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Meet Won Han of Munster Animal Hospital in Munster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Won Han.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Won. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started as an associate veterinarian at the Munster Animal Hospital in 1994. After a year of employment, I entered into a business partnership, gradually increasing the percentage of the partnership until I became the sole owner in 2007. Under my ownership, the hospital grew exponentially, calling for major change in response to our growing clientele and increase in demand. Moving locations was inevitable; however, it wasn’t until when the town got involved that plans for relocation expedited. In 2008, the town of Munster issued plans to develop the region, claiming imminent domain over my property. Though abrupt, the situation proved to be a blessing, allowing my business to shed its old, outgrown facility and start anew. As the owner, I changed the philosophy of doing business, shifting my focus away from numbers to providing excellent quality veterinary service. With a new facility, passionate staff, and unrivaled quality of care, the Munster Animal Hospital has garnered immense recognition by both local and regional news agencies.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Change is always difficult and with it, conflicts are bound to emerge. As the new owner of the hospital, my coworkers became my employees, and consequently, many found the transition difficult. The staff at the time opposed the new leadership ensuing a number of issues. On top of that, even clients began to uproar with the shift in management. In 2008, we relocated the animal hospital, resulting in countless more conflicts and issues. With a shortage of doctors and staff, I took on nearly three times the workload of any veterinarian – the physical and emotional stress was overwhelming. As the hospital grew, so did the need for experienced and passionate employees; however, negativity among staff members bred detrimental behaviors such as gossiping, cliques and pessimism. In order to foster a professional and wholesome work environment, I needed to quash this toxic behavior and establish a new culture within the business. This itself served as a challenge as finding and building a new reliable team of staff became a frustrating and taxing process. I am very thankful and fortunate to have built such a skilled team of workers dedicated to both patients and this hospital. Nevertheless, my work with the staff does not end there. As a booming business, I constantly teach and motivate my employees to succeed in their work. It is imperative to offer both quality service to both patients and clients alike. Being a leader is not easy and many times lonely. I make mistakes, I have my own weaknesses, and I am just as susceptible to stress and emotions as the next person. As a leader, these moments of vulnerability may undermine my authority, and yet, they also show humanity. Grace is ever abounding, therefore, we can forgive each other and allow for us to be human. I am grateful for the people who follow me despite of my imperfections and will continue to work harder even in times of hardship.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Munster Animal Hospital is, well, an animal hospital – and an exceptional one at that! The hospital has experienced unbelievable growth both as a business and in social recognition. For over 6 years, the Munster Animal Hospital has been accredited by the AAHA, reflecting our commitment in providing excellent veterinary care. We are constantly investing resources into the hospital in order to provide state-of-the-art care for both patients and clients alike. In the past few years, the hospital has adopted several new certified treatments including laser therapy, radio wave surgery, and has recently added in-house abdominal ultrasound. Additionally, we offer new surgical procedures, specifically tightrope surgery for cruciate ruptures, which is used for stabilizing the knee joint. Currently, Munster Animal Hospital is the only veterinary practice performing this surgical procedure in all of Northwest Indiana.

We have also been awarded “Best in the Region” for veterinary service for nearly every year since 2010. When we first won, it was actually quite surprising. We were informed that our business wasn’t actually a part of the original ballot of candidates; however, due to an exceedingly high number of write-in nominations, the Munster Animal Hospital was selected as the best. Since then, the Munster Animal Hospital has been continually recognized, receiving an A+ ranking by the office of Better Business Bureau as well as news coverage for our implementation of stem-cell therapy and alternative medicine like acupuncture. I believe in relieving patient suffering and providing owners with peace of mind during the process as much as possible.

I am also proud to work with a full team of experienced and passionate employees. Our staff is comprised of personnel with over 5 years of employment (about 44% and growing) all of whom are very supportive of our mission statement. We believe that the core of quality service comes from our workers, therefore, we make sure to greatly invest in their success. But at the end of the day, our clients are what mean the world to Munster Animal Hospital. In order to give back to our beloved clientele, we hold a special day in appreciation for our clients once a year with gifts and donation to the local shelter. Not only do we give back to our community but also to our world, donating money to help organizations such as World Vision to help children and families in impoverished parts of the world. We constantly push the boundaries of our comfort zone to serve the community and provide better service to our patients and clients.

We are committed in providing excellent veterinary care to our patients and peace of mind to their owners. I am proud of our mission statement and establishment. I am proud of my staff and their dedication. I am proud of the quality of care we provide. I am proud of my work and thank God every day for these achievements.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was shy and quiet. I disliked being in the spotlight and found many social settings uncomfortable – I was definitely an introvert. I was never really into sports but enjoyed reading. I had a close knit groups of friends, a loving family, and was considered a good student. To be honest, I studied just enough to get by and never considered working harder than I needed to. But that mentality changed when I came to the United States. After immigrating, I met my wife and realized I had to work harder in order to support my family. I set higher standards, pushing myself to become the best. I may have not been the same as a child, but I have definitely grown, overcoming my shy disposition and becoming a leader.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Michael Han

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

3 Comments

  1. Mary Kruk

    September 29, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    This is the only and best animal hospital my Akita Kasey has ever been to. The Drs and staff are amazing. Nice to see them featured in such a great article.

  2. Robin Purnell

    October 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Great Animal Hospital! Very friendly and concerned staff. They inform you every step of the way. They are very good to my dogs.

  3. gabriela leon

    May 21, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Dr. Han is the best !

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