Originally Published: April 15, 2014 2:20 p.m.
Prescott Animal Hospital and Equine Center is the winner of the prestigious 2014 AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year Award by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
Dr. Steve Dow, medical director of Prescott Animal Hospital, accepted the award at the association's annual conference in Nashville, Tenn., in March.
The purpose of this award is to recognize the outstanding achievements of accredited veterinary practice teams, along with celebrating the ongoing advancements in veterinary medicine.
Because AAHA-accredited hospitals are evaluated on approximately 900 standards, practice teams must push itself to pursue innovative and groundbreaking practices within their clinics, the AAHA stated in a news release. The AAHA Awards Committee evaluates each team on its most recent accreditation score, mission and vision, practice team composition, continuing education and training, community service and more.
Since AAHA members are known for their excellence, the award is highly competitive.
The award recognizes Prescott Animal Hospital's high-level patient care and services to diagnose and treat companion animals; its teamwork that contributes to the overall success of the practice; its client service that provides compassionate care and exemplary service and effective communication with pet owners; its practice management and leadership that demonstrate commitment to continuing education and training for all team members; and its service to the community by providing considerable charitable contributions and outreach to local animal rescue groups, as well as financial aid to support companion animal research.
"AAHA believes that the success of a veterinary practice depends on the entire team working together to provide excellent care for pets and their people," Mike Cavanaugh, D.V.M., AAHA executive officer said. "Prescott Animal Hospital is clearly dedicated to giving its clients and their pets the very best service."
In response to the award, Dow said he wanted "to thank the Prescott and Northern Arizona area for being such a great community. I especially want to thank the clients and pet patients of Prescott Animal Hospital. I am still in a state of shock" that Prescott Animal Hospital "was selected the top veterinary hospital in the United States and Canada."
Dow said his practice offers advanced technologies from digital dental and animal X-rays and videoscoping to laser therapies and pain modalities. Prescott Animal Hospital also brings in specialists once a month, and contributes to or sponsors the causes of myriad organizations, in addition to contributing to research at Colorado State University.
Dow also attributes receiving the award to Prescott Animal Hospital's chain of command in each of its departments.
"Teamwork is instrumental," he said, but, he added, "What it comes back to is emphasizing that each patient has a story and each client has a story and you try to find out what that is."
Of his 35 years at Prescott Animal Hospital, Dow says, "For me, it has not been a job. It has been an adventure and a challenge." The AAHA award, he added, "is a major point in my life.
"This is equivalent in our industry to the NCAA March Madness championship. We could not have done it without the wonderful pets and people that come to our hospital.
"To put this award in perspective, there are approximately 30,000 animal hospitals in the United States and Canada. Of those hospitals, only 3,500 hold themselves to the higher AAHA accreditation standards. "
Prescott Animal Hospital has been in Prescott since 1949.