Ireland Leaders’ Forum 2022

The inaugural Ireland Leaders’ Forum brought together almost 200 IVC Evidensia vets and nurses to celebrate the achievements of practices during the previous year and celebrate brilliant people from veterinary practices across the country.

It took place at the Killashee Hotel in Naas on Wednesday 26 October, situated in an idyllic location looking over the County Kildare countryside. Delegates were treated to engaging speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities during the day. 

This packed itinerary featured keynote speaker Alan Quinlan; a former rugby international and Munster’s most capped player, who has since become a regular ambassador for Young Mental Health Ireland. 

The first event of its kind in Ireland was introduced by Duncan Phillips, CEO for UK & IE, Kim Mohan who is Country Manager for Ireland, Country Medical Lead Finbarr Heslin MVB, MRCVS, and Daniella Dos Santos FRCVS, who is IVC Evidensia’s Director of Professional Culture.

Finbarr commented:

"It was amazing to get so many representatives of our practices together in one place, not only to hear the strategy and plans we are working on for the next few years, but also to hear their thoughts on where they want to develop and improve the services that their practices provide, and how the Group can facilitate that. 

“It is also really encouraging to see the importance that the company has placed on the wellbeing of the staff, and to see the resources that are being put in place to support this very important area for all our employees. 

“I fully agree with what Alan Quinlan alluded to in his inspiring talk; that resilience, self-care, and robust emotional intelligence are as important as excellent clinical skills for all our staff; our vets, nurses, ACAs, and receptionists.

“To see so many attendees discussing so many different important topics and giving so much feedback to the Executive in the various panel discussions, talks, and during the social events is very reassuring and will ensure that the Group will continue to thrive, develop, innovate, and maintain its place as the first-choice employer for the veterinary profession in Ireland."

Collective power of the team

After listening to the speakers in question, there was also a panel discussion focusing on the ‘collective power of the team’ and how it could be harnessed to create an enhanced working environment. This followed a number of breakout sessions that allowed for collaborative working on a number of key topics.

Attendees also had the opportunity to speak to representatives from a panel of more than 15 sponsors, all of which were exhibiting at the forum. 

The event culminated in the Brilliant People awards ceremony, honouring those vets and nurses who had gone above and beyond in the previous year. Almost 100 nominations were received for the awards, with 27 finalists shortlisted across nine categories. The winners were as follows:
•    We Care (clinical) – Mary Kate Lynch – O’Dowd Veterinary
•    We Dare (clinical) – Emiliana Capurro – Shenick Veterinary Centre
•    We Share (clinical) – Laura McKay – Allpets Veterinary Hospital
•    We Care (non-clinical) – Karen Rooney – Allpets Veterinary Hospital
•    We Dare (non-clinical) – Valerie Keating – Wicklow Veterinary Centre
•    Care Fund Award – O’Dowd Veterinary - Ardee Team
•    Client Hero - Ciara O’Hare – Kilcoole Vets
•    Sustainability Award – Anna Nowak – Sunbeam Veterinary Hospital
•    Team of the Year – Allpets Veterinary Hospital

All of the vets and nurses listed had been deemed as award winners in their individual category, but the entire list of nominees were all worthy winners for the way they had represented themselves over the previous year, improving the experiences of colleagues and clients alike when going about their duties in-practice.

One of the winners, Emiliana Capurro, who had previously featured in a story featuring a fish skin graft on a cat, had this to say on her win:

“I certainly was amazed and surprised! I was not expecting this! I feel overwhelmed and honoured, and I am very thankful to my colleagues who voted for me and thought that I deserve this honour.”

Inclusive culture shone through

The success of the first Ireland Leaders’ Forum was down to the brilliant vets and nurses who IVC Evidensia are proud to call their own, forging a culture of teamwork and inclusivity within Irish practices. 
Daniella Dos Santos shared the following about the inaugural event:

“The Leaders Forum was a brilliant event, where the incredible teams from practices across Ireland came together to showcase not only the amazing work they do at practice level, but to celebrate the collective success of IVC Evidensia practices. 

“Hearing the hard work of all the award winners at the positive impact they have had in their teams, for their patients, clients and local community was humbling, and the collaborative, caring, innovative and inclusive culture shone through.”