Helping Your Members Create Practice Cultures That Thrive

VMAE | Live!
April 16, 2020
12:05-12:55 PM MTN

This edition of VMAE | Live! will explore workplace culture and its impact on personal wellbeing, team satisfaction, and practice success.  Designed for the VMA executive, the webinar will expand and deepen your understanding of workplace culture and its connection to optimal personal wellbeing.  Participants will learn how to advocate for healthy workplace culture and use specific tactics identified during the webinar to support your VMA members in advancing positive workplace culture.  In this webinar, four subject matter experts known throughout the veterinary profession will share their insights, lessons learned, action steps and resources as they challenge VMA executives, VMAs, and the veterinary profession to make an active commitment to creating healthy workplace cultures.



— Dr. John De Jong, November 1, 2018 JAVMA President’s Column

Participants will learn about:

  • The components of healthy workplace culture
  • The connection between personal wellbeing and workplace culture
  • The benefits of a healthy practice culture
  • Action steps to get started in helping your members create healthy practice culture


Karlene Belyea

Mission Veterinary Partners

Karlene’s passion is speaking to groups about how to improve communications, culture and well-being in the workplace. She is a certified Everything DiSC® Trainer and presents sessions on behavioral styles, generational differences, body language, leadership and influence, creating positive and productive work cultures, wellness, work/life integration, finding happiness and brain training/neuroscience. Karlene focuses on how to work together more effectively through understanding and appreciating the differences in people, while working to improve communications, team building, customer service and conflict resolution.

Karlene is the Chief Culture Officer of Mission Veterinary Partners. Prior to this, she was the CEO of the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association for 15 years and has more than 31 years of experience in management and team building. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunications from Michigan State University, so she can cheer for whoever is winning. She speaks to a wide variety of groups nationally and sings and plays keyboards for a band.

Jen Brandt, LISW-S, PhD

American Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. Brandt is the Director of Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at the American Veterinary Medical Association.  She is a licensed independent social worker and supervisor, experienced grief and trauma therapist, and healthcare team communications specialist and serves as a nationally certified Psychology of Eating Coach, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor, and Anti-Oppression Informed Practitioner. Dr. Brandt founded The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Honoring the Bond Program, one of the first programs in the nation aimed at recognizing and honoring the human-

animal bond by providing support and resources to animal owners and animal care professionals. She is a nationally and internationally acclaimed speaker at veterinary colleges and conferences and has served as a master trainer and facilitator for the Institute for Healthcare Communication since 2003.

Dr. Brandt’s work centers around providing individuals, teams, and organizations with the skills essential to quality veterinary care, veterinary career success, and personal and professional satisfaction.  Her seminars offer applied learning opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the profession, increase self-awareness, improve wellbeing and resilience, resolve conflict, and enhance veterinary team communication.

Dr. Brandt received her Ph.D. in Social Work and her Master of Social Work from The Ohio State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Sociology with a Minor in Spanish from the University of Indianapolis.

Michael T. Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP

American Animal Hospital Association

A 1983 graduate of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Cavanaugh became the CEO and Executive Director of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in January 2010. In this capacity, he is responsible for AAHA’s national headquarters located in Denver, Colo. where he oversees a staff of 65 and an annual budget in excess of $12 million. Dr. Cavanaugh manages the administrative affairs of the Association, carrying out its programs and policies. He also represents AAHA at numerous meetings across the veterinary profession.

Dr. Cavanaugh practiced in Illinois and Colorado as an associate veterinarian in AAHA-accredited practices before opening the AAHA-accredited West Ridge Animal Hospital in Topeka, Kan. in 1988. He became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 1996. In addition to private practice, Dr. Cavanaugh gained valuable experience working in the animal health industry. He was a consultant with Hill’s Pet Nutrition until 1996 when he sold his practice and became the technical services director for Heska Corporation for four years prior to joining Pfizer Animal Health in 2000. During his ten-year career with Pfizer, Dr. Cavanaugh advanced to becoming director of veterinary hospital services where he led a group of 50 veterinarians. Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine recognized Dr. Cavanaugh as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the college. He is an affiliate faculty member at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He was recognized as a 2017 Changemaker by MeetingsNet.

Dr. Cavanaugh shares his home in Conifer, CO with his wife of 39 years, Beth, and two wonderful border collies named Holly and Seamus. Mike and Beth have 2 children, Caitlyn and Kevin who both reside in the Denver area.   Mike loves the outdoors and numerous activities including whitewater kayaking and rafting, canoeing, fishing, backpacking, rock climbing, bicycling, hiking and similar non-motorized endeavors. His motto is “Live to tell about it!”