Though Greentree Animal Hospital has moved to a new location in Libertyville, owner Dr. Laura Brown said the clinic's priority remains the same -- pets' health.
The practice moved earlier this year to a new stand-alone office building at 800 E. Park Ave. after 15 years on Milwaukee Avenue. When Brown was looking for a new location, she knew she wanted to stay in Libertyville, where her family lives and where she has built a base of nearly 3,500 patients.
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"It's nice to go to the grocery store and see people you know," she said. "I like being a part of the community like that."
With three doctors seeing at least 10 patients a day, Brown said space was a major priority for the new location, which has five exam rooms, two more than at the previous office.
Brown, a University of Illinois alum, said she was concerned about making such a large and expensive move during difficult economic times. Costs for the land and new building were more than $1 million, she said.
"It is a worry," Brown said. "But people always have pets."
Greentree Animal Hospital will host an open house for the public Sept. 17, allowing interested patients and groups to tour the new facility and ask questions.
Looking to the future, Brown said in the next few years she hopes to finish the second floor of the new facility. Possible uses for that space include a community room, puppy training classes, or a room for a technician to stay overnight with a sick animal, if necessary.
Not all the work at Greentree takes place in the new office, though, said office manager Cathy Reilly. Hospital staff go out in the community to work with animals through therapy, rescue or awareness events.
"I enjoy the sense of community," Reilly said. "Getting out there and letting other people know we're here."
After more than 15 years in practice, Brown said she still most enjoys getting in the room with the patients, working with the animals and their owners.
"We get to be a part of their family, from pet to pet," Brown said. "My job is never boring, there's something new to do everyday."
One of those activities: delivering a litter of seven Labrador puppies the other day.
"It's pretty cool," she said. "We get to see things come full circle."