Most Valuable Player of the Month for February 2017 – Frank Fiacchino

2/6/17

FRANK AND KIDS
Frank, pictured with his “kids,” Scruffy and Riley.

Frank Fiacchino, one of Family Pet’s Client Care Coordinators, was awarded the FPAH Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the month for February 2017 by last month’s winner, Tony Tramutola.  Frank joined our team in August of 2015 after serving as an Assistant Clinic Manager at the PAWS Chicago Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic.  In a past life, Frank performed professionally in musical theater.  He subsequently spent many years honing his customer service skills in the hospitality industry.  His love of animals brought him to the veterinary world and we are so grateful to have his talents, patience, and humor here at Family Pet.

 

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH FRANK

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

I have two: 1) Scruffy:  a grey and white 14 year young male Shih Tzu.  I adopted him from my cousin when he was two. [My cousin] was about to have her second child and said having a preschooler, a new born baby, a husband and a puppy was too much. THANK GOD, for my sake, she chose to part with the puppy. 2) Riley:  a gold 7 year young female Yorkshire Terrier.  On Halloween weekend of 2014 I was working for PAWS when Riley was brought in from Tennessee. She was brought in on a Friday to be seen by the doctor on Monday before being put up for adoption. I played with her all day and decided to bring her home for the weekend so she wouldn’t have to stay in a cage by herself. Well it’s been a really LONG weekend!

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

For 15 + years I worked in the hospitality industry so customer service is something I enjoy as well as its kind of innate at this point. Also, Ever since I can remember I have loved animals. Being a Client Care Coordinator I get to combine those two loves for a perfect blend.

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

I never had the pleasure of knowing Marla Minuskin, one of the original co-founders.  But after I started working at Family Pet, it did not take long to know her spirit is still very much alive here. I have heard many wonderful stories of her from coworkers and clients alike. So when Jane Lohmar , one of the managing partners told me Marla would have really liked me it made me VERY proud.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Spend time with my four legged children, binge watch Netflix and run outside in nice weather!

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

Not to be scared. I would let them know that they were in good hands with good people that will do EVERYTHING in their power to make them feel better!

What’s the strangest job you’ve had?

I once hosted a live NICKELODEON game show where the prize was getting slimed.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Flying, I hate driving!

How would you spend one million dollars?

First off I would hire an accountant, because I am awful with money. Then I would have him/her set it up so my Mom, siblings their families and I could live a comfortable life without worrying about money! Oh and I would adopt a TON of dogs!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Everybody’s perception is different and a person’s perception is their reality.

What is your personal motto or mantra?

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Tell us something about yourself people would be surprised to know.

I once had a role in a NBC Monday night movie.

Congratulations, Frank!  Frank will pick next month’s FPAH MVP, so stay tuned…

 

Previous MVPs:

Tony Tramultola (January 2017)

Emily Olvera (December 2016)

Janet Laz (November 2016)

Kate Van Eck (October 2016)

Jim Dinan (September 2016)

Katie Doan (August 2016)

 

More about us:

Family Pet Animal Hospital’s mission, vision, and core values

Our Doctors

Our Staff

 

Most Valuable Player of the Month for January 2017 – Tony Tramutola

Tony & FinnTony Tramutola, Family Pet Animal Hospital’s longest standing staff member and one of our Technician Managers, was awarded the FPAH Most Valuable Player (MVP) for January 2017 by last month’s winner, Emily Olvera.  Tony joined the Family Pet team as a teenager back in 1990 just after the practice first opened.  He is an incredibly skilled, no nonsense technician and manager that our doctors and staff call on for assistance incessantly.  Around here, he is often referred to as “Dr. Tony” for his wealth of knowledge and experience.  He may not have a DVM degree but he is certainly invaluable to our team.

His patience and skill with especially scared or aggressive dogs has earned him the title of “dog whisperer.”  Many of our clients request him by name to be the technician to handle their pets when they come to see us, knowing he “speaks their language.”

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH TONY (he is a man of few words):

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

Yes.  Tank is a pitbull mix and full of energy.

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud? 

Working here for 26+ years.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Playing video games, watching TV, and taking long walks with Tank.

How would you spend one million dollars?

Buy a house and car and eat well.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

When someone says something happened a million times (over-exaggeration).

What would you choose for your last meal?

New York strip steak and baked potato.

Congratulations, Tony!  Tony will pick next month’s FPAH MVP for February, so stay tuned…

Bourbon & Beignet – Rescued by PAWS Chicago from the Louisiana Floods

11/23/16

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Meet Bourbon and Beignet.  They are two of 26 dogs and cats that PAWS Chicago was able to rescue from Southern Louisiana following the devastating August 2016 floods that hit the area. The PAWS team drove 16 hours each way to transport animals from local shelters in Louisiana back to the PAWS Chicago Medical Center.   Shortly after their return, we contacted PAWS to see if and how we could help.  Heart worm is very common in the southern states, and unsurprisingly, Bourbon and Beignet both tested positive.  Family Pet Animal Hospital was able to sponsor both Bourbon’s and Beignet’s heartworm treatment.

A little bit about these wonderful pooches:

Beignet – The best word to describe her is “perfect”.  She is gentle, sweet, tolerant, and laid back. She greets everyone with a low tail wag and soft eyes.  She’s an old soul who always looks a bit like she understands exactly what is going on.

Bourbon – Bourbon is a sweet and loving guy. He likes to jump on everyone he meets because he is just that happy to make new friends. He served as a mentor to younger, more insecure dogs that arrived from the south with him – nudging them along when they were frightened of new city noises. His favorite treats are bread, sweet potatoes and cheese.

We are happy to report that both Beignet and Bourbon have found wonderful forever homes through PAWS Chicago.  Family Pet Animal Hospital was so happy for the opportunity to help PAWS in their amazing efforts in caring for these wonderful pets.

Link to more information about PAWS Chicago’s rescue mission

http://www.pawschicago.org/louisiana/

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week! October 16 – 22, 2016

10/16/16

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Your pets deserve the best in pet care and it takes everyone on the veterinary health care team to make that happen.  The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) recognized that fact and established National Veterinary Technician Week (NVTW) as the third week in October.  We certainly value our technical team’s contributions every day, but that this particular week to celebrate their contributions to the health and well-being of our patients.

When you and your pet visit Family Pet Animal Hospital, we hope you have an immediate sense of who we are – we truly care about you and your pets and we love what we do.  We pride ourselves on the amazing team members we have that embrace and embody our core values:

  • Ethics
  • Professionalism
  • Empathy
  • Energy & Focus
  • Pride
  • Team Player

 

Veterinary technicians and assistants play a vital role in the care of all our patients (and our clients).  Their jobs are similar to that of nurses in human medicine – to perform technical tasks to support the doctors and provide comfort and support to the patient as well.  Our technicians are trained to provide nursing care, conduct diagnostic laboratory work, aid in medical, dental, and surgical procedures, administer anesthesia, and much more.  We could not do what we do without their talents.

Veterinary medicine and technology is always growing and changing and we strive to be on the cutting edge to provide your pet with the best care possible.  Our technicians’ commitment to continuing education allows us to support the addition and integration of new skills, protocols, and systems to our team because your pet deserves the very best.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to our amazing technicians.  We are so grateful for their tireless work, compassion, humor, and talents.  They are crucial to the delivery of the care we provide to the pets in our communication.  Thank you, Vet Techs, for everything that you do!

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week!

Most Valuable Player of the Month for October 2016 – Kate Van Eck

KEV picKate Van Eck, Assistant Client Care Manager, has been awarded the Family Pet Animal Hospital Most Valuable Player (FPAH MVP) award for October 2016 by last month’s winner, Jim Dinan.  Congratulations, Kate!

Kate joined the Family Pet team as a Client Care Coordinator early in 2013 after working as a technician at Dupage County Animal Control for four years.  For her ongoing commitment to our patients, clients, and team, in a few short years, she’s received multiple promotions – Trainer, Shift Supervisor, and most recently, Assistant Client Care Manager.  Her energy, humor, sparkling personality, diligence, and tireless advocacy for the well-being of all animals make her such an appreciated part of our team.

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH KATE

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

I have a small dog, Franklin, who I adopted from DuPage Co. Animal Care & Control where I worked prior to Family Pet. He and I are celebrating 8 years together this October! When I decided that I wanted to adopt him (after fostering him a few weeks) my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, said we have to make it official. So we went on a walk and picked out the name Franklin (after FDR) and then went and bought him a red, white and blue sweater and collar.

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

My favorite thing about Family Pet is the people I get to work with. I can’t even begin to explain the amazingly kind, open and appreciative environment that exists here.

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

I do a lot of the training of the new CCC’s and it is such a proud feeling when you see new staff members being able to make sound decisions on their own and establishing friendships with clients.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love spending time with Franklin and my husband, Bill, no matter what we’re doing. I go to a lot of Cubs games and keep score by hand. I volunteer with Big Brother Big Sister and spend time with my “little” making crafts and exploring Chicago together. I love singing (especially made up songs about Franklin), playing the piano, watching Jeopardy and spending time with my family.

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

Not to be afraid or weirded out when I squish their faces and give them hugs and kisses because it’s too hard to resist sometimes.

How would you spend one million dollars?

I would use it to fund the sanctuary farm that my husband and I are planning on opening in the next 5 years.

What’s the strangest job you’ve had?

I used to be a performer at Six Flags Great America and would dress up as the Looney Toons characters. The worst costume was Taz. It was 65lbs sitting on your shoulders and you could barely move your arms, but in one show Taz had to play the drums. It was hilarious.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

A family friend wrote in a wedding card, “Remember every day to share a 10 second hug and a 5 second kiss.” It sounds simple, but sometimes the day slips away from us and we forget. We’ve made an effort to share those two things each day, no matter what is going on around us, and it has really helped strengthen our marriage.

If you could host a talk show, who would your first guest be and why?

I would invite Gilda Radner. She really paved the way for women to be perceived as funny, which is my favorite thing to be.

Tell us something about yourself people would be surprised to know.

I was in an a cappella group in college, The University of IL Rip Chords, and we were pretty much *celebs on campus.

*that’s a lie

Congratulations, Kate!  (Kate gets to pick next month’s FPAH MVP, so stay tuned…)

Most Valuable Player of the Month for September 2016 – Jim Dinan

Jim Dinan - Family Pet Animal Hospital MVP 09.16Jim Dinan, Client Care Manager, has been awarded the Family Pet Animal Hospital Most Valuable Player (FPAH MVP) for September 2016 by last month’s winner, Katie Doan.  Congratulations, Jim!  Jim came to the Family Pet team in 2002 with several years of operations management, customer service, and pet sitting experience.  He was promoted to Client Care Manager in 2005, a position he has held ever since.

Many of our clients ask for Jim by name, as they have come to know him over the many years he’s taken care of their needs and the needs of their pets.  He’s an incredibly calm and caring individual that always sets our patients’ and clients’ needs as his top priorities.

Question and Answer with Jim:

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about them.

Matilda is a 12 year old Doberman mix who is still crazy like a puppy!

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

The good relationships I have formed with my co-workers.

What is the moment at Family Pet of which you are the most proud?

I recently worked with all of my co-workers to form a social contract for our hospital.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy cooking, listening to music, and spend too much time on fantasy football.

If Family Pet Animal Hospital had a theme song, what would it be?

The theme song to “The A-Team.”

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

Don’t worry.  We have your back little buddy!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Flying – as I am currently nursing a wounded foot.

How would you spend one million dollars?

Invest it in an S & P 500 tracking ETF.

What is your personal motto or mantra? 

Do more with less.

What would you choose for your last meal?

Steak, medium rare, and greens.

Do you have any strange phobias?

I am afraid of needles and cannot stand giving blood.

What is your favorite junk food?

Pizza!

Congratulations, Jim!  (Jim gets to pick next month’s FPAH MVP, so stay tuned…)

Most Valuable Player of the Month for August 2016 – Katie Doan

Katie and ArthurWe’ve just launched a new staff recognition program at Family Pet Animal Hospital to encourage peer-to-peer recognition of staff members that embody FPAH’s core values of ethics, professionalism, empathy, energy and focus, pride, and being a team player and work to forward our mission and vision.

We are happy to announce that Katie is our Family Pet Animal Hospital Most Valuable Player (FPAH MVP) of the Month for August of 2016, chosen by Lilly, one of our Client Care Managers!  Katie joined the Family Pet team as a Client Care Coordinator in October of 2010.  She returned to school in 2014 to obtain her Associates in Veterinary Technology, graduated in late 2015, and transitioned from the “front of the house” to the “back of the house,” joining our medical team as a Certified Veterinary Technician.

We are lucky to have Katie, as she is dedicated, intelligent, funny, and always willing to help out all her fellow team members.

Question and Answer with Katie

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

Yes, I have two dogs. Arthur is a puppy mill rescue Havanese. He is the dog love of my life and just plain precious. We adopted him in 2013. It was a big victory for me as my now husband didn’t want to get a dog because he has allergies but luckily he met Arthur and also fell in love.  Byrdie is a rescue dog too that was one of the dogs that we vetted and took care of at tech school and I fell in love with her.  She is probably a Chihuahua/ dachshund mix (picture Chihuahua face/ears with doxie body).  She’s a hyper sweetie pie and she came home in 2014.

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

It is hard to choose just one thing. My coworkers are probably my favorite thing about Family Pet; client care coordinators, technicians, and doctors. We all work as a team and have a good time together too. We all have the same values and the pets we are treating get the best care because of it.

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

Probably September 1st 2015 when I walked into work as a technician after almost 5 years as a CCC. I worked really hard at school to become a certified veterinary technician and I was glad that I was welcomed to the treatment room side of the hospital and that everyone was excited to have me.  That meant a lot to me.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to snuggle with my dogs and watch TV, I love reading, and going out to eat with my husband.

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

That I understand they are nervous and that we are only there to help them and that what I’m doing will make them feel better if they are sick or is in their best interest if there for an annual exam.  Also, I would want them to know that if they stay still, we will be done faster and then they can have a treat 🙂

What is the funniest thing that’s happened at Family Pet?

Oh jeez, I might want to save you all from these stories as most of my funny stories have to do with dog poop.

How would you spend one million dollars?

I would probably pay off my husband and my student loans, pay off our mortgage/home, and buy myself a car. Then I would take my husband on a European adventure since he has never gone abroad.

Tell us something about yourself people would be surprised to know.

I had a temporary position at The Shedd Aquarium after I interned there to raise Magellanic penguin chicks (from eggs, I saw them hatch!). I worked 60 hours a week, midnight to noon for a couple of months. It was the coolest thing I have ever gotten to do.

What would be the title of the movie about your life?

“That WOULD happen to you, Katie”

What’s your favorite activity to do with your pet(s)?

We love to snuggle together. I find myself in a snuggle-fest with my dogs at least once a day and try hard not to move so that I don’t disrupt the adorable-ness.

What is your favorite junk food?

Ice Cream is my favorite food. Period.

Congratulations, Katie!  (Katie gets to pick next month’s FPAH MVP, so stay tuned…)