Director for Wellbeing
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As a member of their senior program leadership team, Dr. Peterson serves as the Director for Wellbeing at the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). She works to advance AAVMC’s strategic goal of fostering a culture of wellbeing throughout academic veterinary medicine by promoting preventative, systems-based initiatives that positively impact people’s lives. Dr. Peterson provides subject-matter expertise on evidence-based health and wellbeing practices, as well as how organizations can improve overall wellbeing by addressing the root causes of distress. She speaks on a variety of wellbeing-related topics across the profession to drive positive change.
In Dr. Peterson’s current role, she leads efforts to improve the wellbeing of students, interns, residents, staff, and faculty at our member institutions by conducting national research on mental health and wellbeing and providing organizational recommendations and consultation for program development and implementation. She also provides oversight for AAVMC’s Academic Veterinary Wellbeing Professionals (AVWP) group. Beyond her role in academic veterinary medicine, Dr. Peterson also established the Wellbeing Coalition group for the Federation of the Allied Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) to encourage cross-disciplinary efforts and resource sharing to collectively support the wellbeing of all the health professions.
A few of Dr. Peterson’s previous roles included being a health specialist for a joint MIT/Harvard-sponsored start-up located in Harvard Business School’s Innovation Lab focused on educating college students on health topics, and at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as their first Wellbeing Program Director creating community wellbeing initiatives for students, staff, and faculty. She served on the Wellbeing Committee for the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative.
Born and raised in Alaska, Dr. Peterson completed her master’s degree from the University of Utah in Health Promotion & Health Education and her Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Southern California. When she’s not working to translate wellbeing research into practice, Dr. Peterson can be found enjoying time with her family and her wolfdog Odin, and fixing up her circa 1845 home in central New York (a never-ending endeavor).