Dr Geert Lampen and his team of dedicated veterinarians and nurses have raised the bar when it comes to quality companion animal care. With their new Taree facility now open for business, this dedicated team is community-focused and offers state of the art facilities to care for all furry friends and their families who come through the door.
Congratulations on the completion of your new state of the art Veterinary Hospital here in Taree. The decision to build and relocate would not have been made lightly. Can you share with us the motivation behind this?
This hospital has been active in the Manning Valley since 1995; however, we have outgrown our old facility at the bridge end of Commerce Street. In 2016, my wife and I decided that it’s time to re-invest in Taree and to build a brand new purpose-built veterinary facility.
The site at 43 Commerce Street became available, and together with Robert Butler (an architect in Wingham), we designed this new purpose-built facility.
What motivated us was the fact that we wanted to lift the bar for this community if it comes to quality companion animal care. It’s meant to signal our willingness to re-invest into this community with this need in mind. Taree needs small business to show its commitment to this town. We had an emphasis on enhancing this town’s appearance and outline, to show that we are growing into the 21st Century together with Taree.
This was a super exciting project, and I want to call out Robert Butler form Kwa Butler design, who is an amazing architect with excellent skills. Nigel Young from Young Building converted the design into reality.
With the new facilities on offer, what services can you now extend to our beloved pets and their families?
Not only have we built a new facility, but we also invested in a brand new fit-out and equipment. The moment our clients walk in, this becomes apparent. The layout is modern and feels warm and exclusive. Our clients cannot stop commenting on how great this facility looks and feels.
Once one passes the initial pet care facility (consultation facility), one enters the hospital itself. Not many clients see what happens here, but those who do see it immediately get a sense of what this new facility is about.
It’s close to a human hospital-grade fit-out. The chairman form the AWL inspected it and compared it to be on par with city specialist centres – only smaller.
We boast two operation theatres with state-of-the-art theatre lights and an upgrade to small animal anaesthetics.
We can now offer the latest anaesthetic gas agent — Sevoflurane to our patients. Our anaesthetic monitoring capabilities has expanded to human-level monitoring, where we are able to track more vital signs and gas agents to optimise the safety of our patients with this anaesthetic protocol.
This goes hand-in-hand with a better design layout, where we have recovery facilities inside the workspace (as opposed to the general hospital ward). This means post-op recovering pets are monitored much more closely and supervised much more intensely than in our old facility. This is designed to maximise the recovery process, with safety in mind.
This goes hand-in-hand with our in-house laboratory facilities, which has new machines and video microscopes. We could always perform in-house real-time blood testing; however, the spectrum of tests available has increased significantly.
On a visual diagnostic front, we have invested in new ultrasound capabilities and a new X-ray machine, which will deliver better quality images for diagnostic purposes.
Other expansions also include a new ENT
video scope and a doppler blood pressure machine.
We have new dental facilities as well – fibre optic dental tools, together with digital dental X-ray capabilities. This is in line with the latest dental standards outlined by the world veterinary bodies.
The above is a shortlist of many other new additions found here.
Another feature here is our goal to make this facility dog and cat-friendly and to minimise stress to visiting pets. We have partnered with a supplier to install strategic improvements to minimise stress to our pets by means of in-house pheromone treatments, which are not readily visible to clients but are apparent to our pets.
Your team plays a significant role in the care and compassion for animals and each other within your business. Can you tell us a little about your staff here at Manning Veterinary Hospital?
The team here is the heart and soul of the hospital. I am extremely proud of this team. In my own involvement over the past 18 years here, I have seen all team members join, never to leave. Most nurses here have joined as apprentice vet nurses many years ago. I witnessed them become a member, I have been to their weddings and seen them start a family here in the Manning Valley.
Their loyalty and capabilities cannot be overstated. My clients all know the team well and many times praise me as to how great this team is and what outstanding service they offer.
Another super exciting addition is a new veterinarian – Dr Cathy Pheiffer. She has joined us recently and has been well received by both staff and clients. She will add tremendously to our capacity and capabilities.
When entering the hospital here, the atmosphere becomes immediately apparent. It’s a warm feeling, where the staff take time to listen to the clients and their presenting complaints. They then strive to accommodate the client and their pets in the best possible manner.
They form an integral part of the health care team.
We have a combined experience load of over 60 years amongst seven nurses. They are truly a fantastic team, and I cannot overstate how proud I am of them. Without this team, this whole endeavour would shrivel into only a small improvement as opposed to what it is now.
The catastrophic bushfires have hit our community violently over the past month. How have you been involved within the community since the devastation?
Yes, the Manning Valley has been ravaged by fires, and we all experienced this. The team stuck together to help each other out within this intimate space. Staff took time off to defend their homes and look after their loved ones. We provided shelter to many pets which were evacuated. Our wards resembled Noah’s Ark and were filled to the brim.
Past this border, we also supported FAWNA and other wildlife sanctuaries in an effort to look after wildlife which has been affected by the fires. Possums, joeys, birds and the odd koala came through the doors and received first aid treatment and shelter until they were passed on to the respective wildlife organisation.
We also floated a free treatment package to owners and their pets who have directly been affected by these bush fires. We, together with our suppliers and other NGOs, have donated into a disaster relief fund to make this possible.
We also want to express our gratitude to the RFS firies, who have worked so tirelessly and did a fantastic job for this community. We have decided to offer these people a significantly discounted vet service until the year-end for them and their pets.
What other support and programs do you offer within the clinic?
We are running our own in-house cat rehoming centre since the beginning of the year, with a rehoming facility right here in our reception. Potential new owners come in and have a meet-and-greet with our kittens, all of which need a new home.
We are also working in close relationship with Karla Johnston from PAWS to help re-home dogs who have been surrendered or left at the council pound.
Another organisation is the Animal Welfare League (AWL) with whom we partner closely. We will in the new year offer a free desexing day in liaison with AWL and are very excited about this project.
Another new support program is a puppy socialisation class in team with Coralea Knobbs from ObediPups.
She is a veterinarian who now specialises in puppy classes and is offering this service in-house. We are very excited to have her on board.