We are animal health professionals who aim to achieve optimal health care for animals, advance the veterinary profession, and evolve the relationship between primary care veterinarians and specialists.
This mission is informed by these guiding principles:
- To partner to optimize animal care
- To include and engage all key participants
- To encourage and enable shared initiatives
- To be transparent and accountable
- To pursue mutual benefits
It all makes good sense — both clinically and economically. And we’ve got the numbers to quantify it.
Our Story: Past, Present, Future
The Collaborative Care Coalition was founded in 2012 as VetSOAP (Veterinary Specialists Outreach & Awareness Project) when a group of veterinary industry professionals joined forces to address concerns that, despite the growing availability of highly qualified veterinary specialists, too few pets — and their owners — were accessing this advanced expertise.
Why were primary care veterinarians not referring to veterinary specialists? After all, in human medicine it’s considered best practice for a primary care physician to refer a patient to a specialist to diagnose and treat a particularly complex medical issue. Why wasn’t a similar collaborative model more fully embraced by the veterinary profession?
Knowing how clinicians value objective data, the VetSOAP board realized that research would be necessary to determine the scope of the situation and quantify its impact on all stakeholders, including primary care veterinarians, specialists, pet owners and, most importantly, the animals.
To that end, in 2014 VetSOAP launched a multi-phase research initiative, beginning with an observational study to assess referral dynamics and a series of quantitative studies about the link between provider collaboration and patient outcomes. Most recently, a referral attitude and behavior survey was given to better understand the driving forces and barriers to referral on the part of primary care veterinarians.
Notably, the findings demonstrate a clear correlation between the health of companion animals and the frequency and timeliness of collaboration between primary care veterinarians and specialists. Read more about our research here.
What we also learned was that it’s not only about specialists. And it’s not only about primary care veterinarians. It IS about ALL of us. And it’s about collaboration.
We needed to change our name to reflect what we had learned and so, in 2019, we became the Collaborative Care Coalition.
Collaborative care between primary care veterinarians and veterinary specialists produces the best possible outcomes for pets, pet owners, and veterinary professionals. There is now real data that challenges the myths surrounding referral medicine, demonstrating tangible improved outcomes for all parties.
Today, the Collaborative Care Coalition is undertaking outreach and education to share these findings with the profession through forums such as this website and presentations at industry meetings. If you’d like a CCC representative to speak to your practice or group, just let us know.
We’re developing tools to help specialists break down the barriers to referral and providing an avenue for the entire veterinary team in both specialty/emergency and primary care hospitals to become Collaborative Care Partners. You can learn more about that here.
Looking ahead, we will continue on this path by conducting more research and making it available to the profession to advance the relationship between primary care veterinarians and veterinary specialists. Our aim continues to be to produce healthier pets, more satisfied and loyal pet owners, and more successful practices.
Your participation in the Collaborative Care Coalition is welcome. Learn more about how you can join us.
Board of Directors
The Collaborative Care Coalition is a volunteer-based non-profit organization comprised of primary care veterinarians, specialists, academicians, and industry partners — all dedicated to furthering collaborative care and our Mission.
Because the Collaborative Care Coalition believes that collaborative care is good for the entire veterinary profession, we believe including many voices in the discussion is necessary. Beyond our Board of Directors, we have sought to include people with a wider ring of input and experience. The Advisory Council is just that, a less structured but no less thoughtful group of individuals that provide guidance and opinions to the board on everything from identifying potential sponsor partners to recommending channels for communicating the research results, and most importantly, promoting the mission of the organization. Through conference calls and meet-ups at industry events, we gain valuable insight, perspective, and feedback on strategies and tactics to move the message forward.
Our strength relies on our partnerships. We have created a collective of primary care veterinarians, veterinary specialists, corporate groups, independent practices, specialty colleges, universities, animal health care companies, and veterinary associations who, together, will advance the profession. While our businesses may differ, we share the same goals of providing optimal care to animals while growing our businesses.