Profiles in Leadership is a Better Care Weekly feature that provides insight into the bright minds of leaders in the global veterinary healthcare community.
Cheryl Good, DVM, has owned and practiced at Dearborn Family Pet Care since 1995. She has practiced in the Dearborn area since her graduation from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. Dr. Good served as the former Medical Director of the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit. She is also currently President of the Board of the (NAVC) North American Veterinary Community.
She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, Cornell Feline Health Services, Dearborn Chamber of Commerce, United States Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Dr. Good’s goal at Dearborn Family Pet Care is to provide the best care and customer service to her patients while maintaining a casual, comfortable atmosphere. She also enjoys serving the community and has participated in a local Pet Safety Day and enjoys teaching classes in Pet First Aid when she’s available.
Dr. Good and her husband, Mark, are the parents of three children and owners of several pets.
NAVC: We are delighted that you are our incoming President of the NAVC Board of Directors. Congratulations! How did you prepare for this important role?
Dr. Good: I feel that I have been unconsciously preparing for this role ever since I became a practice owner and the medical director at our local animal shelter. My parents instilled the importance of volunteering/giving back to your community in me at an early age. I know of no better way to give back to my veterinary community than be involved in a leadership role with the NAVC.
NAVC: VMX is the largest CE event in our industry with 1200+ CE sessions. We’re really proud of the opportunities it offers to learn and to network. What would you like for 2019 VMX attendees to know?
Dr. Good: VMX 2019 will be THE meeting to see and be seen! We will have every kind of CE you could ask for, including Hands-On Workshops, Rounds, Meet the Professor Luncheons and Behind the Scenes Tours. We have outstanding speakers, CE opportunities, an incredible Exhibit Hall and so much more! For entertainment, think Little Big Town, Rob Lowe, Brooke Shields and Brandon McMillan! We will once again have the Cat Nap Cafe and Pilates with Puppies because playing with puppies and kittens help us relax!
I am looking forward to meeting new friends and interacting with all of VMX!
NAVC: NAVC relies on partnerships and sponsorships to produce quality events and affordable onsite and online education. What’s in it for those willing to invest in NAVC? Why are we a good choice?
Dr. Good: NAVC is the premier community for the veterinary profession. We have the widest reach both in the United States and globally. We offer the best exposure for our sponsors and those who partner with us via VMX, SPARK!, our publications, VetFolio, Institute, and other services.
NAVC: One of the most critical challenges in veterinary medicine today is finding effective methods of taking care of ourselves and showing support for our colleagues. That sets the tone for providing optimal patient care. The health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals have increasingly become a focus for the industry as our professionals deal with compassion fatigue. How is NAVC addressing this issue? What message do you have for those who are suffering from this?
Dr. Good: The NAVC has added wellness tracts at VMX, included speakers who talk frankly about this issue and also included information on health and wellbeing in many of our SPARK! videos and magazine articles. I have suffered from compassion fatigue in my career, and, thankfully, I was able to reach out to family and friends who helped me through it. I know that not everyone has personal friends and family that they feel comfortable speaking about this topic with, but for those who may be suffering, please know there are many safe places that you can reach out to for help. There are Facebook groups, college of veterinary medicine groups, and others. For those of us who are doing well, be on the lookout for our colleagues and team members suffering around us and do not be afraid to reach out and help!
NAVC: How does the NAVC add value and relevance to the global veterinary health industry?
Dr. Good: NAVC is actively involved with many international groups. In Shanghai, China, NAVC is very focused on bringing scientific and educational content to the Pet Fair Asia meeting. We send speakers to meetings like BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association). We are actively involved with PETSA (Pet South America) in Brazil providing speakers and publishing our magazine Today’s Veterinary Business in Portuguese to sell to advertisers there. We are intimately involved with the SEVC (Southern European Veterinary Conference) in Spain, the LAVC (Latin American Veterinary Conference) in Peru, and the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) which takes place in different parts of the world each year.
I have been the Committee Chair for the NAVC’s International Committee for the past two years, and am very proud of the level of talent and professionalism we have experienced with the International Scholars who have attended VMX. It is really uplifting to interact with veterinarians from all over the world, to learn about new ideas, cultures and to create new friendships. This is definitely one of my favorite things about belonging to the NAVC board!
NAVC: Is there a quotation, poem or song that personifies your passion for your work/your life?
Dr. Good: There are two songs that come to mind, very different, when I think about my profession and my life. The first is “Shut Up and Dance”, very upbeat, bouncy and makes me want to get moving! “The chemical, physical, kryptonite, helpless to the bass and the fading light. Oh, we were bound to get together, bound to get together.” Veterinary medicine has always been an inevitable path for me.
The second is “Home” by Phillip Phillips. This exemplifies my personal life as I am surrounded by such a wonderful group of family and friends. I am home when I think of them, when I am with them. “Just know you’re not alone ‘cause I’m gonna make this place your home.” They make me strong, resilient, loved.
NAVC: How has the NAVC as an organization changed since you first became involved in January 2015? What is it about NAVC that has kept you intrigued and involved?
Dr. Good: Since I joined the NAVC Board of Directors in January 2015, the NAVC has grown significantly in the size of our team, our global reach and our CE offerings. Our NAVC continues to put on the largest, most exciting veterinary conference in the United States, VMX. We have become multifaceted in providing even more for our veterinary profession through
NAVC Publishing, NAVC Institute, NAVC Learning Academy, VetFolio, SPARK!, NAVC Industry Services and VIC (Veterinary Innovation Council)
Every board meeting leaves me excited, energized, and passionate about the NAVC and what we bring to our profession! I am so very lucky to work with a board who boasts the smartest, most compassionate and passionate people in the veterinary profession, and the most amazing NAVC staff!
It is truly the people who move and motivate the accomplishments of the NAVC!
NAVC: Leadership within a practice and a community is by its nature different from leadership of a volunteer body of board members. How would you describe your leadership style? Did you have to adapt it to fit your role as NAVC’s President?
Dr. Good: I am a democratic or participative leader. I encourage participation from my team in decision making, formulating plans and policies. I try to empower my team, give them the ability to see things through. I did not have to adapt my style one bit, as the role of President of the NAVC board is to coordinate and bring together the ideas of our team and empower effective participation.
NAVC: What excites you most about the future of your profession? What concerns you the most?
Dr. Good: I am most excited about tele-health. I have been involved in a small way, utilizing text, email, FB messaging, video to interact with my clients over the past 10 years. Since the Veterinary Innovation Council started to really drive the importance of tele-health, telemedicine has taken a front seat. I am looking forward to taking my practice to the next level and beyond.
I am most concerned about the wellness of our profession. Compassion fatigue and suicide are sad facts concerning the veterinary profession. Thankfully the NAVC, the AVMA and AAHA are all working hard to increase awareness and try to decrease the incidences of suicide. I have friends and family who have been touched by this tragedy so it has affected me personally. Fortunately, I also have a brother who is a clinical psychologist and specializes in suicide prevention, so I am able to speak with him personally with questions and concerns.
NAVC: You have a lot to be proud of, personally and professionally. What accomplishments do you hold most dear? What would you like to be known for?
Dr. Good: I am so very proud of the incredible adults my children have become. Miranda is an Intervention Specialist for the Oregon City Public Schools in Ohio, teaching Kindergarten to 2nd grade; Ian is the Linebacker Coach for Kenyon College’s Football Team in Gambier, Ohio; and Alan is a Lead Recruiter for Jobspring in Chicago, Illinois. Not only are they accomplished professionals, but they are all caring, compassionate and passionate human beings. I would like to be known for being Miranda, Ian and Alan’s mom.
Family trip to Cape Cod 2018. L-R: Alan, Mark, Miranda, Cheryl, Ian
NAVC: If money and time were not an issue, what do you think could transform veterinary practices to operate with less stress on staff?
Dr. Good: If money and time were not an issue, we would be able to see every client who calls for an appointment. We would create the most inviting hospitals that had quiet relaxation rooms, coffee bars, and adoption playrooms where our clients and adoptable pets could meet up and play together. We would be able to take our team on vacation without worrying that our clients would suffer from our hospital closing for a few days.
NAVC: Tell us about your pets. Got any photos?
Dr. Good: Currently we have three cats and one dog. K-doo and Sweeney are brothers who came from a litter that was born at my hospital from a rescued kitty. Jelly Bean is a beautiful dilute calico who showed up at one of my client’s homes after a snow storm and I just happened to call on her for a home visit that day. Roscoe is our amazing 15 year old retriever mix who was horribly beaten as a 10 week old puppy. He miraculously survived after a month at a specialty hospital and became a “foster failure” when we took him home from the hospital.