When Dr. Dylan Frederickson opened Boulevard Veterinary’s Logan Square clinic (2740 W. Armitage Ave.) in January 2015, he was motivated by his love for the community where he has been a longtime resident. In its five years in business, BLVD has made it a point to be an active member of the community by participating in local events and conducting outreach.
But supporting the Logan Square community has looked different for BLVD in the six weeks following Illinois’ stay-at-home order aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. While veterinary offices have been deemed essential businesses, BLVD has had to change many of its workflows to protect its veterinarians, technicians and pet owners — all while continuing to safeguard the health of the pets they serve.
Here’s How Boulevard Veterinary Is Caring for Pets Amidst a Crisis
The clinic has switched to curbside service, meaning they collect pets from their owners outside their office’s front door. BLVD conducts all other communications with pet owners, such as going over the medical history or exam results, on the phone.
In this, the first story in a new LoganSquarist series about local essential businesses and workers, BLVD Outreach Coordinator Alyson Jurgovan shared what it has been like for the vet clinic’s staff to work through this pandemic. The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
How has the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic affected BLVD?
COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on our practice operations. We have moved to curbside service to reduce the risk of exposure. Essentially, we only allow pets into the practice and have had to move to communicating with their owners over the phone while they remain outside or in their cars. Thankfully, everyone is cooperating and it’s going smoothly under the circumstances.
What changes has BLVD had to enact due to the stay-at-home order? What services are still being offered?
We still offer most all of our services, though we try to limit things like cosmetic nail trims and postpone elective procedures. If there’s anything we can’t do due to the circumstances, we let clients know when they try to schedule an appointment. Additionally, we have become far more proactive in our sick-time-off policies so that anyone showing even a hint of symptoms is asked to stay home. Any nonclinical workers such as managers have been asked to work from home as much as they can. We have postponed some nonessential procedures to help conserve PPE supply for human medical institutions and donated extra N95 masks and gowns to human hospitals early in the crisis. A good summary of our plan can be found on our website.
Is there anything that has helped motivate and inspire the BLVD staff during this crisis?
Continuing to care for our community’s pets is our biggest motivation. We recognize that not every small business gets to remain open during this time, so it’s a privilege to continue doing what we love every day. It’s been inspiring to witness our community work through these changes with us and still prioritize their pet’s care. While we have technically had to maintain distance, we still feel very much connected through their support. The snacks they bring us help, too!
What has helped the BLVD staff de-stress?
Getting to hang out with cats and dogs every day is a great de-stresser, and the support we find from our teammates and community helps. We also find joy in getting involved with our community in any way we can. Dr. Dylan has been letting us order lunch from local restaurants. We also offer assistance on services to local businesses that have been forced to close.
What is your biggest takeaway from this?
We’re inspired by our team rallying together to provide the best care possible to the pets in our community despite the complications that the pandemic has caused. The support we’ve witnessed from the community has also been hugely encouraging. Humankind is at its best when facing a mutual crisis like the one we’re going through.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you for supporting the neighborhood businesses that make Logan Square special!
Do you or does someone you know work for an essential business? We’d love to hear from you! LoganSquarist will be featuring essential workers and businesses throughout the stay-at-home order. Contact us here.
Photos: Boulevard Veterinary