Employee Assistance Program For All

by Joseph Fifer

A review of the public tax filings of veterinary associations in North America reveals that, collectively, the professional and trade associations have amassed well over $100 million in financial assets. The reserves of these organizations are, in effect, their members' money being held in various accounts and investments.

The 50 largest for-profit companies in the veterinary industry (pharma, software, medical device, etc.) collectively spend in excess of $75 million on advertising, sponsorships, trade shows, and other promotional support of the veterinary industry. This can easily be validated by reviewing the Form 990s of the industry's non-profit entities, reviewing trade show size and expenditures, and extrapolating investments in various organizations.

With the above numbers in mind, a single practice can contract for an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) program covering all of its staff for approximately $12-40 per employee per year. With 200,000 (estimated) veterinary employees in North America, to cover ALL employees it would cost $2,400,000 - $8,000,000 per year.

Assuming a contract was put in place with 3-5 EAP program providers who could cover the scale of 30,000 practices and approximately 200,000 total employees, one might suggest the cost per employee per year could be negotiated toward the lower end of the $12-40 per employee per year range. This would put the annual cost of an "EAP For ALL" program at $2,400,000 or slightly higher.

With the amount of money in reserves within our non-profit community (in excess of $100 million) and the annual spend on promotional opportunities by large for-profits (in excess of $75 million per year), there are plenty of funds available to manage the development of a $2,400,000 per year "EAP For All" program.

The only thing stopping us is cooperation and agreement that EAP For All is the right thing to do.