Veterinary Care & Specialty Group more than tripled its space with the opening of a new facility on Broad Street this week and is rapidly expanding its staff to keep specialized pet care closer to where they live.
“I’ve spent most of my time in large referral centers, and I felt that Chattanooga deserved that kind of care here without leaving town,” said Billy Pullen, the veterinarian who ran the St Elmo opened. Claudia.
The practice moved to a new building on Broad Street off nearby Tennessee Avenue this week, which grew from 400 square feet to more than 15,000 square feet, and hired a staff member to increase the workforce from about 60 to over 100 by the end of the year will, Claudia Said Pullen.
“If it is my power to make Chattanooga a place our pets deserve, then I will,” she said.
The new hires include a neurologist who will move to Chattanooga from New Jersey, a surgeon who joins the team from Florida, and a number of other veterinarians and support staff.
“We hire every day,” said Claudia Pullen. “I’ve hired three nurses in the last week.”
Dr. Pullen practiced at another specialty and emergency veterinary practice in Chattanooga for 12 years before opening the St. Elmo Clinic in 2016. Although there are two other emergency and specialist veterinary practices in Chattanooga, the expanded Veterinary Care & Specialty Group will redefine options in the area for pets with serious medical problems or the need for emergency care, he said.
Veterinary Care & Specialty Group
Address: 3201 Broad Street
“Because we can expand in size and staff, we can offer options that are not available here,” he said.
People may come from outside the area to provide services, but the goal is to serve the local market so people don’t have to travel to Knoxville or Atlanta, said Dr. Pulling.
“This is really for Chattanooga,” he said. “You shouldn’t have to drive two hours.”
The practice will have full-time specialists in cardiology, dermatology, oncology, neurology, internal medicine, surgery and radiology. The new facility will move the Veterinary Care & Specialty Group from four exam rooms to twelve and from one operating room to four, said Claudia Pullen.
The practice is fully staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operates its own blood bank and pharmacy.
The pandemic initially caused a brief slowdown in business, but then the facility was busier than ever, Claudia Pullen said.
“We are bursting at the seams,” she said of the St. Elmo facility where the practice began.
After opening in 2016, the practice expanded rapidly, partly due to the fact that they offer free training with nationally known speakers, said Claudia Pullen. The first conference attracted 12 people. The next year it was 40, the next year it was 80. They ran out of chairs.
“People sat on the floor or got up,” said Claudia Pullen.
They will continue their focus on education and community service at the new practice site – which also offers a larger conference room for seminars and training.
“Billy and I wanted to put Chattanooga on the map for veterinary medicine,” she said.
Contact Mary Fortune at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6653. Follow her on Twitter at @maryfortune.
Expansion of the Veterinary Care & Specialty Group
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