Colleagues and Staff in Crisis: Suicide Awareness and Mental Wellbeing – Presenters

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Nonprofit free veterinary resources | veterinary continued education | Colleagues in Crisis - Suicide Awareness and Mental Wellbeing 2022
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Vets4Vets® Leader | Bree Montana, DVM, CCFP

Bree Montana, DVM, CCFP


Honors Awards and Fellowships

  • PESI, Inc (PESI) Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional, 2017




  • Bachelor of Science, University Of Cincinnati, 1987
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1992




  • Certified Compassion Fatigue Prevention and Management Practitioner
  • Certified QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Instructor



Current Professional Activities

  • Vets4Vets® – confidential peer support providing critical emotional care to veterinarians struggling with all forms of stress/addiction/mental health issues. The program is international and free for all veterinarians and veterinary students.
  • Rural solo practice owner/practitioner, Agate Bay Animal Hospital and Dog Gone Crazy boarding/training facilities, North Lake Tahoe, California



Past Professional Activities

  • Member, External Advisory and Admissions Committee, UC Davis College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Member, VIN Foundation Board
  • 2010, Helped to create the VIN Foundation’s Vets4Vets® program



Special Interests

  • Compassion fatigue and burnout treatment and prevention
  • Suicide prevention training
  • Strategies for balancing personal and professional life
  • Strategies for a healthy mentoring relationship
  • Job seeker’s success techniques
  • Effective communication in the workplace




  • Mom, wife, Husky wrangler and aspiring dressage queen
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Resources | Vets4Vets® | Susan Cohen, DSW, ACSW

Susan Cohen, DSW, ACSW


  • DSW, Columbia University School of Social Work, 1998



Current Professional Activities

  • Facilitate support groups for veterinarians (VIN Foundation Vets4Vets®), Managers (VIN), animal welfare workers (ASPCA), and grieving pet lovers (Downtown Veterinary Medical Hospitals)
  • Consult with veterinary practices and organizations
  • Lecture to veterinary groups, pet service organizations, and social work groups
  • Write book chapters, scholarly artiicles
  • Serve on Institutional Review Board for veterinary research
  • Vice-Chair–Social Workers Advancing the Human-Animal Bond (SWAHAB)



Past Professional Activities

  • Director of Counseling, The Animal Medical Center, NYC 1982-2011



Current Research/Clinical Interests

  • Human-Animal interaction
  • Pet loss
  • Stress among professionals




  • Heart of Veterinary Social Work Award for Excellence in Human-Animal Interaction Teaching, IVSWS International Social Work Summit, 2013
  • Lois T. Benezet Award for Career Achievement, The Colorado College, 2011
  • Distinguished Service Award, Veterinary Medical Association of NYC (first non-veterinarian to receive this award), 1989




  • Proud tenor in the Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale



Favorite Quote

  • The only thing better than singing is more singing.” – Ella Fitzgerald
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Feeling Like a Fraud? You're Not Alone | Dr. Michele Gaspar

Michele Gaspar, DVM, ABVP


Board Certification

  • American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) Feline Practice, 2002



  • Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 1975
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1994


Current Professional Activities

  • Consultant, VIN Feline Internal Medicine Folder
  • Facilitator, VIN Mindfulness Meditation Training/Practice
  • Member, Vets4Vets
  • Member, Vets@VIN


Past Professional Activities

  • Veterinarian, Tree House Animal Foundation, Chicago, IL
  • Board of Directors, American Association of Feline Practitioners, 2004 – 2006



  • Bassets: Milton and Theo
  • Cats: Gwen, Otis and Henry
  • Fish



  • Music (I’m partial to an eclectic mix: Gregorian Chant, Baroque, sitar, 60s rock ‘n’ roll, Frank Sinatra, and especially the poetry and music of Warren Zevon)
  • Yoga
  • Reading (most anything on Mayahana Buddhism or the writings of Ken Wilber and Pema Chodron), and The Sunday New York Times (I’m addicted to the Weddings section).


Favorite Quote

“This time, practice the main points.” — Pema Chodron