Free CE Webinar

Join a team of representatives from various public health entities in a free CE Webinar on “Fostering Communication to Support Mental Health during COVID-19 and its Aftermath” Tuesday, Aug 31 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

This team created the Potomac Regional Veterinary Coping, Resilience, and Challenges Survey to assess stressors veterinarians are experiencing during COVID-19, understand coping and help-seeking behaviors and disseminate appropriate resources to help with coping and resiliency.

Please consider taking the survey and/or joining the webinar! There is no charge for attendance; however, you may provide an optional donation to the VMCVM Wellness Memorial Fund, where all contributions go toward wellness initiatives at the college.


Our Mission

The purpose of this survey is to assess stressors veterinarians are experiencing during COVID-19, understand coping and help-seeking behaviors, and disseminate appropriate resources to help with coping and resiliency. By choosing to participate, you are helping to inform the development of future resources that will be customized to support you and other veterinarians through this unprecedented time.

You matter most

We are here to help you. Your responses will help us:

  • Assess the prevalence of various stressors that veterinarians are experiencing during COVID-19;
  • Explore what coping behaviors veterinarians are turning to during COVID-19; and
  • Explore knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding mental health resources.

What we learn from you will be used to better support you through the development of resources designed to meet the needs of veterinarians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through this survey, we will share resources available to help you with coping and resiliency and offer opportunities for continued follow-up.

About the CRC Survey

This survey can be taken anonymously. At the end of the survey, you’ll be asked if you are interested in providing your name and contact information. This is optional. Please provide this information if you wish to be reached about future activities related to this project. If you provide your name and contact information, your survey will no longer be anonymous, but will only be shared with key personnel on the research team. Individual identifiers are considered confidential information and will not be disseminated outside of the research team.

Help is just a click away

You will find communication and mental health related links and guidance and support resources provided below. While some of the resources listed below are available to members of the organizations listed, many are available to non-members. Some of the resources listed are freely available, and some are available for a fee.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

American Animal Hospital Association

AAHA’s Guide to Veterinary Practice Team Wellbeing
The Link Between a Health Workplace Culture and Optimal Personal Wellbeing

American Veterinary Medical Association
(many resources available to non-members)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mental Health

Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine Let’s be Frank Workshop series (client communication resource)

Maryland Healthcare Professional Program

National Association of Social Workers

VetFolio Well-being Resource Center

Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists

Virginia Academy of School Psychologists

Virginia Counselors’ Association

Virginia Department of Health Professionals: Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program

Virginia Society for Clinical Social Work

Virginia Veterinary Medical Association Member Assistance Program

Who We Are

This survey is a collaborative effort being conducted with representatives from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, the Virginia Department of Health, D.C. Health, the Maryland Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. To learn more about the professionals leading this survey, please read our bios below.

Jody Russon

Jody Russon, PhD, LMFT
Suicidologist and Assistant Professor in Human Development and Family Science

Dr. Russon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech. She is a translational researcher contributing to the fields of suicidology and clinical science. Community-engaged research is a fundamental value of her approach to science, practice and education. Her line of research specifically focuses on the adaptation, dissemination and implementation (AD&I) of suicide intervention and prevention strategies for community settings. The purpose of AD&I science is to translate, spread, and increase the quality of empirically-supported interventions to reduce the research-practice gap in the health professions. Dr. Russon is currently working on early stage research to develop a prevention program which addresses suicidality in the veterinary community. She has recently led an interdisciplinary effort to examine barriers and facilitators associated with the implementation of suicide prevention practices into colleges of veterinary medicine.

Brandy Darby

Brandy Darby, DVM, MPH
Brandy Darby graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University in 2007. She worked in mixed animal practice for three years before transitioning to academia in 2010. Dr. Darby taught at St. Matthew’s University, School of Veterinary Medicine, in the Cayman Islands for nine years. In 2016, she completed a Master’s in Public Health from Michigan State University, with a focus on communicable diseases. In 2019, she joined the Virginia Department of Health as the Veterinary Epidemiologist in the Division of Surveillance and Investigation.

Nivedita Ravi-Caldwell

Nivedita Ravi-Caldwell, DVM, MPH
Nivedita Ravi-Caldwell is originally from India and moved to United States for professional education. She graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 2012. After a year in clinical practice, she returned to graduate school. She graduated with a Master’s in Public Health from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2015 with a focus on veterinary public health. She continued to work in companion animal practice for several years before transitioning to public health. In 2019, she joined the District of Columbia Department of Health as the Zoonotic Disease Epidemiologist in the Center for Policy, Planning & Evaluation. She is a big fan of music and enjoys hikes, cooking and yoga.

Carolyn Bissett

Carolynn J. Bissett, DVM, MPH, Diplomate ACVPM
Dr. Carolynn Bissett currently serves as the Program Manager of the Office of Veterinary Services at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. As Program Manager, Dr. Bissett manages livestock and poultry animal health and disease response for the state of Virginia, as well as animal welfare oversight. She has been with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for eight years. Prior to joining state regulatory government, Dr. Bissett spent nine years in private practice. In addition to a earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, she has a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Iowa and is board certified with the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine.

Laura Hungerford

Laura Hungerford, DVM, MPH, PhD, CPH, FNAP
Veterinary Epidemiologist and Head of the Department of Population Health Sciences
Dr. Laura Hungerford is a veterinary epidemiologist and Head of the Department of Population Health Sciences at Virginia Tech, which houses the MPH, DVM/MPH, MD/MPH, BSPH and Certificate in Public Health Programs; the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine; and the Center for Public Health Practice and Research. She has been active in teaching a wide range of epidemiology and public health courses to graduate, medical and veterinary students, as well as providing continuing education for veterinarians and other health professionals.  She is a member of numerous professional associations and was elected as a Distinguished Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. Her publications, grants and research interests include collaborative studies that take a One Health approach to risk factors for infectious and zoonotic diseases, application of geographic information system and spatial statistical analyses, and dynamic modeling in multidisciplinary health problems.  She has collaborated on developing innovations for drug review at FDA, human infectious disease modeling, and projects with zoos and wildlife agencies involving raccoons, deer, frogs, sea turtles, big cats, birds, and aquatic mammals.

Trish Haak

Trish Haak, LCSW, Veterinary Social Worker
Trish Haak is a licensed clinical social worker and received her Master's of Social Work in Clinical Practice at the University of Washington-Seattle.  Trish was previously a Research Associate at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Psychiatry Department and a Research Project Manager at the Kaiser Permanente Research Institute in Seattle, WA. Upon moving to Blacksburg, VA, Trish joined Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center to provide mental health services. During that time, Trish’s passion for animal assisted therapy inspired her to pursue the field of veterinary social work.  Her current focus is on grief counseling, mitigating secondary traumatic stress, and client communication within the role of veterinary clinical social worker at VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, two children, two dogs, cat, and chickens.

Katharyn Kryda

Katharyn Kryda, DVM, MPH
Dr. Katharyn Kryda is an ASPPH Public Health Fellow at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC.  She was the first veterinarian to be selected for an Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health fellowship and is now in her third year.  Dr. Kryda is hosted by NHTSA’s Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) where she works closely with an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, and public health practitioners on policy development for transportation safety, disaster preparedness, and emergency response.  Since January 2020, she has been supporting interagency COVID-19 efforts across the federal government.

Dr. Kryda earned her DVM and MPH degrees from the University of Illinois.  She practiced clinical small animal medicine for seven years prior to transitioning to full-time public health work in 2018 and served as President of the District of Columbia Veterinary Medical Association (DCVMA) in 2020.

Julia Murphy

Julia Murphy, DVM, MS, DACVPM
Julia Murphy received her DVM from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) in 1992. After three years in large animal private practice, she returned to VMRCVM to pursue a residency in production medicine, earning an MS in 1998. She became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine in 1999 and began working for the Virginia Department of Health in 2002 where she currently serves as the state public health veterinarian.

Krysta Hein

Krista Hein, MFT
Krista Hein is a second year PhD student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program as part of the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech. She received her masters from East Carolina University in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2019.