And we couldn’t provide compassionate care without all the heroes and caregivers that make up our hospital team – especially the client service team.
Every year in April, Veterinary Receptionist Week celebrates the dedicated individuals who provide patients and their owners with exceptional care. We’ve adopted this national celebration to create BluePearl’s Client Service Team Week, where we honor our phenomenal client service Associates.
While every day is a day to support and recognize the essential link between pet owners, our medical teams and our patients’ primary care veterinarians, this week in particular is dedicated to shining the spotlight on the client service team and their contributions to their hospitals and BluePearl as a whole.
In this article, we highlight five Associates and share their professional journeys in client service and beyond to show the difference they make every day for our patients and clients.
Ali Morgan, practice manager.
Ali Morgan, practice manager at our Philadelphia, PA, hospital, explains how our client service Associates connect people and practice each day in our hospitals.
My name is Ali Morgan, and I am the practice manager of our Philadelphia hospital.
I started as a client service coordinator, also known as CSC. I worked my way through the levels and then was promoted to practice manager. I actually applied for this job because I brought my dog in to this hospital, and I was a mess. And the CSCs, the technicians, the doctors, didn’t judge me, and they made things easier for me in that moment, and I said, “That is what I want to do.”
We’re animal people, but the CSCs are also people people. They’re the first people that the clients see when they walk in the door, or maybe they’ve called, so they sort of set the tone for the visit.
Our medical team relies on them so that they can help the patients and continue with patient care. They manage the appointment book. Maybe you need a medication refill – they can take care of that for you. I think the work they do is invaluable, and we could not run without them.
Dominique Gardner, client service coordinator.
Sometimes, you just want to know someone is there to help. Our client service coordinators (CSCs), like Dominique Gardner at our Northfield, IL, hospital, are the connectors who will answer that call and collaborate with our hospital teams to guide clients to expert care.
I am a client service coordinator, also known as a CSC, at BluePearl Northfield. This is the field that I really wanted to go into, vet medicine. I kind of wanted to start and work my way up. I really want to become a veterinarian.
I like the idea of being a voice for those that don’t really have a voice. Dogs and cats and all animals, they aren’t able to say, “Oh, my tummy hurts.” So I want to be the person that can make sure they’re okay, make sure they’re getting the necessary care, and just being a healthy liaison for them to the doctor and other things if need be, as far as medication needs, even just simply wanting to have that peace of mind at 2 am. Sometimes you really want to have that person on the phone just to make sure that Fluffy is okay because he’s panting right now. Somebody is there on the other line to make sure Fluffy is okay for sure.
Aviana Macon, client service coordinator.
Pet emergencies can feel scary, and our client service teams bridge the connection between clients and our medical team to help keep owners informed while their pet receives expert care.
Aviana Macon, a client service coordinator at our Northfield, IL, hospital, is a calming presence who puts the ‘care’ in ‘caregiver.’
I am a client service coordinator. I feel like I’ve always deep down had this side of me that really likes to help people. I get my happiness from helping people.
I like being able to be that front facing for the client and just being able to greet them or help them through a stressful process, even if they walk in hysterical. There’s not a lot of education out there, so when they come into the ER, the majority of the time than not, they’re just stressed and freaking out, and it’s nice to be that calming presence.
I wish more people knew that ERs are available and we’re here to help them. And it’s not a scary place to go, and they don’t need to fear coming into an ER. I want to be able to bring a smile to people’s faces and have a tail wagging going home.
Destini Fontanez, assistant practice manager.
To honor the hard work and dedication of CSCs, we connected with Destini Fontanez, formerly a client service supervisor and now the assistant practice manager at our Berks hospital in Shillington, PA, and steering committee leader of Pa’lante, to hear her career pathing story.
Destini’s passion for helping animals and the veterinary community shines through in everything she does. Throughout high school and college, she worked for several general veterinary practices where she learned the basics of veterinary medicine.
After college, Destini began working as a receptionist at Wyomissing Animal Hospital and grew close with a veterinary technician there who also worked at BluePearl. Through their conversations, Destini became interested in switching to emergency medicine. She joined BluePearl as a part-time Associate while continuing her general practice and immediately fell in love with the fast-paced atmosphere of emergency medicine.
“At that moment, I didn’t know how rewarding a full-time position at BluePearl would be,” said Destini. “I love learning new things, and at BluePearl, I am always learning something new.”
Within a few months of working part-time at BluePearl, Destini committed to BluePearl as her full-time career. Eight months after accepting a full-time position, Destini seized the opportunity to advance roles and became a client service supervisor (CSS) at her hospital.
“Finding out I got the position was scary since I was still fairly new with the company,” said Destini. “But overall, it has been the most rewarding moment in my career. This was my first leadership position, and it came with a lot of responsibility and learning and hurdles to overcome. Through this development process, I formed a close bond with the entire leadership team who helped me learn the necessary skills.”
As a CSS, Destini helped guide the daily activities of CSCs under the direction of her leadership team. She was responsible for supervision and communication between CSCs, clients, primary care veterinarians and the hospital team, and she worked to deliver an exceptional client experience and support her team’s engagement.
Recently, Destini was promoted from CSS to the assistant practice manager at the Berks hospital.
“My role in leadership is very important to me,” said Destini. “I love to see people grow and excel in their careers. I feel that, as a leader, that is what I am here to do. Since the implementation of CareerTrax, I see more motivation in my Associates. They want to learn and grow their own career paths.”
Destini explained that her roles have served as stepping stones to more growth within BluePearl. She is currently pursuing an online MBA program through Southern New Hampshire University, where she can continue to learn new skills.
Destini’s career pathing story is a powerful reminder that a career path through the client service job family isn’t always linear. It offers the freedom to explore other roles in the hospital. CSCs of any level could decide to become veterinary assistants, pursue their credentials as licensed veterinary technicians or move into a referral or financial coordinator role. When you include the BluePearl Support Center positions along with our Mars Veterinary Health networks, the flexibility BluePearl Associates have when pursuing a career path is tremendous.
Angelique Simeone, field operations training partner.
Another shining example of career pathing possibilities is Angelique Simeone, training partner at BluePearl.
From entry-level to leadership and management roles, her passion for animals, teamwork and learning has always been her driving force. During her tenure at a primary care veterinary office, Angelique learned about BluePearl and referred many patients there for advanced veterinary care. This experience served as a catalyst for Angelique and made her keen to learn more about specialty and emergency care at BluePearl. She joined BluePearl as a CSC in 2016 and knew from her previous leadership experience that she wanted to further her career with the organization.
After a few months as a CSC, Angelique advanced to the role of client service team lead at her hospital. As her team grew, she grew with it and took on the role of client service manager (CSM). In this new role, Angelique helped oversee client service leadership training in her market and cross-trained to introduce and grow new roles that are now prevalent in hospitals across BluePearl.
“When I first started, there weren’t many career pathing opportunities,” said Angelique. “The different job levels, learning resources and leveling initiatives weren’t available, but our company has grown a lot over the past few years. Now there are many great initiatives and support staff in place to aid in our Associates’ development and career pathing.”
While working as a CSM, Angelique participated in a CSM focus group, exposing her to new career possibilities. Learning about these possibilities sparked a shift in Angelique’s career path from the traditional hospital leadership route, leading her to apply for the field operations training partner role she’s in now.
“Developing teams has always been a passion of mine, and with the training partner role, I’m able to support our entire organization with development opportunities,” she added. “In this position, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many projects to support professional development and career pathing for our Associates.”
The field operations training team – along with BluePearl’s regional nursing partners – have helped identify career path opportunities available to Associates based on their areas of interest.
“CareerTrax is a great way to explore opportunities because it provides insight into the skills required for other roles,” she said. “In addition to all of the knowledge available within our hospitals, there are so many tools and resources on the company intranet and within our Support Center functions that are continuously growing.”
“Client service coordinators have one of the most important and challenging jobs in our hospitals,” said Angelique. “And as a CSC, I wish that I had been more aware of the resources available for my professional growth. That’s why launching an initiative for client service Associates to grow professionally holds a special place in my heart!”
Angelique’s career pathing journey is a wonderful example of the opportunities available to those looking to advance their careers within BluePearl.
Celebrating the vital link between our medical team and the community.
We are grateful for our client service Associates every day, but this week is all about celebrating their hard work, dedication and unwavering commitment to providing exceptional care for our clients and their pets. Our hospitals wouldn’t be the same without their compassion and professionalism, and we’re proud to support their growth through professional development and career pathing opportunities and beyond.