Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association
Dedicated to Developing Responsible Herbal Practice
Jasmine C. Lyon, Executive Director
QUESTIONS? email office@vbma.org
Established in 2002 by Susan Wynn, DVM, RH(AHG)
President:  Laurie Dohmen
President-Elect: Robert Silver
Past President: Cynthia Lankenau
Int'l Advisor:  Barbara Fougere
Recording Secretary:  Beth Lambert
Director/Treasurer:  Jasmine Lyon
VBMA Home About VBMA Contact VBMA Why Join VBMA?
 Our board members are an amazingly talented group of folks who generously dedicate themselves to running the VBMA.
PRESIDENT:  Laurie Dohmen
Growing up, Dr. Dohmen always wanted to be a veterinarian. She grew up in a time where allopathic medicine was considered the zenith of all medicine. All her schooling was in allopathic medicine, but she started feeling that there was something more. In her personal life, she had been a vegetarian for years; she wanted to help animals, not eat them. She began to use organic food and alternative medicine modalities for herself and her family. Her family thrived on this more wholistic lifestyle, and she realized that if these things were better for her family, they would be better for her patients also.

At the same time, more and more research became available which indicated that allopathic medicine was not the be-all-end-all that western doctors had always believed. There was even research that vaccines and medicines that have been used and prescribed for years can actually do more harm than good. Becoming disillusioned with some areas of western medicine, Dr. Dohmen began studying alternative modalities.

Dr. Dohmen has received training in Acupuncture, Food Therapy, Bach Flower Essences, and most extensively Western Herbs. She has studied with Dr. Steve Marsden, Dr.Huisheng Xie, Registered Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and many others. She recently closed her integrative mixed animal practice in southern Delaware. She is starting to lecture regularly on Western Herbal Veterinary Medicine, and other wholistic topics. She is writing a hands-on course in Western Veterinary Herbal Medicine. There is no course of this nature currently being offered on the US, and Dr. Dohmen plans to fill this void.

Dr. Dohmen is current President of the Veterinary Botanical Medical Association; as well as a member of American Herbalists Guild, International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, American Holistic VMA, AVMA, and Delaware VMA. Dr. Dohmen lives on a 72 acre farm with her husband, 2 sons, her best friend (a 34 year old Anglo-Arab mare) and many other animals. She is currently starting her own organic herb and vegetable gardens.
PAST PRESIDENT:  Cynthia Lankenau
I have a mixed animal 100 % alternative modality practice in western NY state since 1993.  I am certified in Acupuncture (IVAS; 91), Chiropractic ('95), Homeopathy ('95), and Chinese Herbal medicine (Chi and CIVT), and Reiki.
I graduated from Cornell in 1981.  I went into 100% dairy practice and became very frustrated with the limitations of western medicine.  I joined the Peace Corps in 1984 and practiced in Malawi, Africa.  In 1985, when I came back into the US and joined a mixed animal practice, I was again very frustrated with the lack of curative effects with western medicine and then started down my alternative path. 
I am current past-president of the VBMA.  I heavily rely on herbal medicine in my practice.
My journey to herbal medicine began when I was 19 and was staying with my cousin in Ann Arbor. He was into macrobiotics, and when I stayed with him, I ate macrobiotically, including seaweed and some herbs. The positive feeling I derived from eating good food and food herbs created in me a desire to learn how to create that feeling for myself all the time. As I learned more about macrobiotics and about the foods and herbs associated with it, herbs became a part of my life. I started college in the '60s in New York City at Columbia, and during the period of student unrest, dropped out to cook professionally at a macrobiotic restaurant in the Village. This was the '60s in the Village and people were talking about herbs, not just the psychotropic ones, but the ones that also were healing of the body. I listened, and learned and tried out a number of different popular herbal remedies of that period. Time passed, and I found myself in veterinary college at Colorado State University where I took a poisonous plants class from Tony Knight. Dr Knight would take the students on herb walks, describe the botanical identification characteristics of poisonous plants so we could identify the culprits when faced with livestock or pet poisonings. One thing always stuck in my mind from Dr Knight's teachings: That the difference between a toxic plant and a medicinal plant was dosage. Foxglove can be quite toxic to the myocardium when taken in large enough amounts, or therapeutic when taken in smaller amounts. Its always about dosage, isn't it? (Ask any homeopath) Fast forward to my first few years in practice doing house calls in Colorado Springs, which, in spite of its large military and religious community also had a very small but powerful community of healers and alternative practitioners. There I joined the Pikes Peak Herbal Society, where we took weekly herb identification walks, learning about the edible, medicinal and toxic plants that were indigenous to the Pikes Peak area. We studied medicine making, and from there I started traveling to Boulder where I met and studied under Feather Jones of the Rocky Mountain School of Botanical Studies and Brigitte Mars, both traditional western herbalists. A classmate of mine from CSU who had gone on to study human acupuncture and was treating both people and their pets with her needles, dragged me to a class in Boulder taught by Jake Fratkin, on Chinese patent herbal  formulas. At Jake and Brigitte's urging I moved to Boulder and set up my holistic practice there. I taught for a while at Feather Jones' School of Botanical Studies, and took advanced Chinese herbal classes and acupuncture classes from Jake. Several years after I had settled in Boulder, I was asked to co-teach in the first IVAS Basic Course on Chinese herbal medicine with Jake and Shen Xie. We developed the curriculum for the course and taught it for about 6 years. Since then I've been using both Chinese and western herbal formulas in my patients, and developing formulas of my own as well. I also have a strong interest in nutraceuticals, and especially take great interest in researching the evidence that is the basis for the biomedical and clinical activity of herbs and nutraceuticals in veterinary patients. (Its the science nerd in me) I've been working with RxVitamins for Pets for the past 18 years developing complexed formulas that contain both herbs and nutraceuticals specifically for use by veterinary practitioners. Three years ago I sold my practice of 18 years in Boulder to have more time to develop post-graduate educational programs to help guide my fellow veterinarians in the safe and effective use of herbs and nutraceuticals combined with conventional veterinary protocols. I feel now that I can reach more pets through teaching veterinarians, and through creating products that are effective and easy to use. My most recent project is a pet-owner based website for people whose pets have cancer to help guide them on that journey of supporting their pets through the process of managing that disease challenge, and providing resources for palliation, pet hospice and the entire grieving and loss part of having a pet who will die eventually, although hopefully with dignity, grace, and minimal discomfort. Although I'm not an "organization man" I look forward to an opportunity to "Paw it Forward" and return to the VBMA all of the great stuff that I have  personally derived from being associated with it since its inception by participating on the Board of Directors, and being "el Presidente" for two years.

Barbara started her studies in complementary medicine at university in 1986. Since then she has studied human and veterinary complementary medicine, and is certified in veterinary and human herbal medicine, veterinary acupuncture as well as veterinary chiropractic, veterinary Chinese herbal medicine and veterinary and human homeopathy. She has also explored energy medicine with Reiki and several other lesser known therapies such as prolotherapy, tui na and Chinese food therapy.

Barbara actively participates in industry related associations and committees. She was honored to have held the position of President for the Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Association (2003 - 2007), and the International Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association (2003 - 2006). She has also held the position of Policy Council Member for the Australian Veterinary Association when she was an advisor for Holistic, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (1996-2003).

In addition to being the VBMA international board representative, Barbara is the current president  of IVAS, and a member of Australian College of Nutrition and Environmental Nutrition, National Herbalist Association Of Australia (NHAA), and Australian Veterinary Association Chartered (CMAVA).

Barbara has been the inaugural recipient of the AVA Community Service Award for her role in rehoming thousands of dogs and cats through the programs and websites she developed in Australia.

Barbara enjoys sharing her passion for holistic care within the international veterinary community. She has lectured in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Japan, Canada, India and Sri Lanka and is involved in teaching veterinary Western and Chinese herbal medicine, complementary medicine and holistic nutrition. Her current involvement in CIVT is amazing. She is one of the leaders in both the Chinese Herbal course and the Western Course. This programs are truly wonderful and make learning Herbal medicine easily available to all.

Barbara is the author of two books, Healthy Dogs, A Handbook of Natural Therapies (2003) and Natural Healing for Cats and Dogs (2005), she has also co-authored Veterinary Herbal Medicine with Dr S Wynn (2006) and was an contributing author of Integrating Complementary Medicine into Veterinary Practice (2008).

She has also featured on Television programs such as Harry's Practice, Totally Wild and Creature Features, as well as in Magazines such as New Idea, The Australian Woman's Weekly, and has been published in various Newspaper articles. You can also hear Barbara live on air at:

www.pettalkradio.com.au  and http://www.naturalvet.com.au/content/www.pettalkradio.com.au

Barbara shares her life with her partner Karl and their Burmese Tallulah and Sweet Pea, a lively worm farm, and more than 50 orchids. We are so very glad she is a member of the VBMA!!!

Beth Lambert is the VBMA's secretary, all around great person and advisor to any herbal product or production question that comes up.  A Harvard Business School graduate, CEO Beth Lambert had a very successful Wall Street Career which she left to pursue her interest in environmentally based businesses.  She was soon running a Permaculture publishing company, a community supported farm, and teaching at Rutgers.  One of her farming partners, who was taking David Winston’s two year herbal studies program, introduced her to David, who was looking for some advice on his herbal products company.  And after reviewing the business, she joined the company as his business partner.  In addition to being on the Board of the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association, she is on the Board of American Herbal Products Association and acts as Chair of its Education Committee, which develops both industry education and educational programs for practitioners.  She is Vice Chair of AHPA-ERB Foundation, an organization working with University of Massachusetts and partially funded by the federal government to revise the Botanical Safety Handbook.  And she is on the Board of Genesis Farm, a 140 acre farm dedicated to Earth literacy, Permaculture and Transition culture.  In addition to being just a great person, Beth is a great resource and asset for the VBMA .
The foundation of the VBMA is Jasmine Lyons, our Executive director.  She brings to the VBMA the practical day to day workings of an organization.  She does so much for us; organizes the teleconferences, tirelessly answers housekeeping questions; sends reminders for dues again and again..; works endlessly with Amy on the web-site.

Below is in her words her connection with the VBMA:

Veterinary medicine has been my life you could say.  My mom worked as a tech assistant when I was a kid and I would hang out with her whenever I could, hoping to be asked to clean a cage or walk a dog.  My husband and I were both working at specialty facilities in different states when we met at the ACVIM conference in May of 1997. We are both registered veterinary technicians and he, along with a veterinarian partner, own Bells Ferry Veterinary Hospital in Acworth, GA...where I've been the hospital administrator for the last 14 years.  I've been a kennel attendant, receptionist, technician, hospital administrator, bookkeeper and more. It gives me rare insight into what it takes to make a hospital run smoothly.  Our hospital treats dogs, cats and exotics and in addition, we are one of the leading wildlife triage facilities in our state, serving our community for the last 30 years.  I became involved with the VBMA through Susan Wynn, someone I've known personally and professionally for 20+ years.  8 years ago I think it was, she asked me if I would be interested in taking over her job as Executive Director. I've learned a lot, our membership has grown since that time and I'm very proud of our organization.  I have 2 girls...Rowen, 6 and Averie, 2. I currently have 4 dogs - 2 Border Collies, a Parson Russell Terrier and a Standard Wirehaired Dachshund.
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