Anne Bayer, DVM
Coalition Representative Group: Nonprofit Veterinary Service Provider
Coalition Committee:  Collaborations

Dr. Anne Bayer is the Senior Director of Medicine at Humane Alliance, a Program of the ASPCA. She has been instrumental in developing six comprehensive mentorship programs attended annually by more than 1,000 veterinary professionals. The programs are inclusive of in-house surgical training, off-site clinic operations training, and site visit consultations, all of which are included to improve delivery of services, to address the quality of patient care, and to affect the welfare of cats and dogs nationwide. Anne has a particular interest and commitment to developing a sustainable, affordable, full service veterinary care model that will provide services for all cats and dogs, regardless of the client’s income level. She is keenly aware that many companion animals are relinquished to shelters because the owners are financially unable to secure veterinary services. She has dedicated seven years of service to this department in an unswerving effort to improve the over-all standard of care for dogs and cats in communities across the nation.

Michael Blackwell, DVM, MPH
Director, Program for Pet Health Equity, University of Tennessee
Coalition Representative Group: Coalition Chairperson
Coalition Committee:  Legislative

A life of public service is what exemplifies Dr. Michael Blackwell. Like his father, he earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University. He also earned a Master of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Blackwell currently serves as the director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee. His work is directed at removing barriers to veterinary care, especially for families with limited income. Previously, Dr. Blackwell served as chief of staff, Office of the Surgeon General of the U.S., chief veterinary officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, and chief veterinary officer of the Humane Society of the United States. He achieved the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General during 23 years on active duty with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. In addition, he has served on many national boards and committees.

Dr. Blackwell is very personable and enjoys inspiring and motivating others to excel and overcome obstacles to their personal and professional growth. He is dedicated to building and facilitating highly effective teams, and especially enjoys mentoring in effective leadership and public policy.

Dr. Blackwell has received numerous awards and recognitions. Most notable are the Distinguished Service Medal, which is the highest personal honor award of the United States Public Health Service, as well as two Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medals.

Ted Cohn, DVM, AVES (Hon)
Senior Consultant, DVM Consultants
Coalition Representative Group: Other Animal Care Professionals
Coalition Committee:  Collaborations (chairperson)

Dr. Ted Cohn has devoted almost forty years of service to the people and animals of Colorado and the veterinary medical profession. Since graduating from Tuskegee University in 1975 with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Ted has distinguished himself as a veterinarian in Colorado and a leader, both locally and nationally.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Dr. Cohn attended the University of Colorado and then the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in pursuit of his Bachelor of Science degree in biology. After achieving his veterinary degree, Dr. Cohn completed an internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA. In 1999, Dr. Cohn graduated from the certification course in veterinary acupuncture at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University.

Dr. Cohn began his career in private practice as an associate veterinarian at Aspenwood Animal Hospital, where he worked from 1976 to 1983. He next took a position at University Hills Animal Hospital, where he was a partner and hospital director from 1985 through 2015. In addition, from 1983 to 1988, Dr. Cohn also served as a veterinarian on call for the Denver Zoological Gardens. In January 2016, Dr. Cohn began his latest business venture, becoming a senior consultant with DVM Consultants, a practice brokerage firm that provides a wide variety of services to assist veterinarians to buy and sell practices.

Dr. Cohn was named Western Region Practitioner of the Year in 1997 by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), an organization with which he has been active for over thirty-five years. He served on the AAHA leadership council from 1996 to 2008 and as an AAHA media spokesperson.

Prior to his election to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Executive Board, Dr. Cohn served on and chaired several AVMA task forces, committees, and subcommittees, and he spent seven years in the AVMA House of Delegates, representing Colorado veterinarians. During his tenure on the Executive Board (2006-12), Dr. Cohn served in many different positions, including in his final two years, as vice-chair and then chair of the Board. While serving on the Executive Board, he chaired the Insurance Liaison Committee, the Task Force on Strategic Planning, and the Economic Vision Steering Committee. Dr. Cohn was also the vice chair of the Task Force on Future Roles and Expectations.

Dr. Cohn has been a leader in veterinary medicine from the time of his veterinary school days, when he represented Tuskegee in the Student AVMA’s (SAVMA) House of Delegates. He has served as the president of both the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society (DAVMS) (1986-1987) and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) (1996-1997). Dr. Cohn was honored as the recipient of the CVMA Presidents Award in both 2003 and 2012 and was named as the Colorado Veterinarian of the Year for 2006. In 2009, the Colorado Association of Veterinary Technicians honored him with their Technician Advocate Award. Tuskegee University presented Dr. Cohn with their Distinguished Alumnus Award, in 2013, and most recently, the CVMA awarded Dr. Cohn with their 2015 Distinguished Service accolade. In addition, in 2015 the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society awarded him with an honorary degree, in recognition for his ardent support for the One Health movement.

For many years, Dr. Cohn served on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is a long-standing member of numerous professional organizations, including the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Amphibian and Reptile Veterinarians, and the Association of Veterinary Informatics. He served for six years on the Board of Directors for the Animal Assistance Foundation AAF), the last two years as the Foundation’s treasurer. The AAF is a Colorado based group that actively supports improvement of animal welfare within the state, through grant making.

Dr. Cohn has been married to his wife Becky, since 1970. Becky runs her own business and has been an active member of the Colorado VMA Auxiliary for many years. The Cohn’s have two grown daughters, Corinne and Jen and while currently between dogs, they enjoy living with a very spoiled cat.

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T’ Fisher, CAIT Program Director
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Representative Group: Veterinary Schools
Coalition Committee:  Collaborations

T’ Fisher received her first BS in Computer Animation from East TN State University in 1997. After working on software to help train veterinarians she returned to school and received her second BS in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee in 2002 and is currently working toward her third BS, this time in Anthropology. She will begin her pursuit of a PhD in Cultural Anthropology beginning in the fall of 2016. She is also involved as a member of the Institute of Agriculture Employee Relations Committee at the University, the Commission for Women at the University, Treasurer of the Animal Control Association of Tennessee, a member of Animal Haven Knox County, a member of ASPCA, HSUS, and SAWA and is active in many other industry organizations. Her dedication to animal welfare is obvious in her involvement within the industry and community.

Currently T’ serves as the CAIT (Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee) program director for the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where she has taken a grass-roots organization to a statewide resource and educational force for improving animal welfare. Teresa has been an inspirational member and facilitator of a community team that created a humane education curriculum for K-12 grade, Learning to Save Lives, in partnership with the local newspaper. She has created multiple elective courses for veterinary students in outreach including: Responsible Pet Ownership, Cultural Influences on Animal Health Care and Introduction to Shelter Medicine. In 2013, she lead the efforts to establish a spay/neuter elective for fourth year veterinary students and secure a mobile spay/neuter unit for the college in order for students to travel to animal shelters in East Tennessee to provide services to those shelter animals.

Among her many distinguished accomplishments, T’ has established a spay/neuter helpline that provides information on low-cost services to anyone in TN; she’s led the production of 10 annual volumes of the Animal Laws of TN Book; and has been instrumental in creating collaborations and partnerships throughout the industry to further humane principles and spay neuter efforts. She has created an outreach program to assist our homeless citizens and their pets in Knox County and she is a team leader for the Knox County Disaster Animal Response Team. Teresa also developed Feral Fixin, a TNR program for feral cats in East TN which later won the Sigma Delta Team award.

T’ is the 2010 recipient of the National Hill’s Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award in recognition for advancing animal welfare through extraordinary service and furthering humane principles, education and understanding. In 2015, T’ also lead the CAIT program to receive the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement, a classification that honors collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global).

Brian Forsgren, DVM
Chief of Staff Gateway Animal Clinics
Coalition Representative Group: For-Profit Veterinary Service Providers
Coalition Committee:  Communications

Dr. Forsgren is a small animal practitioner working in Cleveland Ohio. Since 1980 his career focus has been to strive to provide “access to care” to all pet owners irrespective of their financial status. The fiscal realities associated with such a strategy have led to an interesting and exhausting practice life. His practice experience has been completely immersed in low-income pet ownership and all the trappings that that includes.  For this opportunity he is remarkably thankful.

The 2008 financial crisis has complicated the demands on access to care.  

The fragility of the Human Animal Bond became intensified as the pet owner’s financial commitment to this phenomenon entered free fall. Greater demands for services by the public have occurred within an environment of financial chaos. Concurrently, the evolution of veterinary education and industry dollars has focused on anything but “primary care.” Big-ticket therapy rules.  

This is a huge problem logistically relative to ethical imperatives implicit to our profession’s moral mandate to providing care. Polar opposites realities are developing relative to the delivery of actual animal welfare medical care on a socioeconomic and epidemiological basis. Forsgren refers to these trends as “the perfect storm”.

Providing care has been the key to Forsgren’s professional life. He is dedicate to the idea that the key to maintaining cost control and providing quality empathetic care is rooted in a powerful general practitioner population of caregivers. Championing the role of the general practitioner will be his focus for the remainder of his days.  

The role of the general practitioner goes well beyond the simplistic model of a “widget” within a soulless system practice machine. The GP is the person that empowers the “hero” model of a practitioner that is three dimensional in their conceptualization of who they are relative to animal welfare, the Human Animal Bond implications and the socioeconomics of where this dynamic is going emotionally, financially and ethically.

Forsgren has been awarded the AVMA’s Bustad Award in 2009. In that same year The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine presented him with the status of Distinguished Alumnus. In 2010 the Humane Society of the United States Veterinary Medical Association bestowed upon him the Veterinary Advocate of the Year Award. He is still baffled by such tributes. How does a person get awards for doing what is expected of them? Is not living an certain way reward enough?

Inga Fricke, CAWA
Director, Keeping Pets in Homes, THE Humane Society of the United States
Coalition Representative Group: Animal Protection Organizations
Coalition Committee:  Communications

Inga Fricke, CAWA, is Director, Keeping Pets in Homes, at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), where she oversees various programs and services designed to elevate the standards of animal care in shelters and rescue groups nationwide, and to assist animal care professionals in their lifesaving work.

Prior to joining The HSUS, Inga served as administrator of the Wyandot County Humane Society/H.O.P.E. Clinic, helping to found the Wyandot County Equine Rescue, and as Shelter Manager for Loudoun County Animal Care and Control.

William Gilles, DVM
Director, WisCARES Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine
Coalition Representative Group: Veterinary Schools
Coalition Committee:  Communications (Chairperson)

Dr. William Gilles is the founder and director of the WisCARES Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WisCARES is a collaborative program between the Schools of Veterinary Medicine and Social Work that provides social services, housing support, and veterinary medical care to pet owners experiencing homelessness and housing instability in Madison, Wisconsin. He teaches a course on social justice in veterinary medicine and works hard to bring a systems-focused lens to the question of increasing access to veterinary medical care. 

Prior to WisCARES, his clinical experience was in feline-only general practice and emergency medicine, where he was able to truly come to appreciate the impact and importance of the human-animal bond. 

Lisa Greenhill, MPA, EdD
Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity, Association of American Veterinary Colleges
Coalition Representative Group: Veterinary Schools
Coalition Committee:  Methods

Lisa Greenhill currently serves as the Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). Dr. Greenhill directs the Association’s internal study of academic veterinary medicine through collaborative research, analysis and publication efforts. She also manages the DVM: DiVersity Matters initiative, which promotes increased representation of underrepresented persons in academic veterinary medicine, inclusive academic environments and the inclusion of diversity related professional competencies in the DVM curriculum.

Dr. Greenhill previously served nearly five years with the AAVMC during which time she managed legislative and regulatory policy issues including agriculture production, biomedical research, professional education, food safety and environmental health.  She holds a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in public policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and a Doctorate in Education from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. 

Laura Helmueller, DVM
Chief Medical Officer, Emancipet
Coalition Representative Group: Non-Profit Veterinary Service Providers
Coalition Committee:  Collaborations

Laura Helmueller grew up in the San Antonio, TX area and knew from a very early age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. As the daughter of a minister and a schoolteacher, she always embraced helping others and supporting the community. Laura graduated from Texas A&M University with her DVM in 2001. From there, she has had the opportunity to work in many fields of veterinary medicine including owning a mixed animal practice, corporate medicine and full service small animal practice. 

Laura started working with shelters and non-profits in central Texas to provide High Quality High Volume Spay Neuter (HQHVSN) services in 2006. She moved to Austin and began working with Emancipet in 2008. Currently, Laura is the Chief Medical Officer of Emancipet. Emancipet is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make spay/neuter services and veterinary care affordable and accessible to every pet owner. Her current role is to provide veterinary support in opening and operating Spay/Neuter and Healthy Pet Clinics in underserved communities, training other clinics and animal welfare organizations to increase their capacity, impact, and sustainability, and advocating for strategies and public policy that improve the lives of pets in underserved communities. 

Cristie Kamiya, DVM, MBA
Member at Large, Association of Shelter Veterinarians, Chief of Shelter Medicine, Humane Society of Silicon Valley
Coalition Representative Group: National Professional Veterinary Organizations
Coalition Committee:  Methods (Chairperson)

Cristie graduated from Colorado State University, College of Business with a Master of Business Administration degree in 1999, and then went on to receive a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2005. In 2013, Cristie completed a 3-year residency in shelter medicine with the University of California, Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, and is currently Vice President, Medical Operations and Chief of Shelter Medicine at Humane Society Silicon Valley.

Prior to her residency, Cristie worked as a shelter veterinarian in humane societies, municipal shelters, High Quality High Volume Spay & Neuter clinics, and rescues in the Denver-Boulder areas of Colorado, the greater Phoenix metro area of Arizona, and the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas of Northern California. Her main interests include infectious diseases, shelter management, and surgery, and she enjoys traveling and volunteering with organizations that provide veterinary services to underserved areas in the U.S. and internationally. Cristie joined the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, Board of Directors in 2014.

Susan Krebsbach, DVM
Coalition Representative Group: National Professional Veterinary Organizations
Coalition Committee: Communications

Dr. Susan Krebsbach, affectionately known as Dr. Susan, has always had a passion for animals. But, her initial career path did not lead her to veterinary medicine. After graduation from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering, she started out as a systems engineer for the IBM Corporation. As her career blossomed in the world of computers, she was promoted to the level of advisory marketing representative, ultimately being recognized as one of the top 5% marketing representatives in the country. Although IBM was a wonderful company to work for and she enjoyed professional success there, she heard another calling: veterinary medicine.

Following her calling and pursuing her passion for animals, Dr. Susan turned in her briefcase for books to start veterinary school at The Ohio State University. After graduation, she worked as a small animal general practitioner for many years. During this time, her interest in and experience with animal behavior intensified. This resulted in Dr. Susan opening a veterinary animal behavior consulting service, Creature Counseling, and acting as a veterinary consultant for Maddie’s Fund, a family foundation whose mission is to revolutionize the status and wellbeing of companion animals.

Dr. Susan has been a champion for all animals, especially in the area of animal welfare. For over eight years, she was a veterinary advisor for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA), a professional veterinary organization dedicated to providing progressive animal welfare leadership for all animals and direct care opportunities for animals in need.

Dr. Susan currently serves as the assistant director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, whose mission is to drive the formation of a national veterinary health care system that focuses on pets not adequately served by the current system. Dr. Susan is also honored to be the executive director of the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition, a diverse group of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary services providers, animal welfare and social services professionals, and educators, which is paving the way to a better understanding of barriers to veterinary care, as well as best practices among those delivering veterinary services to underserved pet owners.

Furthermore, Dr. Susan is a featured speaker at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as other professional and animal rescue organizations, has written an animal behavior series, and authored several articles on animal behavior and animal welfare. She is a past president and vice-president of the Dane County Veterinary Medical Association, founder and past president of the Dane County Friends of Ferals, and has volunteered her services to several animal rescue organizations. For these efforts, Dr. Susan has been amply recognized, including: “Certificate of Appreciation” from the Best Friends Animal Society, “The Heart of Veterinary Medicine” award from the Alliance for Animals, recognition of appreciation from the Dane County Friends of Ferals, “Circle of Compassion” award from the Doris Day Animal League, “The Laurie Award” from the Watertown Humane Society, Alley Cat Allies’ “Veterinarian of the Year Award for Excellence,” “Medical Services Volunteer of the Year” award from the Dane County Humane Society, and Capitol Area Humane Society’s “Outstanding Service Award.”

Dr. Susan is truly dedicated to the enhancement of the special relationship that exists between pets and their people and advocating for the wellbeing of all animals.

Rachael Kreisler, VMD MSCE
Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine, Midwestern University
Coalition Representative Group: Academic Programs
Coalition Committee:  Collaborations

Rachael’s interest in feline health and lifesaving work in shelters sparked her return to university after decade long career in information technology.  Prior experience included a stint at IBM as well as founding her own small software business.  She was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) in 2008.  As president of the Pennsylvania Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, she created a structured extracurricular Student Surgical Opportunities program in support of the shelters in Philadelphia which performed approximately 5,000 student-powered surgeries per year.  Via this program she graduated having performed over two thousand surgeries.  She also completed the Veterinary Business Management Certificate.

After graduation, Penn Vet hired Rachael as a Lecturer in Shelter Medicine and Surgery and she completed the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  Within the first two years, Rachael transitioned the senior elective Shelter Medicine rotation from a part-time rotation housed at a single facility to a full-time rotation encompassing all aspects of shelter medicine.  This expansion included partnership with the Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life Program (PFL) which enabled students to participate in PFL’s block to block outreach program and exposed them to an otherwise unseen underserved population.  

In 2015 Rachael joined Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) for the extraordinary opportunity to create a Shelter Medicine didactic curriculum, extracurricular surgical program and clinical rotation from the ground up.  She is also course organizer for a practice management elective.  She supported Midwestern’s commitment to One Health by establishing the CVM as a part of the interdisciplinary Health Outreach (HOME) program which provides free healthcare to the homeless while strengthening bonds between disciplines in the medical community.

Rachael’s research has focused on topics that inform clinical decision-making, affect shelter and at-risk animal populations and improve veterinary student education.  Her intensive training in statistics through the MSCE program, previous career experience working with data and substantive veterinary expertise has empowered her work as a data scientist.   The ability to understand, process, visualize and communicate data has enabled her work with local shelters to better understand their trends and needs.  Her expertise also includes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and population modeling.

Personal interests include photography, travel and reading, and she has a special fondness for gray cats.

Sarina Manifold, LCSW
Assistant Professor of Practice with Veterinary Social Work, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Coalition Representative Group: Veterinary Social Work
Coalition Committee:  Methods

Sarina Manifold, LCSW, is an Assistant Professor of Practice with Veterinary Social Work (VSW) at the University of Tennessee (UT) Veterinary Medical Center, and has been with Veterinary Social Work for 7 years. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified Grief Recovery Specialist®. Sarina provides crisis intervention, end-of-life and treatment decision-making, resources, and grief counseling to clients of the Small and Large Animal Hospitals as well as to members of the community. She is also the coordinator of the communication training at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. Sarina graduated from High Point University in High Point, NC with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Sarina has had an interest in grief and bereavement support for many years. As a Veterinary Social Worker her main focus is on grief and bereavement support for individuals and families who have experienced the death of their companion animal. Other areas of interest and clinical work include compassion fatigue support and communication skills training for animal related professionals, as well as advocating for animal owner’s access to veterinary care. In this capacity, Sarina participates in a Knoxville-based community outreach program that provides free vaccines and preventatives for the animals of qualifying individuals.

Sarina is married with 2 fur-children: a 2 year-old Shepherd mix and a 13-year-old cat, and her newest addition is her 5-month-old daughter. In her spare time, Sarina enjoys spending time with family, reading, and running.

Michael R. Moyer, VMD
President and Owner, Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital Inc., Bridgewater Consulting, Past President AAHA
Coalition Representative Group: For-Profit Veterinary Service Providers
Coalition Committee:  Legislative

Dr. Michael R. Moyer is the owner of Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital, Inc. and Bridgewater Consulting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. A 1990 graduate of University of Pennsylvania, he returned to teach at Penn from 2006 through 2012 as the Rosenthal Director of Shelter Animal Medicine. In addition to clinical practice, lectures and surgical instruction, he consults in a variety of local, state, and national efforts in veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and animal sheltering.

Dr. Moyer has extensive professional volunteer leadership experience with alumni, local, state, and national veterinary medical associations.  He has held various elected and appointed positions within these organizations, notably having served as the PVMA’s President for the year 2004 and as President of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Alumni Society for 2007 and 2008, and is a Past-President of the American Animal Hospital Association. He was awarded the PVMA Veterinarian of the Year award for 2005, the Student AVMA Community Outreach Award in 2010, and the Delaware County SPCA Animal Welfare Leadership Award in 2011.

His hobbies include home improvement, cooking, beer making, sporting clays, fencing, cycling, and he has won athletic prizes in odd racquet sports.

Akshay Verma
Veterinary Student at Michigan State University, President of the HSVMA Student Chapter
Coalition Representative Group: National Professional Veterinary Organizations
Coalition Committee:  Communications

Akshay Verma is a DVM student at Michigan State University, graduating in May 2018. He is also currently enrolled in University of Tennessee’s Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner program. Having entered veterinary school conscious of the need for veterinarians to advocate for progressive animal welfare policies, he co-founded the MSU Chapter of Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, acting as President until 2016. He currently serves on Michigan Friends of Companion Animals’ Executive Committee, which successfully passed humane pet acquisition ordinances in several municipalities.

In the past, he worked as a research and development consultant for the companion animal food industry in formulation development with an emphasis on animal-free sourcing and humane scientific testing. He previously earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he was awarded highest honors for his thesis on the welfare, scientific, and social concerns associated with appearance-based dog breeding. At U of M, he was Director of the Michigan Animal Respect Society.