Dr. Brian DiFuccia - Animal Hospital West Lake Forest
Dr. Brian DiFuccia
Animal Hospital West Lake Forest
Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce: Tell us about the start of the Animal Hospital of West Lake Forest and your inspiration for getting into the business.
Dr. Brian DiFuccia: The business was opened in 1975 by the original owners- Dr. Loeffler and Dr. O’Malley. Dr. McKenna joined as co-owner in 1997. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison Veterinary School in 2003, joined the practice in 2007, and joined as co-owner in 2009. I knew soon into my professional career that I wanted to achieve practice ownership so that I could have more impact in the business and treatment processes.
Many people who want to get into this business know they want to be a vet from a very young age. Although I have always had a love for animals, that was not my story. I did not have a clear direction of what I wanted to do when I got out of high school. I started college at Duluth, Minnesota for graphic arts because I enjoyed drawing but found out very quickly that I was not quite skilled enough and realized I was more suited to the sciences. I started to gravitate more towards the biological sciences and transferred to UW-Madison. I gained experience in microbiology research and found it very interesting to see how organisms worked. I soon joined the Pre-veterinary club and moved from there into the field of veterinary medicine.
LFLBC: What is your business vision?
BD: Our vision has always been to help our clients provide the best care for their pets. It may be straightforward for us to know how to help a particular patient, but there is a person attached to the end of the leash. We also recognize that there are often multiple approaches to doing things. We try to work with owners to discuss their concerns and explore various options to come up with the best and most effective treatment plan possible.
LFLBC: What is one thing you want people to know about Animal Hospital of West Lake Forest?
BD: We are here to try to help people with the care for their pets. We don’t push a preconceived set of protocols or tests. We do not have a cookie-cutter method to our approach. There are standards and practices that we of course adhere to, but we really do tailor what we do based on discussions we have with our clients. We are committed to practicing high quality medicine while incorporating client involvement and education for the benefit of our patients.
LFLBC: What has been your greatest business initiative?
BD: Well, we’re just about to embark on it. In the coming months, we are hoping to start an extensive remodel and renovation of our space. Our current space limitations hinder our ability to offer the level of service we would like. Along with a much needed updating, we will be adding more examination rooms to cut down on wait times. More rooms will allow for easier check in and check out, more immediate technician appointments and overall more efficient flow. We will also be upgrading our practice management software and moving to a more comprehensive, integrated electronic medical records system. Our medical equipment has always been our top priority through the years, so we will add to our already state-of-the-art digital x-ray machines, anesthetic monitors, and other equipment as needed.
LFLBC: How do you give back to the community?
BD: We are proud to sponsor the Gorton Community Center’s Safety Town each year. This is a wonderful safety awareness program for children 5-7 years old. We are also a platinum sponsor of Alice’s Fund which, through the AKC Canine Health Foundation, helps support research for the aggressive cancer, canine hemangiosarcoma. We often welcome young aspiring veterinarians to come shadow us in the office—some are children of our clients, others are part of our mentorship affiliation with Lake Forest High School.
LFLBC: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
BD: I just want to thank the community for all the support they have given us over the years. We couldn’t be here without the community we serve. Our clients and their pets are the heart and soul of our practice. We are so appreciative.