Background: Frank Stanton's Interest in Spectrum of Care
Like many successful business leaders, Frank Stanton, long time president of CBS and pioneer of the televised presidential debates, was a devoted dog owner. His business success allowed him to give his dogs the most sophisticated veterinary care available. But, after receiving a five-figure bill from a major veterinary hospital for his beloved dog's treatment, he reflected on those dog owners for whom this would be a crushing financial burden.
So, he created a six-figure financial assistance fund at the hospital. To his dismay, the fund was exhausted within three months. This experience, plus his own research (Dr. Stanton held a PhD in statistics and psychology from The Ohio State University) led him to the conclusion that philanthropy alone could not be the solution to ensuring that all dogs received quality veterinary care. He died before he was able to develop ways to solve the problem, but the Stanton Foundation is committed to achieving his goal of ensuring that quality veterinary care is available to dog owners of some, but limited, economic means.
Over the last four years, the Foundation has researched numerous potential strategies for achieving this goal, focusing on those that would help the greatest number of dogs. As a result of this research, the Foundation identified several areas for support, including models of student education, research on successful business practice models, and relief for student debt (examples of the Foundation’s related programs can be found on the Clinical Research Resources page and the Foundation's Canine Care Course Development practitioner-focused page and student-focused page). However, Foundation research suggests the lack of an evidence base for lower cost options is one of the central challenges to promoting and improving canine health. The lack of such evidence means veterinarians, particularly young veterinarians without much experiential evidence, have too few diagnostic and treatment options and perceive too much risk in offering their patients choices other than the "best option." The Foundation is committed to filling that gap by providing the tools necessary for private primary care practitioners to practice more broadly along the spectrum of care. These tools would also assist young veterinarians attract new clients for whom cost is a major concern.