PHOTO CAPTION: Sean Busselman “helping” dad set up the clinic.
Dr. Busselman Looks Back and “Remembers When”
Fort Street Veterinarian began as a one-man operation in 2004 and has grown continuously during the past decade, even during the rocky economic years.
“Back then, I was working at an emergency pet clinic but was tired of the long, hard hours required by ER,” recalls Dr. Jerry Busselman, owner and founder. “I had always wanted my own clinic, someplace that I could shape and where I could treat people and pets with the care and understanding that would build trust over a lifetime. So I decided to make the leap.”
After doing a six-month geographic analysis, he finally chose Northwest Omaha for his new clinic because there were many pet owners in the area but few veterinarians, he explains. And when Fort Street Veterinarian opened its doors, the receptionist, vet tech, bookkeeper, janitor and doctor were one and the same.
“I think people were so surprised when I’d do everything from greeting them at the front desk to treating their pets and checking them out. I also remember mopping the floors and cleaning the office every day,” he says with a smile.
That changed quickly, however, because once pet owners visited the clinic, they came back. “I was actually in the black within the first four months of operation and that was starting with zero patients,” Dr. Busselman says. “I think that once people discovered us, they really liked us and trusted us. Plus, we didn’t rush them through and they soon realized that we weren’t just trying to get their money.”
Dr. Shauna Tordrup Joins the Practice in ‘09
The practice continued to grow, even during the rocky economic years, and as the clinic attracted new pet owners, staff was added. In 2009, Dr. Shauna Tordrup (then England) joined the practice.
“I had just finished a one-year internship in Albuquerque, NM and was looking to move back home to Nebraska,” she recalls. “From the first time I set foot in the clinic, I knew that I could call Fort Street Veterinarian my work ‘home.’ Everyone was so inviting, the clinic was clean with a very welcoming atmosphere, and Dr. Busselman took time to get to know me as a person and not just as a veterinarian. I could tell how much the staff and clients respected him and I knew that I wanted to be a part of the Fort Street Vet family.
“Naturally, being the ‘young’ veterinarian, I came in with a lot of new ideas and Dr. Busselman was always open to them,” Dr. Tordrup continues. “He’s never been afraid of change and is always looking to keep up with the ever-changing standard of care.
“Under his leadership, we’ve built a very solid team. Each member contributes to the impact we have on a client and their experience at ‘the vet’ and I believe that it’s because of this team effort that we’re able to deliver high quality care and communications. It’s also why clients come back and refer others to us. Everyone here is dedicated to making each and every client and pet feel welcome and at home.”
Dr. Busselman agrees with her assessment of the 12-person, support team and says, “Over the years, everyone here has contributed something of value that has helped shape Fort Street Vet; I am grateful for the hardworking and honest people who have helped me build this great practice.”
A Vision for Fort Street Vet’s Future
Today the clinic continues to grow and expand. Dr. Kara Rogers, DVM, joined the practice in 2015 (read more) and is busy taking appointments. In addition, Fort Street Vet has been remodeled to add another exam room and a greater surgical area (read more).
“Providing our clients with additional services and capabilities is a great way to mark our tenth year in business,” said Dr. Busselman. “Giving our patients and their owners exceptional care isn’t just a job for us, it’s our purpose. Seeing how people love and care for their pets grabs our hearts and creates memories that will always stay with us.”
Looking into the future, Dr. Busselman says that he wants the practice to continue to grow “but only to the point where we don’t lose the personal touch,” he explains. “If that starts to happen then we will cap growth so that we can continue to focus on the best quality care and client experience.”
Dr. Tordrup agrees. “In the future, I envision our clinic as a busy but thorough practice that has consistently continued to provide high quality care to our patients and clients,” she says. “In 20 years, I see Fort Street Veterinarian as a well-established icon of high quality veterinary medicine in the Omaha area.”