Cape Coral Business Spotlight: East West Veterinary Care Center
At A Glance
It has been a long and fascinating journey for Cape Coral Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Dixie Marie Brown, DVM.
After graduating high school in Clearwater, Florida, Brown spent many years traveling and working as an animal trainer in Hollywood, California. During that time, she was responsible for training all types of animals for film and commercial work.
After moving to Cape Coral in the early 2000’s, Dr. Brown purchased East West Veterinary Care Center, and has since weathered the recent economic hard times to create a bustling business that includes over 20 employees, and countless clients and patients.
We recently asked Dr. Brown to tell our readers about her Cape Coral veterinary clinic and the road she took to get where she and her business are today.
Can you describe your business?
East West Veterinary Care Center is proud to be your family’s “Other Doctor”.
We take pride in delivering personalized, compassionate care to our patients and their guardians in Cape Coral and surrounding areas.
Our patients are primarily cats and dogs. We also offer veterinary care for rabbits, snakes, ferrets, etc.
Our team strives to provide a comfortable environment for our patients and clients, and we want everyone, either two legged or four, to feel welcome as soon as they enter our veterinary clinic. This all starts with a warm hello for you and a yummy treat for your pet.
We were honored to be a recipient of the 2013 Blue Chip Award.
What makes East West Veterinary Care Center unique?
Realizing that pets do not always get sick between 9:00am and 5:00pm, we expanded our days of operation to seven days a week and expanded our hours until 9:00pm at night.
Also, we offer Eastern and Western Medicine, along with acupuncture (I am a certified veterinary acupuncturist) and chiropractic care. We utilize the pool and offer physical therapy / Laser therapy and offer TCVM herbal alternatives.
We also boast a state of the art radiographic and laboratory with a surgical laser surgery suite in our clinic.
How did you get into the business?
In the 90’s, I fell on hard times and after my divorce, decided to pursue my dream of becoming a veterinarian. As a matter of fact, the Dean of my University, during our graduation commencement, used my life as an example of an individual that has overcome many adversities to achieve a dream. I was a single parent, living in an inner city housing project that worked three jobs to put myself through school and graduated with top honors. I was very active on the Welfare Reform Committee; Nevada Empowered Women's Project; Non-Traditional Student Union; and Inner City Youth Counseling. I took my common sense and school of hard Knocks principles with me when I moved to Cape Coral and feel that it is due to these challenges and life experiences that have developed me and helped make my business the success that it is today.
I was able to purchase an existing clinic in June 2007. At that time, the clinic was going to shut its doors within the month. It had one part-time employee and almost no clients remaining. We literally did not even know where the light switches were located when we started. I had to find and hire employees that weekend to start on Monday morning.
With determination and the knowledge that there wasn't anything that I put my mind too that wasn't achievable, we persevered. To say the least, it was a slow and non-profitable clinic at that time. The very next month, the economic market in the Cape bottomed out and staying afloat was agonizing. Instead of being discouraged, our mission was firm. Give the service that everyone desires; be consistent; communicate and treat each and every patient as if they are an individual, not a number. Be the best we can be with both the heart and the mind.
It was a rough start, but eight years later we now have two locations, employ over 22 staff and are seeking to hire an additional three staff members. We have recently moved into a renovated 5,000 square foot building. It is even complete with poolside exam rooms that are available by boat or by car.
What are your future plans for East West Veterinary Care Center?
Our future plan is continued expansion of our new building. We have recently renovated our kennel by expanding which allowed us to add luxury boarding villas and suites. We hired 2.5 new employees’ who’s only job is to pamper and care for our pet guests.
We are in the process of building an additional 2500 square feet to our clinic. This will allow us to add an additional four waterside exam rooms and an expansive physical therapy room. It will allow us to expand our in-clinic critical care unit and give us a separate entrance/exit for our guests, thus eliminating pet traffic. Also, it would allow us to offer first class doggy day care services. We are very excited about our upcoming changes! I am confident that it will enhance East West Veterinary Care Center as a premier clinic in Cape Coral.
-Photo courtesy of East West Veterinary Care Center