Episode 38 – Not One More Vet’s Race Around the World

Stacey Cordivano: 

Hey there, it’s Dr. Stacey Cordivano. I want veterinarians to learn to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for the life that we’ve created. On this podcast I will speak with outside of the box thinkers to hear new ideas on ways to improve our day to day life. Welcome to The Whole Veterinarian. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and for today’s episode, I’m honored to help spread the word about the Not One More Vet Race Around the World. For those of you who don’t know about this resource yet, NOMV, as it is affectionately known, is an invaluable organization dedicated to truly making a difference in the lives of veterinary professionals. Here’s their mission statement. Not One More Vet will transform the status of mental wellness within the profession so veterinary professionals can survive and thrive through education resources and support. NOMV addresses well being in veterinary medicine through multiple innovative pathways, including the world’s largest peer to peer support group, an educational program providing leadership focused on wellness, a support grant program providing immediate financial support, an online crisis support system specifically designed for veterinary professionals, and research to further the advancement of wellness, mental health and the reduction of suicide in veterinary professionals. I hope this episode can serve as a way for you to share and educate others, both for any professionals who have not yet heard about NOMV and so that people outside of the profession can begin to learn more about our struggles. I just want to again, say thank you to not one more vet for all the work they do. If you are able, please please, please donate either directly to not one more vet or get involved in this amazing race around the world for the month of September. Today, I get to chat with Caitlin Furlong who is the secretary of the board of directors for not one more vet. Thanks for joining me today. Caitlin.

Caitlin Furlong: 

thank you for having me.

Stacey Cordivano: 

I’m so excited to spread some news about the race around the world for not one more vet. But first, I wanted to hear a little bit about how you got involved with the project.

Caitlin Furlong: 

Yeah, so in 2019, I joined my husband’s family, they are equine vets in New Jersey. And I joined their practice in a marketing role. And I was trying to kind of figure out not only my place in the practice, but also what I can do to help make the practice a better place and how to make the veterinary profession a better place because I really started reading and learning about mental health and the high suicide rates in veterinary medicine. And I was shocked. I grew up with a veterinarian as a father, my dad is a small animal vet. I had no idea any of this was happening. And I was pretty embarrassed and pretty ashamed that I didn’t know. So the more I learned and the more I researched, the more I realized there wasn’t a lot out there for veterinarians. there is the suicide help hotline. There are websites for just general mental health help, but there wasn’t a lot for vets and vet professionals in general. So the more research I did, I found nomv, not one more vet, and I learned a little bit about them. And I thought, Okay, this is a great organization. This is what the veterinary world needs. And I had it in the back of my mind as I was trying to implement a mental health initiative within the practice. So I started finding that not a lot of pet parents or horse owners really knew about what was going on in the veterinary world in regards to the poor mental health, the burnout, just everything that veterinarians that techs and the clinic support staff have to deal with. So I started trying to add another piece to my mental health initiative within the practice trying to figure out what I could do in the community as well. I talked to my husband who is a retired triathlete, and I asked if maybe a 5k was something that could bring people together it’s active so it’s Promoting a healthy body which helps the healthy mind and he liked the idea. I brought it to everybody at the clinic they loved the idea. So I reached out to not one more event I reached out to the board and asked if they would be interested in me fundraising for them, just having an event I asked if I could call it the non v 5k. And they were so for it. They had not had an outside fundraiser like this before. And it was a really big success in Bedminster, New Jersey. I think we hit 99 participants. Awesome. And I have to tell you, everyone that I spoke to about it had no idea. And that’s when I really knew that this was something that needed to, you know, be talked about more. And the more people I talked about it to the more they’re like, wow, I had no idea I should be nicer. It’s like, Yes, yeah, please. You know, once everything was successful, I talked to the board again, at NOMV. And we started thinking about doing something every year throughout the country, trying to think of like maybe like a 5k day, NOMV 5k days, something like that. Now, mind you, this is the end of 2019 that we’re talking, we’re slowly starting to talk a little more in the beginning of 2020. And then March happens, and there was no way we were going to be able to host a 5k anywhere. Again, I talk to Adam, because I have no idea. What do people do for racing, when you can’t go outside or, you know, races to a group? So he said, Why don’t you try something virtual, I feel like that’s gonna get really big. So I started looking into that. And we found a great platform called charity footprints. And we started getting everything together for the first NOMV race around the world. And that started in the beginning of September last year, and I wanted to the first week of November, it was a, it was an adventure, and it was a really good one. And had we not had such a successful race, I think we would be in a different position today. 2021 has been a crazy year.

Stacey Cordivano: 

I think that’s such an awesome example of such a grassroots start to something that then snowballs into something bigger. So I think that’s such good inspiration for just like life in general. But if you’re trying to make a difference, especially in our community, I think that’s such a great example of that. So I want to tell people a little bit more about this year’s race so we can get as many people signed up as possible, I realized that just started and I haven’t even signed up yet this year. So I’m about to do that. But let’s do a little overview of how it works this year. And then I’ll make sure to link all the information in the show notes.

Caitlin Furlong: 

It’s similar format as last year, same platform charity footprints, the only thing that’s really different is we just shortened it for the month of September, we thought it went well with suicide prevention and Awareness Month. So we start logging miles today, you can register at any point, and we go until September 30. The goal is to race the circumference of the Earth 25,000 miles, we’re probably going to crush that in the first week, if not the first couple days, which is really cool. But we have it called the race around the world because we want to make sure that NOMV is known in every country. We’re available for every single person in the veterinary profession. So it was very symbolic to us to have it race around the world. We actually have 13 different countries racing with us so far.

Stacey Cordivano: 


Caitlin Furlong: 

Australia is there’s like almost 70 people from Australia that are racing with US, Canada is also a big one. So that’s really, really cool to see that we’re we’re expanding our reach. And the race, it’s incredibly important to NOMV now. it provided tons for our support grants for 2021. We had a record number. March was a really tough month for the veterinary industry. I think it was nine veterinary professionals took their life and NOMV was passed around as a resource. And that is what we are here for and we had a lot of support grants come in, we’re able to keep up with that because of the race. It was just kind of always brought tears to my eyes that, you know, we’re able to do that. And we were able to help so many more people this year, and the race provided the funds to do all of this. So it’s a big deal. I know it’s I know it’s near and dear to my heart so I get more emotional about it. But to be able to see the community come together across the globe for a race and to try and help NOMV spread their mission and really make some positive changes in the veterinary industry is pretty amazing.

Stacey Cordivano: 

It is amazing. I’m appreciative of the work that you have done and that NOMV does in general, of course, and I’m so happy that we can spread the word about this. Like I said, it’s super easy to sign up. It’s 10 bucks, you can fundraise I’ll even add some verbiage you can use in your social media or email campaigns to raise funds. You don’t have to think of it yourself. So I’ll put all that stuff in the show notes. And I’m so thankful that you spent some time with me today to tell us a little bit about the background and the future of the race. And I again, I appreciate it.

Caitlin Furlong: 

Thank you for having me and you have any issue registering, there’s a chat feature, you can reach us on our Facebook, Instagram, or send a message through that chat feature, and we will help you with whatever you need. We’re just really excited to have everybody come race with us. And I really appreciate you having me today and talking about the race.

Stacey Cordivano: 

Thank you, as always, for sharing some of your precious time with me. I so appreciate it. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please hit follow or subscribe. If you feel so inclined. leave a review on Apple podcasts or just send me a direct message and let me know what you think I always appreciate the feedback. I hope you have a wonderful week and I will talk to you again soon.

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I’m Stacey

I want veterinarians to become happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for this life that we’ve created.

I understand the struggles of a stretched-too-thin veterinarian. I have also learned that with some individual work, there is a brighter side to veterinary medicine. Personal and financial development strategies have helped me find a happier place in my life and in my work. I hope to share resources that will resonate with my fellow veterinarian to allow you to become a more whole person.

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