“Where your pet’s health is our top priority and excellent service is our goal”
~ By Claudia Dolphin
It is hard not to be impressed with VCA South Shore’s new 28,000 square foot animal hospital in South Weymouth. With its soaring roofline and modern brick and glass facade, it is obvious that careful attention to detail was given to this important structure. However, what’s more impressive is what goes on inside of the building. Opened in June of 2011, this new state-of-the-art facility offers the region’s most comprehensive pet care, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. From routine care, to disease detection and management, to acupuncture, VCA South Shore conveniently offers a wide range of services under this one roof. Whether your pet is a dog or cat, reptile, rabbit, rodent or bird, a dedicated staff of 30 veterinarians and over 120 professionals are committed to provide the highest quality of care, with compassion and convenience.
From the moment you walk through the glass double doors into the entryway, it is easy to forget that this is an animal hospital. The facility is immaculately clean and there is an air of calm. The wall color, floor tile and décor use a pallet of soft neutral colors and earth tones to create a welcoming feel. Skylights and exterior windows are strategically placed throughout the facility to capture natural light. By design, the effect is to make the animals and their owners feel relaxed and at home.
New arrivals are greeted warmly at the registration desk, which is located just inside the foyer. After checking in, it is only just a few short steps to a spacious and well-appointed waiting area. A large, upholstered window seat extends alongside a bank of floor to ceiling windows. It is an inviting place for the animals and their owners to relax while waiting for their appointment. For those preferring an individual chair, there are several rows of cushioned seats as well, with plenty of space for all to spread out. A flat screen TV anchors the room, providing entertainment for anyone interested. For those in need of refreshment, a single-cup hot beverage machine offers a free cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
While it would be easy to be impressed by this area alone, it represents just a fraction of all that this facility has to offer. Most of the hospital’s space, in fact, is located in an area just behind the bank of 16 examination rooms. Here, a vast network of treatment rooms and procedure areas showcase all of the services that this hospital can now provide under its roof. Each service area is strategically located near the others as a way of maximizing efficiency and reducing unnecessary care delays. The emergency room, for example, is located in the middle of the hospital while immediately adjacent to the surgical suites, recovery room and intensive care unit. Diagnostic imaging, with digital radiography, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT and MRI, are also close by. Rooms for special procedures, which require unique equipment, have also been designated. In these spaces, procedures ranging from chemotherapy, dentistry, endoscopy and eye surgery to rehabilitation therapy can be performed.
One of the advantages of this floor plan is the opportunity for collaboration. Specialists are conveniently on hand and can be brought in to consult on a case as needed. This level of expertise is even available nights and weekends – times which some might consider as “off hours.” Dr. Michael Bernstein, the hospital’s medical director emeritus, remarked that one of the best features of the new facility is the immediate access to an additional clinical input. “When a pet is presented for a particular problem, it is not uncommon to have the feeling that there may be some other underlying issues that are playing a part. In those cases, we do not hesitate to reach out to our colleagues who are just a few steps away to get another opinion. Often this is done as a matter of course, and the pet owner may not even be aware of the lengths we go to to provide the best possible care,” said Dr. Bernstein.
VCA South Shore considers itself as a community resource, not only to pet owners but to other local veterinary practices as well. “Having so many services under a single roof is not only convenient for our patients, but it also provides well needed resources locally. Not every veterinary practice is interested in, or has the ability to provide the specialty services that we do. As a specialty referral site, it is our goal to work in partnership with the local veterinarians to help keep their patients healthy,” said Dr. Bernstein. The new hospital has helped to make that goal a reality.
Sarah Dwyer and Christy Hunter are the hospital’s co-managers. One of the concerns they have is that people may be fooled by the appearance of the hospital, thinking that it would inflate the cost of care. Then stated, “We try to be sensitive to the costs associated with responsible care for our pets. By stressing preventive care, the goal is to cut down on the more costly “sick care” that comes along without prevention. We also offer packages that bundle our “wellness services” at a decreased cost, and free home delivery is available for most medications and prescription diets. With this service, the pet owner can pay monthly, even for the heartworm, flea and tick preventive medications – which can be expensive when a year’s supply is purchased at one time. These programs, in addition to pet insurance, go a long way to help the pet owner manage costs.”
No new building, regardless of its grandeur, can be credited for what is experienced inside of its walls. In this regard, the delivery of outstanding medical care with warmth and compassion hasn’t changed at all. Melissa Macri of Hingham has been bringing her dogs to VCA South Shore since 1998. She was worried that the practice might not be the same once it moved into a much larger facility. “I was somewhat concerned when they expanded to the new facility that some of the personal connection might be lost, but that absolutely is not the case. You can still expect the same experience, but with more room and efficiency. I am always so grateful that we have such a wonderful facility with such a caring and competent staff located just a few miles away that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is always comforting to know that if you need help it is there!!”
For more information, please visit our website at www.vcaweymouth.com.
SERVICES AVAILABLE AT VCA SOUTH SHORE INCLUDE:
Avian and Exotic Animal Medicine
Diagnostic Imaging (X-Ray, Ultrasound, CT and MRI)
Emergency and Critical Care Medicine
Neurology and Neurosurgery
Surgery (Soft Tissue and Orthopedic)
VCA South Shore Animal Hospital
595 Columbian Street
The hospital is open 24 hours a day,
7 day a week for emergencies.
Appointment times are available:
Monday through Friday, 7am to 9pm
Saturday, 9am to 5pm
Sunday, 9am to 4pm