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Why 40 Years in Veterinary Medicine is a Big Deal…. And Why I Have Been Here for 23 of Them!

I grew up reading the books of James Herriot, like All Creatures Great and Small, and, similar to many young pet lovers, I just knew that my future was in veterinary medicine. However, a lackluster college career and shortage of discipline kept me from my obtaining my doctorate in veterinary medicine and so I started my adulthood managing various retail stores.

I first met Dr. Mike Thomas, the owner of our Noah’s family of hospitals, in 1990 when Noah’s consisted of 3 hospitals here in Indianapolis and 1 location in Columbus, IN. His friendship was so genuine that I knew right where I wanted to go when I decided to leave retail management in 1994. He offered me a position as a veterinary assistant and from the first moment I was able to draw a blood sample on my own, I was hooked. It was more than getting to work with animals and learning new skills. Dr. Thomas has this knack of finding just the right fit in the clinic for everyone he encounters and soon I was working with board certified veterinary surgeons, setting up the latest technology advances, and getting to actually teach other new employees about the basic pillars of veterinary medicine. I knew that my ability to help pets and their people was growing by leaps and bounds because of Dr. Thomas’ faith in my skills and his understanding of my passions! Even when I took a “break” from the hospitals to pursue my love of media, Dr. Thomas still included me as part of this growing family.

Fast forward to 2022: Noah’s has now been serving the pets of Central Indiana (and beyond) for 40 years! I have seen us grow from our group of 20 people working out of 4 hospitals in 1994 to more than 300 employees across 11 veterinary hospitals serving tens of thousands of pets each and every year. But those same core values, the commitment to Putting the Needs of the Pet and the Pet’s Family First has never wavered. It’s been Dr. Thomas’ dream to find ways to bring the right level of care to pets for ALL families, not just those who are financially secure.

His dream is why Noah’s works with more than 60 rescues and shelters throughout Central Indiana. His loyalty and friendship to his mentor in veterinary medicine is why we have a practice located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. His passion for helping people is why Noah’s created a non-profit organization (Anna’s Pet Care Fund) devoted to keeping pets with their families, even when finances are an issue. And, it’s his trust in the people he hires that has let us create amazing programs, like the Domestic Animal Response Team (DART) so that the animal victims of housefires or vehicular accidents are not forgotten and can receive life-saving care.

Beyond the community involvement, Dr. Thomas has also allowed his teams to flourish, allowing individuals to put forth ideas, like creating a robust training program that encourages development of our veterinary technicians, assistants, front desk staff, and management, and then helping those individuals mold, grow, and perfect those ideas. We have seen and continue to see individuals who “grow up” in our practices, go to veterinary school, and come back to the pets and clients they have come to know. It’s also not uncommon for multiple generations of a family to work for our “family”…my own son spent several years as an overnight veterinary assistant, saving pet’s lives and helping owners in their time of need.

I have watched Dr. Thomas volunteer his time and talents in veterinary leadership groups. Seeing his impact on this incredible profession through his servant leadership has driven my own appetite for making a difference in our world.

I have been honored and am so grateful for my time with Noah’s Animal Hospitals…the commitment to family and the dedication to the community are things that aren’t commonly seen in this fast paced, “gotta make a buck”, corporate driven world. Happy 40th Anniversary to Noah’s and Dr. Thomas…here’s to another 40 years of making life better for people and pets!

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