Andy Shores ’77 Edits Textbook on Canine/Feline Neurosurgery

Andy Shores ’77 Edits Textbook on Canine/Feline NeurosurgeryAndy Shores

Andy Shores

’77, a clinical professor and chief of Neurology and Neurosurgery with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has edited a textbook on canine and feline neurosurgery.

Current Techniques in Canine and Feline Neurosurgery is available through Wiley-Blackwell publishing. It offers state-of-the-art, detailed guidance on performing neurosurgical techniques in dogs and cats, from indications and surgical anatomy to procedures and post-operative care.

The 296-page volume, co-edited by Dr. Bridgette A. Brisson, a professor of Small Animal Surgery at the Ontario (Canada) Veterinary College, University of Guelph, also has a companion web site hosting video clips of the procedures discussed. Other features about the book:

  • Presents an up-to-date, detailed reference oveterinary neurosurgery techniques, covering skills ranging from basic to advanced;
  • Provides guidance on why, when, and how to perform neurosurgical procedures;
  • Includes information on diagnostic evaluation, surgical planning, and instrumentation as well as step-by-step descriptions of specific procedures;
  • Co-published with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Foundation and American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Shores served as a resident at Auburn 1982-85 and as a clinical professor and chief of Neurosurgery and Neurology at Auburn from 2007 to 2010.

Indiana VMA Honors Alum

James Stepusin

Dr. James Stepusin ’02 was recently named Volunteer of the Year by the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Stepusin was recognized for his leadership or service to a project or program of the association, is a 2002 graduate of the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine.

He is the Midwest regional director of field veterinary services with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, and is past president of the Indiana VMA, and serves as chair of the associations’ Annual Meeting Committee and a member of its Legislative Committee.


Dr. Taul to Lead AAHA Organization

Dr. Darren Taul ’96 has been named president-elect of the prestigious American Animal Hospital Association (A AHA), the only companion animal-exclusive veterinary association.

A practicing veterinarian since 1996, Dr. Taul’s private practice is Animal Hospitals of Kentucky; he also consults with Blue Heron Consulting.

AAHA is best known as the only organization accred-iting companion animal practices, whereby companion animal hospitals undergo regular comprehensive evalu-ations by A AHA veterinary experts who evaluate the practice on approximately 900 standards of veterinary care.

Dr. Taul will assume the role of president in September. He and an eight-member Board of Directors also will be responsible for seating committee members, A AHA representatives, and task forces needed to serve the veterinary industry.

“I am thrilled to be working with this great team of board members and A AHA staff dedicated to the future of our profession,” Dr. Taul said.

Dr. Taul became interested in A AHA accreditation for his practice after “realizing the collaboration and community A AHA provided. I decided to stop putting it off and obtained accreditation in 2012.

“That is when the real learning started, particularly regarding practice management—team, culture, financial, etc.,” he added. “I joined an A AHA business management group as well and continued to build on what I had already learned.”

Dr. Taul joined the Board of Directors in 2015 and has served on three other committees as a board liaison while serving as vice president and president-elect. “I am very thankful for the opportunities A AHA has given me,” he said. “It has provided new insight into strategic thinking and has been both a privilege and a humbling experience working with such gifted people in this organization.”

“I believe it is important to all veterinarians to serve in some capacity whether in their communities, their profession, schools, churches, or society in general,” Dr. Taul said. “Veterinarians are highly regarded and often seen as leaders and mentors for many people. I have served locally in many other arenas, and I chose A AHA service because it filled a need I was missing, and I wanted to return the favor.

“I love practicing medicine, surgery, dentistry, and seeing clients’ reactions when we help their four-legged family members. All these things that we love about our profession often come at a sacrifice to ourselves, our families, and our practices.

“I believe we all have an obligation to help our current colleagues and future veterinarians to provide balance between successful practices and their personal lives.”

“Top Tigers” Winner and Veterinary Entrepreneur Talks About Changes in the Profession

The veterinary medicine profession is at a crossroads, but according to Dr. Jay Price, the future—although different — still looks very bright.

Dean Calvin Johnson congratulates Dr. Jay Price, Dr. Jeff Falone and Dr. Chase Whitworth.
Dean Calvin Johnson congratulates Dr. Jay Price, Dr. Jeff Falone and Dr. Chase Whitworth.

Dr. Price ‘06, chief executive officer at the Birming-ham-based Southern Veterinary Partners (SVP), heads a firm that presently owns a chain of 49 veterinary hospitals in 10 states throughout the Southeast. Dr. Price was recently named a recipient of the “Top Tigers” award by Auburn’s Harbert College of Business. He also is among the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2018 Birmingham’s Top 40 Executives Under 40, and he has been profiled several times for his entrepreneurial successes by Business Alabama magazine.

SVP was launched in 2014 by Dr. Price and a group of co-founders, Chase Whitworth, Barron Lakeman and Jeff Falone. The venture grew out of Dr. Price’s days as a veterinary student at Auburn and friendships he had formed with some of his business partners during those days.

“I graduated in 2006 and had started working with some of these guys as a student and during my internships,” Dr. Price said. “I started looking at our industry and I saw changes coming as many of the established veterinarians began to reach retirement age. They were beginning to explore selling their practices, but the financial risk of owning a hospital for starting veterinarians is significant. Some just don’t want to do that. There is a need for somebody to acquire these hospitals. There were a number of companies beginning to purchase and consolidate these hospitals into corporations, but there were none doing this successfully in the South. That is where we come in.”

With two hospitals in Alabama, Dr. Price and his team set out to establish a new paradigm for the veterinary industry in the South. Currently with 49 hospitals located in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Virginia, SVP continues to grow. Maintaining a small company feel and presence in the local community are key principals of the SVP business model. Moreover, SVP is a Southern born-and-bred company.

“We want to be the premier veterinary provider in the Southeast while maintaining independent hospital culture,” Dr. Price said. “All of our team is from the South, and this is where our growth focus is. We have 30 people on our staff in Birmingham, but at the hospitals that comprise our group, we maintain the local staff, including the former veterinarian/owner.”

The SVP business model purchases the hospital, but the former veterinarian/owner stays on to practice and to maintain the local relationships. To Dr. Price, this is the primary difference in how SVP operates versus other conglomerate corporations.

“Most of these hospital owners want to continue to practice veterinary medicine,” Dr. Price said. “It is their passion to help their patients and to maintain their relationships with their clients and their communities. In the SVP model, the hospital continues to be run by a veterinarian with a passion for practicing veterinary medicine. We just handle the business aspects.”

Dr. Price says that the demographics of the veterinary industry are changing.

“Our industry is going through a rapid consolidation,” he said. “There probably are 400 hospitals each year being acquired by corporations. I believe this is the future and that change is increasing the demand for new veterinarians.

”About the “Top Tigers” Award

The Harbert College of Business developed the Top Tigers Awards as a way of recognizing fast-growing businesses founded, owned, operated or led by Auburn University alumni. It’s one of three events part of the Auburn University Entrepreneurship Summit. This year’s award recipients represented 46 different cities, 26 industries and 13 states. The average revenue growth rate across all categories was 37 percent with one company posting a growth rate of 249 percent. Southern Veterinary Partners finished third in the medium revenue category.

Congratulations to Dr. Watkins

Dr. Morgan Watkins Tiefenthan ’13, recently became a partner at Animal Health Center in Sarasota, Fla., a practice established by her father, Dr. David Watkins, a graduate of the University of Illinois.

Dr. Watkins Tiefenthan joined the practice in 2015 following two years at a small animal practice in Greenville, SC.