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2021 Virtual Legal Symposium | February 16 and February 18, 2021 | 1:00pm – 4:15pm | Presenting

February 18, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Federal and state legislation, pandemic concerns, reporting requirements, and stress in the workplace, are constantly testing practice managers. By understanding and becoming well-versed with legislative requirements, managers can help the practice avoid legal problems. There is a lot to know and it’s not always feasible to access the latest information. VHMA’s Virtual Legal Symposium was designed to connect managers with legal experts who provide information about the veterinary industry’s most compelling legal issues and offer suggestions for actions to ensure compliance.

Program Highlights:

  • HR Issues in the Time of COVID
  • Top 10 Tips to Improve Veterinary Medical Records
  • Nipping conflict in the bud-Skills that help de-escalate

Multiple members from the same hospital are encouraged to attend – take advantage of the $99 rate for additional attendees. 


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

1:00 to 4:15 pm ET (presented in three 50-minute blocks)

HR Issues in the Time of COVID

Speaker: Jennifer S. Jackman, JD

Workers are returning to the workplace, even though COVID-19 has yet to be contained. Among employers and employees, safety remains a concern and a priority. Jennifer Jackman, an attorney with the firm Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, will discuss urgent human resource topics that managers are confronting due to COVID-19 and will lead participants through the maze of leave management issues and COVID-19 related precautions and accommodation that employers may be required to protect employees under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
Among the pressing topics on the agenda are:

  • Handling an employee’s request for ADA accommodations.
  • The legality of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.
  • COVID fears and their impact on a worker’s decision to return to the office: rights of employees and responsibilities of employers
  • Federal laws governing protected leave and other state rights and protections afforded to employees.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

1:00 to 2:30 pm ET

Top 10 Tips to Improve Veterinary Medical Records

Speaker: Sarah Babcock, DVM, JD

The patient medical record is a communication tool used with the client, as well a the entire veterinary team. Therefore, the entire veterinary team should participate in drafting a legally defensible medical record. All team members must be aware of and compliant with ethical and legal requirements related to veterinary medical record-keeping. When the team works together, the effort can prevent the veterinary medical record from becoming the rate-limiting step in the practice.

The session will use real examples of state veterinary medical board disciplinary cases to highlight the impact of medical record deficiencies and illustrate how they can be prevented to improve patient care and client communications.

Participants will enhance their ability to describe the benefits of good medical record-keeping, define the components of a professional medical record entry, identify requirements to comply with record-keeping principles—including retention and records release— recognize practical tips for obtaining and documenting owner consent, and list strategies to improve the record-keeping practices of the clinic.

2:45 to 4:15 p.m. ET

Nipping conflict in the bud – Skills that help de-escalate

Speaker: Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton

Veterinary practice managers will find several strategies that can be applied to decrease/diffuse the emotional upheaval and distress that can occur among doctor, staff, and clients. The session incorporates listening, appreciating, and acknowledging perspectives and perceptions while building a bridge toward solutions that will work for all.

Topics include:

  • Maintaining boundaries by encouraging listening over speaking
  • The importance of getting it right over being right
  • Finding the balance between doing it yourself knowing when to hire a third party
  • Learning to de-escalate potential conflicts to improve the practice’s overall well-being.

Case examples will be used. Discussions will focus on how things could have been addressed earlier/differently by the practice team to diffuse the conflicts and resolve it without litigation and license complaints and participants will learn strategies that can be applied in the workplace. Language cues and ‘go to’ phrases will be shared to help you nip conflict in the bud.

Registration Fees

VHMA Members
$355 first per person, per event
$99 each additional person, per event

Non Members
$595 per person, per event (rate includes VHMA membership)
$99 each additional person, per event

Need help presenting the meeting expenses and value to your employer? Start with VHMA’s Employer Justification Letter.

Continuing Education

6 hours of continuing education are available


For cancellations received in writing two weeks prior to the event, all fees, other than a $25 processing fee, will be refunded. After the two week deadline, no refunds will be issued.



February 18, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:15 pm





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