New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-08-01 01:15:00 –
When he was a teenager, Dr. George Robinson III said he was lucky to have contact with Dr. Clydraby, a black veterinarian who practiced at Baton Rouge.
“He allowed me to come to his practice, and I liked it,” Robinson said. As a result, he decided to become a veterinarian at the age of 14 and moved from LSU’s Veterinary School to a private veterinary clinic in New Orleans, where he later pursued a career as an executive in many national veterinary chains.It culminated in 2016 when Robinson joined a private equity group and launched it. Heartland Veterinary PartnerManages business operations at over 150 clinics across the United States
The interest in becoming a veterinarian ran in the family. His father, George Robinson, a former Dean of the Southern University College of Agriculture, wanted to be a veterinarian but didn’t have the opportunity.
“How many kids in the African-American community have the opportunity?” Said Robinson from North Baton Rouge, who currently lives in Florida and is grateful for his encounter with Rabbie. “You must have that outreach.”
Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science in the South and entered the LSU Veterinary School at the age of 19. He was the first intern to attend school in Louisiana. Forty years after graduating, Robinson gave a big gift to the LSU Veterinary School as part of an effort to increase the number of black veterinarians. Scholarships for black students cover all costs of attending. Amber Fairy, the first student to receive a scholarship, will begin next month.
“Thanks to Dr. Robinson for his efforts to recruit minority students,” Fairy said. “I can come to LSU and focus on training and study, and I don’t have to worry about how much debt I will incur when I graduate.”
According to Robinson, veterinary medicine has not successfully recruited black students. He said veterinarians are “the whitest profession in America” and that number confirms him. Blacks make up less than 1% of veterinarians in the country, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the 1,448 students enrolled in veterinary schools in the last 14 years, 28 were black, averaging 1.9%, according to LSU.
“People aren’t exposed to African-American veterinarians,” Robinson said. “They are not at the forefront of their thinking …. Veterinary medicine outreach to tell these people,” We want you to be part of our profession. ” Is not …
Over the years, Robinson has donated more than $ 650,000 to the LSU Veterinary School. Robinson’s scholarship is a “transformative gift,” but inferior to the fact that he gave up his time as a role model and mentor for LSU veterinary students, Dr. Joseph Boada said. .. He was Vice Dean for about 20 years at LSU Veterinary School.
“It’s probably his greatest legacy,” said Taboada.
Robinson was a tremendous role model for students because of his diverse background in the veterinary profession, said Taboada, who met Robinson when he began teaching at a veterinary school.
“He actually shows the students all the different opportunities that are there and how it is possible to take advantage of them,” he said.
After graduating in 1981, Robinson went to work with a private practitioner in New Orleans. He quit the job in less than a year.
“I was sitting at home and one of my good clients called me and said,’Are you going to take care of my dog or what do you do?'” Said Robinson. It motivated him to begin his own veterinary practice, which featured a home call.
Robinson ran a veterinary clinic In new orleans From 1983 to 2002. He learned the basics of running a business and how to manage relationships. However, he said it was difficult to maintain work-life balance. “When I first started, I thought 70 hours a week was the way to go,” he said. In addition to his practice, Robinson was a member of the New Orleans City Planning Commission, the Southern University Systems Commission, and ran several times in the State Capitol in New Orleans East. There was also the benefit of the community.
However, all of that activity caught up with Robinson, who developed burnout. He sold his clinic, moved to Atlanta and got a job in a veterinary group. “I wanted a break,” he said.
Robinson worked as a member of a veterinary group and enjoyed taking care of animals. A few years later, he moved to Florida as part of his non-compete obligation. While he was in Florida, he started working at Vanfield Pet Hospital, a national chain of clinics, and soon moved into business. “My road has accelerated tremendously,” he said.
Two years later, Robinson became San Diego’s Banfield Medical Director. He has been responsible for overseeing other large markets such as Las Vegas and Orange County, California. By the time he left Banfield in 2009, Robinson was the medical director of more than 180 veterinary clinics in the west.
“I got an MBA from a hard knock school,” he said. “I was hungry for information, and I would just go to the source.”
In 2011, Robinson left Banfield to become Head of Operations at the National Veterinary Associates, which consists of 500 hospitals and 1,000 veterinarians.
Robinson’s work in a corporate veterinary group, managing multiple clinics, and gaining veterinary experience in a single visit gave him the prospect of how to best manage his work. .. “I wanted to do it my way to make a better mousetrap,” he said. This led him to establish Heartland.
Heartland handles all the back room business operations that many veterinarians don’t want to do, such as payroll, financial management, and scheduling. This allows the veterinarian to focus on caring for the animal. “We are veterinary-centric. We do not interfere with clinical autonomy,” he said.
Heartland will allow veterinarians to decide whether to receive salaries or pay on a production basis without changing the brand of their clinic. “Setting up a veterinary practice is like giving birth to a baby, and one baby is different from another,” Robinson said. “We don’t have a cookie cutter approach.”
After Hartland grew to more than 150 clinics and generated more than $ 200 million in revenue over five years, Robinson sold the company to a San Francisco-based investment group in 2020.
“The equity group creates businesses to grow them to a certain level,” he said. “As a business grows, it needs more resources, so a larger private-equity fund with more resources, more resources, and more infrastructure can help your business grow and sustain. . “
Robinson is currently Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Heartland. He is a veterinary consultant and frequently visits veterinary schools to discuss financial issues with students.
“People need to understand that being a veterinarian is a business,” he said. “You have to get paid.”
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