We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessa Kocher and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process for starting my own business stemmed from me absolutely LOVING the work I do but from discontent with my profession as a whole. In the veterinary profession there are two current major “problems”:

1. Mental health and suicide rates are very high – something like 2-3 times that of any other profession. Amazing doctors and competent and confident support staff are literally fleeing the profession to save their own life.

2. There is a trend towards private owners selling corporate. So a profession that historically has been entrepreneurial and focused on client satisfaction, staff satisfaction, engagement with the community, and excellent patient care has become more about the bottom line.

Because I value service focused on authentic connections and giving back to clients, staff, and community I realized while acting as Medical Director under a corporate model that I would never have total job satisfaction in this role. My goal in opening up my own hospital, and in the future providing veterinary business coaching and helping other veterinarians on their path to ownership, is to shake up the industry.

My goal is to create a veterinary utopia. A hospital where clients’ needs come first. A hospital where we care deeply about the people and the pets that walk through their door. A hospital where medical treatment is innovative and industry-leading. A hospital where staff members are valued, trained well, and treated like family. A hospital where the facility is beautiful, efficient, welcoming and acts as a tool for community and connection. A hospital where volunteers are welcomed, encouraged, trained and uplifted to inspire the next generation of pet-loving service providers. A hospital where giving back to the community and seeking opportunities to serve is prioritized. That is the hospital I am hoping and striving to create in my community.

What should our readers know about your business?
I opened Fox Run Veterinary Hospital in Monument, Colorado in August 2020 in the height of the COVID19 pandemic. I had been working as the Medical Director at a corporate hospital the year prior, left that job to move to a small privately-owned clinic, that owner panicked during the pandemic and sold the hospital corporate. I walked away from that job the next day knowing that I did not have the mental capacity to go through more corporate transitions (been there, done that!). Within a month I had pivoted my career plan and opened Fox Run. Opening a veterinary hospital in four weeks is no easy feat, but I had the help of two amazing certified veterinary technicians and an amazing opportunity to sublease the local veterinary ER’s space during the day when they were not using it. Now fast forward 15 months and we have moved into our beautiful, new, spacious building that my business partner designed. We have gone from 1 doctor and 2 support staff to 3 doctors and 17 support staff, with a fourth doctor starting in the next couple months.

While this has this been a complicated time in the world to open a business (COVID quarantines, curbside care, and the inundation of new pets to the petcare industry has been challenging), it has also been so rewarding. My profession has been struggling – we are in a period of severe overwhelm without enough help. But when practically every person who walks through our doors – whether a client, a potential new hire, or a staff member – has made the comment to me that we are building something different and something special – that is my “why.”

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting I’d take her hiking at all my local favorites – Monument Rock, Fox Run Park, Rampart Reservoir. We’d spend a day kayaking and paddleboarding on Palmer Lake. We’d take a day trip to one of the National Parks – either Rocky Mountain or Great Sand Dunes. I’d make sure to eat BBQ at Rudi’s, drive around Garden of the Gods Park, and hang out downtown at Dos Santos Tacos and Frozen Gold Icecream.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to The Success Collective – this is a group of amazing, generous, women business owners. This networking group is focused not on how much you gain from your interactions with each other, but on how much we can give – how much we can give to the community, to each other, and to each other’s businesses. Without this group I would have achieved my dream, but on a much smaller scale. When I am in the company of such amazing women at our meetings each week I truly have no choice but to level up – in my business, in my family life, in my friendships, and in my community. These women serve as a daily reminder that nothing is impossible. These women are a movement, a tribe, a true community and I am so blessed to be supported by them.

Website: https://www.foxrunveterinaryhospital.com/

Instagram: foxrunveterinaryhospital

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foxrunveterinaryhospital

Image Credits
Mariana Ziegler Photography

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