Talk about having big shoes to fill. Dr. Todd Hughes is the current owner of Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital, which is the hospital founded by Dr. Robert Miller in Thousand Oaks, California. Dr. Miller, a long-time contributor to Veterinary Medicine with his popular “Mind Over Miller” column, founded the iconic practice in 1958 and won the Veterinary Economics Hospital of the Year award for its design in 1967. Over the years, Dr. Miller saw not only dogs and cats, but a variety of exotic animals from Jungleland, a company that supplied animal actors to the Hollywood film industry.
Dr. Hughes began working at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital shortly after his veterinary school graduation in 1998 and bought the practice in 2010. He’s only the third owner since its inception—and the first to completely rebuild the facility.
“One of my top three goals in building a new hospital was to win a Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition award again,” says Dr. Hughes. “To not have this goal before designing the new hospital would have been a disservice to our founder and all the doctors and staff members past and present who made the hospital what it is today.”
His other goals included building a hospital that reflected the practice’s high level of patient and client care, and to build large enough to allow for continued growth and expansion of services.
Dr. Hughes says his prayers for the practice were answered when his real estate agent showed him an ugly, old warehouse. “The first time I saw the building, I looked at my agent in disgust,” he says. “But after several days of thinking it through, I realized the building had tremendous potential and it solved virtually all of our problems.”
That ugly warehouse became a beautiful 17,000-square-foot showcase for care.
Focus on art elements
Click here for a full photo tour of Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital.