Heart and Soul Animal Urgent Care was established in NE Portland by Dr. Dustin Henwood in 2021. After years of working in various emergency vet hospitals, Dr. Henwood realized the importance of prioritizing work culture in order for everyone to feel respected, supported, and part of a collaborative team.. The onset of Covid-19 put unsustainable pressure on the veterinary industry and hospitals with already-fractured work environments began to fall apart. As staff suffered, so did the quality of care that patients were receiving.
Dr. Henwood envisioned a different future for veterinary medicine- one with collaborative teams, compassionate interactions, and non-violent communication, all while maintaining exceptional standards for medicine.
Starting a new business during the height of the pandemic was a big risk, but Dr. Henwood knew it was one worth taking. He believes that a healthy work environment cultivates happy staff and results in the best quality of care for patients and their owners.
What Makes Us Different?
The management team at Heart and Soul is dedicated to prioritizing the wellbeing of staff. I say this with confidence because I’m a staff member myself- in fact, as I write this blog, it is easy to reflect on how working here has truly helped me become a better, happier, more compassionate person. (Not just because I get to hang out with animals all day, although puppy snuggles definitely help!) It’s because every day, I’m supported by my team, encouraged in personal growth, and work toward a common goal with my coworkers.
Ask any employee and they will tell you about our regular expressions of gratitude, collaborative teamwork, and emotional support. They will also tell you how the kindness that we show each other spills over into our excellent patient care and compassionate interactions with owners.
The veterinary field can be stressful on the best of days and tragic on the worst. Veterinarians are at extremely high risk of suicide compared to most professions. (See https://www.nomv.org/ for more information.) The emotional trauma, sleep deprivation, and high-pressure work environments take a toll on the mental health of doctors, techs, and staff on a daily basis.
Caring for those who care for others is at the heart of Heart and Soul and it shows. To read more about our patient care philosophy, check out this blog.