Psychological Health & Safety
Task Force

What happens after you posted your BIG idea and the final idea chosen? That's when Veterinary Visionaries championed a team of professionals who created the "Psychological Health & Safety Guidelines" — a roadmap to staff wellbeing! Read more about these visionaries here.

Leann Benedetti

Leann Benedetti, DVM, TICC, ACC, CCFP, BSc

Certified Physician Development Coach, Certified Compassion Fatigue Practitioner

Dr. Leann Benedetti provides innovative wellness solutions for the humans of Veterinary medicine as “The Veterinary Coach,” which she founded in 2017. As a past practice owner and a still-practicing (part-time) veterinarian with 25+ years of clinical experience, her goal is to support the emotional and mental health of individuals, teams, and organizations and build a resilient, agile, positive, psychologically safe veterinary culture. Dr. Benedetti is an ICF Certified Professional Coach, Certified Compassion Fatigue Practitioner, Mentor, Safe Circle Facilitator, Public Speaker, member of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Wellness Advisory Group, a Peer Advisor for the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, and a passionate advocate for veterinary well-being and whole-hearted living.

Coral Doherty

Coral Doherty, RVT, CPHSA

Registered Veterinary Technologist

In 2017, Coral embarked on self-employment as a freelance practice manager, aiding various veterinary practices and refining her management skills. By 2019, she earned a Quality Management certificate from the University of Manitoba.

That same year, while researching for a presentation on workplace mental health, Coral discovered the Canadian Standard for Psychological Health and Safety, reflecting the growing recognition of mental health's significance in the workplace.

Becoming a certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor, she delivered her first online presentation in May 2020 and launched the Better Mental Health for the Future website. Coral aims to improve professional retention, career satisfaction, and overall life enjoyment in veterinary healthcare, aspiring for a future where passion for work doesn't compromise mental wellness.

Joan-Patricia O'Connor

Joan-Patricia O’Connor, FASAE, BoardSourceCGT

JP O’Connor has worked extensively with associations, professional societies, and nonprofit organizations across the country and abroad for 35+ years. She has been a CEO, consultant, and facilitator, taught in UCLA Extension's Nonprofit Governance and Fundraising programs for 28 years, and holds the prestigious role of BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer. With a Masters's in Journalism and Public Relations from USC, she has used her writing skills to edit, write, and assist with client publications.
"My career goal has been to assure nonprofits have the same quality leadership development training available to staff and volunteers, as do for-profit corporations. I am Mission-driven and care deeply about the positive impact a client can have on our world."

Makenzie Peterson

Makenzie Peterson, DSW, MSc

Wellbeing & Organizational Change Strategist, Consultant, & Educator

Dr. Makenzie Peterson is a behavioral and population health professional by training who brings a preventative, systems-based lens to her organizational change and social impact work. Focusing on organizational, national, and international work, Dr. Peterson provides subject-matter expertise on evidence-based health and wellbeing practices and how professions and organizations can improve overall wellbeing by addressing the root causes of distress. Prior to her consulting work, Dr. Peterson was the first Wellbeing Program Director at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and the first Director for Wellbeing at the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). She led efforts to improve the wellbeing of students, interns, residents, staff, and faculty while at AAVMC by conducting the first national research on mental health and wellbeing for these groups and providing organizational recommendations and consultation for program development and implementation. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician wellbeing and Resilience and a Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative board member. Born and raised in Alaska, Dr. Peterson completed her master’s degree from the University of Utah in Health Promotion & Education and her Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Southern California

Phil Richmond

Phil Richmond, DVM, CAPP, CPHSA, CCFP

Founder | CEO at Flourishing Phoenix Veterinary Consultants, LLC

Dr. Philip Richmond, a practicing veterinarian, is the Founder and CEO of Flourishing Phoenix Veterinary Consultants, LLC, specializing in promoting positive workplace culture and psychological wellbeing in veterinary settings. He leads various projects at state, national, and international levels aimed at advancing workplace wellbeing in veterinary medicine, including serving as Chief Medical Officer for Veterinary United and advising numerous committees and boards focused on suicide prevention and psychological health. Dr. Richmond is a prolific speaker, writer, and podcast guest in the veterinary community, holding multiple certifications in fields such as positive psychology and trauma-informed workplaces. He has received several prestigious awards for his contributions to veterinary wellness, including the FVMA Gold Star and Veterinarian of the Year awards, the Uncharted Veterinary Community Founder’s Award, and recognition as a finalist for the 2024 US Bright Minds Veterinary Wellness Champion Award.

Josh Vaisman 

Josh Vaisman, MAPPCP (PgD), CCFP

CoFounder, Flourish Veterinary Consulting

Josh has been an integral part of the veterinary community since 1998, immersing himself in various roles before delving into practice management and ownership in 2009. Despite his innate optimism, the toll of burnout caught him off guard, prompting a soul-searching journey. Recognizing the need for change, he courageously stepped away to reclaim his true self.
Since then, he's committed himself to empowering veterinary professionals to thrive authentically in their work. Equipped with certificates in Positive Psychology, Workplace Culture, and Team Building, alongside a Master's in Applied Positive Psychology and coaching Psychology, Josh co-founded Flourish Veterinary Consulting LLC to translate his knowledge into tangible support for veterinary teams.

Residing in Colorado with his supportive wife and a lively household comprising three boisterous parrots, two rescue pups, a cherished 7-pound cat, several fish tanks, and a handful of beehives, Josh finds solace in teaching beekeeping, engaging in indoor soccer, and nurturing dreams of a tropical escape to Kauai.