In February 2005, Banfield celebrated the opening of a 12,500-square-foot teaching hospital on the UNAM campus in Mexico City, Mexico. This international veterinary hospital operates with the same level of high-quality veterinary medicine as our hospitals do in the United States. The UNAM-Banfield teaching hospital offers 24-hour care, seven days a week. It has nine examination rooms, an in-house laboratory, large surgical suite and overnight accommodations that can be used to house residents who provide overnight care to hospitalized patients.
All of the doctors at the hospital are specialists and are required to dedicate 30 percent of their time to teaching. Students have a chance to get the first-class practical experience they need to become successful veterinarians. Banfield also helped in the funding and renovation of a small animal specialty hospital at UNAM’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“In Mexico, all of the veterinary students are required to have proof of proficiency in a second language,” says Fernando Vazquez-R, DVM, senior director of international development for Banfield. “Mars-Banfield contributed to the education of the veterinary students by making a language laboratory available. It was added for the students to learn English as a second language.” Dr. Vazquez graduated from UNAM, earned his Ph.D. in Germany and has worked in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry for more than 30 years. He has been with Banfield for three years, is responsible for the hospital in Mexico and oversees the relationship we have with UNAM.
Last year, the veterinary college at UNAM was accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. Banfield was a strong supporter of this initiative, and the efforts of many others also helped the accreditation.
The Banfield-UNAM hospital is growing nicely and delivers a profit, according to Dr. Vazquez. The total number of clients grew from 12,357 in 2007, to 21,612 in 2011. Optimum Wellness Plan® enrollments also increased from 702 in 2007, to 1,260 in 2011. This success demonstrates that the Mexican society is willing to accept a veterinary service that is focused on preventive medicine, said Dr. Vasquez.
Because of a dedication to cultural and ethnic diversity, Banfield’s interest in helping UNAM made perfect sense. “This partnership is considered ground-breaking in that it provides a quality educational experience, a focus on preventive care and an excellent client experience. The positive experiences of UNAM as well as our strategy going forward, should lead to expansion in other countries,” Dr. Vazquez concludes.