American Animal Hospital Association announces partnership with Korean Veterinary Medical Association and welcomes newly certified clinics in Japan

Simplifying the journey towards excellence for veterinary practices in Asia

Lakewood, CO, Aug. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is pleased to announce the extension of best practices internationally through AAHA Standards and Guidelines with new partnerships in Asia.

AAHA and the Korean Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA) jointly announce a licensing agreement to accredit veterinary clinics throughout South Korea. KVMA, launched in 1948, was founded to support veterinary work, research, and dissemination of veterinary science, and to establish an ethical code as prescribed in its charter. According to the revision of the Veterinarians Act of Korean Law as of July 2011, all licensed veterinarians are automatically welcomed as members of KVMA. Based on data from Statistics Korea,1 around 3.129 million households in South Korea (15% of all households) have animal companions. Dogs are more popular than cats, with a ratio of 3:1, as 11.6% of households have dogs and 3.4% have cats. The country has approximately 5,100 clinics: 1,000 livestock and 4,100 that cater to companion animals. 

Dr. Ju Hyung Hur, President of KVMA, states, “Today marks a new beginning for KVMA and AAHA - two veterinary powerhouses, united in their pursuit of excellence. The signing of this agreement signifies a long-standing partnership between KVMA and AAHA, a commitment to work together and leverage our respective strengths. We are determined to create systemic change that will benefit not only the animals we care for but the people and nature around us. It is a journey of continuous growth and transformation.” 

Garth Jordan, CEO of AAHA, agrees. “Our partnership is an opportunity to exchange knowledge, collaborate, and create best practices that will shape the future of veterinary care in South Korea. With 90 years of experience supporting animal hospital staff in the US and Canada, we are confident the process of certification and adoption of standards will help South Korean veterinarians simplify the journey towards excellence in their practices.” 

AAHA-accredited practices in the US experience lower staff turnover, increased revenue, and view the accreditation itself as a valuable team-building process. Accreditation provides a structured approach to improving veterinary standards of care. Jordan anticipates South Korean practices will have a similar experience, saying, “South Korean veterinarians and pet owners will benefit when the whole care team aligns around best practices.” 

The partnership with KVMA follows last summer’s announcement of a new partnership with Daktari Animal Hospital Tokyo Medical Center in Japan. This summer, five institutions in Japan were recently accredited after completing training and certification from AAHA’s staff.  

- All Heart ARC- Dr. Hitoshi Ikeda, Medical Director 
- Daktari Kansai Medical Center - Dr. Ryozo Yamazaki, Owner/Medical Director, and Dr. Takahiro Koyama, Medical Director 
- Jasmine ARH- Dr. Masami Uechi, Medical Director 
- Daktari Shinagawa Wellness Center - Dr. Tsutomu Miyazaki, Medical Director 
 - Nihon University - Dr. Tomohiro Nakayama Medical Director, Dr. Kazuya Edamura  

Yumi Hashimoto, a Veterinary Technician and agent with AAHA Japan Office Practice Consultants shared her appreciation for the process. “By taking time to learn the philosophy behind the AAHA Standards, we received a deeper understanding and appreciation for the nuances and intent of each requirement. This creates a path forward for practical application, potential modification, and reconciliation of best practices to support Japanese veterinary teams.” 
“The US team guiding us was comprised of very knowledgeable VTs,” explained Kaori Nakao, an agent with AAHA Japan Office Consultants. Their deep understanding of the interaction between the needs of the patients, the doctors, and the rest of the veterinary team, coupled with intimate knowledge of equipment and inventory needs, made them ideally suited to guide us through the accreditation process. We can see a similar career path for VTs in Japan in the future as we work together to accredit more clinics.” 

The Japanese Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Ministry reported a significant increase (18%) in veterinary clinics over the last decade.2 There are over 12,000 pet care practices in Japan, managed by universities, corporations, local governments, and individual veterinarians. The rise in demand for veterinarians and animal hospitals is attributed to the growing adoption rate of companion animals. About 28.2% of the population owns pets, with 11.9% owning dogs and 9.6% owning cats.3 These beloved animals live longer due to better care and nourishment, but they are also experiencing age-related diseases that require more advanced care. 

For businesses that cater to a diverse and global customer base, accreditation serves several vital purposes. Adhering to universally accepted standards ensures that customers can trust that they are receiving the best possible care for their pets. The accreditation process helps ensure high-quality and safe care, specific to the species, effective, timely, and integrated into the larger ecosystem. 

To learn more about bringing the benefits of AAHA accreditation, guidelines, standards, and licensing opportunities into other countries, contact Garth Jordan, CEO, directly:  

1. Statistics Korea 2020 Population and Housing Census  
3. Japan Pet Food Association -The Survey on the Status of Dog and Cat Ownership in Japan. 


AAHA & KVMA sign licensing agreement to accredit veterinary clinics in South Korea

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