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Campaign will offer up to $200,000 for AVMF REACH Program to provide veterinarians relief from stress brought on by financial struggles of pet owners
ST. LOUIS, Jan. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Clients who love their pets but can't afford to pay for vital veterinary care represent a significant source of burnout and stress for compassionate veterinary practitioners. To help ease this burden, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to help expand the AVMF Reaching Every Animal with Charitable Care (REACH) program, which offers grants to veterinarians who provide immediate care for owners experiencing financial hardship. For each purchase made on Purina Pro Plan's VetDirect website from January 15, 2023 through June 30, 2023, Purina will donate $1 to the AVMF to support the REACH program, up to $200,000, so veterinarians don't have to choose between their patients and their practice.
The Cost of Caring for Pets
While the global pandemic has worsened the situation, the stress caused by the financial hardships of clients is not a new problem; in a survey of veterinarians published in JAVMA in 2017, 77% of respondents reported that the economic limitations of clients (regardless of whether those limitations were by choice or necessity) were either a moderate or primary contributor to their level of professional burnout¹.
"Over the past several years, many veterinary practitioners have been riding a roller coaster of emotional and operational challenges in their practices, between working through a global pandemic, staffing challenges, and—most recently— inflationary pressures making it harder for clients to make ends meet," notes Dr. David Granstrom, Assistant Executive Director at AVMF. "The goal of the AVMF REACH program is to remove some of the difficult decisions practitioners must make when a client can't afford lifesaving care for their pet. Thanks to the donation from Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, more of their answers can be 'yes' instead of 'no.'"
The REACH program offers grants to AVMA members who provide low or no-cost veterinary services for the treatment of illness or conditions requiring immediate care for owners experiencing financial hardship. The program is soon expanding its eligibility criteria to go beyond helping underserved clients affected by COVID-19, disaster relief and domestic violence to those with other, more general financial needs.
"Veterinarians today face so many challenges, from working extra-long hours to providing quality care for their patients to keeping their own staff members motivated. We believe this program not only honors the calling of veterinarians but will also directly alleviate some of the everyday stress practitioners feel as they make decisions regarding patient care," says Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVIM (Nutrition), Director of Veterinary Technical Communications for Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets.
In 2022, the AVMF funded more than 600 grants, assisting more than 700 animals, through its charitable care programs. The Foundation is hopeful that the additional funding, along with changes to the program, will result in a significant increase in participation and the number of animals helped.
About Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets is manufactured by Nestlé Purina PetCare, a global leader in the pet care industry. Purina promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premier global manufacturer of pet products, Purina is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.
Information about Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets can be found at PurinaProPlanVets.com.
About the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Now celebrating its 60th anniversary, the AVMF has been dedicated to developing resources to advance the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health. Foundation programs and activities are designed to benefit veterinary medicine, promote animal welfare, and enhance research so that the profession is better prepared to deal with difficult problems facing animal health today and tomorrow. Charitable contributions and support to the Foundation assist veterinarians and the entire veterinary healthcare team help animals. Our funding priorities include Education, Disaster Relief, Crisis Support, Charitable Veterinary Care and Animal Health Research.
¹Kipperman BS, Kass PH, Rishniw M. Factors that influence small animal veterinarians' opinions and actions regarding cost of care and effects of economic limitations on patient care and outcome and professional career satisfaction and burnout. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2017 Apr 1;250(7):785-794. https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/250/7/javma.250.7.785.xml
SOURCE Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets