May 2010  

Human Resources Toolkit Now Available


VBA is proud to announce the introduction of the Human Resources Toolkit.  This comprehensive set of tools and forms provides valuable information about a broad range of concepts, transactions, documents, practices, behaviors and objectives arising out of the relationship between an employer and its employees.  The overriding premise for developing the HR Toolkit was to enhance a practice's overall approach to maintaining a positive, productive and cohesive work environment consistent with its stated mission statement, core values and culture.  It serves to support and guide myriad decisions that are made during the course of recruiting, screening, hiring, training, compensating, assessing, coaching, counseling, disciplining and terminating employees.  The Toolkit further supports compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations governing and impacting the employment relationship by:


  • Ensuring all candidates for employment are afforded the opportunity to apply and receive due consideration for hiring in accordance with applicable fair employment and hiring laws and practices.
  • Mitigating misunderstandings concerning various terms and conditions of employment.
  • Helping newly hired employees assimilate into a practice by providing the framework for the early stages of their careers with the practice. 
  • Supporting the creation and maintenance of records and reports documenting numerous aspects of the employment relationship.
  • Providing managers with the necessary tools to effectively monitor and manage employee performances through the development of carefully crafted performance goals and measurement methods
  • Developing the tools needed to document and record all conflict resolution activities between employees and management. 


If you would like information about how to purchase the Human Resources Toolkit, please contact Cindy at 908-782-4426 or use the Send Us Feedback link below to send us an email.


Pets Help You Feel Better
Do you suffer from depression?  Are physical ailments getting you down?  My advice for you: get a pet.  Animals are succeeding where psychiatrists are not.  What's their secret? It's certainly not drugs, or long couches.  It is, rather, their warm, open, selfless nature.  Pets are now showing up as key players in nursing homes and institutions for homeless or retarded children as doctors are realizing why animals are accomplishing so much. The problem with people in institutions is that they are in isolation and many have lost their sense of responsibility.  For these people, having a pet to care for and nurture is the perfect therapy.  For instance, dogs give unconditional love. They ask for attention and when they get it, they shower you with love and affection. This can make a lonely person feel loved and wanted.  Studies have also shown that having a pet leads to some very real physical benefits, including lower blood pressure level.  It has even been stated by medical experts that a heart patient's chances of survival increases by three times if s/he has a pet.  One maximum security hospital for the criminally insane uses small animals in a pet-therapy program.  Birds, fish, gerbils and guinea pigs are the most common animals used.  Pets can be wonderful aids in helping people through difficult times and should be used together in concert with a trained professional.
(click here to read entire article)  

 DNA Helps ID Pearl Harbor Casualty

Before he died at Pearl Harbor, less than a month after turning 18, Gerald Lehman sent letters home to his mother in Michigan.  In them, the teen talked about going through Navy training in Great Lakes, Ill, falling out of his sleeping hammock, and how much he liked his new woolen uniform.  In graceful penmanship, he asked about the family dog, Duke; wrote about waiting to ship out from California on the battleship USS Oklahoma; and seeing the mountains and rainbows of Oahu from the doomed ship.  Unknowingly, Lehman sent home to those who loved him something else, something very valuable that wouldn't be useful until decades later: his own DNA.

Sixty-eight years after he was killed on Dec. 7, 1941, DNA lifted from the envelopes Lehman had licked helped the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command positively identify the young sailor's remains.  Lehman had been buried as an "unknown" at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.  His journey home began with research by a Pearl Harbor survivor and inquiries into the death of the Navy fireman third class by his niece, Peggy Germain.  Germain remembers getting a phone call in 2006 from the Michigan volunteer coordinator of a USS Oklahoma group saying remains tentatively identified as her uncle had been found.  "I began crying and calling for my husband to hear the news," she said.  U.S. casualties affairs representatives made an official visit to her home on March 3 of this year.  It had been the "dearest wish" of her mother, who died in 2005, to get her baby brother back for burial, she said.  Germain said her uncle's remains will receive a military escort from Hawai'i to Michigan in June.

Lehman's identification followed a circuitous path, culminating with the Hawai'i-based accounting command using nuclear DNA from the letters home, a challenging approach that has been used fewer than 10 times since 2006,
according to the lab.

(click here to read full article)  


Friends Who Have Lived a Long Life

Until he passed away at the ripe old age of 31 in July 2001, the world's oldest cat was chasing spiders without the equivalent of a feline walking cane. Spike, a British ginger and white tom, had been certified as the world's oldest living cat by the Guinness Book of Records.  Measured in human years, Spike was an amazing oldest cat140 years old, though many veterinarians dispute the validity of such human/cat comparisons. (Perhaps it's just jealousy; Spike retained all his original teeth and hair!) Either way, Spike beat the odds - domestic longhairs have a life span of about 15 years. His owner, Mo Elkington, an aromatherapist from Dorset, England, purchased Spike in 1970. She fed him a steady diet of fish and cat food, with a little aloe vera mixed in to protect him against arthritis and rheumatism. The 10-pound Spike isn't the oldest recorded cat of all time, however. That distinction goes to another British feline that died in 1957, at the age of 34.
The world's oldest dog was 203 (in canine years) when she passed away.  Bella, a Labrador cross, enjoyed a comfy life at the Derbyshire, England, home of 76-year-old Mr. Richardson and his partner Daisy Cooper, 81.   Bella was bought by Davidoldest dogRichardson from the RSPCA when she was three years old. However, Mr. Richardson's claim could never be proved because the RSPCA did not hold detailed records stretching back to when he bought Bella and the Guinness World Records say Bella could not have been included because their was no documentation. According to The Guinness World Records, the most recent record for the oldest dog was held by Butch, a 28-year-old from America who died in 2003. The oldest ever dog was Bluey, a sheepdog from Australia, who also lived to 29.


Veterinary Business Advisors
Countryside Plaza North
Bldg E, Ste. 1403
361 Route 31
Flemington, NJ 08822
Phone (908) 782-4426
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