All in the family
All in the family A UGA vet med alumnus continues the Savannah practice her family began generations earlier
Carla Case McCorvey (DVM ’99) was born to practice veterinary medicine. The fourth generation veterinarian worked with her father, Jerry Case (DVM ’75), as a young girl, making cotton balls and sterilizing equipment in the animal hospital her great-grandfather Erle Case founded in 1909. Today, Case-McCorvey practices beside her father, using some of the most innovative techniques available.
“Obviously, I learned as much from Dad as I did from UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, but I learned a lot from Papa too,” Case-McCorvey says of her grandfather, Dr. Francis Case Sr. “He had retired by the time I began working with Dad in 1999, but he lived right around the corner from the hospital, and he and my grandmother had me over for lunch more than once a week. I’d tell them all about what surgeries I had done that day, and they’d tell me stories about how it used to be.
” This year marks the 100th anniversary of Case Veterinary Hospital in Savannah. In late 2008 Case-McCorvey was named one of Georgia Trend magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40.” Also in 2008, the Savannah Small Business Chamber of Commerce named her family’s practice Business of the Year.
It is one of the oldest family veterinary practices in the country to have operated continuously, but it had modest beginnings. Erle Case received his veterinary training in Ontario, Canada, and accepted a job through correspondence in Savannah. He packed up all his belongings and spent his savings on a one-way steamship ticket to Savannah, only to find when he arrived that there was no job. He approached the town’s only veterinarian, who offered him a single stall in a building where large animals were treated. Case began treating the growing number of small animals brought into the clinic for care.
From there, Case—the only degreed veterinarian in Savannah at the time—grew his business and established Case Veterinary Hospital.
Today Case-McCorvey continues to push Case Veterinary Hospital to the forefront of veterinary medicine. By investing in continuing education and training for herself and her staff, Case-McCorvey has positioned her family’s business as one of the only hospitals in the region to routinely offer endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures to its patients. This technology is comparable to human medicine, enabling less invasive procedures with faster recovery time and fewer complications.
“When you work with family in a business begun by your family, the quality of your work reflects on them,” says Case-McCorvey. “If Grandpa Erle could look down and see how we are practicing veterinary medicine today, I think he’d be impressed, but I know he’d be proud.” —Tracy Giese is the former director of public relations for the College of Veterinary Medicine.