Chronicle of Lake Powell | Page Animal Hospital will close on April 29

Page Animal Hospital will close at the end of the working day on April 29, but is still trying to find a full-time veterinarian to work at the facility in hopes of reopening as soon as possible, according to a message posted last week by the ‘hospital. owner, Kevin D. Ballard.

“It is with deep sadness that we must inform you that due to the inability to find a veterinarian who is willing and able to relocate to Page, Arizona, we must close Page Animal Hospital. Our last day of operation will be April 29, 2022,” the message read. (See the full message on page 6.)

“We are praying this will be a temporary closure and plan to reopen as soon as we are able to find a vet. It is with deep regret and turmoil that we have come to this point and this decision. »

The post said the hospital has been “reaching out across the country, including attending veterinary recruitment conferences,” to no avail. It’s also offering a $5,000 reward — which is still open — to anyone who refers a full-time vet to work at Page Animal Hospital.

Lynda Marpole, PA of the hospital’s director and CEO, Cami Cotter, told the Lake Powell Chronicle that Page Animal Hospital is currently staffed with five staff – vet techs, vet assistants and receptionists – who are local to Page, plus two veterinarians who travel from Kanab Veterinary Hospital, also owned by Ballard, to operate Page’s hospital.

“I can tell you they are busy from the time their doors open until well after the doors are supposed to close. It’s an exceptionally busy hospital,” Marpole said, explaining that the first half day of a vet’s schedule is filled with surgeries and the average number of clients based on four afternoons a week is 75. .

“During our peak in June/July/August 2021, based on a five-day week with surgeries during the first half of the day, the average number of clients per week was 160,” she said. declared.

Such a busy schedule is unsustainable for two veterinarians who travel three hours a day to work at Page’s hospital and who work at least 14 hours a day, Ballard’s post last week said.

“Our physicians have great love for this community and have worked tirelessly over the past year, while traveling remotely, to provide service to the Page community,” the post read. “They need time to sleep and see their families. Continuing at their current workload is not sustainable.

Page Animal Hospital was previously owned by Dr. Jerry Roundtree. When he retired and left Arizona, the firm was taken over by Ballard in July 2018.

“We employed a full-time vet from October 2018, the same year Dr Ballard took over,” Marpole said. “We always wanted to add vets to this hospital. We didn’t want there to be just one vet. So we’ve been searching since we employed that first vet. This vet left the practice around May of last year.

Last week, a rumor circulated on social media that Roundtree was returning to Page to help keep the hospital open until a new vet was found. Marpole said it was “partly rumor and partly true”.

She said Roundtree was settled into his new life in Oklahoma and could not return full-time to Page Animal Hospital.

“Dr. Roundtree continues to assist us in our search for veterinarians so that Page Animal Hospital can reopen as soon as possible. Meanwhile, for a limited time, Dr. Roundtree will periodically try to help out at Page Animal Hospital,” it said. she declared.

On Sunday, Roundtree posted a message on Facebook reiterating that “Page Animal Hospital is having difficulty finding a full-time vet to live and work at Page” and that Ballard “has been working very hard to find someone but with no success.”

“Obviously, he cannot operate the Page and Kanab hospitals on his own indefinitely. Page’s hospital is at risk of closing until the situation can be corrected,” Roundtree wrote. He asked Page pet owners and “anyone else concerned about this sad situation” to join him in prayer.

On Monday, Ballard updated his post from last week by personally thanking the community “for all of their renewed interest and efforts to help us, in an effort to keep the Page Animal Hospital open.”

“We are grateful to Dr. Roundtree and his offer and ability to periodically assist and supplement as we continue our research,” Ballard wrote. “We have done and are doing everything we know to find a solution. We appreciate your patience and understanding as this has been an extremely difficult decision after an extremely diligent and difficult search.

In the meantime, Marpole pointed out that they are still looking for a veterinarian to staff Page Animal Hospital and that the $5,000 referral reward still stands.

“This $5,000 award is an open award for anyone who can refer a permanent full-time veterinarian to work at Page Animal Hospital,” she said.

Page Animal Hospital is located at 87 S. 7th Avenue in Page. It is currently open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

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A message from Page Animal Hospital to our community

We regret to inform our community that we will be closed for the foreseeable future effective the close of business, Friday, April 29, 2022.

As many of our customers know, we have worked diligently over the past four years to staff our hospital with permanent veterinarians. We offer very competitive salaries, hiring bonuses, production bonuses, assistance with moving expenses, benefits and continuing education expenses, among others. We reached out across the country, including attending veterinary conferences to recruit. We even have a $5,000 open referral reward for anyone referring a full-time veterinarian to work at Page Animal Hospital. We have explored with recruiters, as well as every avenue we can think of with no results. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, there is a nationwide shortage of veterinarians, which has rendered our extreme efforts to seek additional help futile.

It is with deep sadness that we must inform you that due to the inability to find a veterinarian who is willing and able to relocate to Page, Arizona, we must close Page Animal Hospital. Our last day of operation will be April 29, 2022. We pray this will be a temporary closure and plan to reopen as soon as we can find a vet. It is with deep regret and great turmoil that we have come to this point and this decision.

Our physicians have a great love for this community and have worked tirelessly over the past year, while traveling remotely, to provide services to the Page community. They are currently working at least 14 hour days a day – many more hours than people should be asked to work, especially for long periods. Doctors have three hours of driving a day, followed by on-call and emergency in addition to the full hospital shift. They need time to sleep and see their families. Continuing at their current workload is not sustainable. We greatly appreciate your understanding on this.

We would like to recognize and thank our many customers for the personal efforts they have made to help us in our search for the ideal veterinarian. We ask that you continue to help us in this search so that we can once again serve this wonderful community.

We are so lucky to be part of your community! We will do everything in our power to minimize the challenges this change will bring. We will help facilitate all necessary referrals to receive veterinary care. We realize this cannot replace having a local veterinary hospital and will endeavor to help in any way we can. If there are any patients with ongoing needs that we can accommodate at Kanab Veterinary Hospital, we will help you plan for that. If necessary or preferred, we can forward all recordings, images, etc. in Flagstaff, Arizona, or St. George, Utah, or anywhere else. We have worked diligently to ensure that patients seen with ongoing medication needs have script refills available for as long as the law allows. If you have an active prescription, we can work to get you the refills you need – and we can also set you up in our online store in Kanab. This will allow you to have your medicine (or food) delivered to you every month. It’s convenient, sometimes cheaper, and we’ll make sure you have the medications you need until your next annual checkup. We will do our part to periodically organize and coordinate a vaccination clinic. Some large animal mobile services will also be available.

Know that this is a difficult and heartbreaking decision that we are forced to make. Thank you for your understanding.

Since our heartbreaking announcement of Page Animal Hospital’s impending closure, I personally want to thank the community for all of their renewed interest and efforts to help us, in an effort to keep Page Animal Hospital open. I appreciate all that many of you have done to reach out with ideas and leads on vets. We are grateful to Dr. Roundtree and his offer and ability to periodically assist and complement us as we continue our research. We have done and are doing everything we know to find a solution. We appreciate your patience and understanding as this has been an extremely difficult decision after an extremely diligent and difficult search. As Dr Roundtree mentioned yesterday (March 20), I believe in miracles, so if everyone works together, hopefully we can experience it soon.

Truly,

Kevin D. Ballard

Owner, Page Animal Hospital

Benjamin M. Yerger