Alexandra MacLean, M.A., BSc SPQ
State Hospitals Board for Scotland, Carstairs, Scotland
Alexandra Maclean (M.A., Diploma in Nursing (Mental Health), BSc SPQ (Forensic Nursing)) has worked as a nurse in Forensic Mental Health for 16 years and is based in The State Hospital, Carstairs, Scotland, which is the sole provider of high secure care for Scotland and Northern Ireland. She currently leads teams in the vocational areas of the hospital, which includes the Animal Assisted Therapy Centre. The centre aims to provide patients with opportunities to participate in activity, interact with others and achieve objectives as a part of their overall treatment plan while detained in the hospital.She has been instrumental in the expansion of this area to include farm animals, and the regular visits of dogs to the centre. Alexandra is particularly interested in the way animals can assist those experiencing mental health problems, and is exploring ways of improving the assessment of interventions.Alexandra is a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and travelled to Australia and extensively in the US with the aim of improving the care for patients in The State Hospital in the area of AAT. A second aim was to examine ways of improving the rehabilitation pathway for patients.
She has also been involved in assisting other areas set up animal therapy units, and published a booklet to illustrate the work that takes place at The State Hospital.
Allie Phillips, JD
Former Prosecuting Attorney
Human-Animal Interaction Legal Expert
Co-Founder, Therapy Animals Supporting Kids (TASK)
Allie Phillips is a nationally recognized human-animal interaction attorney, former prosecuting attorney, educator and author who was honored in 2015 as a Top Defender of Animals. She is the former Director and creator of the National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse and Deputy Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, programs at the National District Attorneys Association. She has significant prosecution experience as a former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Michigan, and has been training prosecutors and criminal justice professionals since 1997. She has conducted hundreds of trainings nationally and internationally, and authored over 50 professional publications, including two published books. Previously, she was the Vice President of Public Policy and then Vice President of Human-Animal Strategic Initiatives for American Humane Association where she worked on legislative issues and developed national initiatives on human-animal interactions, including co-creating the Therapy Animals Supporting Kids (TASK)™ Program. She is also the Founder of Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T)™ which is the first national (and now international) initiative to house families and pets together after violence.
Ms. Phillips is a nationally recognized expert on therapy animals in the criminal justice system, the linkages between violence to animals and people, animal protection issues, and is an award-winning book author. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, in The Washington Post, USA Today, Denver Post, Cat Fancy Magazine, Chatelaine Magazine (Canada), Colorado Public Radio, Washington Public Radio, and dozens of national animal radio talk shows including NPR’s Dog Talk radio, Talkin’ Pets radio, and The Real Dr. Doolittle radio show.
Ms. Phillips volunteers her time with these organizations: advisor to the Association of Professional Humane Educators, executive board of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals, advisory group of the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse, steering committee of the National Link Coalition, member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Animal Law Section, co-creator of Michiganders for Shelter Pets, advisor for White Coat Waste Project, and is a volunteer at Capital Area Humane Society and past-president of King Street Cats. Learn more about her work at www.alliephillips.com.
Immediate Past Chair, Denver Pet Partners
Dianne Bell recently retired after 21 years with Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) in her role as Manager of Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program’s Curriculum & Standards. Dianne worked with many facets of the program; facilities, volunteers, subject matter experts, visiting scholars, committees and Board members.Through previous experience she draws on her contract administrator work, health and wellness, instructional design/training analysis, CERT training and therapy animal involvement to apply and assist wherever is needed. She has served as a member of IAHAIO’s International Conference planning and program committee.
Dimitriy Levin, MD
Director, Hospitalist Oncology Service
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado Hospital Medicine Group
Dimitriy Levin is a hospitalist at University of Colorado Hospital. In 2011, he created the Oncology Hospitalist Service that specializes in caring for hospitalized patients with advanced cancers. Dimitriy fostered a multidisciplinary team that emphasizes all aspects of patient and family care to deliver the best possible hospital experience and quality of life after discharge. Dimitriy championed bringing Animal Assisted Activity programs to the oncology unit at UCH.In addition to clinical duties, Dimitriy trains internal medicine residents to care for patients with complex medical oncological illnesses and he has authored several textbook chapters on hospital medicine topics. Dimitriy received his medical degree from University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychobiology from Swarthmore College.
Jerry Yager, Psy.D.
Director of Programs, Denver Children’s Advocacy Center
Jerry Yager or “Dr. Jerry” has more than 30 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of neglected, abused and traumatized children. He joined the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center in 2011 to pursue his passion of educating professionals who work with children about the impact of abuse and neglect on the developing brain. Dr. Jerry leads DCAC’s far-reaching initiative to provide training and consultation to the professionals who work with traumatized children in many different capacities—therapists, social workers, educators, foster/adoptive parents, law enforcement officers, investigators and victim advocates—to help them understand the often difficult behaviors of child abuse victims and learn to provide appropriate and effective interventions that ameliorate rather than exacerbate the trauma. Dr. Jerry and his training team conduct workshops and provide individual and organizational consultation throughout Colorado and nationally.Dr. Jerry is a ChildTrauma fellow with the ChildTrauma Academy. Before joining DCAC, Dr. Jerry was the Executive Director of the Denver Children’s Home for nine years. He has served as president of the Colorado Association of Families and Children’s Agencies (CAFCA), was a member of the Governors Child Care Licensing Advisory Committee and Colorado’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Systems Redesign Committee, and also served on the Kempe Children’s Center Perpetration Prevention Study Group. Dr. Jerry is frequently called as an expert witness in cases of child abuse, and has been asked to testify many times in front of Colorado State Legislature on the treatment, education and care of children in the child welfare system. DR. Jerry was recently nominated to join the Colorado Court Improvement Program and serves on the steering committee for redesigning Colorado’s Systems of Care. Dr. Jerry received his Doctorate in Psychology from Nova University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Colorado.
Professional Dog Trainer
Master Guide Dog Mobility Instructor
Melissa began raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind at the age of 14. She knew by the age of 16, that she was destined to become a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. After raising 8 puppies, Melissa began her career at Guide Dogs For The Blind in San Rafael, CA. She worked her way up to Master Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) over a 15 year period and was very lucky to be within an organization that provided in depth continuing education from all over the world. Melissa was also privileged to travel the country and work with guide dog clients in many diverse environments. She was honored to spend 6 months working at Guide Dogs Queensland in Australia, furthering her international experience.After work related injuries ended her career as a guide dog instructor, Melissa has furthered her knowledge in dog behavior by teaching agility and obedience to a wide variety of clients. Canine nutrition is also something she’s very passionate about and incorporates this in her overall holistic approach in working with dogs. Melissa has been raising and showing Mastiffs for the last 15 years and also continues to raise guide dog puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York. If she ever does have free time and the weather is nice, she loves to ride her road bike!
Michael E. Tieman, M.D., FACS
Chairman, Department of Specialty Medicine, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Michael Tieman is a general surgeon who retired from clinical practice in 2006. He is currently the Chairman of the Department of Specialty Medicine at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado. Dr. Tieman and his wife, Linda, have been engaged in Animal-Assisted Interaction (AAI) work with their golden retrievers, Dillon and Darby for over six years. They began the AAI program at Medical Center of the Rockies in January, 2008, and continue to make weekly visits there. Linda recently joined the Pet Partners program at Sky Ridge Hospital, and Dr. Tieman has initiated an AAI program at Rocky Vista University for the medical students and staff.
Philip Tedeschi, MSW
Clinical Professor, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work
Some of Philip Tedeschi’s best friends are animals. He has studied and teaches about the intricate relationship between people, domestic and wild animals and the natural world. Philip Tedeschi is a Clinical Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver and is Director of The Institute for Human-Animal Connection. He also coordinates the school’s Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate program for Master of Social Work (MSW) students, as well as the global Animals and Human Health professional development certificate program.
Randa MacMillan, DVM
Immediate Past President, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association
Dr. MacMillan has been active in the veterinary community for over 30 years, serving as every position on the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society Board of Directors including President. She is the immediate past president of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. After purchasing Arapahoe Veterinary Hospital in 1990, she operated it until her recent retirement. Dr. MacMillan has been active with the Children’s Hospital Prescription Pets Program for over a decade, providing health and behavioral screening for the dogs involved in the program. Having raised a Guide Dog with one of her daughters, she became involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind serving as a group leader and providing pro bono work for working Guide Dogs in the Littleton area. Dr. MacMillan has served as a veterinarian at the Iditarod and travels to Mexico annually to provide free veterinary services at a spay/neuter clinic.Dr. MacMillan received her Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University, a Masters degree from University of Colorado, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from CSU.