Technician Workshop Keynote Speaker

Thursday, October 12, 2023 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Kristen Hagler

Cultivating a wholistic culture in the veterinary team with physical rehabilitation – It’s about the big picture

Presented by: Kristen Hagler, RVT, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation), CCRP, CVPP

Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation therapy is deeply rooted in the restoration of independence, management of pain, and supporting the entire team including the pet owner for a variety of conditions including orthopedic and neurological disease, degenerative disease, injury, conditions related to age, and the management of comorbid conditions which may cause disability resulting from neoplastic and metastatic disease. In this presentation participants will be introduced to new approaches and therapeutics to support the continuum of care for a wholistic wellness and culture for the team. Topics introduced will include an introduction to therapeutic modalities appropriate for the treatment of the oncology patient; how to integrate manual therapy for the purposes of pain management and maintenance of mobility; considerations for environmental modification and assistive device selection for the disabled patient; and an introduction to the use of veterinary orthosis and prosthetics for patients with co-morbidities such as total or sub-total amputation and limb-sparing in the face of terminal disease. A case report will be presented to participants emphasizing the wholistic approach to patient care and its effect on improving team culture with utilization and collaboration between physical rehabilitation and oncology medicine.

About the presenter: Kristen brings 20 years of experience in physical rehabilitation and 15 year’s experience in management to the veterinary profession and is the current Director of Rehabilitation Services at a stand alone Canine and Equine Rehabilitation Center in Petaluma, CA. She is an active speaker at multiple national veterinary conferences and has traveled internationally to provide educational opportunities for fellow colleagues in the veterinary industry. She regularly contributes to peer-reviewed publications and educational textbooks covering topics from rehabilitation, pain management, anatomy and conformation, geriatrics, and nursing care. Kristen holds a BS in Biology (Animal Physiology), completing a senior research project exploring Gamma radiation and DNA base-pair sequencing on Steelhead Trout in 2002. She completed the physical rehabilitation practitioner certification in 2005 and later earned the Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner designation through the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management in 2009. Additional coursework and training in canine massage therapy, osteoarthritis case management. Elite Fear Free® Certification, Veterinary Cannabis Counseling and PennHIP Associate membership have all contributed to Kristen’s solid knowledge base today.

Kristen is a Charter member of the Veterinary Technician Specialty Academy for Physical Rehabilitation and with her colleagues, succeeded in becoming recognized as a VTS in 2017. She served as President for two terms and continues to Chair the Credentialing and Recertification committee’s. In 2018 Kristen was awarded the California Veterinary Technician of the Year award by the California Veterinary Technician Association and has served two years as a task force member for the California Veterinary Medical Board, advocating for the role of registered veterinary technicians and assistants in physical rehabilitation.