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Practice manager Sarah Solomon first became a member of the team in 1995 and has owned and managed Heath Veterinary Clinic for over 10 years now.
Here, Sarah shares the background to Heath Vets' history:
"I was brought up on a Rare Breed farm in Sussex, from a young age learning about and nurturing the many farm animals in our care
In 1995, at the age of 15, I was lucky enough to secure a week's work experience at our local veterinary practice – Oakwood Veterinary Clinic in Burgess Hill. Oakwood was a long-established practice, owned and run by veterinary surgeon Sue St Pierre.
I instantly knew that this was an industry that I wanted to be part of so offered any spare time I had, volunteering at the practice, making many cups of tea and assisting wherever I could. My love for animals and desire to provide care and treatment for them was confirmed and I knew that this was the vocation I would follow. With the support of Sue St Pierre and my family I started my degree in Business Studies at Brighton University in 1998, determined to learn every aspect of the practice: I needed to know more about running a business!
In 2003 my adventure with Heath Vets began. Heath Veterinary Clinic was owned by Roger Green and had been running for 28 years. I purchased the practice in Hurstpierpoint determined to offer the local community a professional, yet personal, veterinary service. Hurstpierpoint has something very special about it – the community camaraderie is infectious and I embraced village life – never going far without meeting a friend of the two or four-legged kind.
2006 saw the opportunity for me to return to my roots and grow the practice. In May 2006 I took over ownership of Oakwood in Burgess Hill. I was back where it had all begun with so many of the familiar faces that had encouraged and inspired me along the way. Oakwood took on the name and ethos of Heath Veterinary Clinic and we worked hard to develop relationships and upgrade our facilities.
In 2007 we were delighted and astounded to be awarded Sussex PETS Practice of the Year – an award which we were nominated for by our clients. It symbolised that we were doing things right, we were making a difference and this gave us the incentive to carry on.
2013 saw the 10th anniversary of our Hurstpierpoint branch. So much had changed but the core team and our values and ethos were still very much at the heart of our practice. We had refurbished the premises and invested in new equipment which allowed our services to develop further. We are privileged that our senior veterinary surgeons had been on much of the journey with us, as well as their own personal journeys: Emily Chadburn had started an adventure of her own now juggling work and her two young children.
2016 saw the 10th anniversary of our Burgess Hill branch. We are still striving to provide the local communities with a professional and personal veterinary service. We were delighted to be awarded Sussex Women in Business - Contribution to the Community award.
Although veterinary care and technology has changed dramatically throughout the years, we have changed with it. With digital X-ray and in house laboratories available to both sites we are able to diagnose and treat pets more swiftly and efficiently.
2017 Has seen our services and team expand further. Emily now heads up the veterinary team as Clinical Lead whilst Steph heads up the support team.