Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Bostic Veterinary Hospital Story


BOSTIC VETERINARY HOSPITAL

Where devotion to patients and community are core values

by Candance Moore


Anthony Manning, DVM and Bostic Veterinary Hospital owner Gail W. Szabo, DVM.

Anthony Manning, DVM and Bostic Veterinary Hospital owner Gail W. Szabo, DVM.

Bostic Veterinary Hospital has been part of the Virginia Beach community through decades of growth and change. When practice founder James Bostic, DVM started in 1976, the Princess Anne area was mostly farmland, and many of his patients were livestock. He treated any type of animal he could, understanding their importance not just to families but to the local economy. This devotion to community remains one of the hospital’s core values.

“We help local families,” Owner Gail W. Szabo, DVM remarks. “Several factors go into veterinary care – love for the pet, quality of life, finances, breeding the next generation – and these can all weigh on a family. We keep their pets healthy for as long as possible and help them make the best decisions.”

Dr. Gail, as clients often call her, assumed ownership of the practice precisely because of that community connection. She graduated from Bayside High School and applied at Virginia Tech, fueled by a natural love for animals. Through the school’s veterinary program, she met the Bostic family. Upon earning her doctorate in Blacksburg, Dr. Bostic, impressed by her down-to-earth attitude, invited her to the join his practice.

“He had a simple practice in those days,” she recalls with a smile. “He didn’t chase after the latest gadgets, and he wasn’t interested in building an empire. He just cared about his neighbors and did excellent work. He taught me the importance of letting that be its own reward.”

She deeply admired Dr. Bostic’s values, and saw room for technical improvement. The practice went on to earn a distinguished certification from the American Animal Hospital Association. Under Dr. Gail’s leadership, it became a certified Cat Friendly Practice®, and introduced advanced reproductive services. On-site grooming is also available, performed by a licensed technician.

Staying true to the founder’s values through it all, Dr. Gail amazingly balanced new technology with old-fashioned service. Dr. Bostic, feeling secure that his practice had a bright future, turned over ownership in 1992.

The transition was seamless. Lead Technician Connie Keesling, who had been with Dr. Bostic since the very first year, works at the practice even now, helping to instill community values in the next generation. Some of the practice’s most loyal clients have been coming for 30 years, thrilled with how Dr. Gail has guided the team through change.



Veterinary Assistant Emily Mathis and Dr. Gail review a patient’s records<BR> under the watchful gaze of Hemingway--the practice’s mascot.

Veterinary Assistant Emily Mathis and Dr. Gail review a patient’s records
under the watchful gaze of Hemingway--the practice’s mascot.


Veterinary Assistant Tammy Hoffman joined the practice in 1997 and has since earned her place as a trusted right-hand-woman during exams. Technician Nicole Bostic—daughter-in-law of the hospital’s founder—joined a year later, ultimately finding a passion for grooming. Anthony Manning, DVM signed on in 1999, and quickly became fast friends with Dr. Gail.

From those humble roots as a mixed animal  practice, Bostic Veterinary Hospital has grown into a vibrant, team-oriented location where there’s always a pet or two around that’s happy to cuddle.


“I never wanted this practice to get so large
that we lose track of each other’s patients.
We collaborate.
We all get to know every new pet.
It’s the best way to ensure
that ideas and observations
benefit the patient.”

                                 —Gail Szabo, DVM

 
Hemingway was a homeless neighborhood cat.  Now he’s the practice’s mascot, often found sitting atop a cabinet or computer tower to supervise operations. On this particular day, he’s made himself at home on a nice toasty printer where he has a good view of the action in the office.

There’s a sweet, quiet dog in for foot surgery, a perky golden canine with an ear problem, and several others who come and go for routine checkups. Working as a well-organized team, staffers buzz about their duties with an upbeat air.

Foot surgery having gone well, the patient dozes in a corner, checking out her clean white bandage expertly wrapped. She’ll need pain killers and perhaps an antibiotic. These needs can be met in the on-site pharmacy. Everyone on staff knows her, so she’s in no shortage of affection while waking up.

Meanwhile, a rescued homeless cat loiters in a kennel awaiting surgery for a prolapsed rectum. Such a procedure can be a bit costly, but team Bostic, always contending for animals’ lives, are working on ways to make it happen. A kindhearted client volunteers to take on the financial responsibilities, and this feline femme fatale is spirited away for emergency surgery. Hemingway watches from afar as Dr. Nelson works.  The technicians celebrate when the surgery is declared a success. Another day at Bostic Veterinary Hospital ends on a positive note.

“I never wanted this practice to get so large that we lose track of each other’s patients,” Dr. Gail insists. “We collaborate. We all get to know every new pet. It’s the best way to ensure that ideas and observations benefit the patient.”

New pets adopted from shelters are offered a free evaluation to start them off right. The location has in-house X-rays, lab work, medication, dental cleanings, IV fluids, and some surgery. Should a pet need specialized care, Dr. Gail’s network of references can connect the client with a perfect solution.

Clients with a purebred come to Bostic for the latest in reproductive intervention and streamlined breeding options. Vacations and holidays pass drama-free in the hospital’s boarding section.

When the time comes to say goodbye to a pet, Dr. Gail and her team compassionately explain every course of action, giving the client space to make the right choice for them. Catheters and IV painkillers can keep a pet comfortable during the decision-making process.

“Loss of a pet, especially if sudden or handled inappropriately, can really disrupt a family,” Dr. Gail notes. “We’re here to guide our patients through every stage of life so that their family can make the most of the fun times and remain calm through the hard times. That’s what veterinary care is about.”




Bostic Veterinary Hospital

5269 Challedon Dr.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

757-497-8492
www.bosticvethospital.com