Meet the Founding Board

VVCA’s founding members are practitioners, advisors, lawyers, faculty and business executives representing the wide array of people passionate about improving the lives of animals around the world through the use of virtual care. We are proud to volunteer our time and expertise to support the advancement of veterinary telemedicine and virtual care, and help it mature into a pillar of the animal care experience.

 

Mark Cushing

Mark is the CEO and Founder of the Animal Policy Group, LLC, based in Scottsdale, AZ, Portland, OR, and Washington, DC. APG’s clients represent a wide-range of veterinary and pet health interests. 

 

Mark focuses his practice on providing high-level strategic advice, state and federal lobbying, regulatory and policy services and consulting to animal health and veterinary clients with needs at any level of government, and universities and industry groups throughout North America. Since 2004, Mark has specialized in animal health, animal welfare, veterinary and veterinary educational issues, developing a cutting-edge practice across these sectors.  He currently leads several industry coalitions and initiatives. Mark has guided successful AVMA accreditations for a growing list of veterinary colleges, including new veterinary school accreditations.

 

Mark is a frequent speaker at veterinary medicine and other animal policy conferences. He is a previous adjunct professor of law at the Duncan School of Law in Knoxville, Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, and the University of Oregon School of Law. He is an Honors graduate with distinction from Stanford University and the Willamette University College of Law.

 

Most recently, Mark is the author of Pet Nation, a book being released in September of 2020 that illustrates an inside look at the forces behind how our pets become treasured members of the family. Pet Nation focuses on the last 20 years and how pets have gone from living in the backyard to sleeping on our beds, and now show up outside of the home in every corner of America.  Pet Nation tells the story of this seismic shift and the economic, media, legal, political, and social dramas springing from this cultural transformation.

Cheryl Good, DVM

 

Dr. Cheryl Good graduated from Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 with a B.S. and DVM degree.  She owns and practices at Dearborn Family Pet Care in Dearborn, Michigan and was the medical director for the local animal shelter ran by Friends For Animals of Metro Detroit for 25 years. 

 

Dr. Good has been a member of the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Board of Directors for over 5 years and is currently the Immediate Past President. 

 

Dr. Good has recently become a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee and has also served on the Scientific Advisory Committee of American Humane for the American Humane Certified Puppy Project.

Dr. Good is the Chief Veterinary Officer at The Bridge Club, the first video-based professional community created to inspire professionals through live, online conversations.

 

Eleanor Green, DVM

Dr. Eleanor M. Green holds the Carl B. King deanship of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP).

She received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Animal Science from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Auburn University. She established a veterinary practice in Mississippi as partner/owner. She became a founding faculty member of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University.

 

Her academic appointments have included: equine faculty member at Middlebush Equine Center at the University of Missouri; head of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and director of the large animal hospital at the University of Tennessee; chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and the Chief of Staff of the large animal hospital at the University of Florida

She previously served as president of four national organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP), the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) and, most recently, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).
 

Dr. Green has a special interest in the future of veterinary medicine and the innovations that will help ensure a thriving profession.

 

Jason Johnson, DVM

Jason, as the youngest dean to lead a College of Veterinary Medicine, was one of 8 founding members of the 30th veterinary school in the USA, where he led the capital, political and curricular development of the best in class veterinary distributed learning model.  

 

Jason’s academic accomplishments include his role founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Animal and Human Health in Appalachia, boarded Theriogenologist, Full Professor, Medical Director, and graduate of the Executive Leadership Program of Singularity University.  Prior to Dr. Johnson’s success in academia he was an associate veterinarian, owned his own practice, and conducted extensive development work in over 5 countries. 

 

Jason currently serves on the Legislative Advocacy Committee representing AAVMC, serves in the AVMA House of Delegates and served as one of eight persons in the USA on the joint AVMA/AAVMC Veterinary Futures Commission, where he chaired the Learning committee.  He is most satisfied creating, driving  and advocating the bright future of veterinary medicine and insuring that he always pushes his comfort zone.

Charlotte LaCroix, DVM

 

Dr. Charlotte Lacroix owns Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc., a national consulting firm advising on veterinary business and legal issues. Beginning her career as an equine veterinarian, she transitioned to law to advocate for veterinarians. With over 20 years of experience assisting veterinarians in all areas, her expertise is companion and large animal and multi-specialty practices.

Dr. Lacroix lectures extensively on veterinary business and legal issues, and facilitates continuing education seminars nationwide. Topics include succession planning, practices sales, employment and other contract negotiations, malpractice, medical records/informed consents, ethics, animal welfare, drugs and biologics, and human resources.

Dr. Lacroix volunteers for organizations including AVMA, AAHA, AAEP, NJVMA and PVMA. She was the 2014-2015 President of NAVC, and is currently Chair of the Board of PetsPAC and Board member of the Veterinary Innovation Council. She was recognized as a “2016 Women in Law” and in 2018 as a “Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs”.

 

Deb Leon

Deb Leon is the CEO and co-founder of whiskerDocs, a tech-enabled, enterprise level provider of decision support resources for pet issues 24 hours a day. whiskerDocs currently serves over 4 million pets with on-demand access in seconds to its expert veterinary team. The whiskerDocs team has conducted over 100,000 telehealth triage interactions since launching their systems in 2015.

 

Offers include a 24/7 pet help line and online self-service tools such as decision trees that provide support for decisions pet owners face every day. In addition, whiskerDocs delivers contact center support to its client partners with 24/7 access and online tools that extend the reach of veterinary solution providers. 

Ms. Leon also holds a patent, along with two other inventors on the whiskerDocs team, on their triage protocols and methods, “Animal Health Decision Support Process and Methods”, allowed in February, 2020.

 

Prior to launching whiskerDocs, Ms. Leon was the CEO and founder of Health Contact Partners, a 24/7 health services contact center providing telehealth and telemonitoring services to its client partners. At its peak, HCP provided services to over 7 million individuals. Clients included large payor groups, self-insured employers, third party administrators, affinity groups and more. HCP was a URAC and NCQA accredited health services call center providing real time access to Registered Nurses, telemonitoring specialists and its member advocacy team supporting healthcare navigation.

 

Kerri Marshall, DVM

As Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Innovation at Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, Dr. Marshall leads an enterprise technology team that is building a digital ecosystem to support thousands of hospitals globally. This digital ecosystem will enhance the collaboration with local referring veterinarians and pet parents as together they ensure clients have more happy moments with their pets.

 

Prior to joining Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, Dr. Marshall was the Chief Veterinary Officer and Board Member at BabelBark launching the first horizontal technology platform ensuring veterinarians participate as leaders in the rapidly growing digital pet services space. She was also the Executive Vice President of Consumer Experience and Chief Veterinary Officer at Trupanion and is the Inventor of the software Trupanion Express® which disrupted pet insurance by ending the reimbursement model and paying veterinarians directly within minutes. One of Dr. Marshall’s fond memories was attending the bell ringing at the New York Stock Exchange for Trupanion’s IPO.  

Earlier in her career, Dr. Marshall joined the Founding Management Team at Banfield where she served many leadership roles including director of operations and senior director of medical informatics during Banfield’s rapid growth from 10 hospitals to 750 hospitals and acquisition by Mars.  Today Banfield is still growing and using systems and patents she helped develop in now over a thousand veterinary hospitals.  Recently, Dr. Marshall was invited to be a founding board member of the Veterinary Virtual Care Association. 

 

Dr. Marshall lives in Vancouver, WA with her husband, 2 dogs, and 2 horses. She recently completed several 25- and 50-mile endurance rides and schooling eventing shows on her 3rd generation Arabian horse, Kharma. Dr. Marshall is a second-generation graduate of Washington State College of Veterinary Medicine and both of her parents practiced together in Lompoc, California for over 40 years.

Patents and Awards

Electronic Health Record Sharing Patent | 2011 | Mars/Banfield

Trupanion Express Design and Functional Patents | 2016 | Trupanion

Veterinary Innovator of the Year |2018| North American Veterinary Community

 

Aaron Smiley, DVM

Dr. Aaron Smiley practices small animal medicine in central Indiana.

He leads two practices and provides guidance to eight other practices as chief of staff advisor for VetCor. He is the President for the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association and is on the University of Illinois Veterinary Alumni Board.

Dr. Smiley is an early adopter of telemedicine and has completed over 2000 cases. He is an expert on the incorporation of telemedicine into practice and has lectured on the topic at national meetings.

 

Dr. Smiley is also the co-founder of VetMed2.0, a think tank focused on discovering divergent ideas in veterinary medicine. The company is currently developing a technology to match veterinary mentors and mentees. 

 

Bruce Truman

Bruce Truman is a companion animal health business executive with over 20 years of experience specializing in PetTech. His areas of expertise are business development, companion animal healthcare informatics, emerging digital technologies, diagnostic startups as well as the marketing and sales management of veterinary and OTC animal health products/services.

Bruce has served as An Advisory Board Member for Innogenics, Inc., VP Business Development and VP Marketing for VCA Vetstreet, Senior Director of Sales for Summit VetPharm, Senior Director Animal Health Strategic Business Unit for Hartz, Senior Marketing Manager of Parasiticides for Zoetis, and Brand Manager Parasiticides for Merial’s Frontline and Heartgard. Bruce is the Immediate Past President of VetPartners, he currently serves on the CATalyst Council and is the Founder and President of BLT Technology and Innovation Group.

Bruce is passionate about using technology to improve the lives of people and their pets. At BabelBark he will focus on connecting pet parents, veterinary professionals and pet professionals in ways that will enable pet parents to provide their pets with the happiest, healthiest life possible.

 

Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is an author, veterinarian, and educator from San Diego, California.

 

While working as a small animal practitioner, Dr. Vogelsang launched Pawcurious Media in 2009 as a means to communicate with the public about animal health. As one of the first veterinarians to utilize blogs and social media as educational tools, Dr. Vogelsang lectures around the world on the value of narrative medicine and writes for multiple industry and general-interest outlets. She is also the author of the bestselling memoir All Dogs Go to Kevin.

 

A perpetual advocate for early adoption of new communication technology, Dr. Vogelsang was also an early proponent for veterinary telemedicine. It has been part of her hospice and palliative care toolbox since 2016. She believes strongly in the power of the internet to teach, build trust, and improve patient outcomes, and has built her career around helping veterinarians move past their skepticism and objections in order to optimize this incredible tool.

Audrey Wystrach, DVM

 

Audrey Wystrach, DVM has been at the forefront of "innovative and disruptive thinking," building platforms that connect with pet parents in more meaningful ways.

Her career as a veterinarian has spanned 25 years, taking her on a journey through multiple facets of petcare models ranging from rural house call and farm practice, corporate medicine, building and operating a group of branded hospitals in Texas and most recently founding her second startup in the veterinary industry.

Audrey has a strong interest in bringing the tenants of hospitality to veterinary care. She believes in surrounding the customer with tech and data to provide improved health outcomes, increased contact time with pet parents and radically different veterinary experiences. Audrey is a champion of innovation and creative workflows to improve efficiencies and empower teams to provide exceptional and memorable customer experiences.

Dr. Wysrach has a strong dedication to her profession and her colleagues. She is committed to challenging the “status quo” and constantly asking “how can we improve the lives of pets and the people that care so deeply for them?”

© 2020 by The Veterinary Virtual Care Association

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