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Good Vets

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” 

These thoughtful words from the beloved Charles M. Schulz, who gave the world Snoopy and Charlie Brown, evoke a sentiment that Julie Bradford, DVM, MBA believes with all her heart. A passionate veterinarian and business owner, she partnered with Chicago-based GoodVets to open her first animal hospital in Overland Park’s Mission Farms neighborhood in May 2022. 

“Corporations are buying up practices, and the industry is consolidating under large corporate umbrellas, but GoodVets has a unique model that partners with local veterinarians who co-own their clinics and provide local leadership,” she explained. “It makes ownership accessible to veterinarians in an industry that is increasingly being consolidated by faceless corporations without any local ownership or input." 

Her hands-on approach, in partnership with GoodVets, has enabled her hospitals in Overland Park, Prairie Village and Lee’s Summit to be very popular with each respective local community.

Originally from Johnson County, Dr. Bradford attended Shawnee Mission East High School before heading to William Jewell College for her undergrad as a History and French major. During that period, she studied abroad in England and interned at the Oxford Equestrian Center. From that experience, she felt in her soul she would one day become an equine veterinarian.

At veterinary school at Colorado State University, she recognized caring exclusively for horses would not be her future career path. “I realized I was more passionate about dogs and cats and other pets,” said Dr. Bradford. 

She practiced as an associate veterinarian for 10 years in Fairway, Kansas, and left practicing entirely for a brief time to become a consultant and speaker for veterinary pharmaceutical companies, and later obtained her MBA from Kansas University. Dr. Bradford found she missed caring directly for dogs and cats, as well as building bonds with pet owners, so when she learned of GoodVets desire to enter the Kansas City market, she jumped at the chance. As its Kansas City veterinarian partner, she is the hospitals’ leader and medical director. While Dr. Bradford heads the practice of medicine and manages her team of associate veterinarians and support staff, GoodVets supports the clinic by handling accounting, marketing, HR and finance.

Since opening in Mission Farms in Overland Park, Dr. Bradford has rounded out her team of doctors with highly-capable, pet-loving professionals. 

“Dr. Matt Boone is our surgery specialist, and Dr. Samantha Martin is a new graduate who recently joined our practice. We’re thrilled to have her to share the latest medical knowledge with us. It’s been 15 years since I graduated vet school and I appreciate learning the new techniques they are teaching in universities these days,” she quipped with a smile.

As a relatively smaller clinic offering the full spectrum of primary and urgent care, GoodVets is able to provide intensive personalized attention, taking time to sit down and talk with owners and to make sure Dr. Bradford and her colleagues hear all their concerns. The atmosphere is calm and inviting, not chaotic. It is more of a boutique experience than a typical vet clinic. 

The hospital has connected tremendously with local pet owners. Patients like Baba, a five-year old French Bulldog, and Franklin, a puppy beagle mix, live across the street and stop by on their daily walks for affection and treats. The owner of Ringo Starr, a four-year old Maltese mix, commented, “Ringo gets better care at GoodVets than I get from any of my human medicine doctors.”

Dr. Bradford enjoys being involved in different community events, including the Prairie Village Art Fair, Wayside Waifs’s Strut With Your Mutt walk / run to raise funds for the no kill shelter, and even hosting a trunk or treat for Halloween where the pets dress up in costume.

Dr. Bradford is driven by her passion to support the human-animal bond and practice medicine in a fear-free manner. If a furry patient is anxious, instead of unnecessarily forcing or restraining the patient, she invites them to come in for “happy visits” which help make coming to the clinic a positive experience. Denali, a two-year-old husky mix, stops by the hospital weekly to have brief happy visits with a technician, building trust and comfortability to reduce past anxiety associated with animal hospital experiences. 

“If your dog or cat learns this is a welcome, safe, stress-free facility, it helps them prepare for care,” she expressed. “I also strive to create a positive, supportive environment for my staff so that they want to be here as well.”

Dr. Bradford and her partner, Pete, have two husky-mix dogs, Goose and Rooster, who were adopted from Wayside Waifs. 

GoodVets was originally founded in Chicago by Ryan Joseph and David Saginur, its current CEO and COO, respectively, with the dual goal of empowering veterinarians to regain ownership of animal hospitals and transform the client and patient experience. Kansas City served as GoodVets’ first expansion market outside of Chicago, and Ryan and David are exceptionally proud to partner with Dr. Julie Bradford to lead and own her clinics across Overland Park Leawood, Prairie Village and Lee’s Summit.

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