MEET THE BOARD

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Pamela Linden, LMSW, PhD, VSW
President

Dr. Linden earned her MSW and PhD at Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare. She is the Director of Veterinary Social Work for the AlignCare Healthcare program. Dr. Linden holds a certificate in Veterinary Social Work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where she is an instructor in the Veterinary Social Work and Veterinary Human Support Certificate programs. She is the founding President of the International Association of Veterinary Social Work. Dr. Linden is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Stony Brook University School of Health Technology & Management in Stony Brook, Long Island, New York where she teaches Animal Assisted Therapy for Health Professional and Disability Studies. Dr. Linden administered programs for individuals with serious mental illness, conducted research problem solving courts for both juvenile delinquents and veteran’s and as a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute she studied mandated outpatient psychiatric treatment. Dr. Linden is co-editor of the forthcoming volume The Comprehensive Guide to Interdisciplinary Veterinary Social Work, to be published by Springer in 2022.

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Aviva Vincent, PhD, LMSW
Vice President

Dr. Vincent earned her doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University, Veterinary Social Work Certificate from the University of Tennessee, a fellowship with Animals in Society, and trained at The Institute For Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, “spit camp”. She is an instructor in the Veterinary Social Work and Veterinary Human Support Certificate Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research interest includes exploring the physiological impact of the human-animal bond; specifically the potential animal support to reduce fear and anxiety in stressful situations. Additionally, her research includes integration of salivary analytes in social science research (e.g. oxytocin, alpha-amylase, and cortisol). Her background in veterinary social work informs her practice as the Director of Program Quality at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She is a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor with credentials in Equine Services for Heroes, and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.  In this capacity, she is responsible for ensuring high-quality programs in adaptive riding, hippotherapy, carriage driving, and ground lessons for community participants. She is co-founder and owner of Healing Paws LLC, the only VSW practice in Northeast Ohio. Dr. Vincent is on the advisory board of the Center for Human Animal Education Research and Education at Ohio State University, Region 4 chair for PATH Intl, board of directors for the International Association of Veterinary Social Workers, and is founder of the human-animal interactions workgroup with the National Association of Social Workers-Ohio chapter. Dr. Vincent is a contributor to  the forthcoming volume The Comprehensive Guide to Interdisciplinary Veterinary Social Work, and Career Paths in Human-Animal Interaction for Social and Behavioral Scientists.

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Angie Arora, MSW, RSW
Secretary

Angie Arora is a registered Social Worker from Toronto, Canada with over 15 years of experience in the areas of pet loss and veterinary compassion resilience. She has worked as a hospital Veterinary Social Worker, facilitated community-based pet loss support groups, and engaged in media campaigns to reduce the stigma associated with pet loss. She is on the inaugural Board of the International Association of Veterinary Social Work and serves as a Pet Loss Support Group Facilitator with VetVine. Angie is a Professor with Seneca College’s Social Service Worker Program, where she was the principal investigator of a research study that developed guidelines for veterinary teams to better support clients through their pets’ end of life. Her social work practice has also focussed on issues of gender-based violence with a specific focus on immigrant and refugee communities. In addition, she is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist with the Traumatology Institute and works with the veterinary industry to build wellness through strengthening compassion resilience. Angie obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University and Masters of Social Work from York University.

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Isabel Ballard, B.A., MSW Candidate
Board Director of Communication & Social Media

Isabel Ballard is an MSSA ‘21 candidate at The Mandel School, Case Western Reserve University. Isabel is a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center and serves as a liaison between Fieldstone and the Gaitway Vocational School on the property. She works closely with the school social worker to teach social skills, provide individual skill-building groups, and facilitates therapeutic sessions for individual students. She is also currently serving as a research assistant for the ‘Reining in Anxiety’ research project happening at Fieldstone Farm TRC. Additionally, she interns with Bella Care Hospice where she collaborates closely with an interprofessional medical team to ensure patient and family care.

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Jeannine Moga, MA, MSW, LCSW
Board Director of Ethics & Standards of Practice

Jeannine is a licensed clinical social worker who earned her MSW at the University of Minnesota.  She has developed and led two veterinary social work programs (Veterinary Social Services at the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Medical Center, and Family & Community Services at NC State University’s Veterinary Hospital), and now maintains a private clinical and veterinary consulting practice in Virginia.  A champion for both work/life well-being and “animal-informed social work,” Jeannine currently acts as the Chief Happiness Officer for VETgirl, a multimedia veterinary continuing education provider, teaches coursework on human-animal relationships for NC State University, and serves on the faculty of the University of Tennessee’s Veterinary Human Support Certificate Program.  Jeannine also serves as the Director of Ethics and Standards of Practice for the International Association of Veterinary Social Work.

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Sana Loue, JD, PhD, MPH, MSSA, MA, LISW, CST-T, AVT
Board Director of Education

Sana Loue is a professor in the Department of Bioethics and also holds secondary appointments in Psychiatry and Global Health at the School of Medicine and in Social Work at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at CWRU. She served as the Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine from 2012-2020. She Dr. Loue holds degrees in law (JD), epidemiology (PhD), medical anthropology (PhD), social work (MSSA), secondary education (MA), public health (MPH) and theology (MA). She has conducted research domestically and internationally, focusing on HIV risk and prevention, severe mental illness, family violence, forensic epidemiology, and research ethics. She has authored or edited more than 30 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.  She serves as the editor-in-chief of the peer reviewed Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Sandplay Therapy.  She previously served on the editorial boards of various other journals, including the Journal of Legal Medicine, the Journal of Latino/a Psychology, the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, and Teaching and Learning in Medicine: An International Journal.

Robin Peth-Pierce

Robin Peth-Pierce
Board Director of Fundraising & Development

Robin Peth-Pierce earned her BA in Journalism and Public Administration from Miami University (Oxford, OH) and Master's in Public Policy and Management from The Ohio State University, John Glenn College of Public Affairs. She is currently the Communications Director of the NIMH-funded Center on Implementation and Dissemination Science in States for Children, Adolescents and Families (IDEAS). Over the last two decades, her overall efforts have focused on supporting researchers at federal agencies, non-profits, and university research teams in their efforts to build a better science in child and family mental health services, with the goal of improving the quality of care received by children and families in the U.S. She is particularly interested in translating the knowledge gains of the last decade in early child development into interventions that can be easily deployed in more accessible community settings, by community health workers and laypersons, such as family peer advocates, and where possible, utilizing companion and therapeutic animals to enhance the delivery of services. She began her career at the National Institutes of Health as Presidential Management Fellow, completing a two-year fellowship of rotations in science policy, communications, legislation and grants and contracts, and working at both the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).  She is currently the founder and CEO of Public Health Communications Consulting (PHCC), LLC, and is working toward her master's degree in social work (MSW) and certificate in veterinary social work (VSW).

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Lisa Stewart-Brown LCSW, MBA
Board Director of Membership and Member Services

Lisa Stewart-Brown a licensed clinical social worker, holds a master’s degree in social work from California State University, Sacramento, and an MBA with health care emphasis from California Miramar University and serves as the Director of Membership and Member Services.  She has a passion for building comprehensive mental health strategies to meet the unique challenges within those systems and leverages her 20+ years of mental health experience and her MBA knowledge. Lisa has held clinical leadership roles at United States Postal Services Employee Assistant Program, Costco’s Employee Assistant Program, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Rady’s Children’s Hospital as well as held associate professor positions at both California University of Social Sciences Department, East Bay, CA and California State University, Division of Social Work, Sacramento, CA. 

In her current role as program manager of mental health services for Banfield Pet Hospitals, she has developed and implemented mental health strategies and initiatives that support the emotional and mental health of Banfield associates.  Her work extends into the larger veterinary community as well, as she is the author of the veterinary specific suicide prevention training, ASK Assess+Support+Know that has been made available to everyone at no cost. 

Lisa’s perspective is that for many, veterinary medicine is mission driven work, and those who enter this field often do so without thoughts of financial or other external rewards.  “As a licensed clinical social worker, another mission driven profession, we too, do our work because we are called to it.   Social workers, much like veterinarians and veterinary technicians, do it because it is who we are”, because of this perspective, she believes there is a natural human connection between the two professions. 

In addition, she knows firsthand that all important pet bond experience and how these relationships change a person and she frequently attributes her strong character to her years as a small child growing up with her horse and trusted trail dog.  Lisa continues to lean into that pet bond, as she now lives on a small family farm in Southern California with her wife, two children and their nine pets.