Veterinary Relations Committee

NAPHIA’s Veterinary Relations Committee was established in 2015 by Dr. Jack Stephens and was designed to bring together veterinary specialists from across NAPHIA’s membership.

During the development of NAPHIA’s significant research assets, the committee was Chaired by Dr. Mary Beth Leininger. A past President of the AVMA, Dr. Mary Beth had extensive experience with the veterinary industry, academia, and professional organizations, with a focus on veterinary education and support for the profession. As a multi-year project, NAPHIA undertook ground-breaking research in partnership with Leiberman Research Worldwide and Brakke Consulting’s highly respected veterinary and business consultant, John Volk.

The result was the publication of the highly-anticipated Driving Growth for Pet Health Insurance (2016) research report, and more recently, the Pet Insurance Best Practices Guide (2017) here.

Our Working Group Today

NAPHIA’s Veterinary working group has since evolved to continue to build on the strong foundation established by Dr. Stephens and Dr. Leininger (both now retired), and the stewardship of NAPHIA’s Board of Directors and member organizations.

In 2018/19, NAPHIA’s VR Committee was guided by the contributions of Steve Shell (Petplan), whose extensive background in creating strong partnerships helped to see through an internal initiative by The AVMA to amend the AVMA policy on pet health insurance and subsequently, to publish the AVMA’s ‘A Veterinarian’s Guide to Pet Insurance’.

Today the committee remains committed to activities and resource development that will continue to encourage practicing veterinarians and their specialist teams to proactively discuss pet health insurance with clients.

NAPHIA Veterinary Relations Committee:

CHAIR – Jules Benson, AVP, Veterinary Relations Nationwide

Committee Members:

  • Dr. Carol McConnell, Chief Veterinary Officer, Nationwide
  • DR. Wendy Hauser, AVP, Veterinary Relations Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group
  • Donna Cejalvo, Vice President Marketing, Pets Best
  • Patrice Bayer, Operations Manager, Pet Partners
  • Erin Tursam, Marketing Manager, Pet Partners
  • John Volk, Brakke Consulting, Special Advisor

Working with veterinary officers from across our member organizations, our Veterinary Relations Committee works to develop partnerships with professional veterinary bodies, including the Economic Advisory Research Council (EARC) of the AVMA, AAHA, and others, to promote education on the positive impacts of pet health insurance on veterinary practice.