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Dear Colleagues,
Welcome back for the Spring session of DVAVM! I hope you have enjoyed the snow and are ready for some warm and beautiful days ahead! I am looking forward to Dr. Sheilah Robertson’s presentation on geriatric medicine and hoping to see many of you there in person.

I wanted these columns to be funny, but maybe I’m not as funny as I thought. This month, I thought I’d tell the story of when our vet hospital was hit by a tornado! As you know, tornados are not common in this part of the country. We occasionally get warnings of possible tornado activity, but having lived in this area all my life, I’d learned it was safe to pretty much ignore them. That changed on September 1, 2021.

The day Hurricane Ida came to town was beautiful until about dinner time when the rain started coming down. At Horsham Vet it was business as usual, and no one was paying much attention to the warnings coming across our phones. One of the techs happened to be looking out the window and saw the wind suddenly change direction. She sounded the alarm, and everyone took cover in the center of the building. A tech ran to the back of the building to get the kennel staff. The tornado hit as they were running back to the others and the roof was torn off the kennel! Rain poured into the kennel area. The heating units blew off the roof and water seeped into the hospital. A large tree came down in the parking lot and damaged cars. Fortunately, no people or animals were hurt. All the animals had to be evacuated and several went home with staff, including one dog who was on IV fluids. It would be two months until we were able to use the hospital, and six months before the kennel was open again.

At first, our focus was on getting our patients their chronic medications. We set up a table in the parking lot and distributed medications out of the back of a van! We had no way of taking payment, so we just took down names for later billing. We needed to find a better solution. It helps to have connections in a situation like this!

Our practice does a lot of work for Wags Rescue, and they were able to come through for us. Mobile units were hard to come by because other areas had also been affected by the storm, but someone had donated one to the rescue! It took about two weeks to have it brought to us and ready to use.

It was outfitted for treating people and we needed to make some adjustments. We moved in a table, drawers, our microscope, medications and laptops. Soon we had all we needed to see routine appointments in the RV parked in our parking lot!

We had 2 exam rooms. There was a low, wide, built-in table that worked for big dogs in the back. A table brought from our building worked for smaller animals in the front. There was air conditioning and a small refrigerator, but the air conditioner leaked right onto the big table. We worked with a bucket catching the water until that was repaired. A small table served as a desk. We sat there or up in the passenger seat to write up charts using laptops. A few weeks later, we had a second RV, also lent to us through Wags. We were missing two important things – running water and a surgery suite! We went through a lot of hand sanitizer and bottled water! Surgeries had to be referred.

We had six vets at the time – too many for the space we had. We felt fortunate to be part of Community Veterinary Partners to help us through this. Our vets and techs each spent some days working out of the RV and other days working at area practices owned by CVP. Thanks for having me, Fort Washington Veterinary Hospital! As someone who has worked at the same practice for 26 years, it was fun to be somewhere new. Our receptionists probably got the worst deal. They sat at a table in the parking lot with laptops and burner phones. Clients could leave messages and they’d call back. They were able to bring the table just inside the doorway of our building in bad weather.

It was a tough time for us, but we made the best of it. We had many loyal clients that stayed with us through it all. Never have we appreciated our building as much as we did in early November when we were able to move back in. Now, when we hear a tornado warning, we pay a little more attention!

I hope many of you got to see Dr. Taylor Miller’s presentation on Overcoming Overwhelm. She had a lot of great tips! One thing she talked about was recognizing your superpower and focusing on that as a benchmark for success. I have a superpower, but I don’t get to use it much – it helps me diagnose diabetics! I bet you can guess what it is. please email me to tell me your superpower. I’d love to include them here next month!

Christine Tranchida, VMD


Geriatric Medicine
March 13, 2024

Sheilah Robertson, DVM

  • Common Issues in the Aging Dog & Cat
  • Concepts of “Frailty & Geriatric Syndrome”
  • Mitigating Anesthesia Risks in the Aging Patient
  • Integrative Pain Management
  • Palliative & Hospice Care

Program Co-Chairs: Paula Colletti, Ted Robinson and Christine Tranchida

Please note that we are now using Microsoft Teams (Teams) streaming service which was tested in February and the special February 21 seminar.  If you didn’t participate in the test or the 2/21 seminar, we suggest that you review the suggestions and tutorial below.

The seminar for March 13 will be available at Dave & Buster’s Restaurant in the Plymouth Meeting Mall (500 W. Germantown Pike) and simulcasts of the seminar available via our new Microsoft Teams platform. Seminars begin at 9:00 am and conclude at 4:00pm.

You will receive two identical join meeting emails with instructions on how to access the webcast (see below for full instructions) Sunday/Monday before the seminar. If you do not receive one of these emails by Tuesday before the seminar, please email us as soon as possible.

Please email Phil Rossi

Seminar Notes on the Web!
NOTICE: The seminar handout for March will be delayed due to an emergency medical situation.

We advise all members to utilize the digital notes that were emailed to you or those available on our website.  Our presenters usually provide us their seminar notes with enough lead time to format and post them on our website in advance of their seminar. The seminar handouts from all of the previous seminars are available on the Delaware Valley Academy website. 

 NOTE: When technology permits and our presenters agree, we will post recordings of our Teams seminars on the Seminar Notes section of our website. 

Continuing education credit is provided to those who participate in the live presentation and will not be available for simply watching the recorded sessions.

YOU WILL RECEIVE A LOGIN EMAIL WITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO ACCESS THE WEBCAST (SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW). You Do Not Need to Pre-Register to Participate in Person or Online - Only Login on the Day of the Seminar

TEAMS Simulcast Log On Suggestions & Instructions
If you have not participated in the Teams test or 2/21 seminar, we suggest that you review the suggestions below or the tutorial. As always, if you have technical difficulties logging on, Please email Phil Rossi.

  1. You do not need a Microsoft account to join as a guest.
  2. You can join from your browser--you will be given that choice after clicking the email link “Join the Meeting Now” (no download necessary).
  3. Use your Full Name when you join the meeting to get credit for attending.
  4. If you already have a Microsoft account and/or a Teams User, you may join with that account.
  5. If your browser or smartphone asks to "Allow" always click Yes (or Click Allow depending on the device).
  6. Cameras and microphones are disabled by default, this does not mean that video from the presenter is disabled.


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