Pfizer Animal Health Honors Old Dominion Animal Health Center As First Winner Of Companion Animal Customer Diversity & Inclusion Award

Company recognizes practice’s commitment to supporting, empowering deaf employees

(Madison, NJ)—May 17, 2012—Pfizer Animal Health announced today that Old Dominion Animal Health Center has been named the first winner of the company’s Customer Diversity & Inclusion Award.

The award was created to honor hospitals and clinics that are committed to fostering a culture of tolerance and respect for others in the workplace.

“Diversity and inclusion have become an important mission within the Pfizer Animal Health organization. We have developed a number of programs and initiatives that promote a culture of inclusion, diversity and collaboration among all employees,” said Steve Leder, vice president of the U.S. Companion Animal Division. “Therefore, we believe it is important to recognize our customers when they demonstrate a similar commitment to their employees and to the veterinary industry as a whole. Change often begins by identifying and celebrating great examples we all can follow, and there is no question that Old Dominion is an excellent case study in creating an inclusive workplace.”

Old Dominion: Making an Empowering Environment “Business as Usual”

PAH Strategic Account Manager Keri Weppler nominated Old Dominion for the award after learning about the practice’s support for two deaf employees, Darlene Hajduk and Ryan Gale. Weppler saw practice manager Cassie Buxton add or evolve the practice’s services and procedures to create an environment that enabled all the employees, including Hajduk and Gale, to better do their jobs. For example, Old Dominion provides sign-language interpreters on-site for staff meetings, employs web- and typing-based systems to
help facilitate pet owner communications and scheduling and provide Hajduk and Gale support tools to help them complete continuing and advancing education courses.

“When we hired Darlene and Ryan, we were focused on their solid skills and commitment as pet health professionals, just as we would be with any new employee,” said Jill Gooding, Administrator. “While we recognized there may be some challenges with how their hearing abilities could affect the way we were interacting with patients and staff at the time, Darlene and Ryan both have great, ‘can-do’ attitudes and we knew we would work out the details as we moved forward.”

While Gooding said some unplanned issues crept in—such as the cost and the coordination of interpreters—she said the staff has been eager to adjust practices and embrace both Hajduk and Gale as “just another valuable member of the team.”

Each time Weppler visits Old Dominion she sees a team that works as a highly inclusive and cohesive unit.

“I think I was most impressed by how the Old Dominion team worked to keep the environment ‘business as usual’,” Weppler said. “They made sure not to let the challenges be challenges, instead working to create an empowering environment for all their employees, including Darlene and Ryan.”

Ongoing Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

This award for Old Dominion is the first of what will become an annual honor PAH will give to customers across each of its Dairy, Beef, Pork, Equine, Small Animal and Channel Management business groups. Weppler said Old Dominion is the ideal “first” organization to be honored by PAH.

“Like Old Dominion, there are so many hospitals and practices around the country doing some fabulous things to support diversity and inclusion both for their own practices and for the industry,” Weppler said. “I am proud to be part of an organization committed to celebrating our customers for the powerful programs they are implementing every day in their practices—things which often go unrecognized.”

About Old Dominion Animal Health Center

For more than 40 years, Old Dominion Animal Health Center has provided McLean, Va.-area residents state-of-the-art dog and cat veterinary care, combined with outstanding pet boarding, grooming and training services. Learn more at

About Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health, a business unit of Pfizer Inc., is a world leader in the discovery, development and manufacture of innovative animal health vaccines, medicines, diagnostic products and genetic tests. Pfizer Animal Health invests more in research and development than any other animal health company. We work to assure a safe, sustainable global food supply from healthy beef and dairy cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish while helping dogs, cats and horses live healthier longer lives. We strive to be the animal health company that provides full healthcare solutions to veterinarians, livestock producers, and pet owners. To learn more, visit

For further information, Contact:

Deron Johnson
Pfizer Animal Health

Emily Dahlbeck



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